Simple Cinnamon Braid

Last week I posted a picture of this cinnamon braid (made with our no-knead brioche dough) on Instagram, and had several requests for a recipe. So here it is! It’s basically a cinnamon roll in a prettier package, but it’s fun to make, and would be perfect for a Mother’s Day brunch or just because.

And, as it is National Poetry Month, here is a lovely one involving a kitchen, a ritual, and eating together.

smoothing away time with the fluid line
of your memory
i am in place at your table
in the morning damp of your still dark kitchen
i wait for you to come

stepping through the curtained doorway
you enter intent on this day
restart the fire
fill place the kettle
pull open the kitchen door
inviting daylight to come
welcoming it into your house—
bringing it into mine.

-Kimberly Blaeser, Rituals, Your – and Mine (full poem here)

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Heart Braid

The older I get, the less I am ‘into’ Valentine’s Day, but I have two little kids who still think it is an amazing holiday, so anything red, pink, and heart shaped is welcomed into our home on the 14th. I was scrolling through Instagram last week and came across this lovely heart shaped challah, and then remembering Zoe’s pink swirled bread and pink braid, I thought I could combine the two together for some celebration bread. I’m happy to report that it worked! The bread turned out pretty, and tasted delicious, too.

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Stollen Buns

“I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”
-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I always find myself excited each year about the Holiday season. As a child and young adult, Christmas was always a magical time of year, where I felt safe and secure, and slightly spoiled. My only concern was opening the pile of presents before me, and trying not to overindulge on sweets. Now that I’m an adult, I still feel the same magical feeling in December, but it is intermingled with the knowledge that this time of year isn’t always special and lovely for everyone else. There are many without. There are many who don’t enjoy their families, can’t afford to indulge, are missing loved ones, are feeling hopeless. As I sing along to carols decorate cookies, I wish the magic of Christmas could sweep in and heal all, instead of just bringing temporary forgetfulness for a few weeks. I often get overwhelmed, and then find myself not doing anything. I’ve learned over the years that small and simple is best, and looking around to my neighborhood and immediate community is the best way to help others. So if you are feeling the desire to reach out, a simple way is to bake something (these stollen buns, for example), and share it with those around you. Bringing something to a neighbor you haven’t met (or are frustrated with!) can open the door to conversation, and possibly a relationship. Taking small steps to get to know those near can help in the future make bigger steps when needed, and can bring us a little closer to ‘peace on earth, good-will to men!’

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Holiday Star Bread

This Holiday Star Bread has been making the rounds all over social media, so I decided to try it with some of our no-knead Challah dough. I’m happy to report that it works quite well, and it is not that difficult to make. Most the recipes online have the same directions for shaping the star, so I borrowed from those when practicing, but substituted pumpkin pie spice for the cinnamon just to change things up a bit. I’ve also seen jam and Nutella used for the filling, so if you are interested in playing around with recipe, there is room for your own interpretation. If you do end up making this bread and post on social media, tag #breadin5 so we can see your creations! You can also find us on Instagram at @breadin5.

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Pumpkin Spice Monkey Bread

pumpkin spice monkey bread | bread in 5

We’ve had a lovely Autumn here in Minnesota, with warm weather lasting far into October. However, November has brought about a winter chill, and with it the desire to head to the kitchen and bake with cinnamon and pumpkin. Often I turn to cinnamon rolls or caramel rolls, but I decided this time around to make Monkey Bread.

Monkey Bread is easy to make; it’s basically a pull-apart cinnamon roll baked in a Bundt or loaf pan. Zoe’s posted a standard recipe before, but today I’m doing one made with pumpkin spices, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves, and topped with a cream cheese icing. It’s the perfect way to celebrate the coming cold.

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Up-side Down Plum Brioche Cake

August is slowly slipping away from us, and here in Minnesota it’s brought endless days of cool weather and rain. Baking has been an essential part of my day, as I process changes: new routines about to begin, weather moving from hot to cold, and daily current events that fill my computer screen.

Stone fruits are still front and center at my grocery store; they’ve replaced the piles of berries that filled my fridge all through July. While we’ve mostly been eating them perfectly ripe and sliced, I did sneak in an up-side down brioche this week that was incredibly delicious. Made with plums, some butter and sugar, and a splash of vanilla, it’s a perfect way to celebrated the end of summer.

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Grilled Breakfast Pizza Two Ways

We’ve had some incredibly warm days here in Minneapolis (scorchers, as we like to call them, as in ‘what a scorcher!’) so our grill has been in constant use. Grilling during extremely hot weather isn’t always the best idea, because, well, that grill is hot, but it does keep the house much cooler. I decided on one of these raging hot mornings that I would start grilling early – friends were coming over for a late breakfast, and maybe we could just do pizzas? With breakfast toppings? Everyone was amused by the idea of pizza for breakfast, and it now my kids are requesting it daily. We made two different kinds: eggs, bacon, and Swiss chard with a roasted garlic sauce, and peach-sausage-basil with mozzarella. Both were considered hits by all.

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Chicken and Doughnuts

I’ve recently become obsessed with Gary Cooper – not the Gary Cooper, but a decadent doughnut breakfast that a local Minneapolis diner serves, named after Mr. G.C. The diner is the Hi-Lo Diner, a new establishment that serves a fancy item called a Hi-Top, which is essentially a doughnut piled high with either sweet or savory ingredients. The Gary Cooper is my favorite hi-top on the menu, it’s covered with buttermilk fried chicken, maple-bourbon syrup, country gravy, and micro arugula. I decided to try and recreate this number in my own kitchen, using our no-knead brioche dough for the doughnut base, and then building the rest with maple syrup, mashed potatoes, gravy, and crispy chicken. It was incredibly delicious, and although this dinner will be a special occasion treat in at my house, it was worth all the effort.

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Mother’s Day Recipe Round Up

‘The clocks were striking midnight and the rooms were very still as a figure glided quietly from bed to bed, smoothing a coverlid here, settling a pillow there, and pausing to look long and tenderly at each unconscious face, to kiss each with lips that mutely blessed, and to pray the fervent prayers which only mothers utter.’ -Louisa May Alcott, Little Women

Over the years, we’ve done quite a few posts that are Mother’s Day/Brunch related. Here’s a round up of some of our favorite recipes, and also some from around the web. If you bake anything this weekend from our site or from our books, take a photo and then tag it with #breadin5 so we can see what you’re making!

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Tsoureki: Easter Bread from Greece

Easter is right around the corner, and while it is celebrated in different ways by many, one common thread is to involve colorful eggs, either in hunts or baskets or bread.

Tsoureki is the traditional bread of Easter in Greece and many other Christian countries. The dough is enriched and then twisted around brightly dyed eggs. The bread is often braided with three strands to represent the holy trinity, formed into a circle as a reference to life and the eggs are dyed red as a symbol of Christ’s blood. The bread is sweet, flavored with orange zest and a traditional Middle Eastern spice called Mahlepi, which is made from ground cherry pits (the spice can be found in Middle Eastern or Greek markets). If you don’t have Mahlepi, you can make the dough with ground Anise seed or even Cardamom. We’ve made them individual-sized here, with light pink eggs, but you could make them any color you would like (for a large loaf, we have a recipe here).

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