Crock Pot Monkey Bread

It has been hovering around 100°F here in Minnesota for the past few days. This is what I consider August weather and I’m not accustomed to giving up my oven quite so early in the season, but alas, it is just too hot to turn it on. However, it didn’t stop me from making Monkey Bread. I just threw the pan of cinnamon sugar coated brioche in my crock pot and let it slowly “bake” until I had perfect Monkey Bread. We’ve been baking Five Minute Bread in a crock pot for years, thanks to a request from one of our readers. We were super skeptical at first, but were happily proven wrong and have been doing it ever since. It’s a brilliant way to avoid turning on the oven in the heat of summer, but it is equally useful at the holidays when the oven is in constant use and you still need to bake those holiday buns.

The caramel, sticky goodness of Monkey Bread is perfect for the crock pot, because it doesn’t require a crisp crust and is all the better for having a soft, fluffy texture. I used our classic recipe, but you don’t have to let it rise first, just put the pan in the crock pot, turn it on and let it go. Depending on your slow cooker, it can take anywhere from an hour to 2 hours. just depends on the power of your machine and size of the pan. (more…)

The Best Granola, Ever!

This is one of my favorite recipes in The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day and it isn’t a bread at all. There is really nothing that smells as good as this granola when it is baking.  It tastes incredible and makes a fabulous breakfast, snack or gift. It is one of those recipes you will end up baking over and over again.

I developed the recipe for the book to use in the “Aunt Melissa’s Granola Bread” on page 114. My Aunt lived with my father and me on a commune in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. She baked this granola at least once a week in massive batches to feed the many people who lived with us. It was so popular she ended up selling it to the local co-ops and then beyond. Our commune became all about granola production and I still to this day, over 45 years later, remember the smell of it baking.

My aunt passed away many years ago and the actual recipe with her. This one is very close and brings back all of the wonderful memories of that time and of her. I hope you enjoy it as much as my family does! (more…)

Master Recipe with Fresh Flour (Baker’s Field Fresh Flour Giveaway)

If you are under the impression that flour has no taste, it may just because you haven’t tried fresh flour. I know it is an odd concept that flour would be “fresh,” since we’re used to buying bags that have an exceptionally long expiration date. But, when you make a loaf of bread with flour that was just milled it is so much sweeter and more flavorful. Milling grains at home has been on the rise for a few years and many of our readers already do, so they know of what I speak, but for the rest of us (me included), this is a new discovery. I love bread, obviously, and love it made with all kinds of flour, but this is a real treat and one I am so excited to share with you.

I went to an event at Baker’s Field Flour and Bread here in Minneapolis and was completely blown away by what I heard and ate. I met the farmers (Penner and Peterson Farms) who grew this wheat, right here in Minnesota and they could not be more passionate about their crops and the bread that results from their work in the fields. (more…)

Chili Bread Bowl for the Super Bowl

I have to admit that I watch football once a year. The Super Bowl is my kind of game; more about food and music, than actual football. Although I do regret missing the Vikings big game this weekend. Everyone gets excited about a good ending. Fingers crossed we will not only be hosting the Super Bowl in MN, but our team will also play a starring role. I know some of you will be disappointed in my laissez faire attitude, but I really do take the food for this game seriously, so it makes me oddly qualified to write this post. Among other things I’m making chili in my crock pot, baking crusty rolls and creating these super tasty chili bread bowls. (more…)

10th Anniversary of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

How time flies when you are having fun baking bread. 10 years ago we published our first book, Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, and it’s been an exciting journey ever since. Our publisher took a chance on two unknown authors; a pastry chef and a physician with a crazy idea of how to change how people bake bread. The publisher printed 5000 copies, hedging their bets in case it didn’t sell, but they sold in a week. They printed another 5000 and those too sold right away. They did it again and again, thinking it would slow down, but it didn’t. Here we are 10 years later, a second edition, 5 other titles and 750,000 copies of our books sold. This is all because of you, our incredible readers and the inspiration for all of our books. You have been there with us and for us, and we want to thank you!

Our first edition of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day is no longer in print, but the second edition The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day is even better and we want to give you a copy. For a chance to win, please leave a comment here and we’ll pick 5 winners. You can also go to our Instagram page, like our page and tag two friends for another chance to win. We’ll be giving away 5 copies to our Instagram followers. Please see our giveaway policy. This contest is finished! (more…)

Chocolate Chip Cookies from The Vanilla Bean Baking Book

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These cookies were just featured in the New York Times! We’re so thrilled for Sarah and it just confirms what we already know about them, they are AWESOME!

You are on the right site, we are just taking a short break from baking bread to bring you one of our absolute favorite recipes from Sarah’s new book, The Vanilla Bean Baking Book. You all know Sarah’s gorgeous work here on Breadin5, but you may not be as familiar with her baking website. Sarah has been working with us on the Breadin5 website and has been instrumental in our cookbook photoshoots as a food stylist. During our last marathon photo session she brought us cakes, cookies, scones and even pie she was testing for her own cookbook. When she brought in these chocolate chip cookies we took a moment out of the shoot to declare them the best cookies any of us had ever had. I do not say that lightly, considering I had a cookie company in college, have baked no fewer than 500 chocolate chip cookie recipes and have consumed even more. These are the best and now you have the recipe.

We are thrilled for Sarah and are so proud of her and this brilliant book! She and her publisher have graciously offered a copy of her book to a lucky winner of our GIVEAWAY. Just leave a note in our comments and we will select someone at random. It will make a great addition to your cookbooks or a lovely gift for someone on your list. All our normal contest rules apply. This contest is over.

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Loaf Breads – The Best School Lunches start with Homemade Sandwich Bread!

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This is a reposting of one of our most popular topics!

It is now what I consider “sandwich season.” Some may call it “back to school,” “end of summer” or even “fall,” but to me it is the season when I have to come up with a million types of sandwiches and other lunches to keep my boys from growing up on PB&J alone! Although school lunches have come a long way since I was a kid, they still leave much to be desired and are mostly to be avoided.

To start I need the perfect loaf of bread. My boys want a loaf that looks and feels like what all the other kids are eating; square and soft. They love crusty bread, but not on their sandwiches, especially not PB&J. To achieve just the right sandwich loaf I have slightly altered what we do in the book. (more…)

Raspberry Brioche Braid

When my boys were little I took them berry picking. The concept was a good one and in my head it would be like a scene from Kinfolk. The boys sitting quietly by the raspberry bushes, adorably tossing berries into a gingham lined basket. The reality was more Lord of the Flies meets Blueberries for Sal (which is my all-time favorite children’s books). The boys would never sit still in a setting as inviting as this for running and wielding sticks, in-which to sword fight. Nor were they likely to toss a single berry into the basket, when they could just as easily eat them. So, I picked berries, while keeping an eye out to make sure my children were not impaling each other and were accounted for. I got enough berries to bake with, but they were not-so-ceremoniously consumed in the back seat of the car, by the before mentioned sword fighters, on the way home. It was an absolutely charmed day in its way, but not if your goal was to bake something tasty. We stopped at the store and bought Driscoll’s perfect raspberries, I baked a lovely raspberry brioche braid, that ended up in ABin5 and I have not gone berry picking (with the intention of bringing home berries) since…true story!

This raspberry braid is ideal for breakfast, brunch, after school snack or makes a sweet gift for your neighbor who just had an adorable baby (as mine recently did). When you have a bucket of brioche in the refrigerator this can be put together in a no time. First, I used the Driscoll’s berries to make a quick jam, which is so simple and delicious and I recommend making extra to just have around. The red of these berries makes for a ruby colored jam and the flavor is just pure raspberry, no additives or binders. These berries are all natural (organic options are available), never genetically modified and Driscoll’s follows the sun, so they are available and perfect all year round. The jam is spread over a layer of rich cream cheese filling and then the dough is folded over the fillings in a pattern that looks fancy, but is incredibly easy  to do. The finishing touches are a fresh raspberry glaze and sweet whole berries. It will impress everyone and they’ll assume you spent so much time preparing it. They never need to know how easy it is, until you share this recipe with them.

Driscoll’s is hosting a Minnesota-exclusive Giveaway (because we are the most raspberry loving people in the land (fun fact…according to the data reported by The Nielson Company the Twin Cities consumes 132% more fresh raspberries than the nation as a whole. This could be why Garrison Keillor, on the Prairie Home Companion, describes Minnesotans as “…all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average!”). When Driscoll’s asked me to create a recipe and share in their #BerryTogether Sweepstakes, it felt like a natural fit. One lucky, top prize winning, Minnesotan will get a 4-night getaway to Madden’s on Gull Lake. Four 1st-prize winners will receive Driscoll’s berries for a YEAR! All raspberry loving Minnesotans should visit www.berrytogether.com to enter. If you don’t have the good fortune to live in this great state, you can still bake this fantastic raspberry brioche treat.

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Blueberry Yeasted Coffee Cake

I’ve been on a jam making kick this week. I read about a really easy recipe in Jennifer Farley’s book, The Gourmet Kitchen and had to give it a go. I am now on my third batch, in as many days. Skillet jam is a super simple way to make fruit jam without the pectin and there’s no need to figure out the whole canning process, since this jam will disappear in a snap. Honestly, I just eat it out of the jar with a spoon. Today I made just enough blueberry jam to fill this brioche based coffee cake. Depending on the season and where you live, you can use fresh or frozen berries for the jam. I used frozen wild blueberries and they have a lovely tartness. This layered coffee cake is a perfect treat to serve at Brunch or pack for a 4th of July picnic. (more…)

How to shape wet dough

The secret to our method is having a nice wet dough. This allows us to store the dough and make a beautiful loaf. One of the most often questions is how to successfully shape the wet dough into a nice neat ball. If your loaf is not shaped well, it may spread out and be too flat or it will bake in a shape you just didn’t intend. Even if your dough is super wet, even wetter than we intended, within reason, it can still be successfully shaped and bake into a gorgeous loaf. We’ll show you how in this video. The trick is using more flour than you may think is okay, but as you’ll see we aren’t working the flour into the dough, we’re just using it to keep the dough from sticking to our hands. As we gently handle the dough we add more flour. This allows us to shape, without overworking the dough. I didn’t use a Bench Scraper in this video, but it is a great tool for keeping the dough from sticking to your hands.

The dough in this video is the Master recipe from The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, but this method can be used for any of our doughs.