Instant Sourdough Brioche

We’ve used Red Star Yeast in our recipes since we started writing our very first book in 2005 and trust that their products will ALWAYS get the job done with the highest quality (and rise) every time. We were super intrigued when they introduced the Platinum Instant Sourdough Yeast. It’s the perfect entry into sourdough baking, if you don’t have the days to create a sour starter, nor the hours and hours to let each loaf rise. This yeast contains real sourdough starter, which is activated along with yeast, to create an instant loaf of real sourdough, without the wait. We are thrilled with the results and can’t recommend it highly enough for anyone who wants the sourdough without the wait. Here is our Brioche recipe from Holiday and Celebration Bread Book made with the Platinum Instant Sourdough. You can use this Super Fast Sourdough Brioche for anything you’d make with Brioche, but it has the extra depth of flavor you get from a sourdough starter. The strength of that flavor will increase as the dough rests and we found that the dough behaved best within the first 3 days of storing it in the refrigerator, after that we froze the dough to use later.

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Hot Cross Buns for Easter!

Hot Cross Buns

Hot cross buns, hot cross buns, everybody loves hot cross buns! are the words to the children’s song, and they hold true even now. These little buns are traditionally served at Easter time: A sweet dough that is spiced, studded with dried (sometimes candied) fruit and decorated with a cross made of icing. I made them after many requests and my kids devoured them within minutes; they were nervous about the raisins, but the cream cheese crosses and scent of cinnamon and nutmeg drew them in.

As I researched these delicious buns I realized that there are just as many ways to make them as there are families who bake them. Some people slash the dough to make the cross, others use a flour and water paste to create the symbol and others use the sweet icing. Tell me how you make your buns, and if you don’t have a family tradition yet, you can start with these!

If you follow along on our Breadin5 Instagram, you can watch us make the buns in our Instagram stories. The recipe comes from our latest book, Holiday and Celebration Bread in Five Minutes a Day, which also has a whole chapter on Easter bread recipes.

Hot Cross Buns

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Chocolate Chestnut Bread with Red Star Yeast

Chocolate Chestnut Bread Recipe | Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire is such an iconic image of Christmas. If you’ve never had roasted chestnuts, they are one of the sweetest and creamiest of nuts and the absolute perfect pairing with chocolate. This elegant chocolate chestnut bread is from our new Holiday and Celebration Bread in Five Minutes a Day book and is super easy to make. If you have a tall panettone mold, it makes a really festive loaf for the holidays or a great gift, along with our newest book. You can also bake this in a loaf pan or even muffin cups.

I also used this loaf to make a wonderful bread pudding (recipe link at the end). Watch our video on instagram of how we made the bread and tips for kneading ingredients into dough you have stored in the refrigerator. (more…)

Apple-Cranberry Coffee Cake

Apple-Cranberry Coffee Cake Recipe | Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

GIVEAWAY IS DONE!!! RECIPE FOR THIS WONDERFUL COFFEE CAKE BELOW!

For the holidays, we wanted to thank all of you for the inspiration and joy you have given us, so we’ve partnered with some of our favorite folks to do a GIVEAWAY! This Apple-Cranberry Coffee Cake from Holiday and Celebration Bread in Five Minutes a Day is a perfect holiday morning treat and we’re going to make baking it even more fun, by giving away a copy of our book, a J.K. Adams Patisserie Maple Wood Rolling Pin and a beautiful Emile Henry Loaf Dish to FIVE lucky winners.

Holiday and Celebration Bread in Five Minutes a Day, rolling pin and bakeware

All you have to do to enter is leave a comment below about what else you might bake with these items (we’re hoping for more inspiration from you all). Read our rules and such for giveaways here. You can also enter on our instagram page for even greater chance at winning.

Now for the Apple-Cranberry Coffee Cake recipe: (more…)

White Bread Master Recipe from Holiday and Celebration Bread in Five

White Bread Master Recipe | Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day

There are about one hundred recipes in all of our books, but we always start with a Master Recipe. It is our opportunity in each book to dive a little deeper into our super fast and simple method of bread baking. In Holiday and Celebration Bread in Five Minutes a Day we started with a simple and nostalgic white bread master recipe. It can be the perfect school sandwich bread or the base of some pretty fancy holiday breads. If white bread is not your cup of tea (or loaf of bread) then try one of our enriched or whole grain breads from the new book. With dozens of doughs to choose from in the book, you will find many that suit your holiday needs.

If you are familiar with our dough and method, you may notice that the doughs in this new book are a bit drier than our previous ones. This is on purpose, since some of the more intricate loaves in this book would be more difficult to shape with a very wet dough. Since many of the doughs in the book are enriched (with butter, eggs, milk, etc) they only store in the refrigerator for about 5 days (you can freeze what is left). Because the dough is drier, we find it much easier to mix with a stand mixer, as opposed to a wooden spoon or even a Danish Dough Whisk. You can use those tools, but you’ll need to put some muscle into it, so the dough comes out nice and smooth and consistent.

This post is meant to provide a guide to baking the bread, but the book has tons more details and lots of tips and techniques for those who are just starting out with bread baking or our method in particular.  (more…)

Holiday and Celebration Bread in Five Minutes a Day is released!

Our new book is out, just in time for the holidays! You’ll be carving turkey soon and the Christmas music will start (you know it actually starts earlier). Here’s the book with the breads you can bake for all of those occasions and many, many more. Holiday and Celebration Bread in Five Minutes a Day is available everywhere, and online too (click to order). We’re on book tour right now, and you can click on our TV appearances in Portland, Chicago (on WGN), and in St. Louis (on KSDK-NBC, and on KTVI-Fox). Later this month, we’ll do the same in Minneapolis, where the Star Tribune named our book one of the best baking books of the year.

Holiday and Celebration Bread in Five Minutes a Day | Breadin5

Holiday and Celebration Bread in Five Minutes a Day: Sweet and Decadent Baking for Every Occasion (HCBin5) is the book I have been waiting to create since the day Jeff and I started this adventure, over a decade ago. It is full of all the sweet and pretty breads a pastry chef gets jazzed about. There are breads from all over the world, for just about every occasion. From Tahini Swirled Challah, to Christmas breads from all over Europe (and beyond), pitas for Ramadan and other celebrations, even monkey bread for after school and of course, there are several sticky buns and cinnamon rolls.  (more…)

Brioche Apple Fritters with Red Star Yeast

Brioche Apple Fritters | Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

Apple Fritters represent everything wonderful about the change of season. Every fall we wait with bated breath for the apple varieties to show up in the markets, or better yet, we head off to the orchard to pick them ourselves. There are very few activities that are more romantic or satisfying than picking fruit and then creating something delicious with them. These fritters are the perfect way to show off your favorite apples. If you have a bucket of brioche dough on the ready, you can have these in just minutes.

I started these apple fritters with our Brioche Dough from our brand new book, Holiday and Celebration Bread in Five Minutes a Day, which will come out in November (you can preorder now).

Brioche dough | Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

I made the dough with Platinum Yeast from Red Star. Making the dough with Platinum yeast, which has dough enhancers, give extra insurance the fritters will be light even when you pack the dough densely with chopped fruit. You can watch me make the dough and fritters in our @breadin5 instagram video. (more…)

Fresh Tomato Pizza

Tomato Pizza | Breadin5 photo by Zoë François

Labor day is a turning point; when we switch our thinking from picnics to packed school lunches. But, it is also the time when the summer fruits are busting out their last hurrah and the tomatoes are in their peak glory. This tomato pizza is an ode to my dad’s garden and the bounty of tomatoes and squash that he grew. He is a magnificent gardener and this pizza needed nothing more than olive oil, a dash of salt and fresh herbs to be magnificent. I threw on a bit of mozzarella to satisfy the children.

I made the pizza dough from Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day, using bread flour from a local miller, Bakersfield Flour and Bread, but you can use all-purpose or bread flour that you have on hand. It is fun to experiment with all kinds of flours and pizza dough is just the place, since it is so forgiving. You can watch me toss this dough in the air (there is a cameo appearance by my poodle, Miles) in our @breadin5 Instagram video.

tomato pizza | Breadin5 photo by Zoë Francois (more…)

Crock Pot Monkey Bread

Mini Monkey Bread with Ice Cream on Top | Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day

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…)