Cream-filled Brioche Buns with Fruit for the 4th of July

We come to you again this week with one more 4th of July dessert, after realizing we didn’t have a version of these brioche buns on our website. These sweet little treats are made with our no-knead dough, filled with pastry cream and fresh fruit, then sprinkled with pearl sugar, making these red, white, and blue desserts perfect for your holiday weekend, or any day this summer.

Cream-filled Brioche Buns with Fruit

2 pound Brioche dough (page 300 in New Artisan Bread in Five)

Egg wash (1 egg + 1 tablespoon water, whisked together)

1 cup Pastry Cream (page 348 in New Artisan Bread in Five)

2 cups fruit (sliced strawberries, blueberries, or raspberries work best)

Pearl sugar, for sprinkling

Divide the dough into 3 ounce pieces. Gently smooth the pieces into round balls of dough. Grease English Muffin Rings, and flatten the dough into 1/4 inch disks and place them in the molds on a parchment-lined baking sheet (if you don’t have rings you can make them free form, but they won’t keep their shape as well). Cover loosely with plastic wrap (spraying the plastic with a little cooking spray will help it not to stick to the top of the dough) and allow the dough to rest for 20 minutes. While the dough is rising, adjust an oven rack to the middle position and and preheat the oven to 350F.

Use a pastry brush to brush each round of dough with egg wash. Gently press in the center of the dough to make an indentation. Fill the center with 2 tablespoons of pastry cream.

Place the berries over the pastry cream, and sprinkle the edges with pearl sugar. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the buns are puffed and light golden brown.

Eat the buns slightly warm; best eaten the same day they are made. Happy 4th of July!

Kulich for Easter, Two Ways Plus a Book & Red Star Yeast and Book Giveaway! (CONTEST IS CLOSED, winners to be announced)

Full parent confession (because Easter season is the perfect time for coming clean): Weeks before our state issued a Stay-At-Home order, I had already done my Easter basket shopping. I was feeling terribly proud of myself: I had purchased a small gift for each of my two children, plus a guilt-free amount of candy (made up of mostly Reese’s peanut butter eggs, because then I can steal one, two). However, three days into our stay-at-home, I had already handed out the presents to keep my children entertained (distance learning hadn’t started yet! I’m trying to finish a manuscript!) and yesterday I realized I had eaten the last of the Reese’s peanut butter cups without sharing any with my kids. My conscious smote me (even though the candy was supposed to be free from guilt). I wondered what I would do in place of baskets, as we are trying to keep our grocery shopping to a minimum. I remembered this beautiful Easter bread recipe we have in our Holiday and Celebration Bread in Five book, and hoped it’s brilliant white icing and colorful sprinkles would make up for a lack of candy Sunday morning. (It won’t. But we’ll eat it together and focus on grace, because that’s what this holidays is about, right?)

Kulich (cool-ich) is an Easter bread that is scented and colored with saffron threads and topped with a sweet layer of icing. It is often made with St. Lucia Bun dough, but we took our favorite no-knead brioche dough from our New Artisan Bread in Five book and added a little saffron to it to make this version. We also include a recipe for ‘Cinnamon Roll Kulich’ – which is this same dough made with a cinnamon swirl center and baked in a popover pan to help keep its tall shape. Icing and sprinkles are also included, of course.

And, because we know that yeast is sadly becoming impossible to find on the grocery store shelves, we have partnered with Red Star Yeast and are giving away some of their yeast along with copies of our books!

GIVEAWAY! We’ll give away a copy of our book & Red Star Yeast to TEN lucky winners! You can choose from these titles if you are one of the randomly selected winners– CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED, WINNERS WILL BE ANNOUNCED:

Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day

–or Holiday and Celebration Bread in Five Minutes a Day

–or Gluten-Free Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

… to enter, leave a comment below or increase your chances by entering on our @breadin5 Instagram post! (U.S. addresses only, see our FAQ for details).

Kulich

2 pounds Brioche dough (page 300 of The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, or the recipe here on the website), with 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads mixed into the wet ingredients

All-purpose flour, for dusting

Egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water), for brushing the dough

Icing

1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

2 tablespoons cream (or more as needed for a thick but pourable consistency

To bake: Generously grease a panettone mold with butter (the mold I use in the photos is currently unavailable but it is a 6 x 6 inch panettone pan with a removable bottom. Many people also bake them in large, empty, parchment lined coffee cans to achieve the high domed loaf.) Dust the surface of the refrigerated dough with flour and cut off a 2-pound (cantaloupe-size) piece. Dust the piece with more flour and quickly shape it into a ball by stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom, rotating the ball a quarter-turn as you go. Place the ball in the greased panettone mold, seam-side down.

Cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow to rest at room temperature for 90 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350F, with a rack placed in the center of the oven. Brush the dough with egg wash. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until golden brown. Allow the bread to cool on a wire rack.

Make the icing: Mix the confectioner’s sugar and heavy cream together until smooth and thick enough to cling to the cake. You don’t want it to drip off the sides (like the very first photo shows) but if it does (like the one directly above) it will still taste good. Drizzle the icing over the cake and cover with colorful sprinkles.

Cinnamon Roll Kulich

1 1/2 pounds Brioche dough (page 300 of The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, or the recipe here on the website), with 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads mixed into the wet ingredients

All-purpose flour for dusting

Filling

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

Pinch salt

Icing

1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

2 tablespoons cream (or more as needed for a pourable consistency)

Grease a 12 cup (or two 6 cup) large popover pans. (If you don’t have popover pans, you can use a greased 9×13 inch baking pan.)

Roll the dough into 1/4-inch thick rectangle. Brush the entire surface with the melted butter. In a small bowl mix together the sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Spread the mixture over the butter topped dough. Use your hands to make sure you have an even coat of the sugar. Then roll the dough up, starting at the long end.

Use a Bread Knife, Kitchen Scissors or floss to cut the log into 12 equal pieces.

Loosely cover the buns and let them rest between 1 1/2 to 2 hours. The long rest will insure that you have a fluffy bun. (You can set these up the night before and let them rest overnight in the refrigerator. In the morning take them out and let them sit on the counter for about 45 minutes to an hour.) You may get away with slightly shorter rise, but the buns will not be quite as soft.

Preheat the oven to 350°F and place the rack in the middle of the oven.

Bake for about 20 to 30 minutes, just until the centers are set when poked with your finger (they should be caramel colored). Turn the buns out of the pan (if using the popover pans). Let them cool on a wire rack.

Make the icing: Mix the confectioners’ sugar and heavy cream together until smooth and thick enough to cling to the cinnamon rolls. Drizzle the icing over each roll and cover with colorful sprinkles.

Red Star Yeast provided yeast samples for recipe testing, and sponsors BreadIn5’s website and other promotional activities.

Panettone Monkey Bread

We are big fans of sweet dough (especially around the most wonderful time of the year), and while we often choose gigantic cinnamon rolls, we will never say no to monkey bread. Over the years we’ve made Classic Monkey Bread, Pumpkin Spice Monkey Bread, and even Crock Pot Monkey Bread, and now we are adding Panettone Monkey Bread to the list. The Panettone dough comes from our Holiday and Celebration Bread in Five book (a fabulous Holiday gift, wink wink), and works well in this adaption; it’s studded with orange, lemon, and dried fruit, coated in sugar and butter and then more sugar and butter. It’s the perfect way to start out Christmas break (or even just Monday morning).

Panettone Monkey Bread

(For step-by-step instructions, check out our Instagram highlights!)

Panettone Dough (from Holiday and Celebration Bread in Five)

1 1/2 cups (340g) lukewarm water (100F or below)
1 tablespoon (10g) Red Star Platinum Yeast
1 tablespoon (17g) kosher salt
1/2 cup (170g) honey
8 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup (2 sticks | 225g) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
1 teaspoon lemon extract
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons lemon zest, grated
2 cups (340g) mixed dried and/or candied fruit (I used a mixture of dried cranberries and candied orange peel, but golden raisins, dried pineapple, dried apricots, and dried cherries are all good options.)
7 1/2 cups (1065g) all-purpose flour

Filling

9 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the pan

1 cup (200g) granulated sugar

1 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 to 2 tablespoons Triple Sec (optional)

Generously butter a 9 x 4 x 4-inch Pullman Pan or 10-cup Bundt pan.

Dust the surface of the refrigerated dough with flour and cut off a 1 1/2 pound (cantaloupe-size) piece. Divide the dough into about 30 equal pieces. Roll the dough into small balls. If the dough is sticking to your hands, coat your palms with a small amount of soft butter. Melt 5 tablespoons butter in a bowl. Combine the granulated sugar and cinnamon in a second bowl. Drop the dough balls into the butter and then coat them with the cinnamon sugar.

Place the balls in the prepared pan.

Allow the dough to rise for about 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 350F, with a rack placed int he center of the oven.

Just before putting the pan in the oven, melt the remaining 4 tablespoons butter, and then add any remaining cinnamon sugar, the brown sugar, and the salt. Add the triple sec and stir to combine.

Set the pan on a baking sheet, just in case the caramel bubbles over the top. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until caramelized and set.

Allow the bread to cool for 5 minutes.

Invert the loaf onto a serving tray.

Lesaffre Yeast Corporation (Red Star) provided yeast samples for recipe testing, and sponsors BreadIn5’s website and other promotional activities.

Pumpkin Star Bread for Thanksgiving with Red Star Yeast

Our Holiday Star Bread was quite popular last year, so we decided to come up with yet another version: this one with pumpkin filling and sprinkled with sanding sugar. Our original version is filled with sugar and holiday spices, but we’ve also tried it with jam and Nutella, so if you are interested in playing around with recipe, there is also room for your own interpretation! This beautiful bread made it into our newest book, Holiday and Celebration Bread in Five Minutes a Day, and it is one of the prettiest, easiest and most sensational breads to make for a family gathering or work party.

Pumpkin Star Bread

(For step-by-step instructions, check out our Instagram highlights!)

2 pounds Brioche dough made with Red Star Platinum Yeast, Challah, Amish Milk Dough or our White Bread Master dough (from Holiday and Celebration Bread in Five Minutes a Day) (note that the enriched doughs will produce a richer, thicker bread)

Pumpkin Filling

1/2 cup unsweetened pumpkin puree
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Pinch salt

Egg wash (1 egg mixed with 1 tablespoon water and a pinch of salt)

For the pumpkin filling: Combine the pumpkin puree, sugar, butter, ginger, cinnamon, and salt in a small saucepan and heat over low heat, stirring continuously until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved. Turn up the heat to medium and continue to heat the mixture, stirring constantly, until the mixture comes to a boil (the mixture is quite thick, so you need to look for slow bubbles). Once the puree is bubbling, turn the heat down to medium-low and cook the mixture for about 5 minutes, still stirring. Remove the puree from the heat. Cool to room temperature, then chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before using.

For the star bread: Divide the dough into four equal pieces. Roll the pieces into balls, and let rest for 20 minutes, covering with plastic wrap.

With a rolling pin, roll out all the dough balls into 10-inch circles. Place one of the circles on a piece of parchment paper. Put a couple tablespoons of the pumpkin mixture on the round and spread evenly.

Place another circle on top of the first circle, and spread a couple more tablespoons of pumpkin. Repeat with one more circle, then place the final circle on top. (I like to chill the star for 20 minutes at this point; it helps make cutting and twisting a little easier.)

Place a 2 1/2-inch biscuit cutter (or other round object) in the center of the circle, and then use a bench scraper to cut the circle into 16 equal strips (starting at the circle and out to the end), cutting through all the layers.

Take two pieces of dough, and twist them away from each other twice. Repeat around the whole circle.

Pinch the ends of the pairs of strips firmly together to create the star (you should end up with 8 points).

Remove the biscuit cutter. Transfer the star on the parchment to baking sheet. Cover the star gently with plastic wrap and let rise for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until a bit puffy. During this time, preheat the oven to 400F. Before putting into the oven, brush the star with egg wash and sprinkle the center with sanding sugar, if desired. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until golden brown.

Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack for 15 to 20 minutes. Best eaten the day it’s made.

Lesaffre Yeast Corporation (Red Star) provided yeast samples for recipe testing, and sponsors BreadIn5’s website and other promotional activities.

Holiday Star Bread

This fanciful holiday bread made it into our newest book, Holiday and Celebration Bread in Five Minutes a Day, and it is one of the prettiest, easiest and most sensational breads to make for a family gathering or work party.

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 of 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. We also have a variation with jam, but Nutella or many other fillings would be fun, 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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Easter Bunny Brioche Rolls with Red Star Yeast—with Video!

Easter Bunny Brioche Rolls | Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

Yes, we took on the Pinterest Easter bunnies. Have you seen them, pinned on everyone’s holiday boards? Turns out that picture is actually of a bunny cookie, and these sad rolls are more an accurate visual of how things would turn out. But, I’m happy to tell you that after making dozens upon dozens of rolls, we have some tips to help you make some cute little bunnies.

However, I won’t lie to you (it is Easter, after all) that these Easter Bunny Brioche Rolls are a little tricky. And you may have some rolls that end up a little wonky. But, as my children oohed and ahhed over even the misshapen ones, I could see we had a winner idea.

Easter Bunny Brioche Rolls | Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

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Heart Braid

Pink Heart Braid Bread for Valentine's Day | Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

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 February 14. 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 heart braid bread turned out pretty, and tasted delicious, too.

Pink Heart Braid Bread for Valentine's Day | Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

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Chili Bread Bowl for the Super Bowl

Chili Bread Bowl for Game Day | Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

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 chili bread bowl post. Among other things I’m making chili in my Crock-Pot, baking crusty rolls and creating these super tasty chili bread bowls. (more…)

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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Hanukkah panini: Jeff’s new favorite Holiday tradition

About unorthodox Holiday traditions (for me, Hannukah)–how about panini? Any time of year is the right time of year for one. We’ve done two grilled sandwich posts here on the website. Now, our official panini post isn’t quite right for Hannukah (there’s ham in it, but you can leave it out, of course). Our other grilled sandwich post is more American style than Italian–also fantastic. (more…)