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.
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…)
“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!’
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.
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…)
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.
Jeff will join forces with New York Times food writer Martha Rose Shulman to create perfect pizza crust and imaginative toppings (guess who’s doing which), in a benefit for Minneapolis’s Legal Rights Center, a non-profit legal organization dedicated to diverting kids from the criminal justice system and into restorative justice programs. The baking demo will be from 4:00pm to 5:30pm on November 30, 2017 ($150 donation to LRC). After the demo with Jeff and Martha, starting at 5:30pm, it’ll be an evening of great conversation with great Twin Cities cooks and foodies who’ll be in attendance, including Lucia Watson (founder of Lucia’s restaurant and cookbook author), Beth Dooley (Twin Cities food writer and cook book author, and Matt Morgan (chef from The Bachelor Farmer, Heartland, Aquavit, and Chef’s Taverna). There’s an additional $100 donation if you choose to stay after the demo.
Page 173, Chocolate-Raisin Babka Bundt, Step 1: says to add milk, but the ingredient lists says water. The recipe was developed with water, but the truth is, you can use either. (The hilarious thing about this typo is that the recipe literally starts out “It’s not a typo-“)
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.