Chocolate and Orange Confit Brioche

chocolate orange bread

With less than a week away from the most wonderful time of the year (sing that to yourself in a Bing Crosby voice), I find myself frantically baking for this Saturday and Sunday. I love passing out goodies to the neighbors each year, and while we have stacks of cookies and bars, somehow a loaf of bread is most ideal. This loaf is extra special – with both a tender crumb and studded with chocolate and orange pieces, it is breakfast and dessert, a sweet indulgence to bring tidings of comfort and joy. This recipe makes two loaves, so you can make one for snacking and one for giving. Happy Holidays!

chocolate orange bread

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Milk and Honey Braided Buns with Dried Fruit and Pearl Sugar

raisin buns

The Holidays are quickly approaching, but I’m sure you’ve had some inkling of that, seeing as most stores started blasting the Christmas tunes the day after Halloween. I will admit to starting it a little too early, as this time of year is my favorite, and I’m always ready to jump into the celebration. Holiday baking is high on my list of favorite things to do, and while I spend plenty of time making cookies and bars and candy, yeasted treats are the most delicious.

We’ve made plenty of delicious holiday breads here on our site (Christmas Stollen, Brioche Cake with Sugared Cranberries, Pumpkin Spice Monkey Bread, and Panettone, just to name a few), and we’re going to add one more to the line up: Milk and Honey Braided Buns. Studded with dried fruit and topped with pearl sugar, these little braids are a lovely addition to any Christmas breakfast or New Years’ Brunch. (And, if you’re in need of any more Holiday music, I have a playlist here and here you can check out.)

raisin buns

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Whole Grain Christmas Stollen

stollen-hbin5-3-of-16

Christmas Stollen is a wonderful German baking tradition this time of year. A sweet loaf that is studded with dried fruit, spiced with cardamom and a special treat of almond paste runs through it. Once it comes out of the oven it is traditional to slather the warm loaf in butter then roll it in sugar, but we skip the extra butter and dust it with a thick layer of confectioners’ sugar to look like the snow outside. This loaf actually holds up very well for a couple of days and that makes it a great gift for the holidays.
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Holiday Gift Ideas for Bread Bakers!

All of our books are available on Amazon, so click on the book-images to the right (or on our home page) to go there. Plus, here are the products we’ve used, tested, and love:

oven-thermometerOven thermometer… so important for getting the perfect crust and crumb.

 

baking-stoneFull-size baking stone… same! There are even super-small ones that fit in a toaster oven (college students have made our loaves in dorm rooms). Cast-iron “stones” are also great, and more durable.

digital-scaleDigital scale

 

pizza-peelPizza peel… for free-form loaves, pizza, and flatbread. This one’s wood, but there are also nice options in composite material.

danish-dough-whiskDanish Dough Whisk… to more easily hand-mix our doughs.

 

dough-bucketDough bucket… Amazon sells the lids separately, but this price is much better than what you’ll find it for in kitchen stores. Many more baking products…

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Herb Crock-Pot Dinner Rolls – Easy Thanksgiving Baking

crock-pot buns

This week is Thanksgiving and we have to make the most of our oven space. Scheduling what will go in and out of the oven is just shy of a NASA level endeavor. By the time the pies come out, the Turkey must go in and then what to do about the rolls? There is an easy answer. What was originally a lark, bread in the slow-cooker has become my go-to holiday baking method. As you orchestrate the yams and dressing in the oven, your rolls can be baking on the counter. I made a savory herb dough for our Thanksgiving meal, but really you can bake just about any of our breads in this method.

Master Recipe from “New Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day” using Vital Wheat Gluten!

master-dough-new-hbin5-4-of-12

(The pictures in this post are by Stephen Scott Gross, who did the photography For New Healthy Bread in Five).

When we first wrote Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day in 2007 we were immediately asked how to convert the recipes to whole grains. We knew then that we’d be writing another book to satisfy the appetite for healthier breads. We also discovered gluten-free flours and developed our first breads made with them. The book answered a lot of questions and concerns about eating whole grains, but since 2009, when it first came out, we’ve learned even more. Our readers have become curious about ancient grains, baking with sourdough starter and they wanted even more 100% whole wheat. Well, we got the opportunity to create a new edition of the book and we’re thrilled to introduce you to the The New Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day: Revised and Updated with New Recipes. (more…)

The New Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day is Available for Pre-Order!

The New Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day

We are so pleased to announce that our newest book, The New Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day, is available for pre-order (click to order)! The book will ship out on November 1 and it will be available in your local stores as well. This project has been a long time in the making. As soon as we got the chance to rework New Artisan Bread, we knew we’d  want to update our healthy book. We kept all the things we loved about the original book (many of the recipes, including our GF chapter) and added more 100% whole grain breads…. (more…)

Corrections to the first printings of The New Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day (2016)

These snuck through in the first printings of The New Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day:

Page 337, Milk and Honey Raisin Bread, footnote to Ingredients table:  Asterisked footnote should read “If omitting vital wheat gluten, decrease water by 1/2 cup.” Correct quantity of water will then be 1 and 1/2 cups.

Page 354, Pumpkin Pie Brioche, ingredients table: Lukewarm water should be 1 1/4 cups / 10 ounces / 285 grams. There is a line in the recipe calling for 2 cups lukewarm water that should be struck from the table.

 

Apple-Peach Braided Brioche Cake

apple-peach brioche cake

‘At no other time (than autumn) does the earth let itself be inhaled in one smell, the ripe earth; in a smell that is in no way inferior to the smell of the sea, bitter where it borders on taste, and more honeysweet where you feel it touching the first sounds. Containing depth within itself, darkness, something of the grave almost.’ – Rainer Maria Rilke

I’ve got peaches and apples in my kitchen. Summer is gently fading, and autumn is slipping in with an occasional cool breeze, a golden leaf here and there. I don’t know how August is already over, but here is September with its crisp ciders and juicy pears. I’m ready for bread-making again, and am starting the cooler months off with this brioche cake.The juicy peaches and the apple-cinnamon flavor are a good combination; a perfect intermingling of the seasons.

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Gluten-Free Epi (and a Better Batter Gluten-Free Flour Giveaway)

Gluten-Free Epi | Breadin5 (1 of 1)

When Jeff and I set out to write Gluten-Free Artisan Bread, we tried every commercially available flour blend to see if there was one that matched the results we got by mixing our own. Sadly, there were none. They either didn’t taste good, which was a deal breaker, or the bread had a dense texture that we weren’t willing to put up with. So, we created our own mix of flours, which creates a great tasting bread with a lovely texture. But, it does require buying several flours to create just the right flavor and texture.

As I slipped through time looking at gorgeous photos on Instagram recently, I noticed a bunch of gluten-free pastries made with Better Batter Gluten-Free Flour. I was skeptical, because of my previous experience with other brands, but I finally gave it a shot. Well, you can guess, based on the fact that I am writing about it, that I LOVED the results. Not only was the flavor there, but the texture was nearly the same as our home mixed flour. It is really convenient to have a single flour to buy, especially for those who don’t do other gluten-free baking and don’t stock a variety of flours.

Gluten-Free Pita | Breadin5 (1 of 1)

I mixed up our Master recipe from our Gluten-Free Artisan Bread and used Better Batter ounce for ounce to replace our Flour Mixture #1. After baking these beautifully crusty Epi, I also tested our pita breads, which came out perfectly puffed and had a lovely color. I haven’t tested all the breads in the book, but I think it is worth a try. Until then, I am confident that it works in our Master recipe and will bet it will be a success in any recipe using our Flour Mixture #1.

I contacted Naomi Poe, who started Better Batter and she graciously agreed to host a giveaway with us, so you can have a chance to try out the flour for yourself. She is going to send out a 5-pound box of Better Batter to FOUR lucky winners. All you have to do is write a comment below and you will be entered to win. US citizens only. All of our contest rules apply(more…)