Zeppole are a traditional Italian doughnut–a Christmas treat, but the internet holds many different descriptions and definitions of what they are. Some versions are carefully piped, some are made as small doughnut holes, and some are roughly free-form. Years ago I ate the latter rendition in New York at the San Gennaro Street Festival in Little Italy, (which is held in September, so these aren’t just for Christmas) and he loved them so much he knew we needed a post about them.
The version here is based on the Beignet recipe from my book New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day; the dough is no-knead, of course, and is lightly flavored with orange and lemon. I must admit I was a little nervous not pulling out my doughnut cutter to make perfect circles, but we need to embrace the irregular shape: let go and toss the roughly-shaped dough in to the very hot oil.
The golden brown Zeppole that emerged a few minutes later were absolutely delicious; their haphazard shapes gave them a charming quality, and the gentle citrus flavors were lovely. I’m not Italian, but these really are too good not to anyone’s Holiday tradition. And if you’ve been to the blog before at this time of year, you’ll remember these zeppole are very, very similar to Hannukah soufganiot (see the soufganiot post for more on frying up doughnuts).
Vegetable Oil – 3 to 4 inches deep (use a pot that is large enough that your oil is not sitting too high in the pot)
Confectioners’ sugar for sprinkling
Combine the warm water, orange juice yeast, sugar, lemon zest, and salt in a 5-quart bowl; preferably, in a lidded (not airtight) plastic container or food-grade bucket. Mix until all of the flour is incorporated using a stand mixer or dough whisk. Cover, and allow to rise at room temperature for 2 hours. You can use the dough right away, or refrigerate it for up to 14 days.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and lightly grease the parchment.
Pull out 3 oz pieces of dough (peach-sized) piece of dough, and flatten them slightly (the whole bucket of dough will make 15 to 20 zeppole, but you can do fewer pieces if desired). Place them on the prepared pan and cover with a lightly greased piece of plastic. Allow the dough to sit for at least 20 minutes (and up to one hour) while the oil heats up.
Once your oil reads 360-370°F on a Candy Thermometeryou are ready to fry. Use a slotted spoon or Basket Strainer to flip the doughnuts over after about 2 minutes and then to take them out of the oil once they are golden brown on both sides. This works best with two people – have one person shape the dough, and the other to manage the submerging and turning. Try to keep the oil temperature as consistent as possible. Lay them out on paper towel to allow some of the oil to drain off. Let the zeppole sit for a few minutes, then lightly dust with confectioners’ sugar. Serve warm.
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This tea ring is an ultra fancy cinnamon roll, baked as wreath and topped with an Eggnog Glaze. The cuts and twists of the dough make for a super-festive bread that is actually really easy to make, so don’t leave this one just for the holidays.
Mix in the flour without kneading, using a heavy-duty stand mixer (with paddle/flat beater), a Danish dough whisk, or a wooden spoon. If you’re not using a machine, you may need to use wet hands to incorporate the last bit of flour. The dough will be loose but will firm up when chilled (don’t try to use it without chilling).
Cover (not airtight) and allow to rest at room temperature until the dough rises for 2 hours.
The dough can be used as soon as it’s chilled after the initial rise, or frozen for later use. Refrigerate the container and use over the next 5 days.
In a small bowl, combine the melted butter, sugar, and cinnamon.
Dust the surface of the refrigerated dough with flour and cut off a 1 1/2 pound (small 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.
Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out to a 1/8-inch-thick rectangle, about 14 x 18 inches. As you roll out the dough, add flour as needed to prevent sticking.
Spread the butter mixture evenly over the dough.
Starting with the long side of the dough, roll it up into a log. Pinch the seam closed. Stretch the log until it is about 1 1/2 inches thick. Join the 2 ends together. Place on the prepared baking sheet. Stretch the dough to make sure you have a nice, wide opening in the middle of your wreath, but leave plenty of room around the edge.
Cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow to rest at room temperature for 40 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350F, with a rack placed in the center of the oven.
Brush lightly with the egg wash. Make evenly spaced cuts all the way around the wreath about 1 inch apart. The cuts should go just about to the bottom of the ring, but not quite to the bottom.
Gently pull every other piece to the outside of the ring and then twist that piece to face up. Do the same with the remaining pieces, but have them face up on the inside of the ring. The ones on the inside of the ring may not lay flat on the baking sheet, which is fine.
Bake for 25 to 32 minutes, until golden brown and well set.
Make the glaze: In a small bowl, mix together the melted butter, 2 tablespoons egg nog, and vanilla until smooth. Add the confectioners’ sugar and mix until the mixture is smooth. Add more eggnog (or bourbon!), 1 tablespoon at a time, until the desired consistency is reached. Pour the glaze over the warm braid, then serve.
Eat and enjoy!
Red Star Yeast provided yeast samples for recipe testing, and sponsors BreadIn5’s website and other promotional activities.BreadIn5.com is reader supported–when you buy through links on the site, BreadIn5 LLC earns commissions.
The school year is upon us, and many parents and kids alike are finding themselves in a completely new routine. Our children are trying to navigate distance learning, hybrid learning (or something in-between) while parents are juggling jobs and their new teaching career. It’s wild, and often overwhelming, to say the least.
Since our kids are now home more, they are encouraged to take on more responsibility; we all have to pitch in to make our Covid lifestyles work. One area they are taking charge in is the kitchen: chopping vegetables, baking bread, and learning to use the Crock-Pot are all on their to-do lists.
There are several recipes here on our site for Crock-Pot breads, and they have been a huge hit. Teaching kids to use the Crock-Pot is a win-win: it’s easier to use than the oven, and there is less chance of getting burnt transferring items in and out of it. Combine it with the ease of this no-knead bread, and the options are endless.
We’ve made this bread extra-simple by topping it with store-bought caramel sauce that is poured on after baking, so you don’t have to worry about transferring and flipping hot caramel.
Mix in flour without kneading, using a spoon, a Danish Dough Whisk or a heavy-duty stand mixer (with paddle). The dough will be loose but will firm up when chilled.
Cover (not airtight), and allow to rest at room temperature until dough rises for approximately 2 hours. Then refrigerate for at least four hours before first use; it is easier to handle when thoroughly chilled. This dough can be stored for up to 5 days in the fridge. Beyond that, the dough stores well in the freezer for up to four weeks in an airtight container, in one-pound portions. When using frozen dough, thaw and use as instructed.
For the filling
Line your Crock-Pot with parchment paper. You will use this paper to remove the monkey bread from the pot, so make sure it is coming up the sides of the Crock Pot (it may have some creases, but this won’t affect the bread baking).
Sprinkle the surface of your dough with flour and take out a 1 1/2 pound piece.
Divide the dough into about 32 pieces, as even in size as possible, but perfection is not needed here.
Roll the dough into small balls. If the dough is sticking to your hands, coat your palms with a small amount of flour.
Combine the sugar, salt, and cinnamon in a bowl. Drop the dough balls into the melted butter, then the bowl of cinnamon sugar and roll them around to coat them evenly.
Place the balls in the lined Crock-Pot, cover and turn it to high.
Leave the crock pot covered until the dough is cooked through and springs back when touched, anywhere from 1 to 2 hour, depending on your Crock-Pot. Use the parchment paper to remove the Monkey bread from the pot.
Flip the monkey bread onto a serving plate and remove the parchment paper (which is now the top).
Drizzle the Monkey Bread with the caramel sauce and let cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Eat and enjoy!
Red Star Yeast provided yeast samples for recipe testing, and sponsored this post.
Note: BreadIn5.com is reader supported. When you buy through links on the site, BreadIn5 LLC earns commissions.
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 a favorite no-knead brioche dough from The New Artisan Bread in Five book and added a little saffron to it to make this version. If you scroll down, there’s also 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.
Egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water), for brushing the dough
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.
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
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.
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.
Note: BreadIn5.com is reader supported–when you buy through links on the site, BreadIn5 LLC earns commissions.
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.
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
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.
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 Holiday and Celebration Bread in Five Minutes a Day 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 the book. You can also bake this in a loaf pan or even muffin cups. (more…)
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…)
Christmas is just around the corner, and this year my sister-in-law volunteered to have the meal at her house, so this means I have some free time leading up the day, in which previous years I have not. (I am on pie duty, which I will take any day over making the meal) Since there will be family in from out of town and friends in and out of my house, I like to make sure there is something to eat each day for breakfast that everyone will enjoy. These Pumpkin Sticky Nut Rolls fit the bill perfectly, and the fact that I can assemble them the night before and let them rise in the fridge overnight is a huge bonus.
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…)