Making Brioche for the Inn

“I read the NYT article, made my first batch, and immediately got the book. What a really great concept – that works so very well. I am the breakfast chef at an inn in Vermont and the brioche dough is really simple, versatile and delicious (to say nothing of being a time saver).

I have a lot (too many) bread books, have been a recipe tester for a food writer and can honestly say that with all the experience I have, yours is going to be my go to book.

Thank you both for writing it.” Gale

Gale, this note is like music to my ears. I hear what you are saying and wish I had this recipe when I was working in restaurants and making brioche. Read More

King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour in Master Recipe

“I just bought your book and I am so excited to use it. Can I use King Arthur White Whole Wheat flour in your master recipe or do I need to use it with some regular white flour? If I do, what would be the ratio? Thank you so much and great luck with the book.” Eleanor

This summer I was in Vermont and went to the King Arthur Flour store, otherwise known as the baking mecca. Read More

Dark vs Light Sticky Buns

Last night Jeff and I taught a class based on Artisan Bread In Five Minutes a Day at Cooks of Crocus Hill. It was a tremendously fun evening, made all the more so by the curiosity of the people who came out to watch us bake a frenzy of breads. There were a number of great questions and one in particular that stumped me. I was baking the sticky pecan caramel rolls from the book. Because there were so many people in the class I had to bake them in two batches. One in a light cake pan, the other in a dark one. Other than the color of the pans the process and baking times were identical, in fact they sat side by side in the oven. When the time came to invert the sticky buns onto the serving platter we were shocked to see that they were entirely different colors. One was a very pale (I’d say insipid) caramel and the other was rich and deeply colored. I knew that it was because of the color of the pans, but when pressed by this curious crowd as to exactly WHY this happens I couldn’t answer. So I did a little investigating and this is what I found out… Read More

Artisan Bread Taste Without the Work!

A frequently asked question is…”How do I get that sour characteristic of artisan bread without having to use a starter, which is way too high maintenance?”

The answer is easy with our bread method, just wait. I mean mix up your dough, let it rise, use some if you need to immediately and then let the rest of the batch sit in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Don’t feed it, just wait. After the 2nd day you will notice that the flavor is more complex and is starting to take on the characteristics in artisan bread that you crave: sourdough flavor, larger air holes, nice “custard” crumb and crisp tin crust. As it ages it improves, like all of us! The way I maintain that flavor in the next batch is to leave a piece from an “old” dough in the bucket and just dump the ingredients for a fresh batch right on top. Read More

Making Suvir’s Puff Pastry Samosas

light crisp samosas from Indian Home Cooking

I’ve been cooking from Suvir Saran’s acclaimed book Indian Home Cooking for years and now from his newest triumph American Masala. The pages are dog-eared and stained with turmeric and garam masala. His recipe for puff pastry samosas with green peas is one of the easiest and most satisfying appetizer/after school snacks I make. My kids devour them and yet they are sophisticated enough to serve to guests. Read More

Anne’s question about weighing flour!

Hi — your book made our Thanksgiving! My grandmother always made cinnamon rolls for Thanksgiving and I had let the tradition go because they were so much work. But this year I saw the NYT article, ran out to buy the book, and we had cinnamon rolls for Thanksgiving dinner to my sister’s and my daughter’s delight. Thanks so much.

Here’s my question: I went through a sourdough phase awhile back and got used to measuring flour with a scale. I’m excited about trying it again with your dough formulas. Is there an equivalent you’d suggest for weighing flour(s)? Different books seem to vary in what they consider the weight equivalent of a cup of flour. I’d appreciate any suggestions and again, thanks so much.

Anne Read More