holiday-and-celebration-bread-in-five-minutes-a-day

Celebrate Good Times … Come On!


Celebrate? With all that’s going on in our world?
  You bet. We need to celebrate wherever, whenever, and as often as possible.

In their book, Why Good Things Happen to Good People, authors Stephen Post and Julie Neimark tell us that celebration is gratitude in action. Celebration creates a circle of love. When we rejoice in the company of others, they feel uplifted. Like rest, seat belts, and green leafy vegetables, celebration is good for us. And what better way to celebrate than with food—sweet and decadent homemade bread?

Just in time for the holidays, authors Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François, creators of the artisan-bread-in-five revolution have released their newest book, Holiday and Celebration Bread in 5 Minutes a DayIt’s a beauty. Their publisher graciously sent me a copy of this book to review and I could not put it down!

 

holiday-and-celebration-bread-in-five-minutes-a-day

 

The 400-page tome is packed with dozens of recipes and photo instructions that are   super impressive—from Tahini Swirled Challah, to Christmas breads from all over Europe including Stollen, the Christmas bread I grew up with. Monkey bread and apple fritters, too. And there are several recipes for sticky buns and cinnamon rolls.

I can’t think of a better gift for the foodies and bakers on your holiday gift list!

Many thanks to Jeff and Zoë for permission to share two of their amazing recipes from Holiday and Celebration Bread in 5 Minutes a Day.

And now let the celebrations begin!

 

Raspberry Star Bread

 

When Sarah Kieffer baked a version of this for our website, it blew our minds how gorgeous it was, and we just knew a star bread had to be in a book about celebrations.

It is an obvious choice for Christmas morning since it looks just like an ornament This is filled with raspberry jam, and we’ve also included the one Sarah created with cinnamon and sugar as a variation.

Makes 1 large loaf

2 pounds (cantaloupe-size portion) Brioche dough (page 65), Amish-Style Milk Bread dough* (included below), or Challah dough (page 147), or any other enriched dough in the book.

  • All-purpose flour, for dusting
  • 1 cup raspberry jam
  • Egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water), for brushing the dough
  • Decorating sugar, for sprinkling on the loaf

1. Dust the surface of the refrigerated dough with flour and cut off a 2-pound (cantaloupe-size) piece. Divide the piece into 4 equal pieces, dust with more flour and quickly shape them into balls by stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom, rotating the ball a quarter-turn as you go.

2. Roll the dough balls out into 4 rounds about 10 inches wide. As you roll out the dough, add flour as needed to prevent sticking.

3. Place one of the dough rounds on a piece of parchment paper. Top with one-third of the raspberry jam. Repeat with next 2 layers of dough and raspberry jam. Top with the final layer of dough.

4. Place a 2½-inch biscuit cutter (or anything that size and round) in the center of the dough. Use a knife or bench scraper to divide the circle in 16 equal sections, leaving the biscuit cutter in place so you don’t cut all the way to the center.

5. Twist 2 of the sections away from each other with 2 rotations, then pinch the 2 sections together at the end to form a point. Continue with the rest of the sections until you have 8 points.

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

7. Preheat the oven to 375°F, with a rack placed in the center of the oven.

8. Transfer the parchment paper with the star onto a baking sheet. Brush the exposed dough with egg wash and sprinkle decorating sugar in the center of the loaf.

9. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until golden brown and set.

10. Allow to cool on a rack before serving.

Variation: Cinnamon Star Bread

Mix ½ cup sugar with 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon. Follow the Raspberry Star Bread recipe, but replace the raspberry jam with the cinnamon sugar, spreading one-third of the sugar mixture on each of the first 3 layers.

*Amish-Style Milk Bread (adapted for this recipe, from page 83)

Adding an extra starch like potato flour gives the bread a lift and lightness that you’d not expect from a lowly spud. This dough is one of our favorites for its rising power and flavor. Divided into small pieces and layered with lots of butter, it is the base for our springy but rich Parker House Rolls (page 113) or it makes a gorgeous Raspberry Braid (page 312). After you make this dough, cruise through the book and find a world of possibilities.

Makes two 2-pound loaves. The recipe is easily doubled or halved.

  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon granulated yeast
  • 1 tablespoon Kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 6 1/4 cups All-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup potato flour
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled

1. Mix the milk, eggs, yeast, salt, and sugar in a 6-quart bowl or a lidded (not airtight) food container.

2. Mix the flours and butter with the milk mixture without kneading, using a heavy-duty stand mixer (with paddle), a Danish dough whisk, or a spoon.

3. Cover (not airtight), allow to rest at room temperature for 2 hours, and then refrigerate.

4. The dough can be used as soon as it’s thoroughly chilled, at least 3 hours. Refrigerate the container and use over the next 5 days. To freeze dough, see page 42.

5. On baking day, grease an 8½ x 4½-inch nonstick loaf pan. Dust the surface of the refrigerated dough with flour and cut off a 2-pound (large cantaloupe-size) piece. Dust 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. Elongate the ball into an oval and place it in the loaf pan.

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

7. Preheat the oven to 350°F, with a rack placed in the center of the oven.

8. Brush the top crust with egg wash.

9. Bake for about 50 minutes, or until the loaf is browned and firm.

10. Remove from the pan and allow to cool on a rack before serving.

 

Swedish Tea Ring

This is like an ultra fancy cinnamon roll baked as a wreath and served at Christmas time in Sweden. 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 for just once a year.

Makes 1 ring; serves 12

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch salt
  • 1½ pounds (small cantaloupe-size) piece Amish-Style Milk Bread dough* (page 83 in the book)
  • All-purpose flour, for dusting
  • Egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water), for brushing the loaf

 

ICING

  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 tablespoon milk (or more to get the icing to drizzle)
  • ½ cup sliced almonds, toasted, for sprinkling on the loaf (optional)

 

1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.

2. In a small bowl, combine the melted butter, sugar, cinnamon, and salt.

3. Dust the surface of the refrigerated dough with flour and quickly shape it into a rough ball by stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom, rotating the ball a quarter-turn as you go. Visit BreadIn5.com, where you’ll find recipes, photos, videos, and instructional material.

4. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out to a ⅛-inch-thick rectangle, about 14 × 18 inches. As you roll out the dough, add flour as needed to prevent sticking.

5. Spread the butter mixture evenly over the dough.

6. 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 1½ inches thick. Join the 2 ends together to form a wreath shape; pinch together to seal. 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.

7. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow to rest at room temperature for 40 minutes.

8. Preheat the oven to 350°F with a rack placed in the center of the oven.

9. Brush lightly with 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.

10. 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.

11. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until golden brown and well set.

12. Allow to cool for about 20 minutes.

Make the icing: In a small bowl, mix together the confectioners’ sugar, almond extract, and milk until smooth. Drizzle the icing over the top and sprinkle with the almonds (if using). Serve warm or cool.

swedish-tea-ring

 

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From Holiday and Celebration Bread in Five Minutes a Day. Copyright ©2018 by Zoë François and Jeff Hertzberg, M.D., and reprinted with permission from St. Martin’s Press.

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