The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Artisan Bread in 5

Subscribe to Artisan Bread in 5 feed Artisan Bread in 5
Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day
Updated: 2 days 2 hours ago

Chicken and Doughnuts

May 25, 2017 - 6:02am

I’ve recently become obsessed with Gary Cooper – not the Gary Cooper, but a decadent doughnut breakfast that a local Minneapolis diner serves, named after Mr. G.C. The diner is the Hi-Lo Diner, a new establishment that serves a fancy item called a Hi-Top, which is essentially a doughnut piled high with either sweet or savory ingredients. The Gary Cooper is my favorite hi-top on the menu, it’s covered with buttermilk fried chicken, maple-bourbon syrup, country gravy, and micro arugula. I decided to try and recreate this number in my own kitchen, using our no-knead brioche dough for the doughnut base, and then building the rest with maple syrup, mashed potatoes, gravy, and crispy chicken. It was incredibly delicious, and although this dinner will be a special occasion treat in at my house, it was worth all the effort.

Chicken and Doughnuts

For the doughnuts
Doughnuts start with Brioche Dough. I used the dough from The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, but you can make a batch with whole grains from Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day.

1 1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon Red Star Platinum, Quick Rise or Active Dry Yeast
1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons Kosher Salt
8 large Eggs
1/2 cup Honey
3 sticks Unsalted Butter
7 1/2 cups All-Purpose Gold Medal Flour

Mix the yeast, salt, eggs, honey and melted butter with the water in a 6-quart lidded container. Add the flour and combine with a Danish Dough Whisk or 5-Quart Stand Mixer (with paddle) until a smooth dough forms. Cover, but not airtight, and allow to rest on the counter for 2 hours. It will be quite wet and can’t be used until thoroughly chilled. Refrigerate and use over the next 5 days. For more detailed instructions please refer to page 301 of The New ABin5.

To fry the 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.

Pull out a 1-pound piece of dough and roll it out to a 1/2-inch thick. Use a round cookie or biscuit cutter.

Allow the dough to sit for at least 20 minutes and up to 60 minutes while the oil heats up.

Once your oil reads 360-370°F on a Candy Thermometer you are ready to fry. The amount  of doughnuts you put in the pot at a time will depend on the size of your doughnuts and pots, but be sure not to over crowd them.

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. Lay them out on paper towel to allow some of the oil to drain off.

Let the doughnuts cool for 2 minutes, then use the back of a spoon to gently make a slight indent in the center of each doughnut.

For the chicken
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into small pieces (about 3-inches each)
2 large eggs
2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
1 teaspoon garlic powder (optional)
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Vegetable oil

Sprinkle the chicken pieces with salt to your liking. Let sit while preparing the bread crumbs.

In a shallow bowl, whisk together the eggs and flour until smooth.

In another shallow bowl, combine the panko, garlic powder, and pepper.

Dredge the chicken pieces the eggs mixture, allowing any excess to drip off. Move the chicken to the bread crumbs bowl and coat all sides with the mixture.

Heat the vegetable oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering (put enough oil in the pan so it covers the skillet about 1/2-inch deep). Place about half of the chicken pieces in the skillet (don’t crowd them) and cook without moving them until the bottoms are golden and crispy, 1-2 minutes. Flip the pieces over and cook the other side until golden, 1-2 minutes. Transfer to wire rack and repeat with the remaining pieces. (You can keep the chicken pieces warm in a 200F oven while the rest of the pieces are cooking.)

Other ingredients needed
Mashed potatoes (your favorite recipe will work!)
Maple syrup

To assemble:

Place a doughnut on a plate. Pour a generous amount of maple syrup into the center. Top with a scoop of warm mashed potatoes.

Poor warm gravy over the potatoes.

Top with the crispy chicken, and eat immediately. Add some greens if you are feeling guilty.

Mother’s Day Recipe Round Up

May 9, 2017 - 6:43pm

‘The clocks were striking midnight and the rooms were very still as a figure glided quietly from bed to bed, smoothing a coverlid here, settling a pillow there, and pausing to look long and tenderly at each unconscious face, to kiss each with lips that mutely blessed, and to pray the fervent prayers which only mothers utter.’ -Louisa May Alcott, Little Women

Over the years, we’ve done quite a few posts that are Mother’s Day/Brunch related. Here’s a round up of some of our favorite recipes, and also some from around the web. If you bake anything this weekend from our site or from our books, take a photo and then tag it with #breadin5 so we can see what you’re making!

From Our Site

Mother’s Day Danish Braid

Baked French Toast

Brioche a Tete

Cinnamon Swirl French Toast

Truck Stop Cinnamon Rolls

Chocolate and Orange Confit Brioche

Chocolate Swirl Rolls

Crock Pot Nutella Swirl Bread

Apple Cider Gluten-Free Brioche Doughnuts

Brioche Doughnuts

Chocolate Coffee Cardamom Bread

From around the web

Lemon Meringue Mother’s Day Cake from Zoe Bakes

Rose Rose Cake from My Name is Yeh

Almond Cake with Chocolate and Amaretto from The Vanilla Bean Blog

Heart-Shaped Waffles from The Faux Martha

Mini (Gluten-Free) Angel Food Cakes from Heartbeet Kitchen




How to shape wet dough

April 16, 2017 - 9:16am

The secret to our method is having a nice wet dough. This allows us to store the dough and make a beautiful loaf. One of the most often questions is how to successfully shape the wet dough into a nice neat ball. If your loaf is not shaped well, it may spread out and be too flat or it will bake in a shape you just didn’t intend. Even if your dough is super wet, even wetter than we intended, within reason, it can still be successfully shaped and bake into a gorgeous loaf. We’ll show you how in this video. The trick is using more flour than you may think is okay, but as you’ll see we aren’t working the flour into the dough, we’re just using it to keep the dough from sticking to our hands. As we gently handle the dough we add more flour. This allows us to shape, without overworking the dough. I didn’t use a Bench Scraper in this video, but it is a great tool for keeping the dough from sticking to your hands.

The dough in this video is the Master recipe from The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, but this method can be used for any of our doughs.

Tsoureki: Easter Bread from Greece

April 10, 2017 - 12:55pm

Easter is right around the corner, and while it is celebrated in different ways by many, one common thread is to involve colorful eggs, either in hunts or baskets or bread.

Tsoureki is the traditional bread of Easter in Greece and many other Christian countries. The dough is enriched and then twisted around brightly dyed eggs. The bread is often braided with three strands to represent the holy trinity, formed into a circle as a reference to life and the eggs are dyed red as a symbol of Christ’s blood. The bread is sweet, flavored with orange zest and a traditional Middle Eastern spice called Mahlepi, which is made from ground cherry pits (the spice can be found in Middle Eastern or Greek markets). If you don’t have Mahlepi, you can make the dough with ground Anise seed or even Cardamom. We’ve made them individual-sized here, with light pink eggs, but you could make them any color you would like (for a large loaf, we have a recipe here).

Easter Bread
You will have more dough than needed here. You could make more individual rings, or save it for another application.

1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
1 tablespoon Red Star Platinum, Active Dry, or Quick-Rise yeast (1 packet)
1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon Mahlepi or ground anise seed
1 teaspoon orange zest
8 large eggs at room temperature, lightly beaten
1/2 cup honey
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
7 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

6 eggs (you can use uncooked eggs, since they will cook while the bread is baking. The eggs are for decoration and not really meant to be eaten, so it’s a nice way to save time.)
2 cups boiling water
2 teaspoons vinegar
Food coloring
Colored sprinkles (optional)
Egg wash (1 egg mixed with 1 tablespoon water)

For the dough
Mix the yeast, salt, Mahlephi, orange zest, eggs, honey, and melted butter with the water in a 5-quart bowl, or lidded (not airtight) food container.

Mix in the flour, using a spoon until all of the flour is incorporated.

Cover (not airtight), and allow to sit at room temperature for about two hours.

For the decoration
To dye the eggs: place 2 cups boiling water, 2 teaspoons vinegar and food coloring in a bowl. Drop the eggs into the dye (if the solution cools off, reheat it and continue with the other eggs). Make sure your eggs are well rinsed before placing on the bread, so they don’t bleed color.

To assemble
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Take out 12 pieces of dough, each piece weighing 3.5 ounces. Gently roll each piece of dough to form a 1 inch thick rope about 13-14 inches long. Take two pieces of dough and twist to form a braid. Pinch the ends together, and form the braid into a circle. Tuck the ends underneath and press them into the dough gently so they stay put during baking. Repeat with the remaining dough, making 6 rings total.

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 350F. Place each dough circle on the prepared baking sheet. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, about an hour. Brush each circle with the egg wash, and then decorated each piece with sprinkles. In the middle of each dough ring, gently place an Easter egg.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes until golden. Allow to cool on a wire rack before serving.