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Bread - Buns - Bagels

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I think anytime is the right time for a soda bread, especially one with the goodness of pumpkin and spice. This recipe is easy and quick and you wind up with a gorgeous-hued giant rustic bread, fragrant with spice and bursting with plump raisins. Fresh or toasted, this is a soda bread that hits one out of the park.
 

Like Thankgiving but in-the-round, i.e. in a bagel. These are simply amazing bagels –rustic and touched with a kiss of pumpkin spice (and pumpkin!) and a good smattering of dried (or fresh) cranberries. They’re almost decadent and gourmet bagels but considering they are low fat and full of vitamin packed pumpkin puree, they are rather healthy. Feel free to sub some whole-wheat flour if you like.

There are a few recipes for this delight sweet-yeast treat and various approaches. I chose a simple route of a gently vanilla sweet pretzel dough which is tossed in pumpkin-sugar-spice after baking. These are not too rich but soft, crisp exteriors with soft interiors and a little chewiness. You can add a fondant drizzle, caramel or praline glaze but I like them pure and simple.

The trick in this recipe is a rich, butter dough and then, an ingenious method of shaving thin sheets of butter off the block, using a cheese slicer to create the butter ‘roll-in’. It imitates the French approach but using Canuck/Yankee expediency. Incidentally, note the use of all-purpose flour (for tenderness) and bread flour (for a bit of chew). Find a great unsalted butter (they're not all equal!) for this recipe and don't ever tell me Pillsbury are better.


 

French pastry chefs let nothing go to waste. Leftover croissants (make sure you use great ones) filled with an almond butter paste, and rebaked, are sublime.  This is a pastry and hotel school staple and something you can expect to see in many a French pastry shop window. They are puffy, buttery, extremely easy but unique treats that will make you say, 'Oh shut up. Too good!"   If you like this recipe, you'll also love 1,2,3, Croissant Cronuts and Butter Flakey Doughnuts (not quite Cronuts)

Eggy, moist, and light as air, these usually disappear before dinner is served so count on making an extra batch.
Pizza dough, mashed potatoes, onions, garlic and colorful bright slices of garden tomatoes..mmmm.

Pizza dough, mashed potatoes, onions, garlic and colorful bright slices of garden tomatoes This is a wonderful hospitality pizza, perfect for summertime entertaining or winter holidays. This is great hot, cold, room temperature and I prefer it in small bites. You can also omit the potato component and shred up some raclette or camembert to top it with before it is completed baked. Pissaladiere is French pizza – where pizza really came from.

Italian sausage, pepperoni, provolone, mozzarella, marinara, spices and diced peppers all rolled up in a chewy/thin/crisp pizza dough. Bravo! Slice it hot or serve it at room temperature with a huge green salad - This is perfect picnic fare too.

A classic loaf
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