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Bread - Buns - Bagels

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These are addictive. Make a lot and stack them in a flower vase or basket for serving. Excellent plain or with your favorite dip(s).

According to culinary writer/reporter Matthew Goodman buns from the Open Window Bakery are legend. His recipe, calls for a lean dough and vegetable shortening. The BB Test kitchen used butter and/or oil, (we are not keen on shortening), and we made the dough a bit richer to offset staling. The result is a plump blueberry bun that is authentic Open Window Bakery-inspired but a bit better and more appropriate to the home kitchen. This bun takes an egg wash and some dusting sugar but I suggest a crumb topping. Instead of square buns, these are cut in large circles and folded in half for half-moon shaped pastries. Matthew Goodman’s fine write-up on the Blueberry Bun can be found at  Incidentally, the scent, let alone taste of the fresh blueberry filling are so summery and good you might forget to save some for the buns. This recipe is similar to my own for Cherry Buns in my first cookbook, A Treasury of Jewish Holiday Baking River Heart Press 2017)

What tastes like croissants, is as easy as pie, and bakes up as fast as Pillsbury crescent rolls? Triple Butter Buns. I won’t kid you – these are rich but fabulous.
I tested them with milk, water, and cream and the cream (with some milk) version are so unbelievably better it is worth each calorie. Note the technique in this recipe which calls for both salted and unsalted butter. If I tell you they will beg for this recipe versus chocolate chip cookies, cheesecake and brownies, it would not be a fib. Trust me. These are incredible.


So simple, so unique, so obvious and so good! Chunks of white and dark chocolate in a tender, golden challah, made so by using all-purpose instead of bread flour. Add some cocoa for a chocolate (dough) challah or leave it out. If you have Nielsen Massey's new chocolate extract on hand, this challah becomes more than manna.

Bits of dried mango, sliced dried figs, diced dried apricots, sour cherries and dried cranberries in a sweet little loaf. Dreams of sugarplums indeed. Fresh or toasted, this is just super. Makes two small rounds – keep one; wrap the other as a gift. Serve with orange cream cheese spread or sweet butter.

The comfort of good carbs in a bread that is still lofty with a soft grain and inviting wholesome fragrance. You can also replace some of the whole-wheat flour with multi-grain flours (usually it is rye, barley, whole-wheat, and corn). The soaked grain gives this bread its inviting color, bouquet, and moistness of crumb. You can, make it 12-grain if you add tablespoons of this grain and that to get the requisite 12 grains. There is also Bread of the Apostles, an ancient and rustic bread recipe, but this one is named for its ……seediness. Baker’s Caramel is a liquid that is burnt sugar. You can use Kitchen Bouquet if you like or order it from It is the dark hue of many a ‘wheaty’ looking or pumpernickel bread. It is also used in browning gravy (so whatever you don’t use, save for Thanksgiving). If you are new (and resistant) to whole-wheat, wholesome breads, remember, you can always smear it with Nutella.

Saco Buttermilk Blend gives this loaf a golden crust. There is a lot of dough to handle here. A good mixer, like a KitchenAid, or a hefty bread maker is required to knead this mechanically.

Bagel dough fashioned into a twisted loaf, stuffed with golden Vidalia onions and roasted garlic.  This is an ‘everything’ bread, like an everything bagel. It makes a great sandwich slicing loaf, toast, or is simply satisfying, pulled off in hunks to nibble on with cheese or cream cheese spreads. (p.s. the garlic gets slow roasted in the pan with the sautéed onions)

The recipe is now in A Passion for Home Baking, Marcy Goldman, Oxmoor House 2007

This bread is sharp with bittersweet chocolate, yet moist and chewy, with a sweet, chocolate swirl and nuggets nestled in the filling. Two days of cool rises (and little hands-on work) result in two plump loaves Dean and Deluca would beat a door down to have. There are many breads with Valrhona in their title - they differ substantially. This one from our test kitchens is the queen. The only thing might add is kirsch-soaked sour dry cherries - and only if I was in the mood. This is great with espresso, tea, or slathered with cinnamon butter as a morning bread.

Bread puddings have always been the baker’s wise way to use up leftover bread and transform it into a homey, sweet dessert. This one is classic, creamy and comforting. A smidge of warm caramel sauce would do nicely or an orange crème anglaise or fresh fraise du bois. Nothing beats something this old-fashioned and easy and it moves into a blue ribbon category when you add the piquant sweetness of a strawberry rhubarb compote alongside it.


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