Tag Archives: yeast bread

60 Second Brioche

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2013. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY T. MIKE FLETCHER, UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Fiinished photoThe title, “60 Second Brioche” (pronounced BREE-ohsh) comes from the article title as it appeared in Bon Appetit Magazine.  While it takes a few minutes to prepare the ingredients, it does indeed come together in about sixty seconds in the food processor, making it the fastest brioche around.

In my first book, “The New Pastry Cook”, the theme was to take a basic dough and make 10 to 12 items using that dough. When I first started learning to make the classic doughs I thought it a shame to spend the time to learn them and then use them for just one or two things.  In the Bon Appetit article, they used the 11 recipes I developed for my book and an additional one I developed for them as they wanted an even dozen.

I learned to make many of the traditional French pastries from Andre Gotti, a marvelous French pastry chef.  After I learned the traditional method, I became a consultant to Cuisinart specializing in pastry using the food processor. I modernized many of the traditional French techniques without sacrificing quality. Brioche was among them. Continue reading

Hot Cross Buns

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2013. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY T. MIKE FLETCHER, UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Finished PhotoHot Cross Buns are traditionally made during Lent.  Full of spices and raisins with a cross on top of the rolls, they are eagerly awaited during the year.  Hot cross buns are a welcome and tasty staple of Lent.   According to Wikipedia: “English folklore includes many superstitions surrounding hot cross buns. One of them says that buns baked and served on Good Friday will not spoil or mold during the subsequent year.”  Well, in my house they won’t last that long!

If you’ve never baked with a product by Sun-Maid called bakers raisins, you’ve missed the perfect raisin for baking.  They are moist and plump and don’t need any soaking to use.  A friend of mine introduced me a few years ago and I have been a fan every since.  I have included instructions for regular raisins that should be soaked to plump them before using in the Hot Cross Buns.   Continue reading

Cinnamon Raisin Bread

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2013. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY T. MIKE FLETCHER, UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Finished photoThis is truly a Cinnamon Raisin Bread to be proud of.  Based on my Basic Sweet Yeast Dough, it is tall, tender and terrific.

I was recently in Chicago visiting my family.  I saw a bag of cinnamon raisin bread on their counter and had a piece for breakfast one day.  To my surprise, it was the best cinnamon raisin bread I ever had.  When I asked where it came from, you can imagine my surprise when I was told, “Walmart”!  Unfortunately, when I returned home and went to my Walmart, no such cinnamon raisin bread was to be found that even came close to the one I had.

So my task was clear.  Make a better cinnamon raisin bread – and I took this very seriously.  There is nothing I like more than working with yeast breads.  There is something magical in combining ingredients and watching them grow.  Several years ago I wanted to come up with my quintessential sweet yeast bread.  I used honey for sweetness and instant mashed potatoes to keep it soft for days.  Vanilla is used to enhance the flavor and the basic dough is used in more than a dozen sweet yeast bread and roll recipes, some familiar and some new. Continue reading