How did everyone enjoy our first foray into New Frontiers — and pumpkin spice season? Leave your links here!
We’re returning to the front of the book for one last pass, and we’ll wrap up in September. We plan to begin baking through the first book after we’re done with Occasions, since Baked Sunday Mornings began with book #2.
For the first bake of 2017, we’ve got a gooey Elvis-inspired bread pudding to celebrate The King’s birthday. Posting date is January 15!
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1⁄4 cup (55 g) firmly packed dark brown sugar
- 6 very ripe medium bananas, cut into 1⁄2-inch (12-mm) slices
- 5 large egg yolks
- 1 large egg
- 21⁄2 cups (600 ml) heavy cream
- 1 cup (240 ml) whole milk 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (290 g) smooth peanut butter
- 2⁄3 cup (150 g) firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 loaf day-old brioche (about 12 ounces/340 g, cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) cubes (see Notes)
- 5 ounces (140 g) dark chocolate (60 to 72% cacao), coarsely chopped
- 3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar (optional)
- 1 pint (473 ml) premium vanilla ice cream (optional)
- Lightly spray eight 8-ounce (240-ml) ramekins or soufflé dishes with nonstick cooking spray (alternatively, pour a little canola oil on a paper towel and apply to the bottom and sides of the ramekins). Place four of the prepared ramekins in a large roasting pan and set aside. If you are lucky enough to own two roasting pans, you can place the remaining four ramekins in the second roasting pan. If not, bake them in two batches.
- In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, melt the butter and dark brown sugar together and cook until bubbly. Add the banana slices and cook until lightly browned and encased in a thick syrup, about 10 minutes, tossing frequently to ensure even caramelization. Use a spoon to transfer the bananas to a large parchment-lined platter in one layer (some of the liquid will transfer with the bananas; this is a good thing).
- In a very large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and egg until blended.
- In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, whisk together the heavy cream, milk, peanut butter, and light brown sugar. Cook the mixture, whisking constantly, until it is just about to boil, then remove from the heat. Whisking constantly, slowly stream about 1⁄4 cup (60 ml) of the cream mixture into the egg mixture. Continue whisking until well combined, then in a slow, steady stream, continue to add the remaining cream mixture into the egg mixture, again whisking con- stantly, until completely blended. Add the vanilla and salt and whisk vigorously for about 1 minute to release excess heat. Let stand for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Stir all of the cubed bread into the custard. Use a large spoon to stir and ip the mixture to make sure every piece of bread is coated completely in the custard; set aside for about 30 minutes to soak. During the soaking period, use the back of the spoon to push the bread back down into the custard every few minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Bring a pot or kettle of water to a boil.
- Divide the chocolate equally among the prepared ramekins. On top of the chocolate, divide about half of the bread-and-custard mixture evenly among the ramekins. Add the bananas in an even layer to each ramekin. Top the banana layer with the remaining bread-and-custard mixture. Pour boiling water into the roasting pan until the water reaches about halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the custard is set: A toothpick inserted into the center of the custard should come out clean, the custard will start to pull away slightly from the sides of the ramekin, and the top will look baked, not wet. Remove the baking dish from the oven, remove the ramekins from the hot water with tongs, and allow the puddings to cool for 20 to 30 minutes. Dust the warm bread puddings with confectioners’ sugar and serve with vanilla ice cream, if desired.
You can use fresh brioche in this bread pudding recipe, but you need to toast it first so it absorbs the custard properly. Here is how we do it:
1. Preheat the oven to 350°f (175°c).
2. Cut the loaf of brioche into 1-inch (2.5-cm) cubes.
3. Place the brioche cubes on a parchment-lined baking sheet and toast for 10 to 15 minutes, tossing every 5 minutes.
4. Remove from the oven and let cool on the baking sheet, then proceed as directed.
How to Store: To store bread pudding, cool to room temperature, cover, and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Reheat bread pudding in a 250°F (120°C) oven until warm throughout (and, yes, some people happily eat the pudding directly from the refrigerator). A surprising number of people rmly believe that bread pudding tastes even better on Day Two; we like Day One and Day Two equally.
Our bakers are unanimous — this bread is très bon!
Cheesy bread, anyone? Leave your links here, bakers!
We’ve got some great looking brioche and ice cream sandwiches — and of course, one rogue baker!
What did you think of these ice cream sandwiches?
We’re making ice cream sandwiches next – not just any ol’ ice cream sandwiches but fancy ones, with brioche instead of cookies.
Posting date is August 16!
- 1¾ teaspoons instant yeast
- 2¾ cups (385 g) bread flour
- ¼ cup (60 ml) whole milk, at room temperature
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 10 ounces (2½ sticks/285 g) unsalted butter, softened, cut into 2-tablespoon-size pieces, plus more for the pan
- 1 recipe Brown Sugar Praline Ice Cream (see page 59), or 2 to 3 pints (946 ml to 1.4 L) of your favorite ice cream or gelato
- In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, stir together the yeast with ½ cup (70 grams) of the bread flour. Add the milk, and mix on low speed until combined. Turn off the mixer, cover the mixing bowl with plastic wrap, and set aside for 45 to 60 minutes so the mixture can ferment.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar and salt with the remaining bread flour.
- Replace the paddle attachment with the dough hook. Add the flour mixture and eggs to the bowl. Mix on low the speed for 1 minute, then increase the speed to medium-high. Mix until a dough forms and begins to pull cleanly from the sides and bottom of the bowl, 8 to 10 minutes. At this point, the dough will have a nice sheen and look very elastic.
- With the mixer running on medium-high, slowly add the butter, one chunk at a time, waiting for each addition to incorporate before adding the next piece. After all the butter has been added, keep mixing until the dough is smooth and uniform. This whole process should take anywhere from 7 to 10 minutes. Remove the dough hook, use your hands to scrape any dough on the hook back into the bowl, cover the bowl lightly with plastic, and place it in a draft-free environment until the dough doubles in volume, between 1 hour and 1 hour 30 minutes. While the dough is rising, butter a standard 12-cup muffin tin.
- Use a dough scraper to scrape the light, silky dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough by hand for about a minute, folding it in half and then over itself. Divide the dough into 12 equal portions (use a scale if you have one), about 2½ ounces (70 g) each. Form each piece into a ball by rolling it on the counter between your thumb and fingers; don’t incorporate too much flour, as the dough should retain a little bit of stickiness. Place each ball in a greased muffin cup. The dough might pop over the top of the tin by about ½ inch (12 mm) or so. Cover the muffin pan lightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least 8 hours (or overnight).
- Prior to baking, remove the dough from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for at least 90 minutes, but no more than 2 hours. At this point, the dough may have risen a full inch (2.5 cm) over the top of the tin. During the last 30 minutes of the rise, preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
- Bake the brioches until the crust is golden and the bread is cooked all the way through, 12 to 18 minutes; the internal temperature should hover near 195°F (90°C) on an instant-read thermometer. If the crusts brown too quickly before the center of the bread is ready, cover the tops of the bread with foil until finished baking.
- Allow the bread to cool for a few minutes and pop the individual brioches out of the pan.
- Slice each brioche in half (slightly warm is divine, though room temperature is fine), separating the “muffin top” from the bottom. Place one generous scoop, about ¾ cup (180 ml), of ice cream on the flat surface of the bottom of the muffin and sandwich it with the top. Serve immediately. We have also been known to toast the brioche before filling it; this is a must-try at least once in your life.
Nine recipes to go in Baked Elements! Sticking with bananas once more, next we’re baking a peanut butter-spiked banana bread. You can make the peanut butter from the book, or use store-bought; go creamy instead of crunchy; or up your game and add even more peanuts. Posting date is August 31!
Crunchy Peanut Butter Banana Bread
Yield: One 9-by-5-inch loaf
1 1⁄2 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, divided
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 rounded cup mashed bananas (2 1⁄2 to 3 bananas)
1⁄2 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1⁄4 cup whole milk
1 cup crunchy peanut butter (see page 26)
4 ounces (about 2⁄3 cup) semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and position the rack in the center. Butter a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan, dust it with flour, and knock out the excess flour.
In a large bowl, whisk together 11⁄2 cups flour, the sugar, salt, and baking soda.
In another large bowl, whisk together the bananas, oil, eggs, milk, and peanut butter. Toss the chocolate chips in the remaining 1 tablespoon of flour, then stir the chocolate chips into the banana mixture.
Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the wet mixture into it. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ever so gently until just combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs.
Let the loaf cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool completely.
The loaf can be stored at room temperature, in an airtight container or wrapped tightly, for up to 3 days.
Thanks everybody for baking with us in 2013!