Sourdough Brioche

Buttery, rich, and sourdough? It may not be traditional, but brioche doesn’t get much better than this. Learn to make Sourdough Brioche Dough and Sourdough Buns.One of the beauties of making your own bread is that once you’ve mastered a dough recipe, you can often use it in many ways. As you saw last week, a ball of Sourdough Pizza Dough can take many shapes: pizza pies, calzones, empanadas, and even breadsticks. Brioche is just as versatile and delicious.

Sourdough brioche may seem as much of an oxymoron as bread master Peter Reinhart’s whole-wheat brioche. But I see it as adding just another layer of flavor to an egg- and butter-rich dough. Once you’ve learned the basic recipe, you can use it to make any number of breads with various flours, sweetness levels, and shapes. I’ve just begun my brioche dough adventure, working it into buns and sweet rolls, but Reinhart recommends using it in everything from bread pudding to toast points to savory tarts. I see more Twice as Tasty brioche-style recipes on the horizon—starting with Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls next week.
Learn to make Sourdough Brioche Dough and Sourdough Buns

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Beyond Pizza

I learned to appreciate calzones and empanadas by baking pizzas at home. If you love deep toppings and excessive cheese, you’ll want these recipes. Learn to make Sourdough Calzones and Empanadas.I didn’t appreciate calzones until I started baking beautiful pizzas at home. Before my homemade pizzas achieved elegance, they tended toward soggy masses on soft, undercooked dough or slightly burned toppings over a cracker-crisp crust. Both variations resulted from the same problem: too many toppings at too low of a temperature.

I’ve learned not to compare pizzas baked in a home oven with fully loaded, wood-fire pizzas—and especially with those I ate in Naples. Kenji, lord of Serious Eats, puts it bluntly: “You’re never going to be able to produce a perfect Neapolitan-style pie in a home oven.” The crew at Bon Appétit is a bit less forceful yet just as adamant: “For those hefty pies to work, they need an ultra-sturdy crust and a really, really, really, really hot oven. Leave it to the pros and go simple.”

So as I teach all my workshop participants, whether grilling or baking your pizza, keep your temperature high and your toppings light. But if you’re a fan of deep toppings and excessive cheese, turn your pizza dough into calzones or empanadas.
Learn to make Sourdough Calzones and Sourdough Empanadas

Sourdough Excuses

Whatever your excuse for not baking with sourdough, it likely doesn’t apply to the way I care for and use sourdough starter. Read more about why you can—and should—bake with sourdough.
After I started blogging about sourdough, people began telling me how they’ve always wanted to bake sourdough goodies—and why they can’t. The excuses started piling up in earnest when I launched the Sourdough Giveaway Experiment last month. Although I’ve been busy sharing my own starter for free, far more people have told me they won’t be joining the party.

Many excuses seem valid, but they don’t apply to the way I advocate caring for and using sourdough starter. So I’m kicking off this year’s Sourdough Month at Twice as Tasty by debunking a few of the most common myths about baking with sourdough. I’m also extending the offer of free sourdough starter through January. I’ll be sharing new sourdough recipes all month, so check out the current collection of sourdough recipes, drool over the latest treats, and get your free starter.
Read more about why you can—and should—bake with sourdough

All-Occasion Cookies

Holiday cookies can take work, and sometimes you want simple yet delicious sweets worthy of the tray. That’s where this week’s recipes come in. Learn to make Triple Gingersnaps and Snickerdoodles.
It’s hard to imagine the winter holidays without cookies. But what is a Christmas cookie? Ask three people to name one, and you’ll likely get three answers. Still, the answers likely have things in common. They probably require special tools or rich ingredients. They likely involve loads of time messing with cookie cutters, icings, and extra decorations. Most of all, they—and all the other cookies on the holiday tray—are likely only made once a year.

Despite the effort that goes into Christmas cookies, I’m often overwhelmed by layers and sugar and, after the third pass of the tray, want something just a little sweet and a little simple. That’s where this week’s cookies come in. They’re simple enough you can make them any time of the year. They’re also easy to make ahead, freeze, and pull out freshly baked just before serving. And they’re still so delicious they can hold their own among fancier creations.
Learn to make Triple Gingersnaps and Snickerdoodles