Sourdough Boule

Four simple ingredients combine with one highly cultured leaven to form the ideal sourdough: chewy crust, open crumb, and well-developed flavor. It’s the baker’s simplest triumph, but for a touch of complexity, try one of our two variations: bittersweet Chocolate Cherry Sourdough and spicy Cheddar Jalapeño Sourdough. 

Sourdough Boule
 

Makes 1 round boule
Ingredients
  • Leaven:
  • ⅓ cup (80 grams) lukewarm water (80°F/27°C)
  • 1 tablespoon (16 grams) sourdough starter
  • ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon (40 grams) bread flour
  • ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon (40 grams) whole wheat flour
  • Dough:
  • 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons (285 grams) lukewarm water (80°F/27°C)
  • 2¾ cups plus 1 tablespoon (357 grams) bread flour
  • ¾ cup (94 grams) whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon (9 grams) kosher salt

Instructions
  1. For leaven: In a large bowl, stir together ⅓ cup (80 grams) lukewarm water and sourdough starter. Add flours, and stir thoroughly until smooth and no dry bits of flour remain. Loosely cover bowl, and let stand at room temperature overnight.
  2. For dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, place leaven and 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons (285 grams) lukewarm water. Add flours and salt, and beat at low speed for 4 minutes. Dough will come together and should not tear when pulled.
  3. Lightly oil a large bowl. Place dough in bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until dough feels smooth and soft, 2 to 2½ hours, turning every 30 minutes. (To complete a turn, grab underside of dough, stretch it up, and fold it to center of dough. Do this 4 times around the bowl.)
  4. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface. Gently press dough flat into a 9-inch circle. Fold right third of dough over to center; fold left third over first fold. Cover with a kitchen towel, and let rest for 20 to 30 minutes.
  5. For final shape, press dough flat again. Grab bottom edge, and gently stretch and fold bottom third over to center. Stretch right side out, and fold right third over to center; repeat with left side. Finish by folding top third over previous folds. Roll loaf away from you, and using both hands, cup dough and pull it toward you to seal. Turn dough 90 degrees, and pull again until a tight, smooth boule forms. Place seam side up in a banneton (proofing basket) or a small bowl lined with a kitchen towel heavily dusted with bread flour. Loosely cover dough with towel, and let rise for 3 hours. (Alternatively, place in refrigerator to cold ferment overnight. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour before baking.)
  6. When dough has 30 minutes left to rise, place a Dutch oven and lid in cold oven. Preheat oven to 500°F (260°C).
  7. Turn boule out of banneton or bowl onto a sheet of parchment paper dusted with flour. Dust top of boule lightly with flour. Using a lame or razor blade, score top of loaf. Carefully remove hot Dutch oven from oven; remove lid, and place boule, still on parchment paper, in Dutch oven. Cover with lid, and place back in oven.
  8. Immediately reduce oven temperature to 425°F (220°C). Bake for 25 minutes. Remove lid, and bake until deep golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted in center registers 205°F (96°C), 5 to 10 minutes more. Immediately remove loaf from Dutch oven, and let cool completely on a wire rack.

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Variations: 

Cheddar Jalapeño Sourdough
 

Ingredients
  • 1¼ cups (171 grams) small (¼-inch) cubed sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons (18 grams) diced seeded jalapeño

Instructions
  1. Proceed with Sourdough Boule recipe, adding cheese and jalapeño with flours and salt in step 2. Continue through step 7.
  2. Immediately reduce oven temperature to 425°F (220°C). Bake for 30 minutes. Remove lid, and bake until deep golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted in center registers 205°F (96°C), 10 to 15 minutes more. Immediately remove loaf from Dutch oven, and let cool completely on a wire rack.

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Chocolate Cherry Sourdough Boule
 

Ingredients
  • ⅔ cup (113 grams) chopped 60% cacao dark chocolate
  • ½ cup (80 grams) dried cherries

Instructions
  1. Proceed with Sourdough Boule recipe, adding chocolate and cherries with flours and salt in step 2. Continue through step 7.
  2. Immediately reduce oven temperature to 425°F (220°C). Bake for 30 minutes. Remove lid, and bake until deep golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted in center registers 205°F (96°C), 10 to 15 minutes more. Immediately remove loaf from Dutch oven, and let cool completely on a wire rack.

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Dried Herb Ciabatta

If you know snow is in the forecast, get your Poolish ready so you can bake this herbaceous snow day ciabatta. We used dried basil, oregano, parsley, and rosemary, but you can load this dough up with whichever dried herbs you prefer or have on hand. If you don’t have bread flour, all-purpose flour will also work, though it will make the bread less chewy.

Dried Herb Ciabatta
 

Makes 2 loves
Ingredients
  • Poolish (recipe follows)
  • 1 cup (240 grams) water (60°F/16°C)
  • 2 tablespoons (28 grams) olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon (1.5 grams) instant yeast**
  • ¾ teaspoon dried basil
  • ¾ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¾ teaspoon dried parsley
  • ½ teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 2½ cups (318 grams) bread flour
  • ½ cup (62 grams) white whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon (9 grams) kosher salt

Instructions
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, place Poolish. Add 1 cup (240 grams) water, oil, yeast, basil, oregano, parsley, and rosemary. Add flours and salt, and beat at low speed for 4 minutes. Increase mixer speed to medium, and beat for 5 to 6 minutes. (To test if dough is mixed enough, dust a small section of dough with flour. Pinch off a small portion, and slowly stretch to form a thin, translucent sheet. If dough tears, the dough is not ready and should be mixed 1 minute more before testing again.)
  2. Grease a large bowl with oil. Turn out dough onto a heavily floured surface. Shape dough into a round, and place in prepared bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) for 2½ hours, folding dough in bowl every 30 minutes. (To fold, use a floured hand to reach under one side of dough, and pull gently over center; repeat with opposite side of dough.)
  3. Place 2 (16×12-inch) sheets of parchment paper on a work surface, and generously dust with flour. On a lightly floured surface, turn out dough, and shape roughly into a 14×10½-inch rectangle; dimple surface with fingertips. Using a bench scraper, cut dough in half lengthwise; transfer halves to prepared parchment sheets.
  4. Gently stretch each portion of dough into a 15½x5-inch rectangle. Dimple surface again with fingertips. Cover with plastic wrap, and let rise for 1 hour.
  5. Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  6. Quickly turn out each portion of dough onto a prepared pan.
  7. Bake until golden and an instant-read thermometer inserted in center registers 205°F (96°C), 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool completely on wire racks.

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Poolish
 

makes 4 cups
Ingredients
  • 1¼ cups plus 2½ tablespoons (179 grams) bread flour
  • 2 tablespoons (14 grams) white whole wheat flour*
  • 1/16 teaspoon instant yeast**
  • ¾ cup plus 1 tablespoon (195 grams) water (70°F/21°C)

Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, stir together all ingredients until dry ingredients are completely moistened. Cover with plastic wrap, and let stand at room temperature for 14 to 16 hours.

Notes
*If you do not have white whole wheat flour on hand, the same amount of bread flour or regular whole wheat flour can be used instead.
**We used Red Star Platinum Superior Baking Instant Yeast.

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Banana Nut Biscoff Bread

The addition of everyone’s favorite cookie butter into our Banana Nut Biscoff Bread balances out this recipe’s nuttiness with irresistible sweetness and a smooth, rich flavor. This Banana Nut Biscoff Bread is just as at home on your breakfast as it is alongside your afternoon cup of coffee.

Banana Nut Biscoff Bread
 

Makes 1 (8×5-inch) loaf
Ingredients
  • 3 ripe medium bananas (210 grams)
  • ¾ cup (192 grams) Biscoff cookie butter spread, divided
  • ⅓ cup (76 grams) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1½ cups (188 grams) all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg (50 grams), room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon (4 grams) vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon (1.5 grams) kosher salt
  • ½ cup (57 grams) chopped walnuts*

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter and flour an 8×5-inch loaf pan.
  2. In a large bowl, mash bananas until mostly smooth. Stir in ½ cup (128 grams) Biscoff spread and melted butter. Add flour, sugar, egg, baking soda, vanilla, and salt, stirring until thick and combined. Fold in walnuts. Spread batter in prepared pan. Top with remaining ¼ cup (64 grams) Biscoff spread, and swirl into batter with a knife.
  3. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, covering with foil halfway through baking to prevent excess browning. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan, and let cool completely on a wire rack.

Notes
*Additional chopped walnuts can be placed on top of batter before baking for a beautiful presentation.

Pro Tip: Freeze overripe bananas in the peel to use in recipes like this for an even stronger banana flavor and easy mashing. Let thaw at room temperature before using.

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Nutella Banana Bread

Yes, Nutella makes everything better—but the true star of this nutty Nutella Banana Bread is the Chocolate Hazelnut Streusel. 

Nutella Banana Bread
 

Makes 1 (8½x4½-inch) loaf
Ingredients
  • 1⅔ cups (209 grams) all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon (1.5 grams) kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 grams) baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon (1.25 grams) baking powder
  • 1⅛ cups (255 grams) mashed banana (about 3 medium bananas)
  • ¾ cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs (100 grams)
  • ⅓ cup plus 2 teaspoons (85 grams) canola oil
  • ¼ cup (60 grams) whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon (4 grams) vanilla extract
  • ½ cup (128 grams) Nutella
  • Chocolate Hazelnut Streusel (recipe follows)

Instructions
  1. flour an 8½x4½-inch loaf pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. In a large bowl, whisk together mashed banana, sugar, eggs, oil, milk, and vanilla. Fold in flour mixture just until combined.
  3. In a small microwave-safe bowl, heat Nutella on high in 2 (15-second) intervals, stirring between each. Spoon half of batter into prepared pan; spoon half of warm Nutella over batter. Top with remaining batter and remaining Nutella; swirl together using a knife. Top with Chocolate Hazelnut Streusel.
  4. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, about 1 hour and 25 minutes. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan, and let cool completely on a wire rack.

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Chocolate Hazelnut Streusek
 

Makes about 2 cups
Ingredients
  • ½ cup (63 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons (42 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1½ tablespoons (7.5 grams) Dutch process cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon (2 grams) ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon (1.5 grams) kosher salt
  • ¼ cup (57 grams) cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • ⅓ cup (38 grams) chopped hazelnuts
  • ⅓ cup (57 grams) chopped 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate morsels

Instructions
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine flour, brown sugar, cocoa, cinnamon, and salt. With mixer on low speed, add cold butter, beating until mixture is crumbly. Stir in hazelnuts and chocolate morsels by hand. Refrigerate until ready to use

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Cardamom Pistachio Rolls

Forget classic cinnamon rolls—these Cardamom Pistachio Rolls are spiced with cardamom and studded with salty pistachios, making them a breakfast treat that’s well worth the effort. 

Cardamom Pistachio Rolls
 

Makes 8 rolls
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup (60 grams) warm water (105°F/41°C to 110°F/43°C)
  • 2¼ teaspoons (7 grams) active dry yeast
  • ⅓ cup (67 grams) plus ½ teaspoon (2 grams) granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 cup (240 grams) whole milk, room temperature and divided
  • 4 tablespoons (60 grams) fresh lemon juice, divided
  • 1 large egg (50 grams), room temperature
  • 1 large egg yolk (19 grams), room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons (8 grams) vanilla extract
  • 3½ cups (438 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon (3 grams) kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons (84 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup (110 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • ½ cup (57 grams) finely chopped roasted salted shelled pistachios
  • ½ cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon (6 grams) ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons (4 grams) ground cardamom
  • 1 to 1½ teaspoons (1 to 1.5 grams) lemon zest
  • 1 cup (120 grams) confectioners’ sugar

Instructions
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, whisk together ¼ cup (60 grams) warm water, yeast, and ½ teaspoon (2 grams) granulated sugar by hand. Let stand until mixture is foamy, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add ¾ cup (180 grams) milk, 2 tablespoons (30 grams) lemon juice, egg, egg yolk, vanilla, and remaining ⅓ cup (67 grams) granulated sugar, whisking to combine.
  3. With mixer on medium speed, add flour and salt, beating just until dough comes together. Scrape sides of bowl. Increase mixer speed to medium-high, and beat for 4 minutes. Add softened butter, and beat until dough is smooth and pulls away from sides of bowl, about 6 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until doubled in size, 1½ to 2 hours.
  4. Butter a 9-inch round cake pan.
  5. On a lightly floured surface, stretch dough into a 16×12-inch rectangle using wet hands.
  6. In a small bowl, stir together brown sugar, pistachios, melted butter, cinnamon, cardamom, and zest. Spread filling onto dough, leaving a ½-inch border. Starting with one long side, roll dough into a log; pinch seam to seal. Place log, seam side down, on work surface. Trim ½ inch off each end. Cut into 8 rolls, and place in prepared pan. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until doubled in size, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  7. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
  8. Bake until light golden brown, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool completely.
  9. In a small bowl, whisk together confectioners’ sugar, remaining ¼ cup (60 grams) milk, and remaining 2 tablespoons (30 grams) lemon juice until combined. Place in a resealable plastic bag. Cut corner from bag, and drizzle icing onto rolls.

Notes
Keep your hands wet when stretching dough. This keeps dough from sticking and also keeps you from adding additional flour. Brush any additional flour off dough with a dry pastry brush as you are rolling.

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Justin Burke Samson’s Tahini Brioche Babka

One of Justin Burke-Samson’s signature recipes, inspired by his time at Kindred in Davidson, North Carolina, this pillowy Tahini Brioche Babka gets rich and nutty notes from tahini swirled into the dough. No wonder this Tahini Brioche Babka is a staple at his hot new bakery, Bonjour Y’all Bakery. Read more about how self-taught baker Justin Burke-Samson is rising to the top of the baking world through his thriving bakery in our January/February 2020 issue!

Justin Burke Samson’s Tahini Brioche Babka
 

Makes 2 (9×5-inch) loaves
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup (60 grams) warm whole milk (105°F/41°C to 110°F/43°C)
  • 2¼ teaspoons (7 grams) active dry yeast
  • ¼ cup (50 grams) plus ½ teaspoon (2 grams) granulated sugar, divided
  • 6 large eggs (300 grams), divided
  • 2⅔ cups (334 grams) all-purpose flour, divided
  • 5 tablespoons (80 grams) tahini*
  • 1 large egg yolk (19 grams)
  • 1 tablespoon (9 grams) kosher salt
  • ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons (198 grams) cold unsalted butter, cubed 1 to 2 tablespoons (15 to 30 grams) whole milk
  • ¼ cup (36 grams) benne seeds or sesame seeds

Instructions
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together warm milk, yeast, and ½ teaspoon (2 grams) sugar by hand until yeast is dissolved. Whisk in 2 eggs (100 grams). Slowly fold in 1 cup (125 grams) flour until almost combined; sprinkle ⅓ cup (42 grams) flour on top. Let stand until top is cracked and sponge is soft to the touch, about 30 minutes.
  2. Add 3 eggs (150 grams), tahini, egg yolk, salt, remaining 1⅓ cups (167 grams) flour, and remaining ¼ cup (50 grams) sugar to yeast mixture. Using the dough hook attachment, beat at low speed until a dough starts to form. Increase mixer speed to medium, and beat until dough comes together around dough hook, 8 to 10 minutes. Scrape sides of bowl. Add half of cold butter, and beat at high speed until combined. Add remaining cold butter, and beat until dough is smooth, 10 to 15 minutes. Reduce mixer speed to medium-high, and beat until dough comes together and pulls away from sides of bowl. (Dough should pass the windowpane test; see Note.)
  3. Lightly flour a medium bowl; scrape dough into bowl. Fold dough in half, and press down; turn dough over, fold again, and press down. Cover and refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight.
  4. Butter 2 (9×5-inch) loaf pans.
  5. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface, and divide in half. Roll one half into a 12×6-inch rectangle. Cut rectangle into 3 (12×2-inch) strips. Starting at top, braid strips together. Pinch ends of braid together, and place into 1 prepared pan, tucking ends under. Repeat with remaining dough. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until doubled in size or until dough reaches top of pan, about 2 hours. To test if dough is ready, make a dent in dough about 1 inch deep. If dough springs back fully, it is not ready. If dent remains and springs back only a little bit, dough is properly proofed.
  6. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
  7. In a small bowl, whisk together milk and remaining 1 egg (50 grams). Brush top of dough with egg wash, and sprinkle with seeds.
  8. Bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted in center registers 200°F (93°C), 40 to 45 minutes, covering with foil after 35 minutes of baking to prevent excess browning. Let cool in pans on a wire rack.

Notes
*Benne butter can be substituted.

Test the dough for proper gluten development by using the windowpane test. Pinch off (don’t tear) a small piece of dough. Slowly pull the dough out from the center. If the dough is ready, you will be able to stretch it until it’s thin and translucent like a windowpane. If the dough tears, it’s not quite ready. Beat for 1 minute more, and test again.

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Cheddar Pecan Scones

Packed with sharp Cheddar cheese with a kick of black pepper, these Cheddar Pecan Scones are just as at home on the breakfast table as they are in your dinner time breadbasket. Their tender crumb and crisp, craggy exterior are guaranteed to keep you coming back for more, but the real star of this show is Sunnyland Farms’ Raw Georgia Pecan Halves. Sunnyland’s pecans are harvested, shelled, and packaged on their scenic family-owned farms in Albany, Georgia, right in the heart of pecan country. Their rich pecans stud the inside of the Cheddar Pecan Scones, lending addicting crunch and nuttiness to every bite—like no other pecan can.

Cheddar Pecan Scones
 

Makes 8 scones
Ingredients
  • 2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons (24 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (15 grams) baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon (1.5 grams) kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground red pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ⅓ cup (76 grams) cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • ¾ cup (71 grams) shredded extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup (57 grams) finely chopped Sunnyland Farms Raw Georgia Pecan Halves
  • ¾ cup (180 grams) plus 1 tablespoon
  • (15 grams) cold heavy whipping cream, divided

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Spray an 8-well cast-iron wedge pan with baking spray with flour. (See Note.)
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, red pepper, and black pepper. Using a pastry blender, cut in cold butter until mixture is crumbly. Stir in cheese and pecans. Add ¾ cup (180 grams) cold cream, stirring with a fork just until dry ingredients are moistened. Working gently, bring mixture together with hands until a dough forms.
  3. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface, and pat into 7-inch circle. Using a bench scraper or sharp knife, cut into 8 wedges. Place a wedge in each well of prepared pan. Brush tops with remaining 1 tablespoon (15 grams) cream.
  4. Bake until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan, and serve warm or at room temperature.

Notes
You can also bake these scones in a regular 10-inch cast-iron skillet or on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. After you cut the circle of dough into 8 wedges in step 3, place scones about 1½ inches apart on prepared baking sheet, and proceed with recipe. If using a regular skillet, transfer dough to skillet, and proceed with recipe.

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Herbed Sour Cream Pull-Apart Loaf

Packed with fresh herbs, this buttery Herbed Sour Cream Pull-Apart Loaf has an extra-fluffy texture thanks to the addition of sour cream in the dough.

Pick up a copy of our January/February 2020 for more ways with sour cream!

Herbed Sour Cream Pull-Apart Loaf
 

Makes 1 (9×5-inch) loaf
Ingredients
  • 3¼ cups (413 grams) bread flour, divided
  • 2 tablespoons (24 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2¼ teaspoons (7 grams) instant yeast
  • 2 teaspoons (6 grams) kosher salt, divided
  • 1 cup (240 grams) sour cream
  • ¼ cup (57 grams) unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup (60 grams) water
  • 1 large egg (50 grams), room temperature
  • ⅓ cup (76 grams) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon (10 grams) minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon (2 grams) chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon (2 grams) chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon (2 grams) chopped fresh parsley
  • ½ teaspoon (2 grams) flaked sea salt
  • Garnish: chopped fresh rosemary, chopped fresh thyme, chopped fresh parsley

Instructions
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whisk together 1½ cups (191 grams) flour, sugar, yeast, and 1½ teaspoons (4.5 grams) kosher salt by hand.
  2. In a medium saucepan, heat sour cream, butter, and ¼ cup (60 grams) water over medium heat until an instant-read thermometer registers 120°F (49°C) to 130°F (54°C).
  3. With mixer on medium speed, pour warm sour cream mixture into flour mixture, beating until combined and cooled slightly, about 1 minute. Add egg, and beat at medium speed until combined. With mixer on low speed, gradually add remaining 1¾ cups (222 grams) flour, beating until well combined and stopping to scrape sides of bowl, about 1 minute.
  4. Lightly spray a large bowl. Place dough in bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until doubled in size, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  5. In a small bowl, stir together melted butter, garlic, rosemary, thyme, parsley, and remaining ½ teaspoon (1.5 grams) kosher salt.
  6. Divide dough into 36 pieces (22 grams each). With lightly floured hands, working with 1 piece at a time (keep remaining dough covered to prevent it from drying out), roll each piece into a smooth ball. Dip each ball into melted butter mixture, and place in a 9×5-inch loaf pan. Pour any remaining melted butter mixture over dough in pan. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until doubled in size, 15 to 20 minutes.
  7. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
  8. Sprinkle dough with flaked salt.
  9. Bake until golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted in center registers 190°F (88°C), 35 to 40 minutes, covering with foil halfway through baking to prevent excess browning, if necessary. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan, and garnish with rosemary, thyme, and parsley, if desired. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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Basic Bagels

Plain and perfect, these bagels are the ideal chewy canvases for your choice of toppings, a customizable bagel experience for those who want an assorted spread. But any way you top them, these ringed beauties are primed for lox, schemers, and plenty of butter. 

Basic Bagels
 

Makes 12 bagels
Ingredients
  • 7 cups (889 grams) bread flour
  • 2 tablespoons (18 grams) kosher salt
  • 1¾ teaspoons (5.25 grams) instant yeast
  • 2⅓ cups (560 grams) warm water (120°F/49°C to 130°F/54°C)
  • ½ cup (170 grams) plus 2 tablespoons (42 grams) barley malt syrup, divided
  • 8 cups (1,920 grams) plus 1 tablespoon (15 grams) water, divided
  • 1 large egg white (30 grams)
  • Toppings: everything bagel seasoning, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, freshly grated Asiago cheese

Instructions
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whisk together flour, salt, and yeast by hand. Add 2⅓ cups (560 grams) warm water and 2 tablespoons (42 grams) barley malt syrup, and beat at low speed until a shaggy dough forms, about 1 minute. Switch to the dough hook attachment. Beat at low speed until dough pulls away from sides and bottom of bowl, about 8 minutes. (Dough will be elastic but may not look completely smooth.)
  2. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface, and shape into a smooth ball. Lightly oil a large bowl. Place dough in bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until doubled in size, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  3. Place a large sheet of parchment paper in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C); dust parchment with flour.
  4. Divide dough into 12 portions (about 107 grams each). Shape each portion into a ball. Place 1 ball in your hand. Using your thumb and forefinger, pinch a hole in center of ball, and stretch hole to about 3 inches wide. Place on prepared parchment. Repeat with remaining dough. (Once dough contracts, the hole should be 1 to 1½ inches wide.) Cover and let rise until puffed, 15 to 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper.
  6. In a large stockpot, bring 8 cups (1,920 grams) water and remaining ½ cup (170 grams) barley malt syrup to a very low simmer over medium-low heat. (Do not boil.) Carefully drop bagels, 1 to 2 at a time, into water. Cook for 10 seconds per side; immediately transfer to prepared pans.
  7. In a small bowl, whisk together egg white and remaining 1 tablespoon (15 grams) water. Brush dough with egg wash, and sprinkle with desired toppings.
  8. Bake until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool on pans for 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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Mexican Chocolate Cinnamon Rolls

You won’t ever go back to classic cinnamon rolls again. We filled these golden rolls with chocolate, but not just any chocolate—Mexican cinnamon chocolate. Stone-ground, Mexican-style dark chocolate is filled with warm cinnamon spice and has a subtle grittiness that gives these cinnamon rolls even more explosive flavor and complex texture. Once you smother the rolls in the luscious Cream Cheese Glaze, serve them straight from the skillet to keep them warm and gooey.

For more cozy ways to bake with cast iron, pick up a copy of our January/February 2020 issue!

Mexican Chocolate Cinnamon Rolls
 

Makes 12 rolls
Ingredients
  • 3½ to 3¾ cups (438 to 469 grams) all-purpose flour, divided
  • ½ cup (100 grams) granulated sugar, divided
  • 2¼ teaspoons (7 grams) active dry yeast*
  • 2 teaspoons (6 grams) kosher salt
  • ½ cup (120 grams) water
  • ½ cup (120 grams) whole milk
  • ⅔ cup (152 grams) unsalted butter, softened and divided
  • 1 large egg (50 grams)
  • 2 tablespoons (10 grams) Dutch process cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon (1 gram) ground cinnamon
  • ⅔ cup (113 grams) chopped Mexican-style stone-ground cinnamon chocolate (3 disks) (see PRO TIP)
  • Cream Cheese Glaze (recipe on opposite page)
  • Garnish: ground cinnamon

Instructions
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine 1½ cups (188 grams) flour, ¼ cup (50 grams) sugar, yeast, and 1½ teaspoons (4.5 grams) salt.
  2. In a medium saucepan, heat ½ cup (120 grams) water, milk, and ⅓ cup (76 grams) butter over medium heat until an instant-read thermometer registers 120°F (49°C) to 130°F (54°C). Add warm milk mixture to flour mixture, and beat at medium speed until combined. Add egg, beating until combined. With mixer on low speed, gradually add 2 cups (250 grams) flour, beating just until combined and stopping to scrape sides of bowl.
  3. Switch to the dough hook attachment. Beat at low speed until a soft, smooth, and somewhat sticky dough forms and pulls away from sides of bowl, 8 to 9 minutes. Add up to remaining ¼ cup (31 grams) flour, if necessary. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface, and shape into a smooth round.
  4. Lightly spray a large bowl. Place dough in bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until doubled in size, 40 minutes to 1 hour.
  5. Spray a 10-inch cast-iron skillet with cooking spray.
  6. In a small bowl, whisk together cocoa, cinnamon, remaining ⅓ cup (76 grams) butter, remaining ¼ cup (50 grams) sugar, and remaining ½ teaspoon (1.5 grams) salt.
  7. Lightly punch down dough. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface, and roll into an 18×12-inch rectangle. Spread cocoa mixture onto dough, leaving a ½-inch border on one long side. Sprinkle with chopped chocolate. Starting with opposite long side, roll up dough, jelly roll style; pinch seam to seal. Gently shape log to 18 inches long and even thickness, if necessary. Using a serrated knife dipped in flour, cut log into 12 slices (about 1½ inches thick). Place slices, cut side down, in prepared skillet. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until puffed, 20 to 30 minutes.
  8. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
  9. Bake until lightly golden and an instant-read thermometer inserted in center registers 190°F (88°C), 35 to 40 minutes, loosely covering with foil to prevent excess browning, if necessary. Let cool in skillet for 10 minutes. Top with Cream Cheese Glaze; garnish with cinnamon, if desired. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Notes
*We used Red Star® Active Dry Yeast.

PRO TIP: We used Taza Chocolate Cinnamon Dark Chocolate Mexicano, available at Whole Foods, local Hispanic grocery stores, or online. Very minimally processed, Mexican chocolate has a grainier, chalkier texture than the chocolate you might normally get and offers more-complex, explosive flavor. Any type of Mexican cinnamon dark chocolate, available at most grocery stores, or 50% cacao dark chocolate will work in this recipe.

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Cream Cheese Glaze
 

Makes about ¾ cup
Ingredients
  • 4 ounces (110 grams) cream cheese, softened
  • 1½ tablespoons (10.5 grams) confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons (30 to 45 grams) whole milk

Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk cream cheese until smooth. Whisk in confectioners’ sugar. Add milk, 1 tablespoon (15 grams) at a time, until fluid.

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