Baking bread is one of my favorite things to do in the kitchen. Recently, it has become such a passion and I also do it professionally. Over the years I have tried and explored many bread recipes out there. Here, I share some favorites from my recipe box that would make and excellent home bread basket!
Recipes range from rolls, loaves, and breakfast treats. I love experimenting with different shapes, flavors, and creations. By taking a basic dough and putting your own spin on it makes bread baking exciting and a fun skill to develop upon.
Initially, I was super intimidated about baking bread as I had no clue how to even start. I still remember this day my pastry teacher showing me the “window pane” test for bread and knowing when it was kneaded perfectly to a smooth and elastic dough. Truly something to get excited about!
Bread loaves I believe are the simplest to make as the dough is placed in a single pan and baked off to form a single bread.
Strawberry Jellyroll Bread
This strawberry bread creation uses the cinnamon roll technique of filling the bread with strawberry jam and then cutting them into rolls. These are then placed into a loaf pan to bake up forming one loaf of goodness! Check out the “how-to” here.
Babka is one of my favorite loaf breads, lightly sweetened, maybe that’s why I love it. I was first exposed to Babka bread in Syracuse, NY back in 2000 at a local Wegmans grocery store. I will never forget picking up a loaf of cinnamon sugar babka and getting home and eating almost the whole thing! It was so incredibly delicious. Since then, I have been a fan.
Never in a million years that I would ever think I could make something like this. So you won’t be surprised when I tell you its definitely one of my favorites. If you would like to dive in to make one, you can go here.
Pull Apart Breads
Pull apart breads consist of squares of dough that are sliced, then stacked and placed into loaf pans. You can really add just about anything in between the layers or on top before baking.
This sweet version is a hat tip to cinnamon sugar toast. Each square is dipped in butter then sprinkled with cinnamon sugar before stacking. The sugar gives it a golden crust when baked. Super delicious with butter!
As above, each layer is sprinkled with cheese before they get stacked to be placed into the loaf pan. I love the crispiness the cheese creates on top of the bread! Super yum!
Raspberry Mascarpone White Chocolate Braid
Braided bread is a recent creation in my kitchen. Braiding gives it a super cool look and makes a nice gift for anyone who loves a slightly sweet breakfast treat.
This recipe is inspired by those breakfast Danishes you can buy in the grocery store with a crumb topping that are so good! My mom use to bring those home and I couldn’t wait to slice me off a huge piece to eat right then and there.
A rich dough is used here that contains butter and sugar, which makes the perfect multi purpose dough for a bread with a hint of sweetness, especially for danish and cinnamon rolls.
Raspberry jam, mascarpone cheese, and white chocolate chips are highlighted in this version. Check out how I make it here.
Challah is traditional Jewish bread enjoyed around the holidays. Typically, this is referred to a egg based dough and is made with a hint of honey. Also, its characteristic braided appearance is signature and there are many ways in which to braid.
Memories of making this bread for the first time was in culinary school, I haven’t stopped making it since! This recipe I add orange zest in the dough and sprinkle it with sanding sugar for a bit of color.
Another way to serve this is before baking is sprinkling with some sesame seeds. It makes a fabulous bread for the bread basket!
This bread makes sensational French toast and bread puddings! I’ll be making both next week at my job!
Who can agree that having a delicious roll in your bread basket whether you are out to eat or at home, is such comfort food and warms the soul. Of course, accompanied with a spread of butter on top totally seals the harmony of comfort!
Here are a few of my favs.
Milk bread is just as it sounds, its bread made with milk and is a Japanese bread that is super fluffy and amazing! Specifically, something called a Tangzhong is made first. This is a mixture of flour and milk gently cooked to thicken that gets placed into the master dough. Tangzhong is a type of “starter” that is also similar to a poolish which is a fancy word for a starter.
I can’t say enough about this bread, it is absolutely incredible and totally melts in your mouth. Additionally, you can make this into a loaf or a rolls.
A beloved favorite of mine and I’m sure many others. Who can resist a delicious, warm, light and fluffy roll that melts in your mouth. I have my grandmothers recipe and boy is it awesome. Her rolls were made with shortening and milk and were absolutely amazing. I’m so glad I have the recipe and think of her when I make them.
Braiding bread really brings a super neat appearance and will impress your guests. You can use regular or a sweet dough. Basically, you cut thin strips of dough and braid like you would hair. After, you simply just coil it and tuck the ends under for an amazing looking roll.
Breakfast pastries are a bit of a weak link for me. Looking back, I think I have always loved a sweet treat in the mornings. I fall hard for Danishes, doughnuts, and cinnamon rolls. Life is too short not to enjoy this trio, right?
Fun is the word I describe making these. First look they might seem complex but super simple to make.
Strawberry Orange Rolls
Remember me mentioning cinnamon rolls? Well this version marries strawberry and orange together for an incredible take on the classic roll. Orange zest and filling are in the dough then topped with a delicious strawberry icing. Seriously, I almost thought I was in heaven eating these! 🙂 Recipe here!
Honey Brown Rolls
Outback Steakhouse comes to mind for these guys. How can you not eat that whole loaf that is brought to your table when you dine there. Goodness, that bread is so incredibly delicious. I love what my cousins daughter use to call them when she was little, “Chocolate Bread.”
They might look chocolate but they derive their color from the molasses and cocoa powder that is added to the dough. Great to make them at home but super dangerous for me as I want to eat so many! I served these at a recent dinner party and they were a huge hit in the bread basket!
Pairs so perfectly with honey butter! Unlike Outback, I like to make them into mini rolls and breadsticks.
Focaccia was a bread that I learn to make at my first restaurant job where I was a Pastry Assistant in a fine dining restaurant. As I recall, was a super simple dough to make. Loaded with olive oil and practically anything you want as a topping. Mostly, I love forming the traditional holes throughout the dough. Total therapy for your fingers!
Perfect bread for your bread basket I might add. People love Focaccia!
However, this version leans a bit sweet as dried fruits are added and and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar on top. Its fabulous. Click here for the recipe.
Explore bread baking, you might just find you’ll love it as much as I do!