Hot Buttered Soft Pretzels
Pretzels are available crisp and hard from your grocery or, if you're lucky and in the right place, soft and chewy from street vendors. Our recipe is for the soft kind, made nicely chewy thanks to the use of King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour. Melted butter brushed over the crust is a bonus street vendors don't offer!Want to make smaller, appetizer-size pretzels? See our instructions for pretzel bites in "tips," below.
Soft Cinnamon Rolls
The chief attribute setting these rolls apart from their peers is their texture. While all cinnamon rolls are delicious straight from the oven, they often harden up and become dry as they cool. Thanks to tangzhong, an Asian method used to produce light, fluffy, moist yeast bread, these rolls will stay soft for several days after baking.
Most Snickerdoodle recipes rely on vegetable shortening for their crisp/crunchy texture. For those of you who like to avoid shortening, we offer this butter-based Snickerdoodle — which can be either soft and chewy, or crunchy, depending on how long you bake it. Interestingly, they're made with either all-purpose flour or bread flour — tasty evidence that bread flour's not JUST for bread.
Make your own English muffins — why not? While it does take a bit of time to slowly dry-fry these muffins in order to give them their signature crisp crust and moist interior, the process isn't difficult. And the result is out of this world. As a result of reader feedback, we’ve retested this recipe and made some changes from the original; see “tips” (below) for details.
Vanilla White Chocolate Drops
Soft, tender, vanilla-scented cookies studded with white chips are a nice change from "all chocolate, all the time." A prolonged chilling period for the dough creates a deep, complex flavor with caramel notes that balance its sweetness. The cookies are small, just right for gifting or sampling.
Quick Lemon Bread
This bread is a treat for anyone who loves the fresh, bright taste of citrus. It's made doubly moist by the lemon-sugar glaze applied after it comes out of the oven. It's sweet enough to serve for dessert, yet tart enough to go well in a brunch bread basket with other muffins and breads. For even more interest, add whole pistachios for color and crunch, as noted in the bakers' tip below.
Ginger Pumpkin Braid
Maybe it's our lifelong familiarity with one of the holidays' cliché staples — pumpkin pie — but we can hardly imagine baking anything with pumpkin and not including ginger as one of the spices. Ginger and pumpkin are two flavors that just seem to go together, like apples and cinnamon. And they team beautifully in this bright-gold, moist, dense holiday bread. Serve it as the centerpiece of a bread basket at dinner, or with a creamy lunchtime soup.