This year, seasoned bread bakers and newcomers alike have ventured into new baking territory. To those celebrating new creative outlets and those looking to up their bread game, our new Bread 2020 special issue is for you. From crave-worthy quick breads to hearty sourdoughs and sweet yeasted loaves, here are some must-bakes from the new issue! Don’t forget to take a look at the techniques chapter for insightful tips and step-by-step techniques straight from our test kitchen to guide you every step of the way.
1. Hummingbird Loaf
This may be the most vivacious loaf bread you’ve ever tasted. Little bits of dried apricot deliver intermittent bursts of sweet-tart flavor, and an ample pour of spiced rum turns up the va-va-voom. The pecan- and oat-packed streusel topping and the rich cream cheese mixed in with the batter ensure the perfect dose of tender crumble and crunch in every bite.
2. Blueberry Mascarpone Babka with Lemon Curd Glaze
Freeze-dried blueberries are a wonderful alternative to fresh berries, whose high water content makes them difficult to incorporate into this already wet dough.
3. Carrot Cake Scones
The queen of spring cakes, now in a tender scone. Though we trade the traditional cream cheese frosting for a honeyed Crème Fraîche Icing, we keep the base faithful to the original with a veggie-rich, well-spiced batter and plenty of chopped walnuts to add crunch.
If you know in advance that you want to make this herbaceous ciabatta, get your Poolish ready the day before. 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.
5. Shortcut Sourdough Boule
Sourdough without homemade sourdough starter sounds impossible, but this recipe and
its revolutionary ingredient—Platinum Instant Sourdough Yeast from Red Star—guarantees it. With dried sourdough starter mixed with high- powered yeast, this sourdough boule skips the starter without missing any flavor. For a bit of variety, we swap our round Dutch oven and boule shape for a long oval.