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Pita Bread

I was fascinated the first time I made pita and actually saw it puff into a balloon in the oven during its short baking time. Pita is fun to make for a small, casual party. If your kitchen is large enough, let the guests help bake the bread while you attend to other things.

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Deli Rye Bread aka Jewish Rye Bread

This is the rye bread that you’ll get when you order a sandwich at a kosher deli—it’s flavorful, slightly chewy, and a perfect complement to corned beef, pastrami, and other deli specialties, such as chopped liver. Rye flour accounts for only about 20% of the total flour in the dough, but in a higher concentration the bread would lose its characteristic texture. The dough is flavored with ground caraway and may also have whole caraway seeds added either to the dough or to the outside of the loaf. I wouldn’t do both. Thanks to my friend Tim Healea of little t american baker in Portland, Oregon, and Maggie Glezer, author of A Blessing of Bread (Artisan, 2004), for sharing their recipes.

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Supernatural Crumb Buns

The dryness that afflicts most crumb buns comes from using too lean a dough as the foundation and/or from baking it too long at too low a temperature. With this in mind, I decided to make them using a method more like the one for focaccia and not separate the dough into individual buns before baking. After successfully jumping that first hurdle, I incorporated an idea from a German coffeecake called Butterkuchen or butter cake: I poked some shallow indentations in the unrisen dough and dotted in a little more butter for the dough to absorb while proofing and then baking under the crumbs. I think these really deserve their name—try the recipe and let me know if you agree.


Sugared Brioche Rolls

This is a popular use for brioche dough as a breakfast roll in France. The rolls are sprinkled with pearl sugar, large opaque sugar granules, right before baking.


Pain De Mie - French Sandwich Bread

Mie is French for the interior or crumb of a loaf of bread and this sandwich bread, or Pullman loaf, as it’s called in English, has a fine white crumb perfect for delicate sandwiches and toast. To bake this, you’ll need a special Pullman loaf pan that’s straight sided and has a cover so that the dough bakes to a perfectly symmetrical shape. If you’d like to try the bread before purchasing the special pan, it may be baked in a standard loaf pan. This is adapted from Professor Calvel’s formula in his book, Le Goût du Pain (The Flavor of Bread/Editions Jerome Villette, 1990).


Mozzarella In Carrozza (Mozzarella “In a Carriage”)

This is a fun first course when served with a tomato salad, but it can also stand as a quick light meal on its own when there’s nothing else available but a piece of bread, some mozzarella, and a few eggs. There are countless variations on this recipe, some including a bit of anchovy along with the mozzarella, but this simple version is the best.

Olive Bread from Nice

Olives are a natural complement to bread, especially when they’re baked inside it. Be sure to buy firm unpitted olives for this—pitted olives tend to be softer, and though buying them that way may save you time, the olives will easily disintegrate and add extra moisture to the dough.

Marbled Chocolate Brioche Loaf

I love swirls of chocolate threading though any kind of a plain cake. This marbled brioche is fairly straightforward to prepare since you mix everything in the food processor. Marbling the plain and chocolate doughs together requires a little patience, but the reward is a beautiful loaf with an alluringly different flavor achieved by adding grated lemon zest and rum to the dough.


A real barmbrack is an enriched and sweetened bread. It has some butter and sugar added along with raisins and candied peel. It’s perfect as a breakfast or brunch bread, since it’s neither too rich nor too sweet, and it certainly deserves the nickname I gave it long ago: the panettone of Ireland.

Chocolate Spiral Bread

Using melted chocolate gives this a much richer flavor than using cocoa would. A slice of this bread is delicious toasted and buttered for breakfast or in the afternoon with a cup of tea or coffee.

Kyra's Seed Bread

My friend Kyra Effren has been baking since she was old enough to hold a wooden spoon. This type of bread is wildly popular in South Africa, where Kyra grew up. The seed bread makes wonderful morning toast and is very happy under a coat of butter.


Easiest Home-baked Bread

If you’ve never baked bread before or you want a bread that’s easy and relatively quick to prepare, look no further. This dough may be mixed by machine or by hand, plus it’s easy to shape into a loaf.


Rosemary Olive Knots

Sometimes I jokingly refer to these as rosemary olive Danish, because the technique of filling the dough before cutting and shaping it is adapted from a method for handling Danish pastry dough. This is an easy dough to prepare. Just don’t neglect to chill the filled dough or it might be too difficult to handle.

Pane Sciocco - Salt-Free Tuscan Bread

This week, Florentines celebrate the feast day of San Lorenzo, the patron saint of cooks. The tradition of preparing salt-free bread in Tuscany doubtless developed at a time when there was an acute shortage of salt, after which people became accustomed to the bland flavor of pane sciocco (SHOW-ko). It’s amusing that sciocco also means foolish or “good for nothing” in Italian.

Cramique - Belgian Raisin Breakfast Bread

This is a popular bread to serve for breakfast with butter in Belgium. Like its cousin, the craquelin, it is like a lean form of brioche, a bread enriched with just a little butter, sugar, and egg.

My Favorite Bread in New York City

I tried the filone, dark and crusty with a flavorful open crumb; the ciabatta, lighter, with a very open and shiny crumb; and some focaccia, light, tender, and remarkably made without the addition of oil and knew immediately that this was the work of a true artisan.