As the leaves turn from green to yellow and red, home cooks to get out sheet trays, pie dishes and loaf pans in preparation for fall baking.
“The King Arthur Baking School: Lessons and Recipes for Every Baker,” hit shelves just in time for baking season and “Good Morning America” got an inside look at the flour brand’s first ever full-color cookbook.
The celebrated baking company included m100 recipes and essential baking techniques, from sourdough to pies and tarts — the book acts as a culinary curriculum to help guide home bakers learn through expert experience and instructive photos.
Check out some top recipes below that would be perfect for a quick fall treat or to wow guests at the holiday table.
Pumpkin Quick Bread
Yield: Two 8 1/2-inch by 4 1/2-inch loaves
“This simple quick bread is popular in the colder months, and the enticing scent of it as it bakes is good enough reason in its own right to include it in our classes! It serves as a nice counterpart to the Lemon Poppy Seed Bread (page 310), as it shows how beating the butter and sugar together makes for a cakier bread. If you like, you can vary the spices, of course, and we wouldn’t say no to adding a generous handful of chocolate chips or toasted walnuts!”
170 grams (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
280 grams (1 1/3 cups) brown sugar
8 grams (2 teaspoons) baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
5 grams (2 teaspoons) cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon allspice
3/4 teaspoon salt
360 grams (3 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
3 large eggs, room temperature
425 grams (15-ounce can) pure pumpkin purée
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease two 8 1/2-inch by 4 1/2-inch loaf pans.
Combine the butter and brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on medium speed until well blended.
Beat in the baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, and salt.
Add the flour and blend on low speed. The mixture will look crumbly.
Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping the bowl between additions.
Stir in the pumpkin and mix until the batter is smooth.
Pour the batter evenly into the prepared pans.
Bake for about 45 to 50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Remove from the oven, allow to cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then remove and let cool completely on a wire rack.
Cocoa Streusel Coffeecake
Yield: 1 coffeecake
“We love coffeecakes, both yeasted and chemically leavened. This example is the perfect bridge to the world of cakes. We cream the butter just to combine it with the sugar and the eggs rather than creaming to aerate as cake recipes often do, and the result is a somewhat denser crumb. The cake itself is rich with sour cream and vanilla, and the streusel adds both flavor and texture to make this a classic example of the genre. The baking soda reacts with the acidity of the sour cream to leaven the cake, but we also add baking powder to help lift the butter and streusel. This cake is spectacular baked in a Bundt or tube cake pan, but in a pinch you could bake it in a 9-by-5-inch loaf or a 9̋-inch square baking pan.”
For the cake113 grams (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature198 grams (1 cup) granulated sugar2 teaspoons baking powder1/4 teaspoon baking soda1/4 teaspoon salt1 teaspoon vanilla extract2 large eggs240 grams (2 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour300 grams (1 1/3 cups) sour cream, room temperature
For the filling106 grams (1/2 cup) light brown sugar6 grams (1 tablespoon) cocoa powder2 teaspoons cinnamon19 grams (2 tablespoons) dried currants71 grams (2/3 cup) walnuts or pecans, chopped
For the cake:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Place the butter, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and vanilla in the bowl of a mixer and beat together on medium speed until well combined.
Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until thoroughly combined after each addition.
Add the flour in three portions, alternating with the sour cream and mixing until well combined after each addition. Set aside.
Thoroughly grease an 8-cup Bundt pan.
Filling and assembly:
Combine all the filling ingredients.
Spoon half of the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top.
Sprinkle the filling evenly over the batter, then top with the remaining batter. Lightly and briefly swirl together the batter and filling with a small spatula or knife.
Bake the cake for 45 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean. If the cake is browning too quickly, cover it loosely with foil for the last 15 minutes of baking.
Blitz Puff Pastry
Yield: 1 batch pastry, about 590 grams
“While traditional puff pastry can be quite time consuming to make, this version — literally translated from German as “lightning” — comes together in under an hour, with half that time spent resting in the refrigerator,” the recipe reads. “Here, the lamination comes from the larger pieces of fat in the dough. When you roll the dough, the butter elongates and stays relatively intact through the series of folds, producing layers of fat and dough that puff when baked. Many of our instructors refer to Blitz Puff Pastry as their “ace in the hole” because it uses just three pantry ingredients (flour, salt, and butter) and can be used in sweet or savory applications for everything from desserts to appetizers.”
Ingredients240 grams (2 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour1/2 teaspoon salt227 grams (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cold, cut into 1/2-inch dice119 grams (1/2 cup) water, cold
In a medium bowl, combine the flour and salt. Toss the butter into the flour mixture to coat.
Gently flatten the butter pieces with your fingers, being mindful to keep them intact. You’re aiming for a combination of flour and flattened chips of cold butter. As you work the dough later, the butter pieces will flatten out even more and create “planes” of butter.
Mix the water into the flour mixture with a few quick strokes. The dough won’t be cohesive at this point.
Turn the crumbly dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and pat it into a rough rectangle.
Use a floured rolling pin to gently roll the dough into a 6-by-20-inch rectangle. Position it with a short side closest to you.
Perform a letter fold (watch a demo here).
Turn the dough 90 degrees so the folded edge is on your left.
Again, roll the dough into a 6-by-20-inch rectangle.
Perform a book fold (watch a demo here, full explanation in note below). With the folded edge on your left, roll one more time and perform a second book fold.
Note: The letter fold, sometimes called a single fold, is performed by folding the top third of the dough down and the bottom third up, as you’d fold a business letter. The book fold, sometimes called a double fold, has you fold both ends in to meet in the center, then fold in half from the top or bottom to make a book. Once the dough is folded, turn it 90 degrees to keep the folded edge on the left, then roll out again and perform another fold. It’s important to use enough flour to keep the dough from sticking, which can result in the loss of layers. Be sure to brush that flour away with each step so that raw flour is never folded into the turns.
Wrap the dough and chill it for at least 30 minutes before using.
Store Blitz Puff Pastry in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw the pastry overnight in the refrigerator before using.
A Very Rough Puff
“Blitz Puff Pastry is a dough that looks worse before it looks better. If it’s falling apart and doesn’t look cohesive as you begin to roll it out, don’t panic: You’re on the right track. Resist the urge to add more water. Because the butter pieces are left intact, the flour isn’t coated with fat as you mix the dough. So, it absorbs water quite quickly and won’t get incorporated smoothly into the dough until you’ve performed a few turns. Use a bench knife or spatula to fold your dough in the beginning when it’s messy looking. As you continue to roll and fold, it will come together into a smoother, layered dough.”
Yield: One 7-by-10-inch galette
“If you have puff pastry on hand in the freezer, this is a wonderful go-to template for a very quick and very elegant dessert. It has all the same qualities as a pie — juicy fruit filling, buttery pastry — but without all the rolling and crimping and care that pie crust requires. We love the simplicity of an apple galette, but you can vary the fruit according to the season — just remember to use less juicy fruits to avoid a soggy pastry.”
Ingredients1/2 batch Blitz Puff Pastry (recipe above), chilled1 large apple, peeled (or not), cored, and sliced 1/8-inch thick1 large egg white12 to 25 grams (1 to 2 tablespoons) granulated sugar or cinnamon sugar
Preheat the oven to 400 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the pastry into an 8-by-12-inch rectangle about 1/8-inch thick.
Cut a 1/2-inch strip off each of the four sides and set them aside. Brush the edges of the rectangle with egg white and lay the strips on top to create a low “wall” all around the border of the pastry.
Arrange the apple slices on the pastry, overlapping slightly.
Sprinkle the apple slices with the sugar, to taste.
Bake the galette for 20 to 25 minutes, until it’s nicely browned and puffed. The bottom will be golden brown, and the apples should be tender and starting to caramelize.
Basic All-Butter Crust (One-Stage)
Yield: One 9-inch double crust
“This rich, buttery crust manages to be exceptionally tender with some flake; it works beautifully with both sweet and savory pies. We love the depth of color and flavor using all butter brings to pie crust, and as we show in the classroom, you’re able to dial in the degree of tenderness you prefer — in this crust, we dial up the tenderness by cutting the butter into smaller bits (the water content in butter allows for some flake as well). Bonus: This is the perfect recipe for learning the techniques you’ll need to succeed at most any crust you choose to tackle. Consider doubling the recipe every time you make crust. Any extra dough can be frozen, and it’s great to have on hand. More pie for later!”
Ingredients300 grams (2 1/2 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour1/2 teaspoon salt227 grams (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cold, cut in 1/2-inch cubes119 grams (1/2 cup) water, cold; more as needed
Combine the flour and salt in a large, shallow bowl. Add the butter, tossing to coat it thoroughly with the flour.
Cut in the butter with a pastry blender by pressing straight down on the cubes, cutting and flattening them against the sides of the bowl. As the cold butter breaks into smaller pieces, more and more of the flour becomes coated in fat, which is key to this crust’s tender, melt-in-your-mouth texture.
Keep cutting in the butter until the mixture is the consistency of coarse meal (aim for the texture of coarsely grated Parmesan).
Add the cold water all at once. Working quickly to keep the ingredients cool, toss the mixture together, then press the dough against the sides of the bowl and fold it over on itself a few times to bring it together. Once the dough comes together, grab a handful and squeeze. If it falls apart, add additional water a little at a time until it holds together when squeezed but is still noticeably dry.
Take the dough out of the bowl and place it on an unfloured work surface. Squeeze together any dry bits that remain in the bowl and add them to the main piece of dough.
Use a bowl scraper or bench knife to fold one side of the dough up and over onto itself, pressing down firmly. This brings the dough together further and creates layers, which will eventually contribute to the crust’s flakiness.
Fold the dough over and gently press it down on the work surface a few more times; your goal is a cohesive dough with no bits falling off. Avoid stirring; focus on folding instead. Once the dough starts to feel at all sticky or tacky, stop: it’s ready.
Tip: When we say “tacky,” imagine the feel of the back of a sticky note.
Cut the dough in half. Flatten each piece into a 6-inch diameter disk about 1 inch thick.
Wrap each disk tightly in plastic wrap and flatten just a bit more to force it to the edges of the wrap; this will help prevent cracks around the edges later. You can also roll the disk on its side across a countertop to further smooth the edges. Refrigerate the dough for at least 30 minutes before rolling. This resting period chills the fat, allows the flour to absorb the water fully, and relaxes the gluten, all of which will contribute to the crust’s tender, flaky texture.
A common refrain in the classroom is keep it cool. Temperature is key when working with pastry dough. Keep your ingredients cold throughout the entire process; this will both make the dough easier to work with and give you the best results. Keeping your fat and your liquid cold is most important. If you’re working in a very warm environment, you can go a step further and chill your flour and your tools as well: the mixing bowl, the pastry blender or fork, the rolling pin, and so on. If you’re really struggling to keep your dough cold, try placing a bag of ice or frozen vegetables on your work surface for a few minutes before rolling. (Just be sure to wipe up any wet spots before rolling!)
One important yet intangible component to crust-making success is time: Chilling and resting your dough is essential. This cannot be expedited or skipped! Make your crust ahead of time or use the chilling/resting time to prep the filling.
You should always rest your crust, refrigerated, for at least 30 minutes after you make it before rolling it out. This resting time allows the fat to firm up, the gluten to relax, and the flour to hydrate sufficiently. You do this before rolling the dough, and then we recommend doing it again and chilling for another 15 to 30 minutes after assembly but before baking. This further prevents the crust from shrinking or slumping and helps any crimping or decorative crust design to hold its shape and definition better.
Brown Butter Cranberry Filling
Yield: One 9-inch tart
“We love this brown butter filling, which is the star of this tart and is beautifully complemented by little bursts of jewel-like cranberries. We enjoy teaching the filling because of its versatility, making it a great go-to recipe. It pairs well with most tart crusts and mastering it empowers you to make uniquely seasonal tarts, as it’s an excellent base for any type of sour or tart fruit, like apples or sour cherries. If using frozen fruit, partially thaw it first and drain any excess liquid.”
Filling57 grams (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter85 grams (1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons) granulated sugar1/4 teaspoon salt1 teaspoon vanilla extract1 large egg21 grams (3 tablespoons) unbleached all-purpose flour75 grams (3/4 cup) cranberries, fresh or frozen
Assembly1/2 batch crust, partially baked Confectioners sugar (optional)
Preheat the oven to 375 F.
In a small pan, simmer the butter until it’s deep brown and fragrant (see sidebar below). Remove from the heat and set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the granulated sugar, salt, vanilla extract and egg.
Whisk in the flour.
Slowly stream in the browned butter, whisking until fully incorporated.
Scatter the cranberries into the partially baked shell.
Tip: There should be more filling than fruit, allowing the beautiful berries to dot and accent the filling.
Pour the browned butter mixture evenly over the berries.
Bake the tart until the crust is deep golden brown and the filling is puffed and set, about 45 minutes.
Remove the tart from the oven and let it cool to room temperature. Remove from the pan and dust with confectioners’ sugar just before serving.