If you’ve ever been to the picturesque college town of Ann Arbor, home to the University of Michigan, you may have heard about or eaten at the well-known, even world-famous Zingerman’s Bakehouse. This very popular bakery and deli offers wonderful artisan breads, pastries, and other baked goods, as well as a tempting array of soups, salads, and one-of-a-kind sandwiches. And really good desserts! Having been there myself a few years ago, I can verify that this is a great place to eat and that they make some of the best sourdough bread I’ve ever tasted!
So that’s why I was so excited to receive a review copy of the Zingerman’s Bakehouse baking book by Amy Emberling and Frank Carollo, created in celebration of Zingerman’s 25th anniversary. The book includes helpful baking tips and techniques as well as 65 of their most popular recipes for breads, scones, biscuits, cakes, pies, cookies, and more. There are lots of full-color photos throughout the book, along with stories the authors share about their successful business. Everything at Zingerman’s is really, really good, so that means there are lots and lots of great recipes in this book including: Big O Cookies, Sour Cream Coffee Cake, Bakehouse Bagels, Focaccia with Gorgonzola and Caramelized Onions. Bakehouse Blondies and Brownies, Detroit-Style Pizza, and Challah, Rye, and Sourdough breads.
I had to try the recipe for the brownies, since that’s one of the things I had at the Bakehouse. They were amazing! Zingerman’s actually has several different brownie versions which are in the book–this is the basic version. I really shouldn’t use the word “basic” to describe these, because they are actually pretty exceptional–dense, fudgy, and chocolatey. If you are a brownie-lover you will need to make these. And soon!
Zingerman's Bakehouse Brownies
BAKEHOUSE BROWNIES from Zingerman’s Bakehouse Cookbook
Makes 12 big brownies
- 1 cup plus 1 Tablespoon chopped unsweetened chocolate
- 3/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 cups pastry flour (see my notes below for pastry flour substitutions)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 4 large eggs
- 2 3/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350˚F. Spray a 9×13″ pan with nonstick cooking spray.
In a double boiler, melt the chocolate and butter. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the pastry flour and baking powder. Mix with a whisk to eliminate any lumps of flour and to distribute the baking powder evenly.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the eggs, sugar, salt, and vanilla. Beat with a whisk until well combined and aerated, about 5 minutes. If you are using a stand mixer, use the whisk attachment on medium speed for this step. Add the melted chocolate/butter mixture to the egg mixture and whisk to combine evenly. Stir in the dry ingredients, using a rubber spatula. If using a stand mixer, use the paddle attachment for this step and mix on low speed.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Carefully spread it to the corners of the pan in an even layer. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and cool on a cooling rack for at least an hour. Cut into 12 squares, using a sharp knife to avoid crushing the top. Chilling the brownies before cutting may help the squares look more beautiful, but they taste better at room temperature.
Recipe from Zingerman’s Bakehouse by Amy Emberling and Frank Carollo
Chronicle Books/October 2017
I can’t say enough good things about these brownies or about Zingerman’s! If you are ever in Ann Arbor, Michigan, be sure to go there! Have any of you already been to or heard of Zingerman’s?
HERE’S SOME INFORMATION ON PASTRY FLOUR SUBSTITUTIONS…
Pastry flour is a high-starch and low-protein flour, similar to, but not the same as, cake flour. If you don’t have pastry flour, you can easily make pastry flour by substituting half cake flour and half all-purpose flour in a recipe (if you want a more precise match, use 3/8 cup of all-purpose flour and 5/8 cup of cake flour per one cup of pastry flour).
If you don’t have cake flour, use 2 Tablespoons of cornstarch combined with enough all-purpose flour to make a cup. Your baked goods will be a bit tougher (due to the extra protein), but they’ll still be good.