Whenever the New Year rolls around I always have my fair share of “resolutions.” Lose weight is always the number one year after year, but after that, at least for the month of January, I like to watch my budget too. It’s so easy to buy coffee every day on the way to work, pick up a muffin here, etc. Not only is that bad for my waist, but also bad for my wallet too.
So I’ve ditched buying my protein box from Starbuck’s. I puffy heart that box! I love picky plates like that, and it’s perfect. But when I really got down to it, I thought to myself: “you can make a version of this at home and bring it to work.” Easy enough! Hard boiled egg – easy. Bunch of grapes or a sliced apple, done. Throw a cheese stick in there, now we are getting somewhere!
But the Muesli bread? What about that?! My favorite thing in the whole box. So I decided to see if I could make it at home. And I did make it at home when I had a Saturday afternoon when I was just hanging around the house, so I could wait the two hours while the dough had risen before baking it.
That’s the number one question I get every time I give someone a slice of my homemade bread, even after I tell them how easy it is, is that they don’t have the time to bake bread. There had to be a way to make this copycat bread so easy that anyone could make it with minimal hands on time.
The answer? Let the dough rise in your fridge all day! Before work, at the dark hour of 6:30 in the morning, I put this dough together and stuck it in the fridge. Pour the ingredients in a bowl. Mix with your hand. Wrap with plastic wrap and stick it in the fridge.
The dough will be wet and shaggy, but don't worry! Now put some plastic wrap on it and stick it in your fridge. Go jump in the shower so you won’t be late for work. Total hands on time? 3 minutes 14 seconds!
As soon as you walk in the door, put a cast iron skillet (or other oven safe pan) on the bottom rack of your oven and heat your oven to 450 degrees. Go put your pajamas on because you are home from work! Don’t forget the slippers.
Now take your dough out of the fridge. By now you should have already gone through the mail – go ahead and throw out the junk mail because if you toss it to the side to look at “later” you’ll end up throwing it out a month from now. Not that I know that first hand or anything.
Put your filling in a small pile on your counter. Turn the dough on the counter, and with a bit of flour, knead for about a minute. Put the muesli filling on top of the dough, and knead for a couple more minutes, incorporating the filling into the dough.
Place dough on a parchment lined cookie sheet, take a knife and make three cuts on top (looks pretty when it’s done!) and put it in the middle rack of your oven.
This is the part that you have to be REALLY careful. Slowly pour a cup of hot water into the cast iron skillet that’s been in the oven and watch out for the steam – have you ever had a steam burn before? Way worse than a burn from a flame!
Set your timer for 30 minutes and walk away (because oven temps vary, check at about 25 minutes). The total hands on time I’ve spent so far?
When the timer goes off, simply admire your “hard” work, which took you less than 8 minutes to make. Couldn’t you find 8 minutes in your day to make this bread?
Starbucks Copycat Muesli Bread
1.5 cups of warm water
3.25 cups all-purpose flour
½ tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
¾ tablespoons fast acting yeast (about one package)
½ cup Craisins
½ cup mixed nuts, chopped
- In a large bowl, combine the water, flour, salt, sugar and yeast and mix until combined. The dough will be sticky and wet, you’ll be tempted to add more flour, but please don’t. Trust me. Put some plastic wrap on your bowl and let it rise in your refrigerator all day or overnight if you wish.
- Heat oven to 450. Place a cast iron skillet on the bottom rack of your oven.
- When you are ready to bake, put the dough on your counter with a bit of flour, and knead for one minute. Add in toppings to the dough and knead for a couple more minutes, trying to keep the add-ins on the inside of the dough, or else they’ll get too crisp when baking.
- Place the dough on a parchment-lined cookie sheet or baking stone. Slash the top 2-3 times with a knife, making a cut about ½ inch deep.
- Place bread in oven and carefully pour hot water into the cast iron skillet. It will steam – be very careful! Close the door quickly.
- Don’t peak. That’s why you have an oven light so you can see what’s going on. You don’t want all that glorious steam to escape because that’s what gets your crispy crust.
- Bake for 25-35 minutes, or until deep, golden brown and it sounds hollow on the bottom.
- Remove from the oven and cool on a rack. Let it cool completely before slicing, no matter how hard you want to dive into it as soon as it comes out of the oven.
If you want to take your bread baking skills to the next level, check out the these upcoming bread making classes at The Chopping Block:
At our Lincoln Square location, learn How to Bake Bread on February 24 which will including making my hands-down favorite bread: Potato Rosemary Focaccia.
At our Merchandise Mart location, we have a Gluten-Free Breads Boot Camp which will teach you how to make gluten-free buttery dinner rolls and sticky pecan buns on March 11.
Also at our Merchandise Mart location, you can learn Artisanal Bread recipes on February 19, which include making homemade sourdough English muffins and marble rye – yum! We even have a few spots left in tonight's class.
Please let me know if you try this copycat Starbuck’s Muesli bread – I promise it’s no fail! Let me know in the comments.