I don’t know about you, but I’m still trying to wrap my head around the fact that 2013 is over. It seems like the older that I get, the faster the years fly by. Does anyone else feel that way?

Last year around this time I started a series on IBC called “A Year of Yeast.” As I stated at the outset of the series, I wanted to overcome my fear of recipes involving yeast. I managed to overcome that fear and bake eleven different yeast “breads.” I had hoped to try a few more recipes, but the series faded a bit toward the end of the year. Despite that, I am so pleased that I faced my fear head on and now have some delicious new recipes in my culinary repertoire.

Today, I thought I would recap my three personal favorites from “A Year of Yeast” and share my new series for 2014 (which I probably already gave away through the first picture in this post.)

To be honest with you, picking three favorites was pretty tough because I was actually a fan of every recipe. However, a few really stuck out from the rest.

First, the Spiral Apple Bread with Caramel Apple Glaze.

Spiral Apple Bread with Caramel Apple Glaze | Inspired by Charm

Not only does this taste fabulous, but the presentation is gorgeous. As with most of these recipes, despite being a tad time consuming, it’s really simple to put together. Serve this up for a breakfast (even if it’s a breakfast for one) and you’ll be guaranteed to please everyone in attendance.

Second, the Pizza Bread.

Pizza Bread | Inspired by Charm #ayearofyeast

This has become one of my go-to appetizers. My friends and I had an Ugly Christmas Sweater Party in December and this was one of the dishes I made. The flavor in this is out of control! Plus, who doesn’t love pizza and a recipe that allows you to customize the ingredients to suit your tastes.

Finally, the Cinnamon Bun Bites.

Cinnamon Bun Bites | Inspired by Charm

I’m a sucker for anything that resembles or tastes like a cinnamon roll. The combination of dough, cinnamon, and icing is pure heaven to me. These work as a great finger food on a brunch buffet, afternoon snack, or casual dessert. You’ll be making these at every opportunity.

In case you missed any recipes in the series, here are the names and links to all the recipes:
Jim Lahey’s Stecca, “Everything” Flatbread, Jalapeño Cheddar Bread, Gorgonzola and Sun-Dried Tomato Bread, Lemon Pull-Apart Bread, Sun-Dried Tomato Focaccia, Cinnamon Bun Bites, Whole Wheat Pizza Dough, Pizza Bread, Spiral Apple Bread, and Braided Nutella Bread.

A Year of ... | Inspired by Charm

Okay, now onto this year’s new series. A few months ago I was walking around in Powell’s Books in Portland and stumbled upon the book, A Year of Pies. It was one of those a-ha moments; I knew immediately that pies would be my next cooking challenge.

I can honestly say I have never made homemade pie crust. That’s pretty sad, right? So, this year I plan to become a pie aficionado with my new series “A Year of Pie.”

To get the inspiration flowing, I picked up these three books.

A Year of ... | Inspired by Charm

After briefly flipping though the pages, I’ve already found several recipes I can’t wait to try. I’m also looking forward to baking some family favorites such as Strawberry Rhubarb and Graham Cracker.

A Year of ... | Inspired by Charm

Something I didn’t consider until I was perusing the recipes is that there are a plethora of savory pies as well. So while I’ll probably end up focusing more on the sweet pies, I may throw a few of the former into the mix for good measure.

A Year of ... | Inspired by Charm

Regardless of what I decide to bake, I’m just super excited to have this opportunity to perfect my crust making skills. Plus, I’ll get to sample all of my creations. Not a bad perk, eh?

What do you think of this idea for a new series? Any pie recipes you’d like to see me tackle this year?

Inspired By Charm Paint Colors
Comments

  • Veni Hardy at

    Michael, what a great idea…WHO-doesn’t love homemade pie with a flaky crust. My favorite…wish we were neighbors…
    Thanks for sharing your life with us, your enthusiasm and creativity…I have followed you on Pinterest for the last couple of years and was so glad when I found your blog. You are truly an inspiration!
    Thank you, thank you, thank you….keep on keeping on..

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      What a thoughtful and sweet message! Thanks so much Veni.

      And yes, A Year of Pie could be a pretty delicious adventure. πŸ™‚

      xo Michael

  • Terri at

    A year of pie is a perfect idea! You’ll be a pie crust pro in no time. I can’t wait to see what type of crusts you try out. Have fun!

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      Let’s hope! It should be a fun learning process … that’s for sure!

      xo Michael

  • Carrie at

    Pie crust is one of my favorite things. Just remember to keep it cold and do not over mix and you’ll do great. I can’t wait to see what recipes you share here.

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      Thanks Carrie! I’ll keep that in mind!

      xo Michael

  • Rin at

    So looking forward to this! Pie crust is daunting to me, so I’ll be really glad for your step by steps. Also: Graham Cracker Cream pie!!! Yay for nostalgia & comfort food!

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      I know. I have a couple recipes to try out, so hopefully I’ll find something that works. PLUS Graham Cracker Cream doesn’t require a traditional crust. SWEET! πŸ™‚

      xo Michael

  • Brigitte at

    I know you’re going to have a great time with pies! After years of baking, I finally mastered pie dough last fall and can’t imagine buying a frozen crust again. Just remember the cardinal rule – keep everything really cold!

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      Oh no. It took you years to master it? I could be in trouble!

      Thanks for the tip!

      xo Michael

      • Brigitte at

        No, it was only fear holding me back – I had great success with my first attempt. I’m sure you’ll have it down “pat” very quickly! πŸ˜‰

  • Victoria at

    Looking forward to the pie-riffic inspiration! πŸ™‚
    Happy New Year!

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      Me too! Thanks Victoria!

      xo Michael

  • Sarah @ 702 Park Project at

    I gave the Year of Pies book to my cousin-in-law last year for Christmas, and she’s made so many wonderful pies from it! I may have to go pick up a copy for myself!

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      Oooo! Wonderful! I’m glad to hear it’s a good one. I can’t wait to dive in.

      xo Michael

  • John at

    Michael: I’m so glad you are back to blogging. I missed your posts those two weeks you were off and was starting to worry about you. Your blog is so inspirational and a joy to read each morning. Thank you!

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      Thank you so much for keeping me in your thoughts! And I really appreciate you kind comments! Thank you! It’s good to be back.

      xo Michael

  • Deb @ PaperTurtle at

    It was really cool to watch you overcome your fear of yeast in 2013, Michael, and it inspired me to do the same. I’ve been practicing with my mom’s yeast roll recipe and FINALLY have it down so they taste just like hers always did. Mastering that recipe took the mystery out of playing with yeast. I haven’t made a pie crust in FOREVER and I’ll admit to feeling a bit intimidated so I will be watching with great interest to see how your year of pies unfold! I’m pretty sure they will be awesome. Have fun!

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      How amazing is that! Master the taste of old family recipes is often impossible. Congrats to you!

      xo Michael

  • dawn@joyfulscribblings at

    What a great concept. I love how you’ve picked something to work on each year. I’m afraid of yeast too, but I’m going to pin your recipes and hopefully give them a try. I’ve never made my own pie crust either, but I hear it’s not that hard. I’m a big fan of Pillsbury so I tend to go with the if ain’t broke don’t fix it mind set. However, I want to give it a try sometime. I’ll let you go first πŸ™‚

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      I’ve been using pre-made pie crusts for ever, so I figured it’s about time to give it a try. Hopefully I’ll have some tips to share. Stay tuned.

      xo Michael

  • Ryan at

    Another author I read picks a theme each year and I think it’s a great idea. A year of pie sounds like fun! Good luck. What pie will you bake first?

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      Thanks Ryan! I haven’t quite decided, but I’ll be giving it a go this weekend. Wish me luck!

      xo Michael

  • Krystal at

    Hi! Loving ALL the recipes! I just took a look at the pizza bread…..my kids will love it. Question…..when you say to fold it like an envelope…..is that just fold over long side once and seal edges or are you folding in the ends also? I can’t wait to make it πŸ™‚

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      Krystal – you’ll want to fold in the ends also so that that cheese stays inside. πŸ™‚ Hope that helps.

      xo Michael

  • shar at

    Michael – As a new reader, I had to go take a look at all the recipes you made last year. May I say
    that your photography and directions are outstanding – and I am inspired to try a few! Good luck on your new adventure with pies; I look forward to hearing about your results. πŸ™‚

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      Thanks a million Shar! I hope you get a chance to try the recipes.

      xo Michael

  • Katie at

    Just discovered your blog today from a link on Young House Love. I love this idea of picking a baking category to perfect over they year and am totally jumping on the bandwagon. Year of the French macaron, here I come!

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      Isn’t YHL the best!? So glad you found me!

      xo Michael

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