Employee Recipe Series: Matt Galvin’s Bui Bun Meatball Sub

We’re celebrating our 30th Anniversary by sharing some of our staff’s favorite recipes using Macrina Bakery products.

You know those nights when you want a break from cooking, but you and the kids are famished? Matt Galvin, co-owner of Macrina, knows them all too well. With four kids — hungry from soccer, ballet, and life — he would often turn to the cheesy, saucy, messy splendor of a meatball sandwich made with DeLaurenti’s meatballs, marinara sauce, and melted fresh mozzarella on Macrina’s Bui Buns. “The whole thing comes together in minutes, and you can scale it if, say, one of your kids brings a friend or three.”

Matt found a love of food working in many local restaurants and developed a fondness for Italian food while living in Italy. “The meatball sandwich is an Italian-American creation,” he says. “Like most Italian dishes, it’s just a few ingredients in the right proportion. The quality of the ingredients makes all the difference. Use excellent meatballs, fresh mozzarella, and the right bread, and you’ve got a dynamite meal.”

Macrina’s head baker, Phuong Bui, designed these buns specifically for the banh mi, the famous sandwich from his native Vietnam. It boasts a crisp crust and tender, airy crumb that Matt says is perfect for the ultimate meatball sandwich.

“DeLaurenti makes the best meatballs,” says Matt. “I heat them in DeLaurenti’s marinara sauce, slice up a few balls of Ferndale Farms fresh mozzarella, fill a Bui Bun with a couple of meatballs, top it with a spoonful of marinara and a few slices of mozzarella, then broil it briefly to melt the cheese. It’s pretty simple.”

Employee Recipe Series: Corrina Steffens-Highley: Charcuterie, Soup Bowls & More

We’re celebrating our 30th Anniversary by sharing some of our staff’s favorite recipes using Macrina Bakery products.

Corrina Steffens-Highley, the Assistant manager at our Kent café, oversees the staff and operations at the café. When asked about the best compliment she has ever received, Corrina doesn’t hesitate: “Someone told me I have a glowing personality.” As the morning rush begins, that glow fills the café as she greets many regular customers by name. “It’s not just work to me,” she explains. “It’s like a second family.”

At the end of the workday, Corrina returns home to her first family. Hailing from a large Italian-American family, she has always found meals to be central to family life and takes pleasure in hosting meals at her home and sharing food with her extended family.

“I love to find creative uses for Macrina products,” she says. One of her recent favorites is a spin on the classic cream cheese and lox on bagels. “Our Savory Pinwheel is a lot lighter than a bagel and the flavors go really well together. Simply cut it in half horizontally, wam it gently, spread one side with cream cheese and top it with the salmon. It’s so good.”Another favorite is using the Mini Casera loaf as a soup bowl. “I cut the top off the loaf, hollow it out, and fill it with clam chowder or tomato bisque,” she says. This works well with both fresh and day-old loaves.

Corrina excels at transforming Macrina’s leftover breads into tasty appetizers. “Butter boards are an excellent starter. Basically, you soften butter and add whatever you like. Roasted garlic is great, as is lemon dill,” says Corrina. She creates crostini with old bread by slicing it, brushing both sides with olive oil, and baking them at 350°F for 10–15 minutes. The crostini are perfect for dipping into flavored butters.Crostini (or Sardinian flatbread) also work well on charcuterie boards. Corrina uses a large cutting board as a canvas. “I think of it as a big picture,” she says. “You fill in the picture with sliced meats, cheeses, olives, and crostini. In the end, it looks beautiful. It’s my art.”

DanceChance: Expanding Access to Ballet

Macrina is a Proud Supporter of DanceChance.

In 1994, Pacific Northwest Ballet (PNB) launched DanceChance, a program aimed at discovering ballet talent in Seattle’s public schools. Nearly three decades later, the initiative has impacted over 1,400 students across 20+ schools. Each fall, PNB educators visit third-grade classrooms, offering interactive dance sessions that serve as many students’ first exposure to ballet.

Selected students, showing promise in attributes like flexibility and focus, are invited to train at PNB School for free, including transportation and attire. The program not only democratizes access to ballet but also instills valuable life skills such as teamwork and perseverance.

DanceChance has produced professional dancers, including current PNB members Kuu Sakuragi and Joh Morrill. Others have joined renowned dance companies worldwide.

At Macrina Bakery, we’re proud to support DanceChance, a program that brings joy and opportunities to deserving young talents.

Employee Recipe Series: Leslie Mackie’s Brioche Bread Pudding

We’re celebrating our 30th Anniversary by sharing some of our staff’s favorite recipes using Macrina Bakery products.

As we all know, many of the best things in life are unplanned. This delightful creation was serendipitously born when Leslie Mackie, the founder of Macrina Bakery, found herself with a leftover loaf of our Columba Pasquale — a brioche-like Easter bread enriched with brandy, interspersed with candied orange peel, and topped with sliced almonds — and a bag of fresh Bing cherries, just in time for a Mother’s Day brunch.

“It was one of the best bread puddings I’ve ever made,” she says. “Columba Pasquale has a great texture for bread pudding, and the sliced almonds, candied orange peel, and brandy in the bread were great with the tart cherries.”

Since we only bake Columba Pasquale for Easter, Leslie adapted the recipe to our Brioche loaf, which is available throughout the year. (Challah is another delicious alternative.)

This recipe calls for fresh cherries, but you can also use dried cherries. Just reduce the amount to ¾ cup and soak them in warm water for 10 minutes to rehydrate before adding them to the bread.

Leslie’s Brioche Bread Pudding Recipe

Use one 10-inch Pie Pan; Serves 6


1 loaf of Macrina’s Brioche bread
3 Tbsp butter, melted
1 cup Bing cherries, halved and pitted
1½ cups heavy cream
1½ cups whole milk
3 large eggs
¾ cup granulated sugar, divided
1 tsp brandy
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 Tbsp candied orange peel, diced
⅓ cup sliced almonds


Preheat your oven to 350°F.

Cut ⅓ off the Brioche loaf and reserve for another use. Remove crusts from the remainder then cut into ¼-inch thick slices. Cut each slice in half to create “tiles” (roughly 2-inches by 4-inches).

Place the sliced bread on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Toast in the oven for 5 minutes. Flip the bread pieces, then toast for an additional 5 minutes.

Remove the toasted bread from the oven and let it cool slightly. Brush both sides of the bread with melted butter (reserve a little bit to brush your baking dish to prevent sticking).

While the bread is toasting and cooling, pit and halve your fresh cherries. Toss them in 1½ Tbsp of sugar and let them sit for about 10 minutes.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the heavy cream, milk, eggs, remaining sugar, brandy, and vanilla extract. Whisk well and set aside.

Brush a 10-inch pie dish with some of the remaining melted butter.

Arrange the toasted and buttered brioche “tiles” in the pie dish in a rosette format. Start by forming a circle with the “tiles” along the edge of the dish, then continue to arrange them in smaller, concentric circles, moving towards the center of the dish. Cut half-sized “tiles” for the center of the rose. Layer in the candied orange peel and sliced almonds. Scatter the sugared cherries evenly over the bread.

Pour the cream mixture over the bread and cherries, ensuring all the bread is soaked. Press down lightly with a spatula to make sure all the bread is in contact with the liquid. Let it sit for about 10–15 minutes so the bread can absorb the custard mixture.

Cover the baking dish with foil and place it into a larger pan. Pour hot water into the larger pan until it comes halfway up the sides of the pie dish to create a water bath.

Bake the pudding for 50–60 minutes, or until the custard is set.

Remove the foil and bake for another 15–20 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. A knife inserted into the center should come out clean.

Serve warm.

Classic Ricotta Tart

Having lived in the North End of Boston for three years, I had the pleasure of frequenting some of the best Italian bakeries — the inspiration behind this tart. This rendition is adapted from a beloved recipe in our first cookbook. The Italian pasta frolla dough is versatile and straightforward to make. You’ll find yourself dreaming up other rustic tarts that it would serve well. My favorite filling combines rich ricotta cheese, dried cranberries, hazelnuts and bittersweet chocolate chips. However, feel free to swap out the dried fruit and nuts as whimsy or inspiration strikes. Fresh berries and a glass of Vin Santo make the perfect accompaniments to this lovely Italian tart.
-Leslie Mackie

Printable PDF of this recipe here.
Makes one 7-inch tart; serves 6

2½ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
⅓ cup granulated sugar
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground anise
10 Tbsp (1¼ sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into ½-inch cubes
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp heavy cream

⅓ cup dried cranberries
2 cups seasonal berries
3¾ cup whole milk ricotta
½ cup granulated sugar
1 Tbsp unbleached all-purposed flour
¼ tsp salt
1½ tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp orange zest
4 egg yolks
¼ cup hazelnuts, roasted and coarsely ground
½ cup bittersweet chocolate chips
1 Tbsp unbleached all-purposed flour
1 egg + 1 tsp watter for egg wash
2 Tbsp raw sugar (Turbinado)

In the bowl of a stand mixer, sift together the flour, sugar and salt. Add the ground anise and mix until well combined. Place bowl on mixer, and fit with the paddle attachment. On low speed, gradually add the butter cubes. Continue mixing until the texture resembles coarse crumbs.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, egg yolk, vanilla extract and heavy cream. With the mixer on low speed, slowly pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture. Mix just until the dough comes together, about 30 seconds.

Transfer the dough onto a clean surface. Divide it into two portions: one larger and the other about a third of the size. Shape each portion into a flat disk. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

On a floured surface, roll out the larger dough disk into an 11-inch circle with a thickness of ⅛-inch. Carefully transfer it to a 7-inch x 1½-inch cake pan, pressing into the bottom and up the sides. Ensure there’s a ½-inch overhang around the top edges of the pan.

Roll out the smaller dough disk into a 7-inch circle, also with a thickness of ⅛-inch. Cut two 2-inch vents in this top layer of dough. Set the dough-lined cake pan aside as you make the filling.

Rinse the dried cranberries under water to rehydrate them. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, sugar, flour, salt, vanilla extract and orange zest. This can be mixed by hand or using a stand mixer until combined well.

Gradually add the egg yolks, ensuring each yolk is fully incorporated before adding the next. Gently fold in the rehydrated cranberries, ground hazelnuts, and chocolate chips, making sure they are evenly distributed throughout the mixture.

In a seperate small bowl, whisk together the egg and water to make the egg wash.

Transfer the filling into the dough-lined cake pan, smoothing the top to ensure it’s level. Top the filling with the 7-inch pasta frolla circle. Brush the perimeter of the top dough with egg wash. Fold the ½-inch overhang from the base dough over the top dough, pressing gently to seal the tart.

Brush the entire top of the tart with the remaining egg wash and sprinkle with raw sugar. If you have excess dough, you can roll it out and cut decorative roses or other designs and place them on top of tart.

Refrigerate the assembled tart for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 325°F.

Bake the tart for 50 to 55 minutes, or until the crust turns a golden brown and the filling is set.

Allow the tart to cool for at least 2 hours before serving. Enjoy with fresh berries and a glass of Vin Santo!