Archive | Bread RSS feed for this section

Orange Mango Banana Poppy Seed Bread

15 Jun


One of my fellow MasterChef 4 competitors invited me to write a guest post for her blog. I decided to share this delicious quick bread (or muffins – your choice!). Oh, and would you believe it’s low-fat and gluten-free?! Oh, yes!!! Please visit Celebration Generation for the recipe and other interesting tidbits about our MasterChef 4 experience.

Best Banana Bread

23 Feb


I know it’s a bit extreme to name any recipe the best anything. That said, I think this banana bread is THEBOMB. It tastes great and is so easy to throw together. It’s perfect as it is, but is easily customizable. Today is National Banana Bread Day as well as my dad’s birthday! He loves banana bread but I won’t be able to bake it for him today seeing as he is in Israel and I’m in California. But, if I were making it for my dad I’d add some semi-sweet chocolate chips. Sprinkle chopped nuts of your choice on top, or mix into the batter if you’d like.

Time: 10 min prep, 45 min cook            Serves: 8


  • 3 medium – large very ripe bananas, just mashed chunky – not pulverized
  • 1/3 cup Earth Balance (or butter/margarine), melted & slightly cooled
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups AP flour, or part whole wheat flour

How to make it

  • Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare a 4×8 loaf pan with cooking spray.
  • Place mashed bananas and butter in a large mixing bowl and mix with a wooden spoon. Mix in the sugar, egg, and vanilla. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in. Add the flour last, mix.
  • Pour mixture into prepared loaf pan. Bake for 45 minutes, check with toothpick if done in middle. If not, continue to bake in 5 minute incriments, checking between, up to 1 hour in total.
  • Cool on a rack. Remove from pan and slice to serve.

Sweet Potato Cornbread Muffins

18 Feb

sweet potato cornbread

Today is “National Cook a Sweet Potato Day”, so why don’t we do just that and use it in this dandy little recipe? Another recipe inspired by the Southern Soul Food restaurant I worked at as a teen. I opted to make these gluten-free and they  can easily be made dairy-free but feel free to use wheat flour and the milk. The results won’t vary much if at all.

Time: 15 min prep, 25 min cook                  Serves: 12


  • 1 cup brown rice flour (may use any light fine-milled flour)
  • 1 cup course ground yellow cornmeal
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 cups mashed/pureed sweet potatoes (about 1 pound or 16 oz. can)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup milk/non-dairy beverage
  • 3 tbsp oil (I used sunflower)
  • cooking spray

How to make it

  • Preheat oven to 400F. Prepare muffin tins with liners or cooking spray.
  • Combine dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.
  • In a separate bowl, combine wet ingredients.
  • Slowly mix dry ingredients into wet and mix well to incorporate.
  • Divide batter among muffin tins. Bake for about 25 minutes, use toothpick test.
  • These are divine with honey butter!

These are delicious as a breakfast muffin with butter and honey, or as an accompaniment to a spicy bowl of chili or a plate of Hoppin’ John as I last enjoyed them on New Years Day.

hoppin john

King Cake

12 Feb

King cake

Laissez les bons temps rouler! I found this recipe in 2012’s February issue of “Louisiana Cookin'” in an article by Marcelle Bienvenu. She borrowed the recipe from Fleischmann’s Yeast. I cut the recipe in half, which may have affected the shape but the flavors & textures were not compromised. Though it’s a great way to celebrate Fat Tuesday, I would make this throughout the year. I would definitely use this for French Toast and think I’d try adding raisins to the cinnamon sugar sometime as well.

Time: 30 minutes + rise                   Serves: 8


  • Cake

  • 2 1/4 cups AP flour + more for work surface, etc.
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 package Fleishmann’s Rapid Rise yeast
  • 3/8 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 8 tbsp butter (1 stick)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • Glaze

  • 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted (I skipped this step and you can tell by my pic 😦 )
  • 1-2 tbsp milk
  • Colored Sugar

  • 3/4 cups sugar divided between 3 seal-able jars or plastic bags
  • food coloring: red, blue, yellow and green

How to make it

  • Cake

  • Combine 3/4 cup flour, 2 tbsp sugar, salt and yeast in a large mixing bowl.
  • Heat milk, water, and 6 tbsp butter until very warm – about 120-130F.
  • Add milk mixture to dry ingredients and beat with an electric mixer at medium speed for 2 minutes.
  • Add egg and 1/4 cup flour. Beat on high speed for 2 minutes.
  • Stir in remaining flour (1 1/4 cup) to make a stiff batter.
  • Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  • Melt 2 tbsp butter. In a separate small bowl, combine remaining (3/8 cup) sugar with cinnamon and mix to incorporate.
  • Punch dough down. Move to a lightly floured work surface.
  • Divide into 3 equal portions. Roll each to about 12 in x 4 in.
  • Brush each with melted butter. Then, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
  • Beginning at the long end, roll each up tightly – as if for a jellyroll. Pinch seams to form long ropes.
  • Braid. Then form into an oval – mine turned more into a (tighter) crown. Pinch ends together to seal.
  • Place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Cover (I used a kitchen towel) and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size- about an hour+.
  • Preheat oven to 375F.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes, until lightly golden.
  • Remove from baking sheet and cool on a wire rack (I kept the parchment paper beneath, to catch glaze later). Cool completely.
  • Glaze

  • Combine sugar and milk in a bowl, starting with 1 tbsp milk and adding more if needed to reach desired consistency. Whisk until smooth.
  • Colored Sugar

  • The amount of food coloring you use depends on how dark/bold you want your colors. I’ll provide a range.
  • In a small bowl, mix 4-8 drops blue coloring with 8-16 red coloring. Add to one of the bags of sugar. Seal, and mix around with your hand to distribute the color.
  • Add 4-8 drops green food coloring into another bag of sugar. Seal, and mix around with your hand to distribute the color.
  • Add 4-8 drops of yellow food coloring into remaining bag of sugar. Seal, and mix around with your hand to distribute the color.
  • Pour glaze over cake. Sprinkle colored sugar over top.

King cake 2

Pumpkin Bread With Cream Cheese Glaze

3 Nov

Moist, slightly sweet, spiced quick bread enhanced by a simple glaze. Enjoy for breakfast, dessert, or with afternoon tea/coffee. Please excuse the appearance of the glaze, I didn’t sift the powdered sugar (oops!) and even though it doesn’t look perfect it tasted it!

Time: 15 min prep, 1 hour cook               Serves: 8


  • Bread

  • 1 cup AP flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin pie seasoning (I used Trader Joe’s)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil (I used canola. You may also sub 1/4 cup with apple sauce)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • Glaze

  • 3 tbsp cream cheese, softened
  • 4 tbsp confectioners sugar (sifted)
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • dash vanilla extract

How to make it

  • Bread

  • Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare a 9×5 loaf pan with cooking spray and sprinkle lightly with flour.
  • Add first 8 ingredients to a large mixing bowl and mix to combine. Create a well in the center and add remaining ingredients into it. Mix until just incorporated.
  • Spoon into prepared pan. Bake for 50-75 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. (Mine baked for 65 minutes.)
  • Remove from oven and place pan on cooling rack. When cooled enough to handle, carefully remove bread from pan and place on cooling rack. Cool completely before adding glaze.
  • Glaze

  • Combine ingredients and whisk until smooth and well incorporated. Place loaf on a sheet of parchment paper (leave a few inches free on all sides). Drizzle glaze over top of the loaf, allowing it to drip down the sides.

Burger Buns

23 Jul

For some reason, making bread at home still intimidates me. When I was a pre-teen I did a lot of baking, bread included, but haven’t made much bread since then. These turned out great, so I am slowly but surely gaining confidence. They were fairly easy to make, and just fabulous with a nice juicy burger sandwiched between.

Time: 45 min + rise                Serves: 6


  • Dough

  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp (1 package/7 oz) active dry yeast
  • 2 tbsp butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp onion powder (optional)
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached AP flour, more on hand as needed
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • Topping

  • 1 egg beaten + splash water
  • 1 tsp poppy seeds, or seeds of choice or “everything bagel” topping (optional)

How to make it

  • Heat 1/4 cup water to lukewarm in microwave, about 20 seconds. Pour into a large mixing bowl. Add sugar and whisk to partially dissolve. Add yeast and let sit for about 10 minutes, until frothy.
  • Heat remaining 1/2 cup water with butter in microwave until lukewarm, about 30 seconds. Add to yeast mixture.
  • Add salt, onion powder (if using), and beaten egg. Mix to combine.
  • Add 1 1/2 cups flour. Mix well with wooden spoon. Add additional 1/2 cup flour. If needed, add more flour one tbsp at a time until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl but is still slack and relaxed.
  • Sprinkle your work surface lightly with flour. Turn dough onto surface. Sprinkle just enough flour so the dough doesn’t stick to the surface, or you. Knead for about 10 minutes.
  • Transfer to an oiled bowl, turning dough ball once to cover in oil on all sides. Cover with a dampened dish towel. Let rise until doubled, about 1 hour – or more as needed.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Gently deflate dough. Divide into 6 even pieces. Form each into a ball, then flatten into about 3 inch discs. Place on lined sheet about 1/2 inch apart. Cover with dampened dish towel. Let rise until doubled, about 1 hour – or more as needed.
  • About 15 minutes before ready to bake, preheat oven to 400F.
  • One by one, brush tops with egg wash and sprinkle seeds on top. Place in oven on center rack and bake for 15 minutes, until golden brown.
  • Remove from oven and transfer to cooling rack.

Zucchini Carrot Bread

24 Jun

I love zucchini bread and muffins and wanted to make something tasty and somewhat healthy. A great way to use up some of that summer harvest of zucchini!

Time: 1 hour           Serves: 8


  • 1 cup unbleached white flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup raw sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1/2 cup yogurt (I used vanilla low-fat)
  • 1 cup grated zucchini, moisture absorbed mostly by paper towel or a clean dish towel
  • 1/2 cup grated carrot, moisture absorbed mostly by paper towel or a clean dish towel

How to make it

  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Combine dry ingredients on a mixing bowl. In another mixing bowl, combine wet ingredients and grated veggies. Incorporate dry into wet slowly and mix well. Grease a loaf pan with cooking spray or butter. Pour batter into pan and bake for 1 hour, insert toothpick in center to test if it’s done. If needed bake an additional 10 minutes. Remove and cool on rack.

Cheddar Biscuits Red Lobster Style

17 Jun

I generally try to use whole food products (no enriched flour, etc) but I had to bend the rules in an attempt to recreate my favorite Cheddar Bay biscuits from Red Lobster (they’re pretty much the main reason I go there). They turned out so close to the real thing that I have to hide the Bisquick from myself for special occasions only 😉

Time: 15 minutes                Serves: 6


  • Biscuits

  • 2 cups Bisquick mix
  • 2/3 cup cold milk
  • 3/4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/8 tsp garlic salt
  • Topping

  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/8 tsp garlic salt

How to make it

  • Biscuits

  • Preheat oven to 450F. Mix all ingredients together, scoop tablespoons of batter onto greased cookie sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes, until golden brown. Brush with topping and serve warm.

I’ve also made these with herbs mixed into the batter – chives, dill, or parsley are nice but use whatever you like. Here’s the chive version.

Fresh Basil & Corn Cornbread

13 Mar

A decadent, unique cornbread adapted from a recipe I found on bon appetit’s website. Very delicious!

Time: 10 min, 40 min cook               Serves: 8-10


  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk (*please see note)
  • 3 large eggs shopping list
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 cups yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup flour (or half white, half whole wheat)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 stick butter chilled, diced into pea-sized pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups corn kernels (I used canned, but fresh would work – about 3 ears)
  • *If you do not have buttermilk, add 1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice or white vinegar to milk and let stand for several minutes until it begins to curdle. Thanks to GR user Essentialingredients for this useful tip!

How to make it

  • Preheat oven to 400F. Prepare an 8x8x2 glass pan.
  • Whisk buttermilk, eggs, and basil in mixing bowl. Add butter.
  • In another bowl, mix cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together until well incorporated.
  • Incorporate dry ingredients into wet and mix well with a wooden spoon. Add corn, again be sure everything is well incorporated. Pour batter into prepared baking dish.
  • Bake for approximately 40 minutes, or until the top is golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. I suggest checking it at about 30 minutes, as your oven may work at a different rate & you don’t want this to burn.
  • It is not necessary to spread butter on this bread as there is so much in there already, but if you want to I won’t tell 😉

Farewell to Summer – Sweet Sunshine Strawberry Orange Bread

22 Sep

It’s the last day of summer and what better send-off than this delicious loaf?

I had a bunch of fresh strawberries to use up and an urge to bake something, so this is what I came up with. The syrup topping is optional and special 🙂

Time: 1 hour+           Serves: 8


  • Bread

  • 1 cup unbleached flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 6 tbsp butter, melted & cooled
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp orange zest
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup orange juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1 cup strawberries, chopped
  • Basil Orange Syrup

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup orange juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1 cup basil, chopped

How to make it

  • Bread

  • Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare loaf pan with cooking spray.
  • Combine first 4 ingredients in a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time. Beat in orange zest and vanilla. Put milk and OJ in a measuring cup together. Next, intermittently add flour mixture and milk/OJ mixture – starting & ending with flour. Bake in oven for about an hour or until top is golden brown and toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  • Basil Orange Syrup

  • Allow bread to cool completely. Combine sugar, water, and OJ in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, mix well and take off heat. Allow to cool and add basil. Drizzle over each piece of bread or poke wholes in whole loaf with a fork and top with sauce.