Category Archives: Breads/Muffins/Biscuits

Chocolate Banana Zucchini Muffins

Muffins

Chocolate, banana, and zucchini muffins.

  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate cocoa
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp real vanilla extract
  • 2 cups zucchini, shredded and patted dry
  • 2 medium very ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 cup)
  • 1 cup chocolate chips, preferably mini dark chocolate
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease muffin tin with butter or spray; set aside.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together cocoa, flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine oil, vanilla, and both sugars.  Stir in eggs, bananas, and shredded zucchini.
  4. Fold dry ingredient mixture into wet ingredient mixture, just until combined.  Gently fold in the chocolate chips.
  5. Scoop batter into prepared muffin tin and bake in the preheated oven for about 45 – 60 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean with a few moist crumbs sticking to the toothpick.  Cool completely before storing.
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Lyn’s Cheddar Honey-Mustard Muffins

Have been making these since the seventies, when my dear friend Lyn gave the recipe to me.  Sweet and savoury at the same time; delicious cut in half and toasted.

Picture of muffins

Lyn’s Cheddar Honey-mustard Muffins

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 3 Tablespoons honey mustard
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup melted butter, cooled
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated (plus a few more shreds for on top)
  1. Preheat oven to 400F.  Butter a 12 muffin muffin tin.
  2. In a medium bowl, thoroughly combine dry ingredients with a whisk.  Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk the wet ingredients together until smooth and uniform.
  4. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, adding the cheddar cheese about half way through mixing.  Do not over mix.
  5. Scoop batter into 12 muffin cups.
  6. Bake at 400F for 20 minutes.

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English Country Bread from Food 52

I was thrilled when I discovered this recipe at Food 52; it really is just like the “country bread” that I love so much in England.  It is dense, and substantial.  It’s unbelievably quick to make and bake (no kneading or second rising — just a 45 minute rise,  then into the oven).

    • 1 package dry yeast, or equivalent (I use 2 1/4 teaspoons of bread machine yeast)
    • 1 teaspoon white sugar
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 3 cups unsifted, unbleached all purpose flour OR 3 cups Canadian whole wheat bread flour (with 1 Tablespoon gluten flour, if desired)
    • 3/4 cups boiling water
    • 1/2 cup cold skim milk
  1. Stir dry ingredients together and set aside.
  2. Add boiling water to cold milk in a large bowl.
  3. To the milk & water, add half of the flour mixture and beat well by hand. Stir in the rest of the flour mixture, kneading in the last of the flour.  Knead a few times and shape into a “bread shape” 🙂
  4. Place the dough into a greased loaf pan.
  5. Cover with a clean towel and allow to rise in a warm place for 45 minutes.
  6. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  7. Bake, uncovered, for 25 minutes (I consistently need to bake the bread for 8 additional minutes).
  8. Remove from pan and allow to cool.

For original recipe, including the story behind it, go to Food 52 . Liz Schmitt, aka “Liz the Chef’s” blog is here.

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Mixed Grain Bread

  • 1 ¼ to 1 ⅜ cups water
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 tablespoons liquid honey
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup white bread flour
  • 1 ½ cups whole wheat bread flour
  • 3 tablespoons vital wheat gluten
  • ¼ cup old-fashioned oats (not instant)
  • ¼ cup wheat bran
  • ¼ cup bulgur
  • ¼ cup sunflower seeds
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • (a big handful of dried cranberries)
  • (extra sunflower or pumpkin seeds for the topping)

Add all ingredients to the bread machine, except for the cranberries and the extra seeds.  Set the machine on the dough setting and start.

At the end of the first kneading, add the dried cranberries.

When dough is ready, remove from pan and knead a few times on a floured surface.  Shape into a long, narrow roll, and place on a buttered (and sprinkled with cornmeal if you like) baking sheet.  Cover with plastic wrap or damp dish towel, and put in a warm place to rise again until doubled in bulk,about 25 minutes or so.  Poke the risen bread with a finger:  if the indent stays, the bread is ready to bake, if it bounces back out, give it another few minutes to rise.

Preheat the oven to 425F, and place a pan of water onto the bottom of the oven if you like crisp crust.

Brush the top of the bread with a wash (milk, water, beaten egg, butter), and gently put the seeds onto the loaf.  You can make a few shallow slashes with a very sharp knife, or a few snips with sharp kitchen scissors.

Bake for approximately 25 minutes.  Loaf is done when it reaches 200F inside.

 

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Yet Another Banana Muffin

This recipe is from a Healthy Eating booklet distributed by the Ontario government, and is very good!  I add about 1/2 cup of mini chocolate chips to the recipe.  Without chocolate chips, each muffin has 8g fat, 3g fibre, and 4g protein.

  • 1 cup mashed ripe bananas (approximately 2 medium bananas)
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup low-fat plain yogurt
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup ground flax seed (we use a “split” flax seed that doesn’t need refrigeration — adds a wee bit of crunch)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

 

  1. Preheat oven to 350F, and line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the bananas, brown sugar, yogurt, oil, and egg.
  3. Add flour, ground flax seed, baking soda, baking powder, and nutmeg.  Using a wooden spoon, stir just until blended.  Do not over mix!
  4. Spoon batter into prepared muffin pan.  Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until tops are firm to the touch and a tester inserted in the centre of a muffin comes out clean.

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Grandma Ruth’s Banana Bread

Ruth's Banana Bread

The finished results of my Mom's recipe for banana bread.

I do love my whole-wheat-nutrition-packed recipe for banana bread, but sometimes I just crave my Mom’s!

  • 1 ¾ cup all purpose flour
  • 1 ¾ teaspoons double-acting baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/3 cup room temperature butter
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, well beaten
  • ½ cup pecans or walnuts, chopped roughly
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange rind
  • 1 cup bananas, mashed
  1. Mix dry ingredients together with whisk.
  2. In a separate bowl, cream butter; add sugar gradually until light and fluffy.  Add eggs and beat well.  Stir in nuts and rind.
  3. Add flour alternately with the mashed bananas.  Do not over mix.
  4. Bake in a greased 8”x4”x3” loaf pan, at 350F for 55 minutes, or until done (toothpick inserted into middle comes out clean).
  5. Store for at least 6 hours before cutting/serving, preferably overnight.

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Chewy, Crusty White Bread (bread machine)

French style bread

A recipe made with half whole wheat, and half white bread flour, divided into two baguette-sized loaves.

This recipe is for a bread machine; I always bake it in the oven with a tray of boiling water sitting on the bottom of the oven.  I’m not a fan of white bread — taste or nutrition-wise), but this bread is delicious!  I have recently been trying to add whole wheat bread flour to this recipe to make it more nutritious; 1 cup of whole wheat bread flour plus 2 cups of unbleached bread flour gives pretty much the same results.  This video, with chef Ciril Hitz, is excellent if you want to make better baguettes.

Makes a 1.5 lb loaf, or buns.

Place these ingredients in your bread machine in the order recommended by the machine’s manufacturer:

  • 1 ¼ cup water, plus up to 2 Tbsp extra, depending on how the dough is looking
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 1½ teaspoons butter
  • 1½ teaspoons sugar
  • 3 cups bread flour, white or unbleached
  • 2 teaspoons bread machine yeast

Set machine on “dough” setting, and start.  Keep an eye on the dough as it is kneading; if, after 5 or 10 minutes it seems dry, or the machine is struggling, add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough forms a smooth, soft, pliable ball that is slightly tacky to the touch.  Weather will affect the amount of water the dough will need.

When the dough cycle is finished, tip the dough out onto a well-floured counter or cutting board.  Let it rest for a couple of minutes.  Shape it into a 15″ log (or any other shape you like).

Sprinkle a cookie sheet with cornmeal, or grease; the cornmeal gives the crust a nice crunch.  Place the dough onto the cookie sheet and brush with oil.  Cover with plastic wrap, and let rise until doubled in bulk.  A good way to test for whether its ready to go in the oven or not is to poke the side of the loaf gently; if the depression from your finger remains, then the bread is ready to be baked.

Preheat oven to 425F.  I like to place a shallow pan of boiling water on the bottom of the oven, as this gives a crustier bread.

You can slash the top, glaze it with egg wash or milk, or anything else you like to do with bread.

Bake at 425F for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown and 200F in the center.

Remove from oven, and cool on a rack.

FOR HOTDOG OR HAMBURGER BUNS:

  1. Cut the dough into 9 equal pieces.
  2. For hotdog buns, shape into ropes.  For hamburger buns, shape into balls.
  3. Place onto greased or “cornmealed” baking sheet, 3″ apart.
  4. For hotdog buns, flatten till they are ½” thick. For hamburger buns, flatten slightly.
  5. Bake at 375F or until golden brown, about 12-15 minutes.  Cool on rack before slicing.

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