Category Archives: Breads

Lime Glazed Raspberry Sweet Rolls

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Starting with a traditional cinnamon roll dough, these rolls use raspberry jam as a filling and are iced with a lime glaze.

I used this Homemade Raspberry Jam for the filling.

This recipe makes a lot: 36-40 large rolls. You can scale the recipe back if you don’t want as many OR Rolls can be frozen either after or before cooking.

To freeze before cooking: Prepare dough. Fill and roll dough into log. Slice into rounds and place each round on a foil lined baking sheet, not touching. Freeze until solid and then place in Ziploc bags and return to freezer. Place frozen rolls in prepared pan and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled (about 2-3 hours). Bake and frost as directed.

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RECIPE:

Lime Glazed Raspberry Sweet Rolls

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2 ½ cups buttermilk*
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
4 large eggs
zest from 1 lime
2 tsp salt
9 – 9 ½ cups flour, divided
1 ½ Tbs instant yeast
1 cup raspberry jam

Place buttermilk, butter and sugar in a medium saucepan. Stir over medium heat until butter is melted. Pour into a large mixing bowl (stand mixer) and let mixture cool for 15-20 minutes. Mix in eggs, lime zest and salt. Add 4 cups of flour and the yeast and mix until smooth. Add additional 5 cups of flour and knead until smooth. Add additional flour, if necessary, to make a soft dough that barely pulls away from the edge of the bowl. Dough will be slightly sticky. Cover dough with plastic wrap touching the dough and refrigerate for 60 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly butter rimmed baking sheets or 9”x13” pans.

Divide dough into two halves. On a lightly buttered surface, pat each dough half into a rectangle about 12”x18”. Spread with raspberry jam. Starting from long edge, form a roll. Pinch edge to seal. Use a knife to lightly score dough into 18-20 sections about 1” apart. Place a strand of dental floss under the dough log and cross over the top of the dough at the scored marking. Pull dental floss to cut through dough. Place in prepared pan. Cover with a thin towel and allow rolls to rise in a warm place for 45-60 minutes.

Bake at 350ºF for 18-20 minutes. Cool for 5-10 minutes. Spread warm rolls with lime glaze.

Makes 36-40 rolls

*Buttermilk substitute: Scald 2 cups of milk (bring to boiling point) and then stir in ½ cup plain yogurt

Lime Glaze

4 Tbs melted butter
3 Tbs heavy cream
2 Tbs lime juice
2 tsp lime zest (zest from 1 lime)
4 cups (1 lb) powdered sugar

Use a whisk to mix all glaze ingredients.

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Orange Rolls

Orange Rolls

These sweet rolls are light (not in calories, unfortunately) and soft with a slight tang from the addition of sour cream and fresh orange juice. A nice change from a traditional cinnamon roll.

To keep your rolls light and airy, do not add too much flour to your dough, and knead only until the dough begins to pull away from the side of the bowl. I roll my dough out on a buttered silicon mat (instead of a floured mat). Greased hands will also help in handling the slightly sticky dough.

An easy way to cut your dough logs into rolls without crushing the dough and having the knife stick to the dough is to use dental floss (not mint!) or a strong sewing thread. The (really out of focus) picture below shows the floss in action.

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I like to first make shallow knife cuts in the dough so that I have a cutting guide. Then place the floss UNDER the dough. Cross the ends of the floss over the top of the dough (lining up with the knife cuts) and pull crossed floss ends until the dough is cut through.

RECIPE:

Orange Rolls

Orange Rolls

½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tsp orange zest
3 Tbs butter
1 cup sour cream
½ cup sugar
3 eggs
about 4 – 4 ½ cups flour
1 Tbs instant yeast**
2 tsp salt

Filling:
6 Tbs butter, softened
½ cup sugar
2 tsp orange zest

Glaze:
3 cups powdered sugar
3 Tbs butter, softened
3 Tbs freshly squeezed orange juice
1 Tbs heavy cream
1 tsp orange zest
dash salt

Combine orange juice, 1 tsp orange zest, 3 Tbs butter and sour cream in a small saucepan or microwave safe bowl. Heat slowly until butter melts and mixture is warm to touch, but not hot (do not allow mixture to boil).

Transfer mixture to a large mixing bowl or stand mixer with a dough hook attached. Mix in ½ cup sugar. Add eggs all at once and mix well. Mix in flour (start with 4 cups), yeast and salt. Knead dough, adding additional flour if necessary, until dough pulls away from the edge of the bowl, but is still soft and slightly sticky. Cover and let dough rest 10 minutes.

Combine filling ingredients in a small bowl; stir well.

Divide dough in half. On a buttered surface, roll each dough half into a large rectangle about ½” thick. Spread each with half of the filling. Roll dough beginning with the long edge; press edge to seal seam. Slice each dough roll into about 12 rolls (use dental floss or sewing thread for easy cutting). Place rolls in a buttered pan. Cover and let rise in a warm place for about 1 hour, or until doubled in size.

Bake at 375°F for about 15-20 minutes, or until barely golden brown. Cool at least 15 minutes before spreading with glaze.

Combine glaze ingredients and mix well. Add additional cream or orange juice if glaze is too thick to spread. Spread on warm, but not oven-hot rolls.

**NOTE: If you are using regular, and not instant yeast, proof yeast for 5 minutes in 1/4 cup of the orange juice (or water), warmed, before mixing into the dough. Allow dough to rise in a covered bowl until doubled before rolling and shaping into rolls.

Yield: about 24 rolls

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Pumpkin Zucchini Bread

Pumpkin Zucchini Bread

Pumpkin Zucchini Bread: where summer and autumn collide in a great tasting snack. This is a great way to use an over-abundance of zucchini from your garden (or local farmers’ market) and incorporate the great fall flavors of pumpkin and spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom.

You can also make these in muffin form for a delicious on-the-go breakfast or lunch box treat. There is no easier way to get your kids to eat their veges. Chocolate chips are optional, but always appreciated (unless you are a certain son of mine).

Pumpkin Zucchini Muffin

RECIPE:

Pumpkin Zucchini Bread

Pumpkin Zucchini Bread

3 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups sugar
1 ½ cups canned pumpkin
2 cups shredded zucchini
½ cup butter, melted
1 Tbs vanilla
3 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground cardamom
¼ tsp ground ground nutmeg (or cloves)
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips, optional
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour 2 medium loaf pans.

Combine eggs and sugar in a mixing bowl. Add pumpkin, zucchini, melted butter and vanilla and mix well. In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients. Gradually add to pumpkin mixture and stir until just incorporated. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts. Pour into 2 loaf pans.

Bake at 350°F for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove and cool on a wire rack.

FOR MUFFINS: Line muffin pans with paper liners (or grease pan). Bake at 375°F for 15-18 minutes.

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Easter Resurrection Rolls

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It is hard to believe this is Easter weekend when the weather has been doing this all week:

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So we are spending our Easter break skiing instead of mulching and gardening, which is certainly making the kids happy!

When not on the slopes, we have been enjoying some of our favorite Easter food traditions, including dying eggs (and eating egg salad) and making these sweet rolls which remind us of the symbols of the resurrection.

These hollow rolls, symbolic of the empty tomb on Easter morning, are a good way to teach young kids about the resurrection. Made from packaged crescent rolls, marshmallows and cinnamon sugar, they are also easy for kids to make themselves.

Symbolism:
White marshmallow = body of Jesus (perfect)
Melted butter = oils used to anoint Jesus’ body
Cinnamon = spices used to anoint Jesus’ body
Crescent roll (well sealed) = sealed tomb
Hollow roll (after baking) = empty tomb after Christ’s resurrection

To make rolls:

Dip a large marshmallow in melted butter, then roll in cinnamon & sugar mixture.

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Place dipped marshmallow in the center of a crescent roll.

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Pinch the dough around the marshmallow, completely covering marshmallow. Pinch seams to seal well. Be sure to seal the seams completely, or the marshmallow will melt all over the baking sheet.

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Place on prepared baking sheet. Brush tops of rolls with some of the leftover butter and sprinkle with additional cinnamon/sugar mixture. Bake at 375°F for 12-14 minutes.

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I admit that it feels just a little bit sacrilegious to have the kids talk about dipping Jesus in butter, but it is certainly an object lesson that they remember all year. And a delicious way to remember the reason we celebrate Easter- the gift that was the atonement and resurrection of the Savior, as evidenced by the empty tomb.

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May each of you enjoy the joy and blessing that the Savior has given as you celebrate Easter with family and friends. Click below for a great video on the last week of Christ’s life and His resurrection and appearance to Mary that first Easter morning:

He Is Risen

RECIPE:

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Resurrection Rolls

1 can refrigerated crescent rolls
8 large marshmallows
¼ cup butter, melted
¼ cup sugar
1 Tbs cinnamon

Line a baking sheet with a silicone liner, parchment paper, or non-stick foil.

Combine sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and set aside.

Unroll and separate crescent rolls. Dip a marshmallow in the melted butter, then roll in cinnamon/sugar mixture. Place the covered marshmallow on a raw crescent roll. Pinch the dough around the marshmallow, completely covering marshmallow. Pinch seams to seal well. Be sure to seal the seams completely, or the marshmallow will melt all over the baking sheet.

Place on prepared baking sheet. Brush tops of rolls with some of the leftover butter and sprinkle with additional cinnamon/sugar mixture.

Bake at 375°F for 12-14 minutes. Let cool for 2-3 minutes before removing rolls from baking sheet. Serve warm.

NOTE: Some of the melted marshmallow may leak during baking, but the roll should still form a hollow tomb. Pinch seams tightly to reduce oozing.

Makes 8

Symbolism:
White marshmallow = body of Jesus (perfect)
Melted butter = oils used to anoint Jesus’ body
Cinnamon = spices used to anoint Jesus’ body
Crescent roll (well sealed) = sealed tomb
Hollow roll (after baking) = empty tomb after Christ’s resurrection

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Pumpkin Oat Waffles with Cinnamon Syrup

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Happy Halloween!

It is not feeling much like Halloween here in western Pennsylvania. On Monday, in anticipation of Hurricane Sandy, school was cancelled (Tue) and delayed (Wed), trick-or-treating was moved to Saturday, and school Halloween parties and parades moved to Friday. Gratefully, we had much less of an impact from the storm than was predicted, so kids are back at school today (on time!). But with all of the Halloween activities for today postponed, it feels like just another wet, slushy Wednesday.

We were all prepared to wake up on Tuesday without power, but instead we had a great day at home together with nothing on the schedule! I love days like that. Days that can start with a great breakfast full of healthy things like pumpkin and oats and topped with unhealthy things like a thick homemade cinnamon syrup.

New at waffle making? Try these Tips for Making Great Waffles.

RECIPES:
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Pumpkin Oat Waffles

2 cups flour
¾ cup rolled oats
2 Tbs cornstarch
2 tsp baking powder
1 ½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

2 cups buttermilk
4 eggs
1 cup pumpkin puree
½ cup butter, melted
½ cup brown sugar

Combine dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Use a whisk to mix. Combine wet ingredients in a separate mixing bowl. Use a mixer to beat thoroughly. Beat in dry ingredients until just mixed. Do not stir batter after mixing.

Use a ladle or measuring cup to pour batter evenly into hot waffle maker (about 2 cups for the 4 small Belgian waffles in my waffle maker). Cook for about 3-5 minutes, or according to directions on your waffle maker. Remove waffles from waffle maker and place on a wire rack (not a plate). Serve immediately or keep warm in a warm oven (very low heat).

Makes about 5 large Belgian waffles (20 small squares)

Cinnamon Syrup

3/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
2 Tbs butter
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer for 5 minutes. Serve warm.

 

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Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

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Fall and pumpkin just seem to go hand in hand. Cream cheese, however, that is an all-season ingredient. Paired together you get a moist, delicious muffin perfect for any time of the year.

A crunchy, sugary topping on a pumpkin-pie-spiced-cheesecakey muffin. Now all we need is some hot cocoa.

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RECIPE:

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Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

Muffin Batter:
1 cup pumpkin
3/4 cup oil
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
2 Tbs buttermilk powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground allspice

Cream Cheese Swirl:
8 oz (1 pkg) cream cheese, softened
1 egg
1 cup powdered sugar
1 Tbs flour

Topping:
2 Tbs sugar
1 Tbs flour
1 tsp  cinnamon
2 Tbs butter, cold

Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Line muffin pans with paper liners.

Muffin Batter: Using an electric mixer, beat together the pumpkin, oil, sugars, eggs and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, buttermilk powder, salt, baking soda and spices. Add dry ingredients to mixing bowl and beat until just combined.

Cream Cheese Swirl: With a mixer, beat cream cheese and egg until combined. Beat in powdered sugar and flour.

Topping: Mix the sugar, flour and cinnamon in a small bowl. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until crumbly.

Fill each muffin paper about 1/3 full with muffin batter (about 2 Tbs). Add a small spoonful of filling (about 1-2 tsp). Repeat layers in each muffin cup. Using a table knife, gently swirl batters. Sprinkle topping over the swirled muffin batter.

Bake at 350˚ F for 17-20 minutes. Cool in pan for 5 minutes before removing.

Makes 15-18 muffins.

 

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Triple Chocolate Nutella Zucchini Muffins

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We are still working on getting through the numerous monster zucchini that came out of our zucchini forest this summer.

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After a fall at a church young women camp, I spent most of the summer in this:

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I had spent a good portion of spring digging out old dirt and hauling in new topsoil to help rejuvenate our garden. The new soil made a huge difference and we ended up with zucchini plants that were almost as tall as me. I realize that at 5’2”, that is not a huge accomplishment, but for zucchini, I thought that was pretty impressive. Our garden is planted on a tiered hill, which was impossible for me to navigate in my new fashionable summer footwear. The plants were so tall that I had a really hard time getting my kids to wade through the jungle looking for squash. For some reason ratatouille and zucchini fritters (some of my favorites) were not a huge motivation for them to risk life and limb in the outback. However, when I switched to making zucchini brownies, pumpkin zucchini muffins and these chocolate zucchini muffins, I found I had ample volunteers!

And when they came across this little guy hiding out in the cucumber plants, they spent a good portion of the rest of the summer searching for living, crawling things in the garden.

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If you still have zucchini that you are working your way through, these muffins, spiked with Nutella and chocolate chips, make for a great breakfast (especially for a couple dozen awesome teenagers at 6am!) or a much appreciated lunchbox addition.

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RECIPE:

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Triple Chocolate Nutella Zucchini Muffins

3 eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup Nutella
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk or kefir (or sour milk**)
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups grated zucchini
3 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cardamom or nutmeg
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line regular muffin pans with paper or foil cups. Or use large Reynolds Foil 3 1/2” baking cups (these are self-standing-just arrange on a baking sheet).

In a large mixing bowl, combine eggs, oil, Nutella, brown sugar, buttermilk and vanilla. Mix well. Stir in zucchini.

In a separate bowl, use a whisk to mix flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, and cardamom or nutmeg. Add mixed dry ingredients to wet ingredients in the mixing bowl and mix until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips. Spoon into muffin cups (fill about 3/4 full).

For regular muffins: Bake 15-18 minutes.
For large muffins: Bake 20-25 minutes.

Yield: About 36 regular muffins or 20 large muffins (made with 3 1/2” baking cups)

**To make sour milk: place 1 tsp lemon juice or vinegar in a 1/2 cup measuring cup. Add milk to 1/2 cup line. Let sit 5 minutes

 

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Japanese Nikuman

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Twenty-one years ago, about one year after Brian and I were married, we moved to Japan. Brian had just graduated with his undergraduate degree and had gotten a job with a Japanese investment bank in Tokyo. We were excited about the new opportunity, but as recent graduates our finances were very limited. We moved with 4 suitcases full of clothes, a mattress set, and a couple of boxes of dishes, towels and books. That was the extent of our net worth at the time. The suitcases came with us on the airplane; the other items went by slow boat and arrived about 3 months later.

Our first two weeks in Japan were spent in a luxury hotel in downtown Tokyo. The company paid for our stay in the hotel while we searched for an apartment to rent. The hotel room was paid for, but not any other expenses (like food). The company also provided a $1500 start-up bonus to help us set up our apartment and for living expenses until our first paycheck (one month later). That $1500 had to furnish an entire apartment, including refrigerator, stove, and furniture and cover utility deposits. Plus living expenses for the month. In a country where a gallon of milk cost about $10/gallon-and that was 2 decades ago. In a gross understatement, we lived very frugally for some time.

Our first meal in Japan was a company dinner of Kaiseki (a highly formal and decorative Japanese meal-very heavy on seafood in varieties I couldn’t begin to name). The next day we were on our own, for house-hunting and eating. This began my introduction to inexpensive Japanese street food: onigiri, tako-yaki, yaki-soba, and these fabulous steamed buns- Nikuman.

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Nikuman are hot, soft steamed buns surrounding a spicy minced pork filling. These buns were one of my favorite new Japanese foods. They were delicious and cheap. The perfect combination for poor starving gaijin.

In Japan, I would never have dreamed of making these at home. They are readily available everywhere: from street vendors to convenience stores. Upon returning home, however, I wanted to try to recreate what had become not only a favorite food, but a nostalgic memory.

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I have tried dough recipes that use either baking powder or yeast as a leavening. Although it takes a little more time, I highly recommend using a yeast dough. The resulting soft, light buns are worth the extra rise time.

To make the buns, flatten dough to form a circle about 5” in diameter so that the middle is slightly thicker than the edges (pinch edges of dough with your fingers to make edges thinner). Place about a tablespoon of filling in the middle of the circle.

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Bring the dough up around the meat to the top, forming little pleats around the edges of the dough.

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Slightly twist the dough to close it, and pinch it firmly to seal. If your dough is dry, moisten edges slightly with water before sealing.

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Place the buns on  squares of parchment paper.  Let the buns rise for 15-20 minutes before steaming.

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Add about 1 Tbs vinegar to the water in the bottom of a steamer (this helps keep the buns white). Bring water to a boil. Place buns with the parchment paper in the top of a steamer (a rice cooker or slow cooker can also be used to steam). Cover and steam for 20 minutes over high heat.

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Serve hot. Buns can be eaten plain or dipped in soy sauce (plain or spicy: soy sauce + chili paste or hot mustard)

RECIPE:

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Japanese Nikuman
—–(adapted from LaFujiMama and JustHungry)

Dough:
2 packages dry yeast
1/4 cup warm (not hot) water
about 6 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup very hot water (bring to a boil and then let cool for 5 minutes)
1 cup warm (not hot) milk
1 tsp baking powder
2 Tbs coconut oil, lard or vegetable shortening

Parchment paper
White vinegar

Cut the parchment paper into 24 squares about 3” square. Set aside.

In a small bowl, stir together 1/4 cup warm water with a pinch of sugar. Sprinkle the yeast over the sugar water and proof 5-10 minutes, or until foamy.

In a large mixing bowl, mix together 5 cups of the flour and the sugar. Make a well in the center, add the hot water and mix rapidly. Add the warm milk and mix. Then mix in the yeast mixture, baking powder, and the shortening or lard. Mix well. Add the rest of the flour a little at a time until you have a workable dough (you may not need the entire additional 1 cup). Knead for a few minutes until the dough is soft and pliable.

Place dough in a large oiled bowl. Cover with a kitchen towel. Leave in a warm place until the dough has doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.

Divide the dough into 24 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball, and let rest for 5 minutes.

Filling:
1 lb ground pork
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 (5 oz) can bamboo shoots, finely chopped
2 Tbs finely grated fresh ginger
1-2 Tbs chili garlic sauce (adjust based on how spicy you want it)
3 Tbs soy sauce
2 Tbs granulated sugar
1 Tbs sesame oil

Mix the ground pork, onion, bamboo shoots and ginger in a large bowl. Add the chili garlic sauce, soy sauce, sugar, and sesame oil. Mix the ingredients together until well incorporated.

Assembling Buns:
To fill the buns, flatten each dough ball to a circle about 5” in diameter so that the middle is slightly thicker than the edges (pinch edges of dough with your fingers to make edges thinner). Place about a tablespoon of filling in the middle of the circle. Bring the dough up around the meat to the top, forming little pleats around the edges of the dough. Slightly twist the dough to close it, and pinch it firmly to seal. (If your dough is dry, moisten edges slightly with water before sealing.) Place the bun on the prepared squares of parchment paper. Repeat with remaining dough and meat filling. Let the buns rise for 15-20 minutes before steaming.

Add about 1 Tbs vinegar to the water in the bottom of a steamer (this helps keep the buns white). Bring water to a boil. Place buns with the parchment paper in the top of a steamer (a rice cooker or slow cooker can also be used to steam). Cover and steam for 20 minutes over high heat.

Serve hot. Buns can be eaten plain or dipped in soy sauce (plain or spicy: soy sauce + chili paste or hot mustard)

Makes 24 buns

 

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Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

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Looking for a banana muffin that is moist and full of banana flavor? This recipe (slightly adapted from Cook’s Illustrated) is your answer. It packs FIVE bananas into a single loaf of bread (or batch of 15-18 muffins).

I like bananas, but only if they are on the slightly green side. Once they are completely yellow or start to brown, I won’t touch them. I can push them on the kids for a little longer, but none of us are squishy banana fans. So I regularly have one or two bananas from a bunch that go “bad” before we eat them. So I peel and throw these overripe bananas into my freezer in Ziploc bags. Eventually those bags get to the bursting point, and I know I need to do some banana baking.

This recipe is one of our favorites. The bananas are cooked (in the microwave) until they are liquidy, and then the liquid is reduced to concentrate the banana flavor. You can add chocolate chips and/or chopped nuts to your liking.

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The muffins also freeze nicely if you happen to have A LOT of bananas to use up and want to make multiple batches!

RECIPE:

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Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins (or Bread)
——————————(adapted from Cook’s Illustrated)

1 3/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
5 large very ripe bananas
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
2 large eggs
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Line muffin tins with 15-18 paper liners, or grease muffin tins.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt.

Place bananas in a microwave-safe bowl; cover with waxed paper. Microwave on high power until bananas are soft and have released liquid, about 5 minutes. Pour bananas into a strainer placed over a medium saucepan. Allow to drain, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. Set banana pulp aside.

Place the saucepan with the banana liquid over medium-high heat and cook until reduced to ¼ cup, about 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat and stir banana pulp into the reduced liquid. Mash with a potato masher or a fork until fairly smooth. Whisk in butter, eggs, brown sugar and vanilla.

Pour banana mixture into flour mixture and stir until just combined. Gently fold in chocolate chips and walnuts, if using.

Pour batter into the prepared muffin tins. Bake for 15 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.

Makes 15-18 muffins

FOR BANANA BREAD: Spray a medium loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray. Pour batter into pan. Bake at 350°F for 55 to 70 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool bread in pan on wire rack 15 minutes, then remove loaf from pan and continue to cool on a wire rack.

 

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Thanksgiving: Pumpkin Dinner Rolls

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These pumpkin rolls have had a place at our Thanksgiving table for more than a dozen years now. They are a savory roll, not sweet. The pumpkin flavor is not strong, but the pumpkin and spices add a subtle flavor that goes perfectly with a Thanksgiving meal. When we are not eating them with Thanksgiving dinner, I like to serve them with honey butter (1 stick butter mixed with 1-2 Tbs honey).

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I usually make crescent shaped rolls and knots when I make dinner rolls. To make crescent rolls, divide the dough into thirds. Roll each third into a circle. Cut into 8 wedges. Roll up beginning with the large end. Pinch end into bottom dough of the roll so that it doesn’t unravel when rising. Place rolls on a greased baking sheet (or use a silicon baking sheet), curving ends toward the center as you place them on the baking sheet.

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Brush or spray dough crescents with oil, cover with a towel and let rise until doubled. For a shiny finish, brush rolls with an egg white wash (room temperature egg white mixed with 1 Tbs water) before baking.

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To make knots: pinch off a golf-ball sized piece of dough. Roll it in your hands to make a long rope (about 8-10 inches long). Tie rope in a knot (just like you are tying your shoes) leaving the two ends about 1-2 inches long. Fold two ends around to the back of the knot and pinch them together to seal. Place the knot on a baking sheet with the pinched ends on the bottom.

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When making rolls for Thanksgiving, I like to make them ahead of time and then reheat them just before serving. I parbake the rolls and then freeze them until I am ready to serve them. Parbaking (or slightly underbaking) keeps them from overbrowning when you reheat the rolls in the oven just before serving.

To make and freeze: Shape rolls and place on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicon mat. Let rise as usual. Bake rolls for 10-12 minutes, or until rolls just barely begin to brown, but are cooked in the center. Rolls should look slightly underdone (not completely brown). Remove from oven. Cool completely. Place in Ziploc freezer bags. Freeze.

On serving day: Place frozen rolls on a baking sheet, bake for about 7-10 minutes, or until hot and golden brown. If rolls are thawed, bake for 5-6 minutes, or until browned. Brush tops with butter and serve immediately.

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RECIPE:

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Pumpkin Dinner Rolls
——————-
Yield: about 2 dozen rolls

1 ¼ cups warm water
1 egg
1 cup pumpkin puree
3 Tbs honey
2 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs molasses
4 cups whole wheat and/or white flour
1/3 cup wheat gluten
¼ cup sugar
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice ***
2 tsp salt
1  Tbs instant yeast

about 1 additional cup flour
1 egg white, mixed with 1 Tbs water

Mix wet ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add flour, gluten, sugar, spices, salt and yeast. Mix until thoroughly combined. Add additional flour, if needed, a little at a time until dough just begins to form a ball. Knead for 5-6 minutes, or until dough pulls away from sides of the bowl and springs back slightly when touched.

Shape into rolls (knots or crescents are what I usually make). Place on lightly greased baking sheets. Spray or brush with oil and cover with towel. Let rise for 30-60 minutes, or until doubled in size. Brush with egg white (room temp) mixed with 1 Tbs. water. Bake at 375°F for about 15 minutes.

***Pumpkin Pie Spice substitute: 1 tsp cinnamon, ¼ tsp nutmeg, and 1/8 tsp each allspice, ginger, and cloves.

If desired serve with Honey Butter: 1 stick butter mixed with 1-2 Tbs honey

To make and freeze:Shape rolls and place on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicon mat. Let rise as usual. Bake rolls for 10-12 minutes, or until rolls just barely begin to brown, but are cooked in the center. Rolls should look slightly underdone (not completely brown). Remove from oven. Cool completely. Place in Ziploc freezer bags. Freeze.

On serving day: Place frozen rolls on a baking sheet, bake for about 7-10 minutes, or until hot and golden brown. If rolls are thawed, bake for 5-6 minutes, or until browned. Brush tops with butter and serve immediately.

 

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