Happy Easter! I made this sweet and tender orange-scented bread to serve for breakfast with our hard-boiled Easter eggs. The texture was similar to panettone without the dried fruit.
As an aside, I have to share a photo of my Easter cat with his catnip carrot. ❤ We are all very festive in my house!
Because I live in fear of overbaking my sweets, I was disappointed that this loaf was slightly overdone after I had already significantly reduced the baking time in the original recipe. Don’t worry! We still gobbled it up, but, I modified the recipe below. The sweet orange glaze made it a crowd-pleaser.
This recipe was adapted from King Arthur Flour. I weighed all of the dry ingredients and used vanilla and orange extract instead of Fiori di Sicilia. I also reduced the baking time and tented the loaf during baking. Pretty.
Yield: One 10-inch round loaf
- To make the bread: Mix together the starter ingredients, cover the bowl, and let rest at room temperature overnight, or for up to 15 hours.
- Next day, combine the bubbly starter with all the remaining dough ingredients. Mix and knead, using a mixer or bread machine, until the dough is elastic and satiny. We don’t recommend preparing this dough by hand, as it’s quite sticky and challenging to bring together. (I used the beater until the dough came together and the dough hook for about 7 minutes on medium speed to knead the dough.)
- Grease a large bowl and let the dough rise for 1 to 2 hours, until it’s noticeably puffy. (I used a proofing oven.)
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly greased surface, divide it into three pieces, and shape each piece into an 18″-long rope. Braid the ropes together, and connect the two ends to form a wreath.
- Cover the wreath and allow it to rise until puffy, about 1 to 2 hours. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 375°F, preferably on convection.
- Bake the wreath for 10-15 minutes, then tent the loaf with aluminum foil and reduce the oven heat to 350°F and bake for an additional 8-15 minutes. The finished loaf will be golden brown, and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center will register at least 190°F. (I baked it at 375°F for 15 minutes, and 350°F for 10 minutes and the internal temperature of the loaf was 205°F.)
- Remove the wreath from the oven, and transfer it to a rack to cool.
- To make the glaze: Stir together the sugar and 2 tablespoons of the milk or orange juice. Add more liquid 1/4 teaspoon at a time, until the glaze is thin and pourable.
- Drizzle the glaze onto the cooled braid, then decorate with sprinkles, if desired.
Posted in Baking, Bread, Coffee Cake, Holiday, Recipes, The Piggy Pancake (Breakfast)
Tags: braided, bread, breakfast, brioche, challah, Easter, egg, Italian, orange, orange extract, panettone, sweet, vanilla, wreath, yeast
Yield: One 10 or 11-inch round loaf
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk, cold (you may need a little less or more)
- 2 large eggs, cold
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 2 cups white whole wheat flour
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
- 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, COLD, cut into smaller chunks, plus more for greasing the baking dish
- 1 cup dark seedless raisins
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
- Equipment: one 10- or 11-inch round, ceramic or glass baking dish. A round, straight-sided dish is best (not a pie dish with slanted sides). You could substitute a metal cake pan but not a very dark metal non-stick pan, because the top will likely burn before the interior of the loaf is cooked.
- Position oven rack in center of oven. Preheat oven to 375° F, preferably on convection. Use the “extra” butter to generously grease the baking dish. Dust the baking dish with flour: scatter a small handful of flour inside the dish and shake it around so that bottom and sides are coated. Turn dish over and tap out any excess flour.
- Pour buttermilk into a medium bowl or measuring cup. Break eggs into buttermilk and whisk with a fork to just combine. Add baking soda and whisk to just combine. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.
- Scatter 6 tablespoons of COLD butter over the flour mixture. Cut the butter into the flour using a pastry cutter or, if you don’t have one, use two table knives in a criss-cross motion from edge-to-edge of the bowl to cut in the butter. The butter should be visible in small bits throughout the flour, not completely absorbed.
- Gently stir in raisins. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture.
- Pour 1 cup of the buttermilk mixture into the well. Stir gently with wooden spoon (do not use your hands) until flour is moistened. Use a spatula to gently fold any dry flour from the sides and bottom into the wetter dough. (Fold gently, don’t whip the dough or over-stir.) Add more of the buttermilk mixture as needed, in small amounts, to create a dough that is neither too wet or too dry. You may need more or less than the 1-1/2 cups buttermilk called for. If you need more liquid, plain buttermilk is fine. The dough should look lumpy and be more wet than dry.
- Dust a little flour on your hands, then shape dough quickly and roughly into a ball, without over-handling it. Transfer dough ball to the greased and floured baking dish. Use the back of the wooden spoon to spread dough in as few strokes as possible to edges of dish.
- Use the handle end of the wooden spoon or your index finger to make a shallow cross (1/4 inch deep) on top of the dough, top to bottom and side to side. This is to encourage the bread to rise in quarters for easier slicing. Very lightly scatter a tiny bit of flour over the dough.
- Place baking dish in oven. Baking time will be about 35 to 45 minutes. Check after 30 minutes: bread should be golden brown and look set. Test by inserting a knife in the center of the bread. If there is wet dough on the knife, bake for up to 10-15 minutes more. Do not over-bake.
- Remove from oven and let bread cool in baking dish about 10 minutes. Remove from baking dish and let cool completely on a wire rack before slicing. (It will crumble if you try to slice when still warm.) Keeps very well for a few days, wrapped tightly in foil or plastic wrap. (I let mine cool in the baking dish.)
Posted in Baking, Bread, Coffee Cake, Holiday, Quick, Recipes, The Piggy Pancake (Breakfast)
Tags: breakfast, buttermilk, golden raisins, Irish, quick bread, raisins, snack, soda bread, St. Patrick's Day, whole wheat
I made this super moist and tender breakfast cake with my precious Meyer lemons. It could be made with regular lemons too, of course. I did think that the tangy glaze was a little over the top, so I modified the recipe to make half of the amount next time.
This recipe was adapted from Bon Appétit, via The View from the Great Island.com. I incorporated whole wheat pastry flour in addition to cake flour and baked the bread on convection in a Pullman loaf pan. Special and tasty. 🙂
For the Cake:
- zest of 1 Meyer lemon
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 cup cake flour or all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp coarse salt
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
For the Glaze:
- 3/4 cups powdered sugar
- freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice to thin, start with 1 tablespoon and add more as necessary
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees, preferably on convection.
- Lightly butter (or spray with cooking oil spray) a Pullman loaf pan or 9×5 loaf pan and line it with parchment paper with long ends so you can lift the bread out later for glazing and slicing. Crease the ends so that they do not fold over onto the cake while it is baking.
- Remove the peel from the lemon with a vegetable peeler. A serrated peeler works best for this. You want to remove just the yellow part of the peel, with little of the bitter white part.
- Put the sugar and lemon peelings in a food processor and process until the peels are completely incorporated into the sugar.
- Put the lemon sugar and butter into a stand mixer and cream until light and fluffy ~ a full 5 minutes.
- Beat in each of the eggs, one by one, making sure each egg is fully incorporated before adding the next one. Continue beating for another 2-3 minutes.
- Whisk together the flours, baking powder, and salt and add to the mixer, alternately with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Finish mixing by hand, to make sure everything is thoroughly mixed, but don’t over beat.
- Turn the batter into the prepared pan, spread out evenly, and bake on the center rack for about 40 minutes in a Pullman pan, or up to 50-55 minutes in a standard loaf pan, or until fully risen and a toothpick inserted near the center comes out without wet batter clinging to it (moist crumbs are fine).
- Let the bread cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove, using the parchment paper handles, and let fully cool on a rack.
- Meanwhile whisk together the sugar with enough lemon juice to make a thick glaze. Spread the glaze over the cooled bread.
Posted in Baking, Bread, Cake, Coffee Cake, Fruit Desserts, Good Sweets, Good Eats (Desserts), Recipes, The Piggy Pancake (Breakfast)
Tags: breakfast, brunch, cake, cake flour, coffee cake, dessert, glaze, lemon, meyer lemon, quick bread, whole wheat, whole wheat pastry flour
By using maple syrup and brown sugar as sweeteners as well as whole wheat pastry flour, oats and almonds in the topping, this recipe succeeds as a lighter version of this classic comfort food dessert. We indulged a little and ate it with vanilla ice cream, of course. 😉 Without the ice cream, this dish could actually be served for breakfast.
This recipe was adapted from The Washington Post, contributed by nutritionist and cookbook author Ellie Krieger. Lovely.
Yield: 8 servings
For the Topping:
- 1/4 cup canola oil or other neutral-tasting oil
- 1/2 cup plus 1 T almond meal or slivered almonds
- 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour (whole wheat flour may be substituted)
- 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp coarse salt
For the Filling:
- 3 pounds ripe but firm pears, peeled, cored, cut into 1/4-inch slices (I used 6 Bartlett pears)
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- freshly squeezed juice from 1/2 of a lemon
- 1 T cornstarch
- 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, preferably on convection.
- Spray a 10×9-inch (can also use an 8×8-inch or 9×9-inch) baking dish with cooking oil spray, or brush lightly with oil.
To Make the Topping:
- If using slivered almonds, process them in a food processor until finely ground; alternatively use almond meal. Transfer to a medium bowl.
- Add the oats, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt to the ground almonds.
- Drizzle the mixture with 1/4 canola oil; stir until well incorporated. Set aside.
To Make the Filling & Finish the Dish:
- Combine the pears, maple syrup and lemon juice in a large bowl.
- Sprinkle the fruit mixture with the cornstarch, cinnamon and ginger; stir until the pears are evenly coated.
- Transfer to the prepared baking dish.
- Crumble the topping over the pears.
- Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until bubbling and the topping is lightly browned.
- Let cool for 10 minutes before serving. Serve with ice cream, if desired.
Posted in Baking, Fruit Desserts, Good Sweets, Good Eats (Desserts), Recipes, The Piggy Pancake (Breakfast)
Tags: almond meal, almonds, Bartlett, breakfast, brown sugar, comfort food, crisp, crumble, dessert, fruit, healthy, light, maple syrup, oats, pear, rolled oats, slivered almonds, whole wheat, whole wheat pastry flour