Category Archives: Quick Breads

Quick & Easy Orange & Lemon Scones, Biscuit-Style

A ray of sunshine for brekkie, no matter the season!

I like my scones kind of like biscuits, as opposed to the more solid pucks that are sometimes sold as scones. So this recipe is actually an adaptation of a biscuit recipe. Like biscuits, the less you handle scone dough, the fluffier they are and the more they rise, so be sure not to over-mix.

And, like biscuits, you can put the scones in the oven with the sides touching, for soft sides, or on their own, for crispier sides. I think scones should have crispier sides, so I put them without touching, but you do what you like!

This recipe is very adapatable. You can put in other sorts of candied citrus, and use a mix of lemon, lime, or orange peel. I just suggest that you use organic produce to get the zest, as nobody wants zested pesticides.

FYI, the butter is grated so that you handle the dough less when incorporating the butter, and so that the butter can be cold when the dough is popped into the oven. Both of these things make for a fluffier scone.

QUICK & EASY ORANGE & LEMON SCONES

  • 2 c. flour
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ c. cold butter, grated
  • 1 c. yoghurt
  • 1/3 c. chopped candied orange peel (I made my own and stored it in sugar)
  • 3 tbsp. sugar (I used the sugar I tossed the orange peels in, for extra citrus flavour)
  • 1 tbsp. lemon or lime zest (I used a combo of both)
  • 1 tbsp. turbinado sugar (optional)

Glaze

  • 1/4 c. icing sugar
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice

Mix all ingredients except for the yoghurt and turbinado sugar (and obviously not the glaze ingredients, either) together. Stir in yoghurt, until just mixed in. Gently pat into a round on floured surface. Cut into 8ths and place on an ungreased cookie tray. Sprinkle turbinado sugar on top.

Bake at 450 degrees until golden on top, about 8-10 minutes.

Optional glaze: mix lemon juice and icing sugar together and drizzle over warm scones. Enjoy the scones warm, cold, or toasted with fresh butter or some homemade jam!

Time for eating!

Given the use of candied orange peel, this makes for a sweeter scone, so if you’re more of a hearty breakfast eater, this is likely more of a dessert scone for you. Luckily, I like my sweets (*regular blog readers gasp in faux surprise*) so I enjoyed these for breakfast!

Next Post: A green bean side dish. Maybe with lemon zest? I’ve got a bag of crisp green beans in my fridge that is calling my name. Yummy, crisp, fresh green beans!

Linking Up at Meal Plan Monday and at Happiness is Homemade! As well as at Full Plate Thursday and Foodie Friday!

Honey & Whole-Grain Quick Bread: A Stir-and-Dump Recipe

Full of a mixture of five grains and seeds, plus a touch of honey!

Today’s recipe? Honey & Whole-Grain Quick Bread! For long-time readers, you’ll know that in addition to my love affair with chocolate, I also love bread. But I also try to be healthy. So, I developed an easy recipe for a whole grain bread that will have you thanking the bread gods (and possibly me) for your free pass to eat copious amounts of carbs.

This is what I call a ‘Stir-and-Dump’ recipe, in that you basically stir all the ingredients together, dump it in a pan, and away you go! That’s right, it’s a one-bowl recipe! AND it’s a quick bread, so there’s no waiting for the bread to rise, then punching it down, then letting it rise again. As much as I love yeast breads (my Pesto Swirl Bread, for example), I also love having a loaf of bread ready for dinner in only 45 minutes.

And the short-cut to make this delicious bread? A hot-grain cereal! I used one that had three different types of whole grains in it: steel-cut wheat, rye, and whole flax. And because my bread recipe adds in oatmeal and cornmeal, it’s suddenly got a mixture of 5 whole grains and seeds! See? Healthy!

Let’s get our bread on!

HONEY AND WHOLE GRAIN QUICK BREAD

  • 1/2 c. hot grain cereal, uncooked
  • 1/4 c. cornmeal
  • 1 1/2 c. boiling water
  • 1 c. oats
  • 2 c. flour
  • 2 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 c. yoghurt (I used my homemade yoghurt)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 c. oil
  • 1/4 c. milk
  • 1 tbsp. honey

Mix the cereal, cornmeal, and boiling water together. Let sit for 15 min. Stir in remaining ingredients. Pour into two greased loaf pans. Sprinkle a few oats on top of the loaves. Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 30 minutes or until the top of the bread is nicely browned. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes, then turn out on to a cooling tray to cool fully before slicing. And then enjoy your freshly baked Honey and Whole Grain Bread!

By the way, if you use steel-cut oats instead of rolled oats, just be sure to add them in to the other whole grains in the beginning, so that they can soak for 15 min. as well.

Honey and whole grains, in muffin form!

This recipe will make two small loaves, or one small loaf and a half dozen muffins/buns. I think the buns are great when served warm and with maple syrup! They end up tasting a bit like oatmeal pancakes — yum! I also plan to use any leftover bread to make homemade French Toast with; with more maple syrup, because I’m Canadian, eh!

Next Post: Greens! All the greens. I’ve got some purple leafy kale in my fridge that I want to do something with. Or maybe I’ll mix up some Glazed Orange Scones with the candied orange peel I made last night. Or maybe share my 10-Minute Mesquite Sweet Potato Mash? Let me know your preference in the comments!  

Linking Up at Meal Plan Monday, Foodie Friday, and Happiness is Homemade! Plus at Full Plate Thursday!

Super-Easy Pesto Focaccia and Why I Currently Have 50 lbs of Flour

Pesto-topped focaccia — what could be better?

I love fresh bread, but I also love easy meals that come together in a jiffy. When I was given a jar of fancy pesto recently, I knew I had to put it to good use, and I did; I made Pesto Focaccia! So, so easy, and so, so good, whether fresh out of the oven with dinner, or heated up in the microwave for lunch the next day.

Why is this such an easy focaccia to make? Because I use my Easiest-Pizza-Dough-In-The-History-Of-Ever as the base! Some dough, some pesto, some salt…et voila, fresh focaccia for dinner! You could make this from start to finish in 45 minutes, and that includes the baking!

Seriously, it’s that easy. Let’s get to making some!

SUPER-EASY PESTO FOCACCIA

  • 2 1/4 tsp (1 pkg) quick active dry yeast
  • 1 c warm water
  • 2 1/2 c. flour
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil (or vegetable oil is fine too)
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 4 tbsp. pesto
  • large grain salt (if you have it)

Dissolve yeast in warm water. Add rest of ingredients, except for pesto and large grain salt. Mix it up in a mixer (or hand mix. I’ve done both). Let sit for 10 minutes. Flatten it onto an oiled cookie sheet, and let it rest for another 10 minutes. Spread the pesto over the surface, and press your fingertips into the surface all over for that class focaccia look. Sprinkle the large grain salt on the top. Bake in a 425 degree oven until the crust is puffy and golden. Serve, and enjoy! 

Oh, and I did mention in the title that I have 50 lbs of flour in my kitchen. Much to the chagrin of my DH, I must say. He’s not fond of opening the fridge and being faced with containers of flour, and then opening the freezer and being faced with the same. He wanted to order out the other day; I said, we have plenty of food in the fridge! He said, we have plenty of flour! (Incidentally, we didn’t order out. I just made this easy pesto focaccia and served it with some soup!)

But why so much flour? Because a few weeks ago there was a great deal on flour so I bought a large bag, only to find out when I got home that it was bread flour. Now, bread flour is very different from all-purpose flour, in that it in higher in gluten, and gluten content affects your baking. You can bake bread with all-purpose flour, but I don’t recommend making cupcakes with bread flour. Anyway, so I had all this bread flour, but I needed all-purpose. So I bought a bag of all-purpose flour. And then today I came across a suuuper good deal on all-purpose flour, and I just couldn’t resist…so I bought another 25 lbs. Poor DH. The look on his face when I walked in the door with a 25 lb bag of flour and not much else!

But why do I keep flour in the fridge and freezer? That, dear reader, is a story for another day!

Next Post: I’m thinking Pesto Swirl Bread. Or…maybe veggies. Mmm…veggies. I do love them!  

Linking Up at Meal Plan Monday, and Happiness is Homemade! As well as at Full Plate Thursday! And…at Foodie Friday!

Short-Cut Cinnamon Buns, Because Yummy Shouldn’t Be Laborious

Too good to eat only one. And made so quickly, too!

Cinnamon Buns! I love them. I eat them. I used to hate making them, because of the long process: make the dough, let the dough rise, punch it down, let it rise again, roll it out, roll it up, cut it and let it rise, and fiiiiiiinallly bake it and eat it. And that’s not including all the steps for the filling. Ugh. Am tired just thinking about it. Generally, if I wanted cinnamon buns, I had to make them in the morning for dessert in the evening, or at the very least, make them the night before.

But no more!

I came up with a super-easy short-cut version! In my version, there’s only one rising of the cinnamon buns before baking, and frankly, you *could* skip that too (the buns would just be much more dense and not as fluffy).

The secret?

Start with my Easiest Pizza Dough in the History of Ever! Then you spread cinnamon butter all over it, roll it up, pop it in a pan to rise (only 1x!), and bake it. I can start these before dinner and have them for dessert! 

Short-Cut Cinnamon Buns

  • 1 batch pizza dough
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 2 1/2 tbsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 c. butter, softened to just beyond room temperature

Make the dough. Let it rest at least 10 minutes before rolling it out into a lasagna pan sized rectangle.

Mix softened butter with sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla until it is properly mixed and essentially a cinnamon spread. Spread butter on rolled out dough.

Roll up dough, length-wise. Use dental floss to cut roll into two inch slices (see technique below).

Place in a lasagna pan and let rise in a warm place until the dough has expanded and the side of the buns are sticking together.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 25 minutes. Let sit until cool. If you like icing, mix up some icing (icing sugar, milk, vanilla extract, cream cheese is optional) and drizzle on top. Eat and enjoy the sticky, yummy, cinnamon buns!

Don’t they look yummy! (Spoiler alert: they ARE yummy!)

KITCHEN HACK

How to cut delicate doughs (or soft cheeses)? With dental floss! Yup, you read that right! You slide the thread underneath the dough/cheese and cross the end of the string overtop, and then pull. It slices easily and without compressing the dough or cheese all flat. I first did this when I made swiss rolls as a teenager, and it is such an easy technique to get perfect slices! Obviously, you don’t use flavoured floss, and the thinner the floss, the better. Try it out yourself!

KITCHEN HACK #2

Want to make fluffier cinnamon buns? Add in a tablespoon of corn starch to the dough when you’re making it, as in this recipe for Pumpkin Cinnamon Buns. The corn starch takes up space without sticking to itself as flour does, which makes the dough that much more tender. This technique is good for all sorts of baked goods!

But back to my cinnamon buns. You could make these cinnamon buns taller and more like commercial buns if you make them in a 9×9 pan as opposed to a lasagna pan, and cut them in 4 inch buns (i.e. taller). Personally, I’m happy with the small buns, because…portion control. Of course, that just means that I need to eat two servings, amirite?

Next Post: A Memories of Meals Past post, combined with a Salads I Have Known and Loved post. That’s right, we’re about to get all ancient grains up in this blog!

Linking up at Meal Plan Monday, Nifty Thrifty SundayClever Chicks Blog Hop, The Art of Homemaking, and Happiness is Homemade!

Dinner Roll Odyssey: Texas Roadhouse Copycat Rolls

Seriously melt in your mouth. And in this case, served with Apple Pear Butter.

Seriously melt in your mouth. And in this case, served with Apple Pear Butter.

Every now and then, I like to do something I call a Food Odyssey. I’ve done a Pie Crust Odyssey previously, where I tried out several different pie crust recipes in order to find the ultimate in flaky, tasty piecrusts, and now, dear readers, I bring you the…DINNER ROLL ODYSSEY!

Yes, bread, delicious bread! That gluten-filled, yeasty yumminess that is never quite so good as fresh out of the oven and buttered and happily snacked on.

I didn’t grow up with dinner rolls, but I do like them. They’re such a perfect little serving size. And what, you think I serve them with dinner? Ha! Ha ha! Well, I have been known to do so, but really, I use them for snacks, for lunches, and to eat when I’m foraging for food at midnight.

Which recipe to start the odyssey with? Well, in the U.S. (and yes, I’m Canadian) apparently the restaurant chain called something like ‘Texas Roadhouse Grill’ or so, has mouth-watering dinner rolls. So, hey, why not start there?

I used this recipe from www.foodfanatic.com, but me being me (*cough*Queen of Substitutions*cough*) I used 1/2 c. of milk powder instead of honey. Why? I still have milk powder leftover from the Venezuelan milk candy that my mother-in-law made for my wedding. Which was a few years ago now. Waste not, want not, and all that jazz! I figure the milk powder will add extra nutrition, and it’s sweet, so that can replace the honey. Plus, as I learned when I made Schoolhouse Rolls, milk powder adds a special, indefinable taste to buns. It just makes buns taste better in my opinion.

The result? Yummeh! They tasted a bit like my Schoolhouse Rolls, I thought. Which makes sense given that I did used milk powder. I wonder how they would taste if I actually used the honey the recipe called for. Should I make the recipe again, and follow it to the letter? Meh, boooorrrrring. I want to move on to the next recipe already!

Ooh, a whole tray of buns! I wonder how long this will last me....

Ooh, a whole tray of buns! I wonder how long this will last me….

I would recommend mixing the yeast with the warm milk and letting that proof for a bit, i.e. let it sit until foamy, maybe 20 minutes or so, before adding in the flour. The original recipe says to mix the flour and yeast together, but I’ve never heard of a bread recipe that didn’t proof the yeast and I think it makes the bread fluffier if one does so. So I’d recommend it! It will turn out ok without the proofing, but…I think proofing it makes it better!

So this recipe was ok. I mean, I enjoyed the freshly made, warm, buttery bread (oh dear, now I want to eat another one!), but I think it could be better. So…on to the next dinner roll recipe! And the odyssey has begun. Stay tuned!

Next Post: A Memories of Meals Past Post! And then back to bread, delicious bread!