Along with apple pie and pumpkin pie, pumpkin scones are one of my autumnal must-bakes. I crave them every fall when the first frost approaches. Thankfully, unlike pies, these scones come together in less than an hour, making them the perfect cozy baking project for chilly mornings or when you just want the aroma of warm spices filling your kitchen.
These pumpkin scones are based on the scone recipe in my book, with a few subtle tweaks. Pumpkin puree obviously makes up a decent portion of the liquid; so I add a bit more butter to compensate for the lower fat content of pumpkin vs. cream or sour cream. I also like using crème fraîche for tangy richness, which I usually have on hand for making pumpkin pie. But if you don’t have any, simply replace it with an equal weight of heavy cream. (By the way, you can easily make your own crème fraîche by combing 1 Tbsp of buttermilk with 1 c of heavy cream and letting it sit at room temperature for 12-18 hours, or until pleasantly tangy and thickened. Store in the refrigerator.) Add a generous amount of autumnal spices and you’ve got yourself a winner!
You can keep the scones plain, but I like adding some texture with toasted pecans and chocolate chips. Swap in any nut you like, or sub in some dried cranberries or a different type of chocolate. (I also think this would make a great savory scone if you cut the sugar in half, played around with the spices, and added some cheese and/or chopped herbs!)
I’ve kept the sugar content of the actual scone fairly low because I like to double down on both coarse sugar and a glaze for topping. The coarse sugar adds wonderful texture and the glaze gives just the right amount of initial sweetness and visual impact. Trust me, using both won’t make these scones too sweet!
Pumpkin Crème Fraîche Scones
Yield: 8 scones
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Flaky, tender, and warmly spiced, these pumpkin scones make the perfect autumn breakfast.
For the pumpkin scones:
250g all-purpose flour
63g spelt flour (or substitute another whole-grain flour, or more all-purpose flour)
30g granulated sugar
30g light brown sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
¾ tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cloves
113g chilled unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes
80g crème fraîche, cold
120g pure pumpkin puree, cold
1 large egg, cold
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
85g pecans, toasted and chopped
85g semisweet chocolate chips
Milk or cream, for brushing
Coarse sugar, for sprinkling
For the creme fraiche glaze:
60g icing sugar, sifted
2-3 Tbsp cremè fraîche
Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C) with a rack in the middle. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, sugars, baking powder, salt, and spices.
Add the cold, cubed butter to the dry ingredients and cut it in using a pastry cutter or your fingers. You should have varying sizes of butter pieces, ranging from pea to nickel shaped.
In a small bowl, whisk together the crème fraîche, pumpkin puree, egg, and vanilla. Pour over the dry ingredients and gently fold in with a spatula until just combined. The dough should be a bit shaggy, but should hold together.
Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead a few times to bring it together. Using a floured rolling pin, roll the dough into a 12-inch (30-cm) square. Flour the dough and pin just enough to avoid sticking.
Brush off any excess flour. Fold the dough in thirds like a letter, rotate 90 degrees, then fold in thirds again so you have a 4-inch (10-cm) square. Transfer to a baking sheet or plate and freeze for 10 minutes.
After chilling, return the dough to your lightly floured surface. Roll it again into a 12-inch (30-cm) square. Sprinkle the pecans and chocolate chips evenly over the dough, then roll it up like a jelly roll. Turn the dough so the seam side is down, then gently pat it into a 12 x 4-inch (30 x 10-cm) rectangle. If the dough feels soft or sticky at all, freeze for 5 to 10 minutes to make it easier to cut.
Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into four equal pieces, then cut each piece on the diagonal to create 8 triangular scones. Cut straight down to preserve the layers and help the scones rise evenly in the oven. Transfer scones to the prepared baking sheet and freeze while the oven finishes preheating.
When the oven is ready, brush the tops of the scones gently with milk or cream and sprinkle generously with coarse sugar.
Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, rotating halfway through, until the tops and bottoms are golden brown. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before glazing.
To make the crème fraîche glaze, whisk together the icing sugar and 2 Tbsp of crème fraîche until smooth. Add more cremè fraîche as needed, a teaspoon at a time, to form a drizzle-able glaze. Drizzle the scones with the glaze and let set for 5-10 minutes before serving.
Scones are best freshly baked, but you can store them well wrapped at room temperature for a few days. Reheat for 5 to 10 minutes in a 350°F (175°C) oven. You can also freeze scones unbaked and bake them straight from frozen (you may need to add a few minutes of baking time).
Crème fraîche can be substituted with heavy cream.
Be sure to use pure pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling.
If you find that the bottoms of your scones tend to get too dark, try stacking an extra baking sheet underneath.
The above recipe makes enough glaze to drizzle each scone as pictured. If you prefer more glaze, make 1.5-2x the amount.
In the realm of breakfast treats, muffins aren’t my go-to. I’m much more likely to spring for a scone, cinnamon roll, or danish; or spend the time making waffles.
But sometimes a lemon poppyseed muffin really hits the spot. And as lazy summer mornings turn into busy fall ones, there’s no denying the convenience of a portable muffin breakfast.
My muffin rules
For someone who isn’t a huge muffin fan, I do have some strong opinions about them. Number one: No creaming butter and sugar. That’s too much work for a muffin. Liquid fat all the way (whether it be oil or melted butter or a mixture of the two).
Number two: Moist muffins. Just say no to dry and crumbly. For these particular lemon poppyseed muffins, almond flour, sour cream, and lots of poppyseeds contribute to a moist and tender interior.
Number three: Nice domes. There are lots of tricks for getting bakery-worthy muffin tops. Some people swear by chilling their muffin batter overnight. I’m sure this works (if you try it with this recipe let me know) but I’m too impatient for that; so I just do the following three things:
Fill the muffin wells up to the top.
Only fill every other well so that each muffin has lots of air circulation around it, helping them to rise and set more quickly.
Start with a high oven temp to maximize that initial rise, then lower it to help them bake through without scorching.
Good quality lemon oil is one of my tricks for injecting lemon flavor into baked goods. I use Boyajian brand (if you’re in the US, I’ve bought it at Sur La Table). I can’t comment about swapping out with lemon extract as I’ve never found one I really like.
This recipe uses a lot of poppyseeds. Please make sure they’re fresh! Poppyseeds turn rancid fast so I always recommend storing them in the freezer (same goes for other seeds, nuts, and nut flours).
Don’t skip the glaze! These muffins aren’t overly sweet and the glaze really helps deliver an immediate lemon punch.
Bakery style lemon almond poppyseed muffins with a moist, tender crumb and lemon glaze.
For the Lemon Almond Poppyseed Muffins:
250g all purpose flour
50g almond flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 tsp kosher salt
210g granulated sugar
Zest of 3 large lemons (~3T zest) -- reserve lemon juice for glaze
85g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
60g neutral oil
3 large eggs
3/4 tsp lemon oil, such as Boyajian
1/2 tsp pure almond extract
180g sour cream, at room temperature
60g whole milk, at room temperature
For the lemon glaze:
100g icing sugar, sifted
Pinch of salt
2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice (+/- as needed)
Preheat the oven and prep the pan: Preheat the oven to 425F with a rack in the middle. For the most dramatic muffin tops, line two standard 12-count muffin pan with 6 muffin liners each, skipping every other well. Lightly grease between the wells. If you only have one muffin pan, you can either bake them all in one pan (the rise will be a little less dramatic, but the muffins will stilll taste great); or bake the muffins in two batches. The batter will hold fine at room temperature.
Make the muffin batter: In a medium bowl, combine the flours, baking powder, and salt. Whisk very well for at least 30 seconds to ensure everything is well combined and lump-free.
In a large bowl, combine the sugar and lemon zest. Rub the zest into the sugar until fragrant and damp to release the essential oils from the rind, which will intensify the lemon flavor. Whisk in the butter, oil, eggs, extracts, sour cream, and milk until smooth.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet and use a silicone spatula to gently fold the two together. When just a few streaks of flour remain, add the poppyseeds, stirring just to combine. Use a flexible spatula to scrape down the sides and fold from the bottom of the bowl to make sure everything is well-mixed and there are no pockets of unincorporated flour.
Evenly divide the batter between the prepared pan(s), filling each cup to the top -- about 90g per muffin. Fill any empty wells with a little water (less than half is fine), which will promote even baking.
Bake the muffins: Bake for 5 minutes, then turn the temperature down to 375F and bake for a further 10-12 minutes, or until the muffins are well risen and a skewer inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs.
Carefully remove the muffins from the pan and cool on a wire rack before glazing.
Glaze the muffins: When the muffins have cooled, whisk together the icing sugar, salt, and lemon juice to form a smooth, spoonable glaze. (I needed 2 Tbsp of lemon juice to reach my desired consistency, but recommend adding a teaspoon or two at a time for the best control.) Use a spoon or fork to drizzle over the muffins. Let the glaze set for about 5 minutes before serving. Muffins are best the day they're made, but will keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
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Meet my favorite coffee companion. Crisp on the outside, tender and fruit-studded on the inside, these blueberry rye scones are everything I want in a breakfast treat. As with pie dough, I always make scones with a portion of wholegrain flour for an extra dimension of flavor. I love the pairing of earthy rye with berries; but spelt, einkorn, or whole wheat work fine as well. The lemon glaze is optional for me, but not for my kids. If you’re going with the glaze, feel free to add the zest of the lemon into the scone dough.
If you’re like me and don’t even think about baking BC (before coffee), prep the scones in advance through the chilling and cutting step. Freeze directly on the sheet tray until solid, then transfer the frozen scones to a ziplock bag and bake them off as needed (they’ll likely need a few extra minutes of bake time).
3/4 tsp kosher salt (Diamond Crystal; use half as much for table salt)
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
85g (6 Tbsp) unsalted butter, cold and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
170g (1 1/4 c) fresh blueberries
120g (1/2 c) cold heavy cream, plus more for brushing
60g (1/4 c) sour cream, cold
1 large egg, cold
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract (optional)
Coarse sugar, for sprinkling
For the lemon glaze (optional):
60g (1/2 c) icing sugar, sifted
2-3 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice, plus more as needed
Make the scone dough: Line a 6-inch cake pan with plastic wrap and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, baking powder, salt, ginger, and nutmeg.
Add the cold, cubed butter to the dry ingredients and cut it into the dry ingredients using a pastry cutter or your fingers. You should have varying sizes of butter pieces, ranging from pea to nickel shaped. Gently fold in the blueberries.
Whisk together the heavy cream, sour cream, egg, and extracts. Pour over the dry ingredients and gently fold in with a spatula until combined. The dough should be a bit shaggy, but should hold together. If not, add more cold cream 1 teaspoon at a time until it does. Gently fold the dough onto itself until it becomes a cohesive mass.
Chill the dough and preheat the oven: Transfer dough to the prepared cake pan and freeze for about 20-30 minutes or until slightly hardened. While scones are chilling, preheat the oven to 425°F with a rack in the middle. Stack two baking sheets together and line the top one with parchment paper. (I like to bake these scones with an extra baking sheet underneath to keep the bottoms from browning too much.)
Cut and bake the scones: When scone dough is chilled, invert onto a cutting board and use a sharp knife to cut like a pie into eight wedges. Transfer scones to prepared sheet pan. Lightly brush the tops with cream and sprinkle with coarse sugar.
Bake for 22-30 minutes, rotating pan halfway through, until the tops and bottoms are golden brown. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.
Glaze and enjoy: While the scones are cooling, make the glaze. Sift the icing sugar into a medium bowl. Add 2 tsp lemon juice and whisk until smooth. Add more lemon juice, a teaspoon at a time, until the glaze is smooth and pourable. Drizzle or spoon over the scones. Enjoy immediately.
Storage: Scones are best freshly baked, but you can store them well wrapped at room temperature for a few days. (I would hold off on glazing until you’re ready to eat them.) Reheat for 5 to 10 minutes in a 350°F (175°C) oven. You can also freeze scones unbaked and bake them straight from frozen (you may need to add a few extra minutes of baking time).
Granola is a bit like banana bread: there are a zillion different recipes out there, and many of them are good. But over time, you find that one recipe that checks all the boxes for you, and it becomes your house standard. This is mine. It’s my favorite because it’s crunchy, has clusters, and isn’t overly sweet. Paired with fresh berries and Greek yogurt, it’s one of my go-to quick breakfasts. But I’ve also been known to eat it by the handful for a mid-afternoon snack and sprinkle it on frozen yogurt for dessert.
The method and base recipe are from Tara O’Brady’s cookbook Seven Spoons. The original recipe calls for candied ginger and cacao nibs, which I omit (they sound delightful but aren’t normally stocked in my pantry). I’ve played around with different nuts and seeds, and the version below is what I typically use. But like most good granola recipes, this one is easily adaptable. Swap the sesame seeds out for flax or chia; use whatever nuts you have in stock; switch up the spices to suit your palate; omit the coconut if it’s not your thing.
Basic Granola Recipe
Adapted from Seven Spoons by Tara O’Brady | Makes about 8 1/2 cups
60g (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 Tablespoons pure maple syrup
100g (1/2 cup) packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
455g (5 cups) old-fashioned rolled oats
140g (1 1/2 cups) nuts, chopped if large (I like a mix of almonds, cashews, and walnuts)
65g (3/4 cup) unsweetened flaked coconut
35g (1/4 cup) sesame seeds
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
150g (1 cup) dried fruit, chopped if large (I usually use figs and/or raisins)
35g (1/4 cup) raw, hulled sunflower seeds
70g (1/2 cup) finely chopped candied ginger
70g (1/2 cup) raw pepitas
Raw cacao nibs
Preheat an oven to 325 degrees F (160 degrees C) with racks in the upper and lower thirds.
In a saucepan set over medium heat, melt the butter into the olive oil and maple syrup. Add the brown sugar, water, and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Cook, stirring often, until the brown sugar dissolves. Remove the saucepan from the heat, stir in the vanilla extract, and set aside to cool.
In a food processor fitted with the metal blade, grind 2 cups (180 g) of the oats into flour. Transfer this oat flour to a large bowl. Stir in the remaining 3 cups (275 g) whole oats, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and the nuts, coconut, seeds, and cinnamon. Pour the butter and sugar mixture over everything and stir to coat. Let stand for about 10 minutes, to give the oats the opportunity to lap up the sugar syrup.
Line two half sheet pans or standard baking sheets with parchment paper. Using your hands, drop the oat mixture in clumps onto the pans, then bake in the preheated oven until dry, light golden, and evenly toasted, 40 to 50 minutes, gently stirring and turning the granola with a large spatula every 15 minutes or so and rotating the pans once from top to bottom and front to back.
Remove from the oven and leave the granola on the pans. The granola will continue to crisp as it stands. After 5 minutes, stir in the candied ginger and pepitas (if using). Once the granola has cooled completely, stir in the dried fruit and the cacao nibs (if using).
Transfer the granola to an airtight container and store at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.
Scones are one of those coffeeshop items that I love to order but often find disappointing. Either they’re too cakey or over-the-top heavy. My ideal scone is crisp on the outside and tender on the inside, slightly sweet but able to withhold a generous amount of jam/curd/clotted cream. After yet another recent disappointing scone purchase, I decided it was time to scour the interwebs and find a go-to scone recipe for myself.
It’s not too often I succeed on the very first try, but, boy, were these good scones. I based them off the very well-reviewed Royal Wedding Scones on Food52. Lemon and raspberry is a favorite combination in this household, but you could easily change up the fruit and spices based on season and preference.
Scones are definitely best the day you make them (preferably while still a little warm from the oven), but you can freeze these unbaked and bake straight from frozen (you may need to add a few minutes of baking time). I’ve also had success freezing baked scones and reheating them in a 350F oven for 12-15 minutes or so.
2 1/2 cups / 313g AP flour (I’ve successfully replaced about 1/3 of this with spelt flour)
1/4 cup / 50g granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
6 tablespoons / 86g chilled unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
3/4 cup frozen raspberries
Zest of 1 meyer lemon
1/2 cup cold heavy cream, plus more for brushing on tops of scones
1/2 cup cold buttermilk
1 large egg
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Coarse sugar, for sprinkling
Line a 6-inch round cake pan with plastic wrap. Set aside.
Put sugar and lemon zest in the bottom of a large bowl. Rub the zest into the sugar to release the oils.
Add the remaining dry ingredients to the sugar-zest mixture and whisk to combine.
Add the cold butter to the dry ingredients and cut it in using a pastry cutter or your fingers. You should have varying sizes of butter pieces, ranging from pea to nickel shaped.
Gently fold in the frozen raspberries.
Combine the wet ingredients in a small bowl and whisk well to combine. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, gently folding in with a fork. Do not overmix.
When a shaggy dough begins to form, dump the contents onto a lightly floured surface. Gently fold the dough onto itself just enough so it becomes a cohesive mass. Transfer to the prepared cake pan, cover, and freeze for about 30 minutes or until slightly hardened.
While scones are chilling, preheat oven to 425F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat. When scones are chilled, invert round onto a lightly floured surface and cut like a pie into eight wedges. Transfer to prepared sheet pan. Lightly brush the tops with cream and sprinkle with coarse sugar.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, rotating pan halfway through. Scones are done when a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
A few years ago, I got into a bread baking kick where I wanted to bake ALL THE BREADS. There’s something therapeutic about kneading dough and watching very basic ingredients transform into loaves of deliciousness. (Needless to say, I could never be gluten-free.) Although most bread recipes take quite a bit of time (this one included), a lot of that is simply waiting. And waiting is probably the hardest part!
I love making individual-sized breads and rolls, so bagels have been on my to-bake list for awhile. I’m happy to report they were a resounding success — my husband says they were the best bagels he’s ever tasted! Crisp exterior with just the right amount of salt and a wonderful chew — perfect with a schmear of cream cheese. The original recipe for these New York style bagels is from one of my favorite bread experts: Peter Reinhart. His Bread Baker’s Apprentice is one of my favorite cookbooks and showed me it was possible to good bread in a home oven. While there is a recipe for bagels in BBA, I chose to use a version from Epicurious because it made a smaller batch and the process was a little streamlined.
As with all Peter Reinhart recipes, there are a lot of detailed instructions; and you’ll definitely want to read the recipe through to the end a couple times to get a feel for the process. However, it really isn’t too difficult — if you’ve made soft pretzels before, you’ll find bagel-making very similar.
I’ve edited the recipe to reflect the methods and timeline I used. Consult the original for other options.
The original recipe in BBA suggests high gluten flour as ideal for bagels. I couldn’t find it easily so I just used bread flour. The bagels were satisfyingly chewy, though I do want to try high gluten sometime.
The original recipe says the yield is 6-8 bagels. I like mine smaller so I made 12, and they were still pretty good-sized.
The original doesn’t call for an egg wash, but after reading comments online I decided to use one to ensure the toppings would stick well.
1 tablespoon (0.75 oz / 21 g) barley malt syrup, honey, or rice syrup, or 1 teaspoon (0.25 oz / 7 g) diastatic malt powder
1 teaspoon (0.11 oz / 3 g) instant yeast (Note: I used a heaping tsp of active dry, and it worked fine)
1 1/2 teaspoons (0.37 oz / 10.5 g) salt, or 2 1/2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (9 oz / 255 g) lukewarm water (about 95°F or 35°C)
3 1/2 cups (16 oz / 454 g) unbleached bread flour
2 to 3 quarts (64 to 96 oz / 181 to 272 g) water
1 1/2 tablespoons (1 oz / 28.5 g) barley malt syrup or honey (optional)
1 tablespoon (0.5 oz / 14 g) baking soda
1 teaspoon (0.25 oz / 7 g) salt, or 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water
Any mixture of poppy seeds, sesame seeds, dried onion flakes, dried garlic flakes, and coarse salt
To make the dough, stir the malt syrup, yeast, and salt into the lukewarm water. Place the flour into a mixing bowl and pour in the malt syrup mixture. If using a mixer, use the dough hook and mix on the lowest speed for 3 minutes. If mixing by hand, use a large, sturdy spoon and stir for about 3 minutes, until well blended. The dough should form a stiff, coarse ball, and the flour should be fully hydrated; if it isn’t, stir in a little more water. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes.
Resume mixing with the dough hook on the lowest speed for another 3 minutes or transfer to a very lightly floured work surface and knead by hand for about 3 minutes to smooth out the dough and develop the gluten. The dough should be stiff yet supple, with a satiny, barely tacky feel. If the dough seems too soft or overly tacky, mix or knead in a little more flour.
Place the dough in a clean, lightly oiled bowl, cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight or up to 2 days.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator 60 to 90 minutes before you plan to bake the bagels. Prepare a sheet pan by lining it with parchment paper or a silicone mat, then misting it with spray oil. Divide the dough into 6 to 12 equal pieces. (A typical bagel is about 4 ounces or 113 grams before baking, but you can make them smaller [I made 12]. If you make more than 6 bagels, you may need to prepare 2 sheet pans.) Form each piece into a loose ball by rolling it on a clean, dry work surface with a cupped hand. (Don’t use any flour on the work surface. If the dough slides around and won’t ball up, wipe the surface with a damp paper towel and try again; the slight bit of moisture will provide enough traction for the dough to form into a ball.)
Use both hands (and a fair amount of pressure) to roll the ball into a rope about 8 inches long on a clean, dry work surface. (Again, wipe the surface with a damp towel, if necessary, to create sufficient friction on the work surface.) Taper the rope slightly at each end and moisten the last inch or so of the ends. Place one end of the dough in the palm of your hand and wrap the rope around your hand to complete the circle, going between your thumb and forefinger and then all the way around. The ends should overlap by about 2 inches. Squeeze the overlapping ends together by closing your hand, then press the seam into the work surface, rolling it back and forth a few times to seal. Remove the dough from your hand, squeezing it to even out the thickness if need be and creating a hole of about 2 inches in diameter.
After 1 hour, check whether the bagels are ready for baking using the “float test”: Place one of the bagels in a small bowl of cold water. If it sinks and doesn’t float back to the surface, shake it off, return it to the pan, and wait for another 15 to 20 minutes, then test it again. When one bagel passes the float test, they’re all ready to be boiled. If they pass the float test before you are ready to boil and bake them, return them to the refrigerator so they don’t overproof. About 30 minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 500°F (260°C) and gather and prepare your garnishes (egg wash, seeds, onions, garlic, and so on).
To make the poaching liquid, fill a pot with 2 to 3 quarts of water, making sure the water is at least 4 inches deep. Cover, bring to a boil, then lower the heat to maintain at a simmer. Stir in the malt syrup, baking soda, and salt.
Gently lower each bagel into the simmering poaching liquid, adding as many as will comfortably fit in the pot. They should all float to the surface within 15 seconds. After 1 minute, use a slotted spoon to turn each bagel over. Poach for another 30 to 60 seconds, then use the slotted spoon to transfer it back to the pan, domed side up. (It’s important that the parchment paper be lightly oiled, or the paper will glue itself to the dough as the bagels bake.) Brush the top with the egg wash and sprinkle on a generous amount of whatever toppings you like as soon as the bagels come out of the water.
Transfer the pan of bagels to the oven, then lower the oven heat to 450°F (232°C).
Bake for 8 minutes, then rotate the pan and check the underside of the bagels. If they’re getting too dark, place another pan under the baking sheet. (Doubling the pan will insulate the first baking sheet.) Bake for another 8 to 12 minutes, until the bagels are a golden brown.
Cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes before slicing or serving.
Happy New Year! We had a great time spending the holidays with my family in Seattle. Now that my brothers and I are scattered around North America, it’s rare for us to all be in the same place at once. So it was a treat to have everyone “home” again, joking and eating and enjoying each others’ company. Of course, it was particularly special this year because it was Marcus’ first Christmas. Naturally, he got the most presents (even though he slept through us opening them for him…).
It’s become customary for David and me to cook a couple meals when we’re back in Seattle, with one of them being breakfast / brunch. This year, we scored a couple donut pans during some after-Christmas shopping; so we decided to try our hand at baked sour cream donuts. We tested a couple recipes, and this one was the clear winner. I know some people will pooh-pooh thought of baked donuts; and I won’t pretend these are like the deep-fried delights we all enjoy. But they are pretty darn tasty — the double rising power of yeast and baking powder give these babies a nice light texture. Plus, they are super easy and quick to whip up — you can mix, bake, and glaze a batch in under an hour.
I’ve included a two glaze ideas here — zesty lemon and classic chocolate. Each recipe will make enough for a dozen donuts; I’ve halved the glaze recipes to do a mixed batch and had plenty of each left over. Or feel free to dress your donuts up with another flavor of your choice — this list is a good place to start. I’m definitely looking forward to playing around with some different flavors!
Recipe adapted from The Kitchn | Makes 12
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 tablespoons warm water or milk
200 g / 2 cups cake flour
215 g / 1 cup caster sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, room temperature
228 g / 1 cup sour cream, room temperature
56 g / 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two (6-count) doughnut pans with a flour-based baking spray, Arrange a wire cooling rack over a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the warm milk or water and set aside. In a medium mixing bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, nutmeg, and salt.
In another bowl, whisk the eggs, sour cream, melted butter, vanilla, and yeast mixture until well combined. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until completely incorporated. Transfer the batter to a disposable piping bag (or zip-top bag, snipping off one corner for piping) and pipe into the prepared pans.
Bake the doughnuts until puffed and golden, about 15 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool the doughnuts in the pan for 5 minutes. Transfer the doughnuts from the pan to the wire rack.
For the lemon glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
Zest of half a lemon
1-2 tbsp lemon juice (about half a lemon)
1-2 tbsp milk, plus more to thin if needed
Pinch of salt
Poppy seeds, optional
Combine the powdered sugar, lemon zest, and salt in a small bowl and stir to combine. Whisk in the lemon juice. Whisk in the milk, adding gradually until the glaze reaches desired consistency.
Dip the top side of a doughnut into the glaze and twist to coat. Return to the wire rack and immediately cover with poppy seeds. Continue with remaining doughnuts. Allow glaze to dry for a few minutes before serving. (Note: You can glaze both sides if you prefer a sweeter donut.)
For the chocolate glaze:
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 tablespoons milk, plus more to thin if needed
Rainbow sprinkles, optional
Cook the chocolate and butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until ingredients are melted (or melt in the microwave in 15-second increments). Add the powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk, and whisk vigorously to combine. If it seems too thick, add more milk, a tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached. Remove the pan from heat.
Dip the top side of a doughnut into the glaze and twist to coat. Return to the wire rack and immediately cover with sprinkles. Continue with remaining doughnuts. Allow glaze to dry for a few minutes before serving.
Lately I’ve been working a lot of early morning shifts, so I wanted to make something I could easily pack for breakfast. Bonus points for something that could be created from the contents of our fridge (and pantry). My default is our House Banana Bread, but I didn’t have any bananas and thought it would be fun to make something seasonal. BTW, I’m so excited for berry season! (One of the best parts of summer, IMO.)
The result was this Strawberry Yogurt Bread. Since this was envisioned as a breakfast bread, my goal was for something not too sweet and reasonably healthy (minimal oil/butter, some whole grains). I’m quite happy with how this turned out, and three days later it’s almost finished…so that’s that! Next time, I might try walnuts or pecans in place of the nuts, or swapping out the strawberries for blueberries or whatever berry is lurking in the fridge. We had a partial tub of sour cream in the fridge, so that got added in — but if you don’t have that lying around, I think you could easily add another 1/4 cup of oil or replace with more yogurt. Yay flexible recipes!
Strawberry Yogurt Bread
Makes 1 9×5 loaf
1/2 c plain Greek yogurt (I used fat free)
1/4 c sour cream
1/4 c vegetable oil
1/4 c granulated sugar
1/4 c dark brown sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1 1/3 c all purpose flour
2/3 c whole wheat flour
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 c strawberries, chopped
1 handful sliced almonds
1 Tbsp. Turbinado Sugar
1 strawberry, sliced
Preheat oven to 350°.
In a medium bowl, mix yogurt, sour cream, oil, sugar, eggs and vanilla extract until blended.
In a separate bowl add flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix together.
Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and slowly incorporate the yogurt mixture, being careful not to overmix.
Fold in strawberries and almonds.
Spoon batter into a greased and floured 9×5-inch loaf pan. The batter will be thick.
Arrange sliced strawberry on top, and sprinkle with turbinado sugar.
Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack.
Confession: I don’t like plain bananas. I don’t like the mealy texture in my mouth, especially when they’re overripe. But I don’t mind the taste of bananas, so I’m happy to indulge in smoothies containing bananas, banana “ice cream” (basically, a frozen banana pureed til it tastes like ice cream), and — of course — banana bread.
My mom’s banana bread was a family favorite, and I thought her recipe would be the one I would end up using in my own home. While I still intend on making her version someday, I’ve found a new House Banana Bread that has quickly become a favorite for our little family. I like that it’s reasonably healthy (no trans-fats and some whole grains), not overly sweet, and adaptable depending on what you’ve got available in your kitchen. Examples of previous adaptations:
Dropped the oil to 1/4 c and added a couple spoonfuls of sour cream
Added a splash of bourbon
Made one batch vegan by simply replacing the egg with another ripe banana. (It worked beautifully — even non-vegan friends gobbled it up!)
An added bonus: everything is mixed in one bowl, and there’s no hand mixer (i.e. extra dishes to clean) needed!
1 1/2 cups (180 grams) white whole-wheat flour (I usually use half all purpose, half whole wheat)
1/4 cup (50 grams) uncooked millet
Preheat your oven to 350°F and butter a 9×5-inch loaf pan. In the bottom of a large bowl, mash bananas with a potato masher or the back of a wooden spoon until virtually smooth but a few tiny lumps remain. Whisk in egg, then oil, brown sugar, syrup and vanilla extract. Sprinkle baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves over mixture and stir until combined. Sift in flour and stir until just combined, then stir in millet.
Pour mixture into prepared pan and bake until a tester comes out clean, about 40 to 50 minutes. Cool loaf in pan on rack.
Once upon a time, I had a breakfast routine: coffee and oatmeal, 85% of the time. It was great: healthy, filling, and fast.
Then I got pregnant, and suddenly I couldn’t stand the taste/smell of my breakfast standbys. It threw me for a loop because suddenly I had to think about what to eat for breakfast. Not exactly fun when you stop drinking (caffeinated) coffee.
Thankfully, there are still plenty of foods I find palatable. I’d be happy to enjoy eggs and toast every morning. The problem is that some days I have to rush out of the house early in the morning and don’t have time to cook. These breakfast cookies are a great grab-and-go option for those days. I tweaked a recipe I found online based on the ingredients on hand, and I think it’s one of those recipes that could be doctored according to your tastes and pantry. I plan to vary the fruits/nuts (cranberry and pistachios! cherries and walnuts!) for variety and perhaps tinker with the flour types. I’d imagine you could also substitute banana, pumpkin, or zucchini for the carrot as well. Also, I don’t care for overly sweet things (especially in the morning), so I did cut down the granulated sugar. But if you have more of a sweet tooth, you could add an extra couple tablespoons back in.
2 tablespoons (28 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup (50 g) dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon (18 g) granulated sugar
1 egg, at room temperature
1 large carrot, finely grated
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup (90 g) rolled oats (not instant)
1/3 cup raisins, soaked in hot water for 30 minutes and drained
Place rack in center of oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Whisk together flours, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a medium-sized bowl.
Combine butter, oil and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix on high speed, scraping down sides if necessary, until sugars have dissolved and mixture is light in color, about 1 minute.
Add egg, carrot and vanilla and beat an additional 30 seconds.
Add flour mixture and beat an additional 30 seconds.
Add oats, raisins and walnuts and mix over low speed just until incorporated. Dough will be slightly sticky and less cohesive than traditional cookie dough.
Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper. Using a 1/4 cup to measure, place balls of batter on a cookie sheet, leaving about 3 inches between cookies. Wet hands and use palm of hand to flatten cookies until about 1/4-inch thick.
Bake for 12 minutes, until cookies are fragrant but still soft. Let cookies cool slightly, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.