Hot Cross Buns

April 2, 2012

Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross Buns is a favorite during spring and the Easter season. Hot Cross buns are a sweet, yeast leavened, spiced roll made with currants or raisins. They have long been a symbol of Good Friday. Each bun has an icing cross on top to signify the crucifixion


1 Package Active Dry Yeast

1 Cup Warm Milk

5 Tablespoons Softened Butter

½ Cup Brown Sugar

2 Large Eggs

½ Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg

½ Teaspoon Ground Cloves

½ Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

3 ½ Cups Unbleached Flour

¾ Cup Dried Currants

3 Tablespoons Milk Mixed With 3 Tablespoons Sugar

1 Tablespoon Cold Milk

1 Cup Sifted Powdered Sugar

½ Teaspoon Lemon Juice

Mix the yeast with 4 tablespoons of the warm milk in a small size bowl. Set aside for 5 minutes. In a medium size bowl cream together 4 tablespoons of the butter and brown sugar. When the yeast is frothy, stir it in, along with the spices, salt and remaining warm milk. Beat in the flour one cup at a time until a soft ball of dough can be gathered together. Place the dough on a floured work surface and lightly knead in the currants, adding more flour if necessary to keep the dough from sticking. Kneading should take no more than a few minutes. Using some of the remaining butter to grease a large bowl. Place the dough in a bowl and turn the dough to butter all sides. Cover and set aside in a warm place for 1 ½ hours. The dough should be doubled. Butter two baking sheets with the remaining butter. Punch down the dough and divide it in half. Then divide each piece in half again. Divide each portion of the dough into six equal pieces and shape each into a ball. Place the balls of dough on the baking sheets leaving 2 inches between them. Set aside covered lightly with waxed paper for 1 hour. The dough should have doubled in size. Preheat your oven to 400° F. Carefully slash a cross into the top of each bun using a very sharp knife or razor blade cutting through the skin of the dough at least ¼ inch deep. Try not to compress the bun as you cut. Bake the buns for 20 minutes until they are lightly browned. Just before they come out of the oven, bring milk and sugar mixture to a boil in a small saucepan. As soon as the buns are done, brush them with the milk and sugar glaze. Allow the buns to cool for 30 minutes and then serve them while they are still warm. If you have not cut the cross into the tops of the buns the cross can be applied with the icing. The buns must be completely cooled before the icing is applied. Mix the powdered sugar with the cold milk and lemon juice. Using the handle of a spoon or chopstick spread the icing to form a cross on top or to fill the cross shape cut. Makes 24

Cream Biscuits

March 25, 2012

Cream Biscuits


3 Cups Unbleached Flour

1 Tablespoon Sugar

1 Tablespoon Baking Powder

¾ Teaspoon Kosher Salt

2 ¼ Cups Heavy Cream

Move your oven rack to the upper middle position and preheat your oven to 450° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir in the cream for 30 seconds until combined. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter and gather into a ball. Knead briefly for 30 seconds until smooth. Shape the dough into a ¾ inch circle. Dip a 2 ½ biscuit cutter in flour and cut the biscuits into rounds. Recombine the scraps as needed to make 12 biscuits. Place the rounds on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes – rotating the baking sheet halfway through the baking. You want the biscuits to be golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes. Makes 12 biscuits.

Irish Soda Bread

March 16, 2012

Irish Soda Bread

Irish Soda Bread is super easy to make in no time at all. You don’t have to wait for dough to rise which makes this recipe a nice little quick bread.


3 ¾ Cups Unbleached Flour

½ Cup Sugar

4 Teaspoons Baking Powder

½ Teaspoon Baking Soda

½ Teaspoon Kosher Salt

¼ Pound Cold Unsalted Butter Cut Into Small Cubes

1 2/3 Cups Raisins

2 Teaspoons Caraway Seeds

3 Large Room Temperature Eggs

1 Cup Buttermilk

Preheat your oven to 400° F. Grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan. In a large size bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Cut in the butter until the mixture is the texture of fine meal. Stir in the raisins and caraway seeds. In a medium size bowl whisk two of the eggs to combine. Whisk in the buttermilk. Pour the buttermilk mixture into the dry ingredients. Stir until just combined. Put the dough on a floured work surface and pat into a loaf. Now pat into the prepared pan. Beat the last egg to a mix and brush the top of the loaf with it. Using a sharp knife cut a ¼ inch deep lengthwise slash down the middle of the loaf leaving 1 inch margin at either end. Bake the soda bread in the middle of the oven for 1 hour until well browned. Remove from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes. Turn the loaf out onto a rack and let cool. Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes one 9 inch soda bread.

Garlic Bread

March 3, 2012

Garlic Bread

Pasta Dishes seem lonely without Garlic Bread which is so easy to make. there are several ways to make

Garlic Bread. The easiest way is by rubbing a cut clove of garlic over the slices of Italian bread

by spreading the bread with butter and heating in the oven.


1 Loaf Italian Bread

1/2 Cup Softened Butter

2 Large Smashed & Minced Garlic Cloves

1 Teaspoon Freshly Chopped Parsley

Preheat your oven to 350 F. Make 1 inch slices into the bread. Do not go all the way through, but just to the bottom crust.

In a small size bowl mix the butter, garlic and parsley together. Put a teaspoon of the butter mixture between each slice.

Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve immediately. Makes 16 to 20 slices.

Pumpkin & Berry Muffins

January 19, 2012

Pumpkin & Berry Muffins

These muffins came out very moist! They are extra large and super good. I like to double the recipe and fill the muffin cups to the top edge for that bigger deli size muffin. You can add extra berries if you want.


1 ½ Cups Unbleached Flour

¾ Cup Sugar

½ Teaspoon Kosher Salt

2 Teaspoons Baking Powder

1/3 Cup Olive Oil

1 Egg

1/3 Cup Buttermilk

½ Cup Pumpkin Puree

1 Cup Fresh or Frozen Blueberries

1 Cup Fresh or Frozen Blackberries

Preheat the oven to 400° F. Grease the muffin cups or line them with muffin liners. Combine the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder in a medium size bowl. In a separate medium size bowl combine the oil, egg, buttermilk and pumpkin puree. Mix the wet mixture into the flour mixture. Next, fold in the blueberries and blackberries. Fill the muffin cups right to the top. Bake for 20 minutes until done. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Remove from the tins and serve. Serves 8

San Francisco Sourdough Rolls

January 16, 2012

Sourdough Rolls


2 Cups Flour

2 Teaspoons Baking Powder

¼ Teaspoon Baking Soda

½ Teaspoon Salt

3 Tablespoons Sugar

1 Cup Sourdough Starter

¼ Cup Melted Butter

Combine the dry ingredients in a medium size bowl. Mix well and make a hole in the center and pour in the starter. Knead the dough in the bowl for 3 minutes. Pinch off golf ball size pieces and shape them into biscuits. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the rolls on the baking sheet and brush the tops with the melted butter. Put in a warm place to rise for 1 ½ hours. Bake in a preheated oven at 350° F for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven sand serve warm. Makes 12 rolls.

Sourdough Starter

January 16, 2012

Sourdough Starter

You can buy sourdough starters commercially or if you have a friend who has a “start,” you may be able to get some from him or her. You may want to start one on your own. When storing your sourdough starter in the refrigerator, it should be kept at about 42° F. If it is too cold, it will take the start a long time to come back to life. Most refrigerators are colder than this so you may want to find another very cool place.


1 Cup Water

1 Tablespoon Sugar

1 Cup Flour

4 Tablespoons Buttermilk

Mix the water and sugar together. Add the flour and buttermilk. Place in a glass or stainless steel bowl. I like to use a large glass jar. Do NOT use aluminum. Cover with a towel and let stand in a warm spot for a few days or until it has begun to ferment. It should have a sour smell.

Classic Pullman Loaf

January 4, 2012

Classic Pullman Loaf

The Pullman Loaf is sometimes called the sandwich loaf or pan bread. The Pullman is a type of bread made with white flour and baked in a long, narrow and lidded pan. The French term for this style of loaf is “pain de mie.” In the United States, many popular mass produced sliced breads are actually Pullman loaves. The slices of these breads are frequently square, with four flat and uncurved crusts. The name Pullman was derived from its use in the compact kitchens of the Pullman railway cars. The Pullman Company is credited with inventing the lidded baking pans used to create the square loaves. Three Pullman loaves occupied the same space as two standard round-topped loaves, thus maximizing the use of space in the Pullman Kitchen.


4 Cups Bread Flour – Divided

2 Cups Unbleached Flour

2 (1/4 Ounces) Packages Active Dry Yeast

3 Teaspoons Salt

2 Cup Water

½ Cup Unsalted Butter

¼ Cup Honey

1 Large Lightly Beaten Egg

1 Egg White

2 Tablespoons Water

Spray a large size mixing bowl with cooking spray and set aside. If you don’t have cooking spray then grease the bowl with olive oil. Spray 2 (9×5 inch) Pullman pans or 9x 5 inch bread pans with cooking spray (olive oil if you don’t have cooking spray) and set aside. In a separate large bowl combine 3 cups of bread flour, unbleached flour, yeast and salt. In a small saucepan combine 2 tablespoons of water, butter and honey. Heat over a medium heat until the mixture registers 120° F on an instant read thermometer. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add the water mixture. Add the egg. Using a mixer on low speed beat for 2 minutes. Add enough remaining bread flour to make a soft dough.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for 6 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Place the dough in the prepared bowl. Turn to coat the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85° F), free from drafts, for approximately 1 hour or until the dough is doubled in bulk.

Punch the dough down and divide into 2 nine inch loaves. Place the loaves into the prepared pans. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until the dough has doubled. Preheat the oven to 350° F. In a small bowl whisk together the egg white and water. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the loaves with the egg white mixture. Bake for 25 minutes until the loaves are deep golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool in the pans for 10 minutes. Remove from the pans and cool on wire racks for 30 minutes before slicing. Store, covered, at room temperature for up to 5 days. Makes 2 loaves.

Pumpkin Biscuits

November 30, 2011

Pumpkin Biscuits

These Pumpkin Biscuits are melt in your mouth good! Easy to make too!


1 ¼ Cups Unbleached Flour

2 Tablespoons Plus 1 Teaspoon Sugar

1 Tablespoon Plus 1 Teaspoon Baking Powder

½ Teaspoon Salt

¼ Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg

¼ Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

¾ Cup Pumpkin Puree

¼ Cup Melted Butter

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 450° F. In a large bowl sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon. Add the pumpkin puree and melted butter to the flour mixture. Stir well. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead 8 times until the dough is smooth. Roll the dough to ½ inch thick. Use a 2 inch round cutter or the mouth of a glass. Cut the dough. Reroll the scraps once. Place the biscuits on the parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes until they are lightly golden. Serve warm with butter and honey. Makes 1 dozen biscuits.

Cheese Bread

November 9, 2011

Cheese Bread

This cheese bread is so good. I am certain that you will get hooked on this bread! You can make dinner rolls out of this recipe by simply dividing into smaller pieces.


¾ Cup Water

2 Tablespoons Yeast

3 Cups Unbleached Flour

2 Tablespoons Sugar

1 ½ Teaspoons Salt

2 Tablespoons Softened Butter

½ Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese

½ Cup Cottage Cheese

4 Tablespoons Grate Parmesan Cheese

Dissolve the yeast in ¼ cup of lukewarm water. Make sure that the water is NOT hot or it will kill the yeast. Add the remaining ingredients and mix. Knead by hand. Turn the dough onto a floured board and knead for 10 minutes. This is a great workout for your arms! Place in a greased bowl and cover. Let rise, in a warm place, for 1 hour until doubled. Punch down the dough and form into a 9 inch log. Place it in a 9×5 inch loaf pan. Loosely cover with greased plastic and let it rise until the bread is one inch above the rim of the pan.

If you are making dinner rolls divide the dough into 12 equal pieces and shape into rolls. Place the rolls on a lightly greased or parchment lined baking sheet. Cover loosely with greased plastic and let rise, in a warm place, for 30 minutes.

Bake the risen dough in a preheated 350° F oven for 20 minutes for the rolls and 30 minutes for a loaf. Remove from the oven and serve the rolls warm or let the bread cool in the pan for 15 minutes removing from the pan to cool on a wire rack. Makes 12 rolls or 1 loaf (16 slices).

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