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bread

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3 Ingredient Flaky Biscuits

July 21, 2014

3 Ingredient Biscuits | Espresso and Cream

I should probably postpone writing this post until I have a few more words to say. I’ve been sitting in front of this screen, trying to find the words. But between the nausea, exhaustion and cravings for carbs, carbs and more carbs, I’m finding myself at a bit of a loss for words.

We had a lovely weekend. My mom made a surprise visit on Saturday and we took Pippa and Nutmeg to a Cavalier play date (yes, you read that right). We got a small glimpse into what parenthood might look like when Pippa was the only cavalier who jumped into the kiddie pool, started drinking the water and then proceeded to pee in the pool with everyone watching! It with simultaneously hilarious and embarrassing all at once.

Since, as I mentioned, carbs have been high on the list of foods I love, I did a little baking this weekend. Last week at work we had the pleasure of having Jeni of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams come to the kitchens to talk with us about the creative process and making ice cream. She also did a demo with a few of the recipes from her newest cookbook, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream Desserts.

One of the desserts Jeni made was a fruit cobbler with the most amazing biscuit topper. It used self-rising flour and heavy cream. I decided to take the same concept and make biscuits, using whole milk instead of heavy cream and shaping them more into regular biscuits rather than drop dumplings. The results were fantastic and I was thrilled with how easy the recipe ended up being. Great for weeknight cooking!

3 Ingredient Flaky Biscuits | Espresso and Cream

3 Ingredient Flaky Biscuits
Author: 
Recipe type: Bread, Side Dish
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 5 to 6
 
Ingredients
  • 3 cups self-rising flour
  • 4 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1½ cups whole milk
  • 1 egg, beaten (optional)
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 375°F. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour and butter. Pulse 5 to 8 times until the butter is broken up into small pieces. Add the milk to the flour mixture and process until the mixture forms a ball.
  3. Turn dough out onto a well-floured surface. Press into an 8 by 4 inch rectangle about ½ inch thick. Fold rectangle in half. Use a 3½ to 4-inch round biscuit cutter to cut five to six biscuits from dough, rolling and re-rolling dough as necessary to use up remaining dough.
  4. If desired, brush biscuits with egg.
  5. Bake 20 to 24 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown. Cool 5 minutes. Serve warm with butter, jam or honey.

 

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Whole Wheat Biscuits with Jam

March 3, 2014

Whole Wheat Biscuits | Espresso and Cream
In our house, weekends are for taking a little extra time to make breakfast. I love waking up early (yes, we wake up early even on the weekend) and starting a pot of coffee on the stove top, getting out ingredients for homemade biscuits and spending an extra few minutes in the kitchen preparing breakfast.

Growing up, my mom made biscuits served with beef stew and it was always one of my favorite meals. Today, I usually make biscuits for breakfast on the weekends, paired with scrambled eggs and, if Joe is lucky, I’ll make some bacon, too.

When Joe and I were first married, I made homemade biscuits for him one morning for breakfast. About half way through the first biscuit, he looked at me and said, “These biscuits are SO good. Where did you buy them?” When I told him I made them from scratch a look of disbelief came over his face. We still laugh about it today. My husband, who knew he was married to a food editor, in shock that I could make biscuits that delicious. Clearly, I had some work to do.

Whole Wheat Biscuits 3 | Espresso and Cream
Sometimes, when I’m feeling a little guilty and want to make a breakfast that feels slightly more virtuous I’ll make these biscuits 100% whole wheat. They’re heartier and more dense than a traditional biscuit, but I love the rich, nutty flavor of the whole wheat flour. If you’re looking for a biscuit that’s more traditional, lighter and fluffier, I would suggest using 1/2 whole wheat flour and 1/2 all-purpose flour.

Whole Wheat Biscuits 2 | Espresso and Cream

Whole Wheat Biscuits with Jam
Recipe type: Breakfast
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups whole wheat flour (if you like a lighter biscuit, swap half the whole wheat flour for all-purpose flour)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ tablespoon brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon milk (use 2% or whole milk)
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 450°F.
  2. In medium mixing bowl, combine whole wheat flour, baking powder, sugar and salt until well combined.
  3. Cut butter into small pieces. Use a fork or pastry blender to blend butter into flour until mixture resembles a coarse meal with some larger pieces of butter remaining.
  4. Add milk to flour mixture and stir until just combined. Use your hands to bring dough together gently, lightly kneading dough just 2 to 3 times. Turn dough out onto floured surface and pat into a rectangle about ½ inch thick. Fold dough in half crosswise to make a double thickness of dough.
  5. Use a 2½ to 3 inch biscuit cutter to cut two biscuits from dough. Re-shape dough and cut two more biscuits for a total of four biscuits.
  6. Bake 13 to 15 minutes or until biscuits are flaky and golden brown. Serve with jam or butter.

 

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Classic, No-Fuss Banana Bread

August 22, 2013

Banana_Bread_2

A couple weeks ago I shared with you a recipe from Joe’s great grandma Jacobs. Maybe I was a bit early with sharing a recipe for pumpkin bread in August, but it was so delicious that I’m sure anyone who bakes up a loaf would quickly forgive me for sharing something not quite seasonal.

I was so inspired by the pumpkin bread recipe. It was so perfect, exactly how I remember perfect pumpkin bread tasting, and, more importantly, the texture was just right. And so, with that recipe in hand, I decided to try and recreate the banana bread I remember from childhood church potlucks and snack times. I’m not sure who made that type of banana bread, but it was spot on.

I have a lot of banana bread recipes on this site. Maybe a few too many, but I can’t help myself. There’s this Chocolate Banana Bread, which is a departure from the traditional. And this Caramelized Banana Bread, which is all about a unique method for creating great banana flavor. And the healthier varieties, like the Higher Protein Chocolate Chip Banana Bread and Health Nut Banana Bread and even a recipe for Banana Bread Ultimate, which is a very old recipe and probably not all that “ultimate” when I really think about it. Sorry for that. And if that wasn’t enough, I have a recipe for Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Mini Muffins. They really are quite good, though the photo is horrible.

I’m starting to realize my banana bread obsession is getting out of hand. Forgive me?

But what’s really missing from this whole collection is a great, classic  banana bread. Probably because I haven’t had any success with the type of recipe I was looking for until now. Perhaps it’s time to retire my search for the perfect banana bread?

Banana_Bread_1

Classic Banana Bread
Makes 12 servings
Ingredients
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
3 medium very ripe bananas, mashed
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup oil
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions
Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Stir until well combined. Add in the mashed bananas, sugar, oil, eggs, water and vanilla and stir until just combined.

Line two 9×5-inch baking pans with aluminum foil. Spray lightly with cooking spray. Divide batter between two pans. Bake 50 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out nearly clean. Cool 5 minutes in pan on wire rack. remove from pan and remove foil. Cool completely. Store on the counter wrapped in aluminum foil.

Happy Baking!
Madison

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Grandma Jacobs’ Pumpkin Bread

July 29, 2013

Grandma_Jacobs_Pumpkin_Bread_1

I think I’ve mentioned before that when Joe and I got married his mom passed along to us a recipe binder full of heritage recipes from Joe’s great-grandma Jacobs’. I’m a huge fan of old recipes, since I think they have so much to teach us about cooking before it became all complicated and fussy and, most importantly, before it became the cool thing to do. It’s hard for me to remember a time when cooking wasn’t flashy and fashionable and splashed on the television as a form of entertainment. Sometimes it’s nice to think about food in simple terms, isn’t it? As a means of fuel and a way to connect with others. Plus, a lot of the recipes I’ve made that were passed from generation to generation are much better than anything you will find in a magazine today.

That said, please don’t kill me for sharing a pumpkin recipe in July. Sure, I love pumpkin during the fall as much as the next person, maybe even a little more. But I don’t intend to rush into fall flavors full time just yet. However, last weekend we had some crazy unseasonable weather with temps that were in the 50’s and 60’s, which left me craving pumpkin bread in a major way. And since Grandma Jacobs’ book had a recipe that was simple and straightforward, I couldn’t resist.

Pumpkin_Bread_2

I know a lot of people, myself included, are on the continual search for a classic banana or pumpkin bread recipe. If you’ve tried other recipes in the past and been disappointed, this is the recipe for you. I’ve been disappointed by many a pumpkin bread recipes, but this one totally delivered on the flavor and texture I was looking for. It’s not overly spiced, and has plenty of bright pumpkin flavor. And the texture is spot on. It’s moist without being soggy and the top isn’t dry like other recipes I’ve tried.

The real key to getting that semi-sticky top is to store this bread wrapped in aluminum foil on the counter. Bake it at night, wrap it up after it has cooled, and wake up to the pumpkin bread of your dreams.

Pumpkin_Bread_3

Grandma Jacobs’ Pumpkin Bread
Makes 2 loaves
The original recipe calls for 3 cups of sugar. When I first saw that, it seemed like a lot of sugar for two loaves, so I cut it back to 2 cups and the recipe turned out great. The bread was pleasantly sweet but not sweet like cake/dessert. If you are looking for a sweeter and more decadent bread, I would strongly suggest going for 2 1/2 to 3 cups of sugar.
Ingredients
3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 to 3 cups sugar (see note above)
1 cup oil
4 large eggs
2/3 cup water
1 can (15 oz) pumpkin puree
1 cup chopped nuts (optional – I left them out)

Directions
Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir until well combined. Add in the sugar, oil, eggs, water and pumpkin and stir until just combined. Stir in the nuts, if desired.

Line two 9×5-inch baking pans with aluminum foil. Spray lightly with cooking spray. Divide batter between two pans. Bake 55 to 65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out nearly clean. Cool 5 minutes in pan on wire rack. remove from pan and remove foil. Cool completely. Store on the counter wrapped in aluminum foil.

Happy Baking!
Madison

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Whole Wheat Chocolate Banana Bread

March 18, 2013

Chocolate_Banana_Bread_1

We’ve been switching up our Sunday routine a little bit around our house over the last month or so. You see, mornings are our favorite time of the morning, specifically lazy mornings that include sweat pants, copious amounts of coffee and something a little sweet and extra special for breakfast. The church we’ve been attending has a Sunday night church service for young adults and young families so we’ve been taking things pretty easy around here Saturday and Sunday morning. I swear it makes our weekend feel longer.

Last week I bought way too many bananas at the grocery store. I can’t ever seem to get the number of bananas right each week. One week we run short, the next weekend I buy too many. This week was one of those weekends where I found myself with bananas that were a little over ripe. I froze a couple for smoothies throughout the week, then decided it had been too long since a batch of banana bread had been made. Of course I wanted to mix things up and do something I hadn’t done before. I’ve made plenty of loaves of banana bread, whole wheat even, and I’ve made a few versions of chocolate chip banana bread. But I’ve never made chocolate banana bread until this past weekend.

Joe, being the diligent taste tester that he is, had a slice straight from the oven. Then another for good measure slathered with butter. And another two slices the following day. This stuff is seriously delicious. I found my initial inspiration from Martha Stewart’s recipe for Banana-Chocolate Bread, though my end result only vaguely resembles Martha’s recipe. I used whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose, cut the sugar way back and added cocoa powder and almond flour for texture and flavor.

Nutmeg_Blogging

Nutmeg, who desperately needs a haircut, showed remarkable restraint while I photographed this bread. She asked that I put this photo up as proof of her good behavior. I obliged.

Chocolate_Banana_Bread_2

Whole Wheat Chocolate Banana Bread
Despite the more healthful ingredient list, this loaf is incredibly decadent and rich thanks to the hearty whole wheat flour and an abundance of mashed bananas. I’ve found that I can save a lot of hassle when mashing the bananas by putting them in my mixer and beating them with the paddle attachment for 30 seconds or until smooth. If you don’t have almond meal on hand, feel free to substitute additional whole wheat flour for the almond meal. The resulting loaf should turn out equally delicious.

Ingredients
*1 stick butter, softened
*4 medium over-ripe bananas, mashed
*2/3 cup sugar
*1 teaspoon vanilla extract
*1 teaspoon baking soda
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*2 large eggs
*1 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
*1/3 cup almond meal
*1/4 cup cocoa powder
*2 oz semi sweet chocolate, finely chopped (almost shaved)

Directions
Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly spray a 9×5-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray or butter. Set aside.

With an electric mixer, beat butter until smooth. Add in the bananas, sugar, vanilla, baking soda and salt and beat until well combined. Beat eggs in one at a time until just combined. In a small bowl, combine the flour, almond meal and cocoa powder and add to wet ingredients. Beat until just combined. Stir in the chocolate by hand.

Pour mixture into pan and bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes in pan.

Remove from pan and cool completely on wire rack.

Happy Baking!
Madison

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