Tag Archives: Breakfast

Sourdough English Muffins

I hate teeth.

Why must we have these 32 little “bones” in our mouths? Do we even need that many anyways?

Maybe I hate teeth because they ache sometimes.

My mom used to say that toothaches are the worst kind of pain. She’s probably right. After all, she had 3 of us little rascals.

Back to teeth…I was wondering, why can’t we have teeth like we have hair?

You know, no nerves, no blood vessels attached? They can just grow and grow and grow.

And we’ll get a “teethcut” every once in a while…

And we can even get “teethstyles”!!

Is that too crazy?

Ok, I’ll let you chew on that…in the mean time, let’s talk about something completely painless.

50% Whole wheat sourdough english muffins.

This recipe was adapted from a post by kjknits on The Fresh Loaf, who adapted from it from King Arthur Flour Baking Circle. It is my first time making English muffins, since like the 99.9 percent of people, I get my little rounds of holey-ness from supermarkets, but I have been meaning to make them for a while, ever since I got my own sourdough starter going a couple months ago.

What better time to have them than Saturday morning breakfast?

So I mixed the starter, milk, and flour together last night, and let it ferment to wonderful puffiness overnight. This morning while still in PJ’s and crusty-eyed I added sugar, salt, baking soda, and extra flour to finish the dough. Stamped them into rounds promptly and left them to rise for 45 minutes. During which I took a shower and had some coffee.

After that everything took its course very naturally…and here we are!

The taste is fairly close to store-bought, though I might add a touch less baking soda next time. No hint of sourness at all, thanks to the baking soda. After I dumped the soda in it dawned to me…wait a minute, acid plus base equals bye bye tangy-ness…oops. It’s ok, everything worked out in the end. I had faith.

As for the texture…is it all nooks and crannies? Well…not exactly. You get a bit of holey-ness, a couple were nice and holey, but mostly it’s more of a soft pillowy-ness. Not to worry, it still absorbed butter like a sponge.

All right, I’m going to let you decided what you think about them, along with “toothcuts” and  “toothstyles”, not to mention “toothdyes” and “tooth salons”…

Sourdough English Muffins

Makes about 12 (smallish, 2.5 inch in diameter)

1/2 C. starter (mine is a 100% hydration white starter)
1 C. milk
1 c. all purpsoe whole wheat flour
1 c. all purpose white flour

3/4 c. all purpose white flour (use as much as needed to form a smooth, slightly sticky dough)
1 Tbsp. sugar
3/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda

Semolina or cornmeal, for dusting

1. Combine the first 4 ingredients, cover, and let rise for 8 hours or overnight.
2. Stir in the sugar, salt, and baking soda.
3. Work in enough flour to form a smooth dough, it’s ok if it’s slightly sticky.
4. Knead for 4-5 minutes, adding flour as required. (a dough scraper is helpful here)
5. Roll or pat into a round between 1/2 inch and 3/4 inch thick.
6. Cut into rounds.
7. Let rise for 45 minutes on baking sheet dusted with semolina or cornmeal.
8. Heat a skillet or griddle on medium heat and spray lightly with oil.
9. Working in batches, cook the muffins about 4-5 minutes on each side, or until light brown. (I used a cast iron skillet and turned the heat lower to prevent burning)
10. As I’m sure I don’t have to tell you this: split and butter and devour.

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Filed under Breads, Breakfast

Brunch at Bistro Fruit Folie

Last year we stumbled upon a neat little place on rue St. Denis in Montreal. We had awesome burgers at very reasonable prices with a waitress with the biggest smile we’ve ever seen. Apparently the smiles weren’t just a one-time thing. Last week I went there with Ian after church for brunch and our waitress had more 100-watt smiles waiting for us.

Excellent, excellent service.

And of course, excellent, excellent food.

I ordered the crepes with three flours, one of which I suspect is buckwheat. It was supposed to come with fruit, but I had no idea that it was going to come with so much fruit! And nicely cut fruit too! The crepes were rolled around breakfast sausages and topped with a bit of swiss cheese. I had to feed Ian half my fruit to be able to finish it all.

That was all for like, six bucks. Tell me, where in Montreal can you find an awesome breakfast like that in Montreal?

I got the orange pekoe and made my own Asian milk tea. That gave me a big smile, which I returned to the waitress, who came by no less than three times to see if we were okay.

If you get a chance, go eat breakfast/lunch/brunch at the Bistro Fruit Folie at 3817 rue St. Denis in Montreal.

I just love brunch! 😀

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Filed under Bakery/Restaurant Reviews, Breakfast, Lunch

Flakey Buttery Croissants

One might say that I’m picky when it comes to croissants. I don’t like the regular super market vegetable shortening-laden pastries that they call croissants. They have no real butter taste and no real flakiness. The perfect croissant for me has a flakey exterior with a hint of crunch and a soft, chewy interior that isn’t too airy. And an overwhelming taste of butter, of course.

Croissants like that are readily available from any of the excellent bakeries in Montreal, and so I’ve never attempted to spend most of the day in the kitchen, laboring over homemade ones. Until now. After reading Shirley O. Corriher’s recipe in her wonderfully useful and scientific book Bakewise I decided, you know, I’ve got so much time on my hands, why not try it?

So I did.

As far as first attempts go, it isn’t bad. Shirley described her croissants and very flakey, and I thought to myself, flakey is good. I mean, flakey is good, and I would never think that a pastry could be too flakey. But that is what they turned out to be. Too flakey. Which in turn gave them too much crunch on the outside. The inside, however, is nice and moist and chewy.

Also, the croissants had oodles of butter and oozed and pooled when they were baking that I was reluctant to peek in the oven. Doing so made me feel too guilty. 😉

So, in the end, I reached these two conclusions about making my own croissants:

  1. VERY time consuming, not that I didn’t know that from the beginning.
  2. VERY guilt-inducing, more so than buying bakery croissants.

I think I will probably stick with bakeries, since they do such a good job and have the time that I don’t. That is not to say that I won’t give it another go if one day I get snowed in and want to add some padding in preparation for hibernation.

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Filed under Breads, Breakfast, Pastries

Chocolate Chip Pancakes

It’s always a treat to have pancakes for breakfast. Soft, fluffy, lightly sweetened and adorned with a smear of butter and a drizzle of maple syrup.

It’s even more of a treat to sprinkle chocolate chips on top. Especially for the kids. Be prepared for a round of “YAY!” Who knows, the little bit of chocolate in these pancakes might just perk up your mood for a bright and cheerful day. 🙂

Chocolate Chip Pancakes
makes 12 4-in pancakes

1 1/3 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 c. whole milk with 1 Tbsp. white vinegar
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. oil, plus more for the pan
Chocolate Chips

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, vinegar, eggs, oil and vanilla until well combined.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients except for the chocolate chips and stir lightly until blended. Do not overmix.
  3. Heat up a large frying pan or griddle on medium heat, drizzle with a bit of oil, and ladle the batter on top. Sprinkle 7-8 chocolate chips on each pancake.
  4. Cook for about a minute on each side until both sides are lightly browned.

Pancakes on FoodistaPancakes

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Filed under Breakfast, Chocolate, Comfort Food

“Best of 2000” Cinnamon Buns – End of July NaBloPoMo

First of all, thank you Ms. Kanis! You were always a wonderful, attentive, fair teacher who knew what she was doing!

This recipe came from a cooking class I took back in high school. No other cinnamon bun recipe, prior to, or post, this one, has impressed me as much. To me, these are truly the BEST. Not just from the year 2000 either.

Very few foods offer me the pleasure of wiping my brain clean, then flooding with the very taste and texture of it. I don’t often go, “WOW, this is GOOD.” Once was a pizza I ate in junior high, it tasted vaguely of butter. Don’t ask. Another time was during eighth period Culinary Arts, a single bite of cinnamon sugar encrusted brioche-tasting dough.

After I lost the recipe last year, I have searched up and down, in and out, for it. Finally, when I went back to Jersey earlier this summer I visited Ms. Kanis at my high school to get a copy. So so happy I have it again. It’s gem.

I think I can justify eating one for breakfast if it wasn’t glazed. Save the glazed ones for dessert, although the glazed ones are definitely better than the non-glazed. The taste of butter dominates in the glaze and adds an extra “oomph” to the bun. These are sticky, chewy, gooey. Everything you need in a cinnamon bun.

This remains one of the only recipes that I do not alter.

“Best of 2000” Cinnamon Buns
adapted from Ms. Kanis, WWPHSS, with much love and gratitude
makes 12 large buns

Dough:
1 package active dry yeast, or 2 1/4 tsp.
1/2 c. warm water
1/3 c. plus 1/2 tsp. sugar, divided
1/2 c. warm milk
1/3 c. butter, unsalted, softened
1 tsp. salt
1 egg, slightly beaten
3 1/2 c. to 4 c. all-purpose flour or bread flour

Filling:
1/2 c. melted butter, unsalted, divided
3/4 c. plus 2 Tbsp. sugar, divided
1 1/2 Tbsp. cinnamon
3/4 c. chopped walnuts, I toasted mine first
3/4 c. raisins, optional, we didn’t use it in class, and I’ve never used it

Glaze:
1/3 c. melted butter, unsalted
2 c. powdered sugar, sifted
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2-4 Tbsp. hot water

To make the dough:

  1. Combine yeast, warm water, and 1/2 tsp. sugar in a measuring cup and stir, set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mix warmed milk, remaining 1/3 c. sugar, butter, salt, and egg; stir well and add yeast mixture.
  3. Add half the flour and beat until smooth. Work in enough of the remaining flour to make a slightly stiff dough, it will be sticky.
  4. Turn out onto a well-floured counter. Knead 5-10 minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic. Add more flour to the work surface as needed to keep it from sticking. As Ms. Kanis used to say, “As smooth as a baby’s bottom, or as smooth as my grandmother’s cheek.”
  5. Place in a well-buttered bowl, cover and let ruse until doubled in bulk. You can place it in the fridge overnight.

To make the filling:

  1. Punch down the dough and let rest for 5 minutes. Roll out on floured counter into a 15 by 20 inch rectangle.
  2. Spread dough with 1/4 c. melted butter.
  3. Mix together 3/4 c. sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle over buttered dough. Sprinkle walnuts and raisins, if using.
  4. Roll up jelly-roll fashion, starting from the short side, so you end up with a 15 inch. log. Pinch edges to seal and cut into 12 slices
  5. Coat the bottom of a 9 by 13 baking pan (I used two 9 inch round pans) with remaining 1/4 c. melted butter. Sprinkle with remaining 2 Tbsp. sugar. Place slices close together in pans. Cover and let rise until doubled. Once again, you can refridgerate overnight. For a treat in the morning!
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake 23-30 minutes, or until nicely browned. Let cool slightly, then spread with glaze.

To make the glaze:

  1. Mix melted butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla. Add hot water 1 Tbsp. at a time until glaze is of desired consistency.
  2. Stir again before using.

If there is anything that makes me happy, even when I’m down, it’s these cinnamon buns. It fills your house with the comforting scent of cinnamon and sugar and your heart with happiness. Enjoy. 🙂

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Filed under Breads, Breakfast, Comfort Food, Pastries

Lightly Spiced Plum Mini Muffins

I was given jelly moulds by a nice lady a couple months ago. I had been slightly worried that I couldn’t bake in them, since I really don’t do jelly. But I really shouldn’t have worried, they release wonderfully and give the baked good such a terrific, even browning. I imagine that I’d be making interestingly shaped cakes in the future, like this one.

I had originally created this recipe for making mini muffins but the recipe made too much batter so I dumped the remaining batter into my sprayed jelly mould. I liked the result. It slices like a light version of a pound cake. A mellon shaped pound cake.

The texture of the muffins are terrific! I could stop nibbling for the texture alone. It’s tender, almost like cake, due to the creaming method used to make them. It has a light, open crumb, and has an almost velvety feel in your mouth.

The taste is pretty darn fine too. Soft vanilla supporting the spicy cinnamon. The result is that when you first bite into it, vanilla eagerly greets your nose and your palate, then cinnamon provides the warm afterglow, which is punctuated by the tartness of the plum.

I pressed a piece of fresh black plum into each muffin to contrast the sweetness and balance the muffin. These are great as a snack. Try to eat just one. Just try!

Lightly Spiced Plum Mini Muffins
makes 24 mini muffins plus more batter for a small, 6 inch cake

2 c. all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c. unsalted butter, softened
3/4 c. light brown sugar
1 c. milk with 1 Tbsp. vinegar stirred into it
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 large black plum, cut into 24 little bites

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray your muffin pans well, or grease and flour. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. In a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy and light. Add the eggs one at a time and blend well. Add the vanilla and cinnamon, mix again. Now add alternately the flour mixture and the soured milk. First 1/3 flour, mix well, followed by 1/2 milk, and mix well again. End in flour.

Spoon the batter into the muffin pans and press a piece of plum into the centre of each muffin. You can make the rest of the batter into more mini muffins if you have the extra tins, or into a small cake pan, or regular muffins, adjust the baking times accordingly.

Bake the mini muffins for about 20 minutes. Let cool before removing from pans.

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Filed under Breakfast, Muffins, Snacks

Potato Pancakes

These aren’t the traditional latkes, which to my understanding, contain little or no flour. These are more like savoury pancakes with some shredded potatoes added in. The potatoes lend the pancakes moisture, softness, and texture. A little bit of grated jalapeno monterey cheese kicks it up a bit. Excellent for breakfast, and the leftovers make for great snacking.

Potato Pancakes
makes twelve 4-inch pancakes

1 medium potato, shredded to make about 1 cup
1/2 c. grated jalapeno monterey jack cheese
1 egg
1/4 c. sour cream
1/2 c. milk
1/4 tsp. black pepper
generous pinch of salt
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
3/4 c. flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/3 c. chopped green onions
oil for frying (2-4 Tbsp.)

Place potatoes, egg, cheese, sour cream, and milk in a large bowl. Mix well. Add remaining ingredients. Mix until moistened, taking care not to over mix.

Heat a skillet on medium heat, add 1 Tbsp. oil and swirl to coat the bottom. Add the batter by the spoonful and spread out. Cook for 2 minutes or until bubbles rise to the surface and bottom is golden brown. Flip over and cook for another 2 minutes.

Serve warm. Sprinkle with more shredded cheese and green onions. Sour cream makes a nice addition.

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Filed under Breakfast