Category Archives: Breads

Blueberry Corn Muffins

Blueberry Corn Muffins

I don’t really like to tell people how to live their lives or what they should eat, but I have to make an exception. It’s important, I promise.

Y’all, you need to start putting blueberries in your corn muffins. Yes, the dinner-appropriate muffins I posted in the dead of winter. Those. Put blueberries in them and then eat them for breakfast or lunch, or even dinner, if you can get away with it.

Just do it. You won’t regret it. #peerpressure

Blueberry Corn Muffins

It seems obvious once you’ve thought about it. Corn and blueberries are great together! Corn is sweet and earthy; blueberries are sweet and tart. The two are frequently paired in salads in the summer months, so why not combine them in muffins, you know? This was my exact train of thought when I made these a few days ago, and now I’m just wondering why I didn’t make them sooner.

These Blueberry Corn Muffins are so easy to whisk together, and the payoff is outstanding. The recipe is the tiniest tweak on my original corn muffin recipe; I added a touch more flour and some vanilla for a sweeter profile without upping the sugar. Oh, and plenty of fresh summer blueberries, of course!

Blueberry Corn Muffins

Blueberry Corn Muffins bake up in less than 15 minutes. They’re soft, tender and perfectly domed, with a slight crumbly crunch from the cornmeal and bursting blueberries in every bite! While combining two already great things doesn’t always give great results, I am here to say that the union of corn muffins and blueberries is not to be missed.

I’ll say it again: you need to start putting blueberries in your corn muffins.

Blueberry Corn Muffins
makes 12 standard muffins

3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1 cup fresh blueberries
1/2 cup milk (preferably whole), room temperature
1/2 cup full-fat sour cream
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 400F.

Line a 12-cup standard muffin pan with cupcake liners, or grease well. Set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In a small bowl, toss 1 tablespoon of the dry ingredients with the blueberries. Set aside.

In a small-medium mixing bowl (or large measuring cup), whisk together milk, sour cream, butter, eggs and vanilla. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon just until combined. Gently fold in blueberries.

Divide batter among muffin cups, about 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) each; they will be pretty full. Carefully tap the pan on the counter five times to release any large air bubbles. Bake for 13-14 minutes, until domed and a bit golden.

Remove muffins from the oven and let cool in the pan for ten minutes before removing to a rack to cool. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.

Leftovers will keep well tightly-covered at room temperature for up to two days or in the refrigerator for up to five. Muffins may be double-wrapped in plastic and frozen for up to 3 months.

Bostock {Toasted Brioche with Almonds}

Bostock {Toasted Brioche with Almonds}​

If you’ve ever seen fancy-looking Bostock in a bakery, you may be surprised to learn that it’s a snap to make as far as French pastry goes. The origin of the name is up for debate, but it’s sometimes also referred to as Brioche aux Amandes or “almond brioche.” All that is fine and good—almonds and brioche are enough of a selling point—but I was drawn to Bostock when I learned it’s not actually a pastry on its own, but instead a way to repurpose day-old bread. Yep, it’s the pastry equivalent of French toast! Bostock is nothing more than thick, day-old slices of brioche painted with simple syrup, topped with frangipane and sliced almonds (and sometimes seasonal fruit), and baked until golden.

Bostock {Toasted Brioche with Almonds}​

Permitting you are using store bought brioche, this recipe comes together very quickly. Simple syrup is made from equal volumes of sugar and water, and takes only five minutes to simmer. Frangipane, a sweet almond pastry cream made primarily of almond flour, sugar, butter and an egg, just needs two minutes in the blender. See? Quick and easy! Also, if you are more organized than I am, both elements can be made up to a week ahead—just make sure to let your frangipane come to room temperature before you try to spread it on the delicate brioche.

Assembly is easy as can be. Cut the stale brioche into 8 thick slices, then give each one a heavy brush of simple syrup and a luxurious smear of frangipane. Add some fresh fruit if you like, or don’t; I sliced up a nectarine for half my pastries. Sprinkle on some sliced almonds and bake your Bostock for 25-30 minutes, or until it’s puffed and browned a bit.

Bostock {Toasted Brioche with Almonds}​

One more wonderful thing about Bostock? You don’t have to let it cool completely! Definitely don’t eat it straight out of the oven, but go right ahead and enjoy it warm with a (admittedly heavy) dusting of confectioner’s sugar. It’s crispy and toasty at the edges, and the frangipane squidges against your teeth in the most satisfying way. Bostock is softer at room temperature, but still pretty dang stellar. I haven’t seen many people tell you to eat it cold, but I’ll admit that I like the leftovers straight from the fridge, too.

Bostock {Toasted Brioche with Almonds}​

Like its spiritual cousin French toast, Bostock is a genius way to repurpose leftovers into something much greater than the sum of its parts. While the classic recipe is made with brioche, you could give the Bostock treatment to a number of leftover carbs. Challah, stale croissants, and day-old waffles come to mind. You could also swap out the simple syrup for warmed jam—I’m absolutely going to try matching the flavor with my seasonal fruit topping next time! Saturday morning double cherry Bostock, anyone?!

Bostock {Toasted Brioche with Almonds}​
Bostock {Toasted Brioche with Almonds}
makes 8 servings

Simple Syrup:
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup water

Frangipane:
1 cup blanched almond flour or 4 ounces blanched almonds
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold-ish room temperature, cut into cubes
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract

For Assembly:
8 thick slices brioche, preferably a bit stale (mine were from 1 14oz loaf)
2 medium sliced nectarines or other seasonal fruit (optional)
2-3 tablespoons sliced almonds
2 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar

Arrange a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a rimmed sheet pan with parchment paper. Set aside.

Make the simple syrup. Combine water and sugar in a small saucepan. Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat. Set aside.

Make the frangipane. In a food processor (or very good blender), pulse almond flour, all-purpose flour, salt and sugar together. Pulse in butter. Pour in egg and almond extract, and process until frangipane is a homogenous paste.

Place brioche slices in a single layer on the prepared pan. Brush each slice with simple syrup, making sure to use up all the syrup. Spread about 2 heaping tablespoons of frangipane over each slice of brioche, covering the entire top. Press in fruit, if using, then sprinkle on the sliced almonds.

Bake Bostock for 25-30 minutes, until the frangipane as begun to brown in places. Let cool on a rack for at least 15 minutes before dusting with confectioner’s sugar and serving slightly warm or at room temperature.

Bostock is best the day it’s made, but may be wrapped and kept in the refrigerator for a couple of days.
Bostock {Toasted Brioche with Almonds}​
Bostock {Toasted Brioche with Almonds}​

English Muffin Bread

English Muffin Bread Today I’m taking this blog into new territory: bread! You won’t find me feeding any sourdough starters or anything, but I have taken a chance on a few bread recipes over the last year because…well, I had some time on my hands. English Muffin Bread is my favorite by a long shot. It’s got all the craggy structure of English muffins, toasts like a dream, and is so delicious it’s kind of ridiculous.English Muffin BreadI first heard about English Muffin Bread when Rebecca posted her recipe a few years ago, and then crossed paths with it again recently while Instagramming my way through the Southern Living 1985 Annual Recipes cookbook. It looked so easy to make that I couldn’t resist giving it a go!

While my initial try was a bit dense, it was still tasty (as nearly all homemade bread is), and I soon found myself making eight more batches in an effort to nail down the perfect balance of English muffin texture, rich flavor and ease of preparation. I’m here to tell you that I succeeded.English Muffin BreadMy English Muffin Bread is a one bowl, no-knead, single rise situation. By giving this dough just a few minutes of your time and then a bit of patience, you’ll be rewarded with all the craggy texture you love in English muffins, but in a sliceable, toastable loaf. Two of them, actually.

That may sound like more bread than you need, but if you’re anything like me, you won’t have a problem getting through it. However, if you have more self-control than I do, you could freeze or gift a loaf, or just halve the recipe. Oh, and for what it’s worth, making two loaves of this bread is way less expensive than purchasing store-bought English muffins. You know, if you care about that sort of thing.English Muffin BreadEnglish Muffin Bread couldn’t be easier to make. Simply whisk together flour, a touch of sugar, kosher salt, instant yeast and a little baking soda, then stir in water and melted butter until a shaggy dough forms. Divide your dough in two, then put it in two cornmeal-dusted loaf pans. No, you didn’t miss a kneading step—thanks to the high volume of liquid and the desired texture, there’s no need to knead! <—see what I did there?!English Muffin BreadLet your dough rise for about an hour, just until it peaks over the tops of your pans. The combination of yeast and baking soda along with the single rise mean that the oven-ready dough will be very airy and a little delicate. It should be a bit wet looking and a little jiggly—be gentle with the pans so you don’t knock out any of the holey, craggy structure.Bake your loaves for 25-30 minutes as 400F, until golden all over and hollow-sounding when tapped. If you’re worried about under-baking, a food thermometer should register 190F when the bread is done.English Muffin BreadEnglish Muffin BreadTurn your loaves out onto a rack as soon as they come out of the oven, then let them cool completely. This is supremely important. Do not let the intoxicating smell of fresh-baked bread tempt you to rip into this while it’s cooling or you will find a gross, gummy mess. The hole structure needs to cool completely for maximum English muffin goodness. I find that cooling takes 2-3 hours, but that’s a small price to pay for the quality of toast you are about to consume.English Muffin BreadEnglish Muffin BreadWhile you can absolutely enjoy a slice of English Muffin Bread without doing anything to it, an extra crispy, golden brown, toasty finish really makes each slice sing. The holes and crags are emphasized, the cornmeal on the edge gets extra crunchy, the minuscule amount of butter in the dough gives it just enough richness. Like a perfectly toasted English muffin, it’s perfect with a smear of soft butter. Or honey. Or jam. Or Nutella. Or peanut butter. Or avocado. Or fried into French toast. Or made into a grilled cheese.

I’ve tried it all those ways. Quality control, y’all.English Muffin Bread

English Muffin Bread
heavily adapted from Julie L. York of Asheville, NC, via Southern Living magazine
makes 2 loaves

For the pans:
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
3-4 tablespoons cornmeal

Bread Dough:
5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
4 1/2 teaspoons (2 packages) instant yeast
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 2/3 cups warm water

For proofing:
plastic wrap
oil, butter or cooking spray

For serving:
butter
jam
honey

Grease 2 9×5-inch loaf pans with butter. Add cornmeal and rotate pans so that the entire insides are coated in a thin layer. Tap out and discard excess cornmeal.

In a medium-large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and instant yeast.

In a large liquid measuring cup (or other vessel) whisk together melted butter and warm water. It should be warm to the touch (90-110F) but not hot.

Whisk/stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients in two installments. Stir until a sticky, shaggy dough forms and flour is coated, then stir an additional 30 seconds to make sure things are saturated.

Grease your hands, then divide dough into prepared pans. Even dough out so that no portion is too much taller than any other. Grease 2 pieces of plastic wrap with oil, butter or cooking spray. Lay them loosely over the top of each loaf pan.

Place pans in a warm, draft-free environment for 45-60 minutes, or until the dough has risen just above the tops of the pans. While dough is rising, preheat oven to 400F.

When dough is ready, gently peel off and discard plastic wrap. Dough may seem a bit wet and jiggly. Gently place pans in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden all over. The interior temperature should be at least 190F.

Immediately turn bread out onto a rack. Let cool completely so crumb structure can set. Do not slice into bread until it is completely cool.

Slice and toast before serving with desired condiments. Leftovers will keep well-wrapped in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Cinnamon-Sugar Pull-Aparts

Cinnamon-Sugar Pull-ApartsOne of the great things about yeast doughs—aside from the fact that they’re way easier than they’re made out to be—is that they all seem to have multiple uses. My Kolache dough makes kickass Cinnamon Rolls, my Babka dough is really just a filled brioche, and my quickest sweet roll dough can be used for King Cake, Monkey Bread and these Cinnamon-Sugar Pull-Aparts!Cinnamon-Sugar Pull-ApartsLove a multitasker ❤ ❤ ❤ Cinnamon-Sugar Pull-ApartsIf you’ve never heard of pull-aparts, they’re basically a loaf of bread made of individual pieces layered with a filling (sweet or savory) and baked so that the whole can be pulled apart with your fingers instead of sliced with a knife.Cinnamon-Sugar Pull-ApartsAchieving this is really simple. The process begins like you’re going to make cinnamon rolls. Make a dough, make a cinnamon-brown sugar filling. Roll that dough out and top it with the filling. Nothing you haven’t (probably) done before.Cinnamon-Sugar Pull-ApartsCinnamon-Sugar Pull-ApartsCinnamon-Sugar Pull-ApartsCinnamon-Sugar Pull-ApartsCinnamon-Sugar Pull-ApartsThen, though, things get a little wacky. Instead of rolling the filled dough into a cylinder, it’s sliced into 36 squares, which are then piled into six stacks of six and arranged in a line(-ish thing) down the center of a loaf pan. The assembled loaf is allowed to rise for about an hour and then baked for 40 minutes, until deeply browned on top and cooked through in the center.Cinnamon-Sugar Pull-ApartsCinnamon-Sugar Pull-ApartsCinnamon-Sugar Pull-ApartsLet your pull-aparts cool for 20 minutes or so before removing them from the pan. Put the loaf on a serving platter and then blow it a kiss goodbye because it’s going to be quite literally pulled apart in front of your eyes. And it will be glooooorious.Cinnamon-Sugar Pull-ApartsI mean, it’s basically the center of a cinnamon roll’s swirl cut into squares and baked into a loaf shape so that it’s soft and gooey on the inside and crisp and brown on the outside and how could that be anything but glooooorious?Cinnamon-Sugar Pull-Aparts

Cinnamon-Sugar Pull-Aparts
makes one 9×5” loaf

Dough:
2 2/3-3 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 packet (2 1/4 teaspoons) instant yeast (I use Fleischmann’s Rapid Rise Yeast)
1 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1 cup whole milk
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 large eggs, beaten, room temperature

Filling:
3/4 cup light or dark brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan. Line with parchment, leaving overhang on the long sides for easy removal. Grease again. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sugar, instant yeast, and salt. Set aside.

In a small saucepan, heat whole milk and butter until hot to the touch, about 110F.

Use a silicone spatula or wooden spoon to fold milk mixture into dry ingredients , followed by beaten eggs. Add more all-purpose flour until dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl. Knead 5-6 minutes before forming into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 10 minutes (you may do this in a bowl, but I just do this on my surface).

Prepare the filling. In a small bowl, whisk together brown sugar, cinnamon and salt.

On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 14×14-inch square. Drop filling over the dough by the spoonful. Brush exposed dough with melted butter, leaving a 1/4-inch border on all sides. Sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar mixture. Roll floured rolling pin lightly over filling to adhere.

Use a pizza cutter or sharp chef’s knife to cut square in 6 strips. Then slice it in 6 strips in the opposite direction, resulting in 36 squares. Pile squares, filling-side-up, in stacks of 6 (you’ll have six stacks of six).

To assemble, take one stack and place in the pan with the plain side (the bottom of the stack) against one of the small ends of the pan. Place 4 more of the stacks in the same position against each other. Turn the remaining stack in the opposite direction so that its plain side (bottom of the stack) is against the remaining small end of the pan.

Cover pan with a clean, dry tea towel (not terrycloth) and let rise in a warm, draft-free environment for 60-90 minutes, until doubled in bulk. You know it’s ready when you poke it with your finger and it doesn’t “bounce back.”

Preheat oven to 350F. Place pan on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until well-browned. If you are concerned about it being done in the center, a thermometer should register at 190F.

Let cool 15-20 minutes. Run a thin, flexible knife around the edge of the pan to release, then use the parchment to lift the loaf onto a surface. Peel off parchment, set on a serving platter and enjoy.

Cinnamon-Sugar Pull-Aparts are best served warm or room temperature on the day they are made. Leftovers will keep covered at room temperature for up to 48 hours.Cinnamon-Sugar Pull-ApartsCinnamon-Sugar Pull-ApartsCinnamon-Sugar Pull-Aparts

Cheesy Jalapeño Cornbread

Cheesy Jalapeño Cornbread {Gluten-Free}When I officially wore myself out baking a few weeks ago and took an extended break, I’d like to say I missed the kitchen immediately, but I didn’t. For five days, I didn’t think about baking (or cooking) at all, except when slapping together a grilled cheese or scrambling eggs so that I didn’t have to live on restaurant food for a week.Cheesy Jalapeño Cornbread {Gluten-Free}But then, on the sixth day (Friday), I woke up thinking about Cheesy Jalapeño Cornbread. I had all the ingredients (hi, I keep a weird bag of jalapeños in my crisper) and I wanted to make it so bad—the way only someone who obsessively bakes gets about a recipe, as though my body might just go into autopilot and start whisking together ingredients without permission from my brain.

Instead, my body and my brain went to see Uncut Gems, and baking stayed on the back burner for another three days.Cheesy Jalapeño Cornbread {Gluten-Free}Then Monday came and lo,* there was Cheesy Jalapeño Cornbread, and it was good. Still is good. Like really good. It’s got crisp edges and a brown lid, but the center is tender and almost custard-like from the additions of sour cream and eggs. As it’s made with only yellow cornmeal, there’s no way to overmix and make it tough—difficult to overdevelop the gluten when there is none!

*I guess I say “lo” now.Cheesy Jalapeño Cornbread {Gluten-Free}Cheesy Jalapeño Cornbread {Gluten-Free}Cheesy Jalapeño Cornbread {Gluten-Free}As far as spice levels go, I like to live on the edge….but I used three jalapeños with seeds in the first round and sort of regretted it. This one (the second) is still almost too spicy for me, even after discarding half the seeds, but a bevy of shredded sharp cheddar and a few tablespoons of sugar offset all that intensity. If you’re sensitive to heat, maybe forgo seeds altogether, reduce the amount of jalapeño or try my Chorizo Cornbread instead. Or maybe just make 2020 the year you accidentally burned off all your tastebuds with cornbread and lived to tell the tale.

…ten days into this year and I’m already maximum weird, y’all. Oh lord.Cheesy Jalapeño Cornbread {Gluten-Free}

Cheesy Jalapeño Cornbread
makes one 9-inch pan

1 cup milk (not skim or non-fat), room temperature
1/2 cup full-fat sour cream, room temperature
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 1/4 cups yellow cornmeal
3 tablespoons granulated sugar (optional)
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1/2-3/4 cup minced fresh jalapeños* (2-3 medium), with or without seeds
8 ounces grated sharp cheddar cheese
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon neutral-flavored oil (I like canola)

Preheat oven to 400F. Place a 9-inch cast iron or other heavyish baking dish it in the oven to heat through. (See note* if you do not have that sort of dish.)

Combine milk, sour cream, and eggs in a measuring cup or small/medium bowl. Whisk together with a fork. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add minced jalapeños and grated cheddar, and toss to coat. Pour in milk mixture and fold together. Fold in butter.

Remove hot pan from oven and add oil. Carefully swirl to coat. Transfer batter to prepared pan. Bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cool 10 minutes before slicing and serving Warm.

Leftover cornbread will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a few days.

Note:

1. Some people prefer minced pickled jalapeño here, which adds a nice acidic flavor and will have less heat.
2. If using a regular 9-inch baking pan (round or square), grease it, line with parchment, and grease again. Do not preheat the empty pan. Skip the oiling step before adding batter to the pan.Cheesy Jalapeño Cornbread {Gluten-Free}Cheesy Jalapeño Cornbread {Gluten-Free}Cheesy Jalapeño Cornbread {Gluten-Free}