Tag Archives: brunch

Lemon Morning Buns

Lemon Morning Buns

If you’re searching for a way to brighten up your weekend, look no further than these Lemon Morning Buns. They’re glossy, golden, gorgeous and swirled with fresh lemon flavor throughout.

Lemon Morning Buns

This is my third morning buns recipe, and there’s a reason I keep returning to them: I get a lot of bang for my baking buck. Though these twisty little guys look like they take some real skill, the truth is that if you can make cinnamon rolls and tie a knot, you can make morning buns.

I’ve posted detailed shaping tutorials previously and will link to them in the recipe below, but rest assured that these buns really are simple beginning to end. The entire recipe has just 8 ingredients with several being used in multiple places. The dough is enriched with butter, egg and whole milk, and is a pleasure to work with; it’s smooth and sticky and kneads like a dream. Let it rise for 45 minutes or so, then layer it with a lemon-sugar filling and twist it into knots. Let them rise a little more, then bake and brush with a lemon glaze, leaving them shiny and a little sticky. Oh, and bursting with buttery lemon flavor.

Lemon Morning Buns

These Lemon Morning Buns are a great way to put a little sunshine in your weekend. Between their fluffy texture and intense lemon flavor, they’re guaranteed to brighten your day.

Lemon Morning Buns
Lemon Morning Buns
makes 12 buns

Dough:
2 3/4-3 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 packet (2 1/4 teaspoons) instant yeast
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup whole milk
1 large egg, room temperature

Filling:
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon zest
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Glaze:
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (from about 1 1/2 medium lemons)
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces

Make the dough. In a medium-large mixing bowl, whisk together 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, sugar, instant yeast, and salt. Set aside.

In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, melt butter and milk together until just warm to the touch, about 95-110 degrees.

Crack the egg into a small mixing bowl. Whisking constantly, add the butter/milk mixture in a thin stream until completely combined. Add mixture to the dry ingredients and fold together. A shaggy dough should form and be pulling away from the bowl. Gradually add flour in 2 tablespoon increments until the it pulls away a bit.

Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead 5-6 minutes, until smooth. Gather dough into a ball and place it in an oiled bowl, making sure to get a little oil on all sides. Stretch some plastic wrap over the top and allow dough to rise in a warm, draft-free environment for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.

In the meantime, line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment. Set aside.

Make the filling. Combine sugar, lemon zest and salt in a small bowl. Rub together with your fingers to release the oils in the zest.

**Shaping photo tutorial here!**

Shape the buns. Return dough to floured surface. Flour a rolling pin and roll dough into an 18x12-inch rectangle. Brush dough with butter, leaving a 1/2-inch border on all sides.

Mentally divide the dough into thirds, like an unfolded letter. Place half the sugar mixture in the middle third of the dough—it’ll be a 12x6-inch section surrounded by two buttered sections of the same size.

Carefully grab one short side of the dough and fold it over the center, so that the dimensions are now 12x12-inches. Brush the top of the folded section with more butter and scatter on the remaining sugar mixture. Fold the other short side over the top so that the dimensions are 12x6-inches. Tap edges “closed” with your rolling pin.

Carefully lift and turn dough over so that the seam is against the floured surface. Roll the dough so that the dimensions are 14x8-inches.

Use a large, sharp chef’s knife to trim the short edges of the dough by about 1/2-inch. Slice dough into 12 strips. Working with one strip at a time, twist the ends until you have a loosely-twisted rope of dough. Carefully bring ends toward one another until they cross over one another and create a small hole. Tuck ends into that hole. Place shaped buns on prepared pans, leaving about 6 inches of space between (I put 6 on a half-sheet sized pan).

Cover pans loosely with parchment or a clean tea towel and let rise in a warm, draft-free environment for another 25-30 minutes. Remove parchment/tea towel. The buns will not seem to have changed drastically, but if you poke one with your finger, the indentation should remain. If any ends have come loose, just nudge them back into the centers.

Place oven racks in the center positions. Preheat oven to 375F. Bake buns for 9 minutes. Rotate pans top-to-bottom and front-to-back. Bake another 8-9 minutes, or until golden brown.

While Buns are baking, make the glaze. Combine lemon juice and sugar in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring constantly until sugar dissolves (about 3-5 minutes). Remove from heat and stir in butter.

Brush warm buns with glaze. Let cool a few minutes before serving. Baked buns are best the day they are made, but will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for a day or so.

Orange Cardamom Scones

Orange Cardamom Scones​

If you’ve never tried combining orange and cardamom, prepared to be wowed. Paired together in baked goods, they somehow walk the line between tea-like subtlety and stealing center stage, and are never, ever boring. In a season of pumpkin spices and apple ciders, this blend can sometimes get lost in the mix, but just like your favorite character actor, when it gets its moment, it’s all “pumpkin spice who?”

Orange Cardamom Scones​

Now, this is not the first time I’ve put Orange Cardamom on this site—far from it, in fact. If you’ve tried my tea cake, shortbread or morning buns, you know why I’m over here waxing poetic, but if you haven’t, I suggest you start simply by mixing some zest and spice into scones.

Orange Cardamom Scones​

Oh yes, these Orange Cardamom Scones may not look particularly exceptional, but they are. Tender, perfumed with citrus, and reminiscent of chai (that’s where you might recognize cardamom from!), they’re a perfect pastry for a weekend morning or lazy afternoon before it starts getting dark at 3pm and afternoons cease to exist.

Orange Cardamom Scones​

Scones themselves are pretty easy to make, and as they require cold butter, they’re a great way to practice some pie dough skills before all the holiday food-ing begins. But they’re also a great way to usher in some coziness as fall finally (finally) seems like it might be here to stay.

Orange Cardamom Scones​
Orange Cardamom Scones
makes 8 scones

Scones:
2/3 cup half-and-half, very cold + more for brushing
2 tablespoons maple syrup (or honey)
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
zest of 1 medium navel orange (about 1 1/2 tablespoons)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, very cold, cut into cubes

Glaze:
2/3 cup confectioner’s sugar
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
1-1 1/2 tablespoons fresh orange juice (from about 1 medium navel orange)

Make the scones. Place an oven rack in the center position. Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.

In a liquid measuring cup, use a fork to whisk together half-and-half, maple syrup, and vanilla. Refrigerate.

In a small bowl, use your fingertips to rub together orange zest and sugar until combined.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cardamom, salt, and orange sugar. Add cold butter. Use a pastry blender or clean fingertips to cut the butter into the flour until the largest pieces are the size of small peas. Stir in half-and-half mixture.

Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Pat it to 1-inch thick circle. Use a large, sharp chef’s knife to slice circle into 8 wedges. Place scones at least 2 inches apart on prepared pan. Brush with more half-and-half. Bake 16-18 minutes, until puffed and golden.

Meanwhile, set a cooling rack over a piece of parchment paper. Let scones cool on the pan on a rack for a few minutes, before removing to the prepared rack.

When scones are cool enough to handle but still a little warm, make the icing. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together confectioners sugar, salt and 1 tablespoon orange juice. Add more juice by the 1/2 teaspoon until icing is thick, but pourable. Pour or drizzle icing over the scones as desired. Icing will set quickly, and eventually harden completely after a few hours.

Scones are best the day they are made, but will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.

Pumpkin Pancakes

Pumpkin Pancakes

Two pumpkin recipes in a row?! ‘Tis the season.

And even if it weren’t, the prospect of these fluffy, golden Pumpkin Pancakes might just get me to crack open a can of the orange stuff any ol’ time. Even in the middle of summer. But seeing as it’s October right now, I suppose I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.

Pumpkin Pancakes

Right here, right now though, on this autumnal Wednesday? Nobody can argue with me about seasonality. They can call me basic if they want, but if being basic means I get to have a stack of Pumpkin Pancakes for breakfast and then stock my freezer for an inevitable mid-November Pumpkin Pancake “emergency?” Well, call me basic.

Call me whatever you want, in fact. Just don’t forget to call me when you’re making these for breakfast.

Pumpkin Pancakes
makes 18 pancakes

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons light or dark brown sugar, packed
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1 cup pure pumpkin purée
1 1/3 cup milk or buttermilk, room temperature
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
canola or vegetable oil, for cooking

For serving:
pats of butter
chopped nuts
maple syrup

Preheat oven to 200F. Line a rimmed sheet pan with parchment. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In a medium mixing bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together pumpkin purée, milk (or buttermilk), melted butter, eggs and vanilla. Add wet ingredients to dry and whisk until no streaks of flour remain—there will still be some lumps. Let batter rest 5-10 minutes.

Heat your pan or griddle over medium heat for a few minutes, until heated through. Brush with oil (or grease lightly), then wipe excess out with a folded paper towel or kitchen towel.

Stir rested batter one or two strokes. Pour 1/4 cup increments of batter on greased pan. Let cook 2-3 minutes, until bubbles are forming and they are turning golden. Flip with a spatula and cook for 2 minutes, or until the bottom is turning golden. Remove to prepared baking sheet and keep warm in the oven until serving.

Continue making pancakes with remaining batter, greasing the pan only as necessary.

Serve immediately with butter, chopped nuts and/or maple syrup, if desired.

Leftover pancakes may be stacked in threes, triple-wrapped in plastic wrap and frozen for a couple of months. Discard plastic and microwave 2.5 to 3 minutes before serving.

Vegan Pumpkin French Toast

Vegan Pumpkin French Toast​

The first morning in Maine is always a production. As it’s the first day of the trip that hasn’t involved a pre-dawn wake-up call and several hours in the car, it’s something to celebrate, preferably with loads of coffee and a good breakfast, like this Vegan Pumpkin French Toast!

You read that right: vegan French toast. Like no eggs, no dairy, but all the crispy goodness. This Vegan Pumpkin French Toast will knock your coziest socks right off.

Vegan Pumpkin French Toast​

I’ve been intimidated by veganizing French toast in the past due to the classic recipe’s reliance on eggs for structure and flavor, but you know what? Pumpkin is an excellent egg replacer in baked goods, and does indeed provide some structure and flavor (with the help of some pumpkin pie spice). Plus, pumpkin season (or as you might know it, autumn) has officially begun and this is fulfilling all my cravings.

As for the process, it’s basically the same as traditional French toast. Mix up the eggless pumpkin custard, dip some day-old bread in it and fry it up in a mix of (vegan) butter and oil. Top it off with maple syrup, confectioner’s sugar, toasted pecans, or anything else your heart desires and dig into this pumpkin decadence!

Vegan Pumpkin French Toast​

As you can likely tell from the photos, I made the batch pictured at home in NYC, but our first-day-in-Maine batch worked just as well even with gluten-free sandwich bread. It was the perfect way to start our trip and the perfect way to start off a new season.

Vegan Pumpkin French Toast​
Vegan Pumpkin French Toast
makes 8-10 pieces, about 4-5 servings

1/2 cup pure pumpkin purée
1 tablespoon granulated or brown sugar (or maple syrup)
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
1 1/4 cup unsweetened plant milk (or other milk of choice)
8-10 thick slices day-old vegan bread (I used 2/3 of a 1 lb. country loaf from Costco)

For cooking:
2 tablespoons (vegan or regular) butter
2 tablespoons canola oil

For serving:
maple syrup
confectioner’s sugar
toasted chopped nuts
seasonal fruit

In a small-medium mixing bowl, whisk together pumpkin purée, sugar, pumpkin pie spice or salt. Whisk in plant milk. Pour custard into a shallow dish.

Heat 1 tablespoon each of butter and oil in a non-stick pan over medium-high heat.

Working with one or two slices of bread at a time, dip each in the custard, coating both sides. Transfer to the pan and cook 2-3 minutes, or until turning brown. Flip with a spatula and cook another 2-3 minutes. Remove to a plate.

Repeat dipping and cooking processes until all slices of bread have been used. Add more butter and oil to the pan as necessary.

Divide French toast among plates. Top with maple syrup, confectioner’s sugar, toasted nuts, and/or seasonal fruit as desired. Serve immediately.

Yeasted Oatmeal Waffles {Gluten-Free}

Yeasted Oatmeal Waffles {Gluten-Free}​

Since first messing with waffle iron a couple of summers ago, I’ve become a bit obsessed with making a perfect waffle. I logically know there’s no such thing—in art and food and the art of food, everything is subjective—but I keep trying.

My cornmeal waffles are pretty good and so are my mix-and-go vegan oatmeal waffles, but my Sour Cream Waffles are outstanding. They’re my favorites of the bunch—super easy, with no whipping of egg whites and perfect ratios of crispness and fluff every time. I am really proud of that recipe and honestly didn’t think I could do better, until I started fiddling with these Yeasted Oatmeal Waffles a year ago. I began with Marion Cunningham’s Yeast-Raised Waffles one day, and then somehow a bag of oats got involved, and many Saturday morning breakfasts later, here we are. These are my new gold standard.

Yeasted Oatmeal Waffles {Gluten-Free}​

Yeasted Oatmeal Waffles are fluffy inside, crispy outside, and have a surprisingly complex, borderline-savory flavor profile on their own (but pair incredibly well with maple syrup). They don’t really taste whole grain, which is shocking as oats are the primary ingredient. Oh, and if you use gluten-free rolled oats, they’re naturally gluten-free, too. No unusual flours required—just a blender and some time.

If you’re scratching your head at the “yeasted” part of this recipe, wondering why you’d ever put yeast in waffles when baking powder and baking soda seem to do just fine…well, that’s fair. But the thing is, the yeast doesn’t just do lifting here; it adds flavor, too. By blending the batter up the night before and then letting it rise in the refrigerator, you’re allowing that yeast to start fermenting, and that results in deep, rich, slightly sour, nearly-savory flavor that simply can’t happen with a regular mix-and-go waffle recipe. It’s divine.

After a chilly night’s rest, the batter will have puffed and firmed up a bit in the fridge, just like any other yeast-based overnight recipe. You should know that it won’t look particularly nice, but that’s okay because we’re not after beautiful batter—we’re here for gorgeous waffles! When your iron is hot, whisk some eggs, water and baking soda into the chilled batter, and then get waffling.

Yeasted Oatmeal Waffles {Gluten-Free}​

This part, you know how to do. Pour the batter in, close the iron, and let it do its thing until the steam dissipates. Don’t let any built-in green lights tell you what to do; the lack of steam will be your signal that your waffles are perfectly crisp outside and light inside!

Yeasted Oatmeal Waffles {Gluten-Free}​

The recipe is written to make enough waffles for 4-6 people, but…like…good luck sharing them. This is a recipe to double and freeze for a rainy day, when you just need a good waffle. Because these, y’all? They’re good waffles. Easy, whole grain, gluten-free, crispy, fluffy and oh-so-delicious—I’m going to go ahead and say it: they’re my new gold standard. And they just might be yours, too.

Yeasted Oatmeal Waffles {Gluten-Free}​
Yeasted Oatmeal Waffles
about 24 4-inch waffles

The night before:
1 1/4 cups warm water
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons (1 packet) active dry yeast
2 2/3 cups old-fashioned oats (certified gluten-free for gluten-free)
1/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1 1/2 cups milk of choice (I used whole)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted

The next morning:
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup lukewarm water
melted butter or cooking spray, for waffle iron

For serving:
pure maple syrup
butter
fresh seasonal fruit

Special Equipment:
high-powered blender
waffle iron

The night before, proof the yeast. In a small bowl, stir together warm water and sugar until sugar has dissolved. Sprinkle yeast over the top and let sit until bubbly, 5-10 minutes. If your yeast doesn’t foam or bubble, it’s dead. Get new yeast and start again.

Add yeast mixture to a blender, followed by oats, salt, milk and melted butter. Blend until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. This takes my blender about 2 minutes.

Pour mixture into a medium mixing bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, a minimum of 8 and up to 24 hours. The batter should double in volume, but may collapse slightly when you move the bowl.

The next morning, preheat the waffle iron. Preheat oven to 200F. Place a cooling rack over a rimmed baking sheet.

Uncover refrigerated batter. Whisk in baking soda and eggs, followed by water. Batter may have some visible oat bits—this is normal and will not affect texture.

Grease waffle iron with melted butter or cooking spray. Pour 1/4 cup of the waffle batter into each well of the iron and close the top. Let cook until steam dissipates and the waffles are turning golden, about 6-7 minutes.

Transfer cooked waffles to the prepared rack-over-pan and place in the oven to keep warm. Re-grease the waffle iron and cook remaining batter.

Serve waffles with butter, warmed maple syrup, and seasonal fruit, if desired. Enjoy immediately.

Leftovers may be layered with parchment, placed in a freezer bag, and frozen for up to 3 months. Reheat in the toaster.