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Bread, Breakfast, Dessert, Fruit, Lactose Free

Crisp Sugar Topped Blueberry Muffins

September 9, 2017

Crisp Sugar Topped Blueberry Muffins

One of my favorite uses of the nutritious blueberry is in muffins. They are one of the easiest breakfast (or dessert) snacks to make.  All you need is a bowl for the dry ingredients and a measuring cup for the wet ingredients. Combine the two, fold in the blueberries and your batter is ready.  In less than 20 minutes you’ll have warm, crispy topped muffins with just the right amount of blueberries.  These are delicious split down the center, toasted and served with a pat of butter.

Crisp Sugar Topped Blueberry Muffins

The sparkling sugar ensures the muffins have a perfectly crisp top that is not only a delight to eat but also gives the muffins that certain je ne sais quoi. Bob’s Red Mill decorative sparkling sugar works perfectly.

Blueberries

Muffin Liners

It’s best to use liners in your muffin tin to ensure that the muffins won’t stick to your pan.  Liners also mean easier clean up.

Crisp Sugar Topped Blueberry Muffins

These are beautiful muffins with crackly and crispy tops.  If by chance you have any leftover muffins, store them in the freezer in a heavy-duty plastic bag. They will keep well for more than a month.

Crisp Sugar Topped Blueberry Muffins

 

Crisp Sugar Topped Blueberry Muffins
 
Author:
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • 2 cups all purpose-flour
  • 1 cup + 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ cup lactose free milk (or regular milk)
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 4 tablespoons Earth Balance Buttery Sticks, melted and cooled for 5 minutes (or regular salted butter)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) fresh blueberries
  • Sparkling sugar such as Bob's Red Mill Simply Sweet Decorative Sparkling Sugar
Preparation
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Line muffin tin with muffin/cupcake liners.
  3. In a large bowl whisk to combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.
  4. In a 2 cup measuring cup, measure ½ cup milk. Add ¼ cup canola oil, melted Buttery Sticks, eggs, and vanilla extract. Whisk ingredients together.
  5. Pour wet ingredients into bowl of dry ingredients. Stir to combine. Fold in blueberries. Divide batter between a 12 cup paper-lined muffin tin. Sprinkle each muffin with ½ teaspoon of sparkling sugar.
  6. Bake for 17 - 18 minutes. Test for doneness with a toothpick. Cool muffins in the pan for 10 minutes before removing to a rack to cool completely.

 

Bread, Dinner, Lactose Free, Recipes, Sandwiches

Persian Flatbread

August 13, 2017

Persian Flatbread - Nan-e barbari

An article in Food and Wine magazine about flatbreads from around the world caught my attention not only because of the beauty of the breads but also the simplicity of making them.  This particular recipe makes two oval flatbreads known as Nan-e Barbari.  This is the Persian version which is known for being one of the thickest flatbreads.  The first time I made this I followed the recipe closely and was very impressed.  I noticed its similarity to focaccia and elected not to stretch the dough so thin next time and the result was fabulous multi-use bread.  Though the dough was very wet, so much so that I worried how it would turn out, it worked out beautifully.

Persian Flatbread/Focaccia

The bread has a wonderful crumb with large air pockets that when sliced in half create the best nooks and crannies for your sandwich spreads.  If you’re not splitting the bread for a sandwich serve it warm with salads, soups, feta & cucumbers, or grilled chicken.

Persian Flatbread/Focaccia

Persian Flatbread dough - Nan-e barbari

At this point the bread has been brushed with the glaze (also known as roomal) which results in a beautiful golden crust.

Persian Flatbread/Focaccia Sandwich

The bread is delicious on its own but makes a fine sandwich.

Persian Flatbread- Nan-e barbari

 

Persian Flatbread
 
Adapted from Food & Wine magazine
Author:
Serves: 2 loaves
Ingredients
  • Dough:
  • 4 cups bread flour, plus more for kneading
  • 2¼ teaspoons rapid rise yeast (bread machine yeast)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1⅔ cups water
  • sesame seeds
  • nigella seeds (optional)
  • coarse or flaky sea salt such as fleur de sel or Maldon
  • Glaze:
  • 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vegetable oil
  • ⅓ cup water
Preparation
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the flour, yeast, salt and water. Mix on medium-low speed until a loose dough forms. (You may also mix the ingredients with your hands or bread machine if you don't have a stand mixer. The dough will be very wet). Increase the speed to medium-high and mix until the dough is supple and smooth, about 5 minutes. If the dough seems too wet, add a teaspoon or so of flour. The dough should be soft and slightly sticky so resist the temptation of adding too much flour. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead for 1 minute. Place the dough in a large oiled bowl. Cover the bowl with lightly oiled plastic wrap and set aside until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
  2. Gently deflate the dough and divide it into two pieces. Shape each piece into an oval about 9" long. Transfer ovals to a lightly greased baking sheet and cover with a sheet of oiled plastic wrap. Let rise for 30 - 45 minutes.
  3. While the dough is rising, heat the flour, sugar, oil, and water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook the flour paste over moderate heat, whisking constantly until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. The glaze will easily coat the back of a spoon. Set aside to cool.
  4. Place a rack in the lower third of the oven and set a pizza stone on top. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  5. Cover two large cookie sheets with parchment paper and dust very lightly with flour or fine semolina. Working with one piece at a time, gently deflate the dough on the cookie sheet. If making flatbread shape the dough into a 14"x5" rectangle. Using your fingers (floured) press 5 deep, lengthwise ridges into the dough. Brush half of the glaze over the top and sprinkle with sesame seeds, nigella seeds if using, and a little course salt. Slide the dough with the parchment paper on to the pizza stone. If you do not have a pizza stone, bake the bread on the baking sheet on the middle rack of the oven. Bake for about 15 - 18 minutes until the top is golden brown. If you are making focaccia rather than flatbread, shape the dough into a long rectangle that you can later cut into sandwich-sized pieces. (Try not to stretch it too thin). Bake for 15 - 18 minutes. Transfer bread to a wire rack to cool before slicing.

 

 

Bread, Breakfast, Dessert, Lactose Free, Recipes

Amazing Whole Grain Muffins

May 8, 2017

Whole Grain Muffins with Tart Cherries

These little beauties are my favorite mid-morning snack.  They are 100% whole grain muffins that have the perfect texture and flavor.  Sometimes I add dried tart cherries to the batter but they are just as good without adding any additional ingredients.

White Whole Wheat Flour & Wheat Bran

Whole wheat flour and additional wheat bran make this a very nutritious muffin.  I take one to work each day and enjoy it with my morning cup of coffee. They are low in calories, high in fiber and protein, and just plain delicious.

Apple Bananas

A very ripe banana helps to moisten the batter as well as improve the flavor. These are not tall domed muffins.  The batter makes just enough to fill a dozen standard 12-cup muffin pan.  Use a spoon to fill each muffin cavity 1/2 full then divide any leftover batter between the 12 cups.

Whole Grain Muffins

Whole Grain Muffins with Tart Cherries

I love to split the muffins and toast them until they are nicely browned and crisp around the edges. Slather some Earth Balance Buttery Spread and homemade lilikoi jelly over the warm muffins and serve them for breakfast with cheesy scrambled eggs and bacon.

Toasted Whole Grain Muffins with Lilikoi Jelly

 

Whole Grain Muffins
 
Adapted from Cooking Light
Author:
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • 6 ounces white whole-wheat flour (about 1⅓ cups)
  • ¼ cup wheat bran
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ scant teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons Earth Balance Buttery Sticks, melted
  • ¾ cup plain 2% lactose free yogurt
  • ¼ cup lactose free sour cream
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large ripe banana, mashed (1/2 cup)
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped dried tart cherries, optional
Preparation
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly butter the cups of a 12-cup muffin pan (I use a non-stick pan lightly buttered)
  2. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife.
  3. Combine flour, wheat bran, baking powder, baking soda, and kosher salt in a large bowl. Stir with a whisk to combine ingredients.
  4. Combine 2 tablespoons melted Buttery Sticks, yogurt, sour cream, sugar, vanilla, banana, and egg in a bowl. Add yogurt mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until combined. Divide the batter evenly among 12 muffin cups (fill each cup ½ full then divide the remaining batter between the 12 cups)
  5. Bake for 15 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 5 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely on a wire rack.

 

Bread, Breakfast, Dinner, Lactose Free, Recipes, Sandwiches

Avocado Toast with Bacon & Egg

April 23, 2017

Avocado Toast with Bacon & Egg

Before the last of our avocados disappeared for the season, I decided to make a quick lunch using the creamy and rich Green Gold fruit.  Nothing could be easier and more satisfying than avocado toast.  All you need is good bread, an avocado and salt and pepper.  And maybe a dash of hot sauce too.  But if you want to take it up just a notch, scatter some crispy bacon over the avocado and top it off with a jammy egg.

Green Gold Avocado

We have two varieties of avocados in our garden, both of which are winter bearing.  The Sharwil is very popular here in Hawaii. It produces beautiful fruit, rich and creamy with small seeds.  The Green Gold’s flesh is dense, rich and creamy, perfect for guacamole and avocado toast. I love both of our trees however, the Green Gold is a bit more dependable in producing a large crop each year.

John's 9-Grain Bread

John makes 9-grain bread that is perfect for avocado toast.  It’s hearty and full of flavor from all of the grains that go into the bread.  Whatever bread you use for avocado toast, make sure that it has structure and is not the airy, flavorless type you might find on some supermarket shelves.

Daily's Bacon

One of the best supermarket brands of bacon is Daily’s. Use the best bacon that you can find.

Avocado Toast with Bacon & Egg

Avocado Toast with Bacon & Egg
 
Author:
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 - 4 pieces of good bread, toasted
  • 1 tablespoon of your favorite mayonnaise
  • 1 medium avocado, thinly sliced
  • 2 - 4 pieces of crispy bacon, broken into bite-sized pieces
  • chives and Italian parsley, chopped
Preparation
  1. Cook the eggs: Bring ½-inch of water to a boil over medium high heat in a small pot (one with a tight fitting lid). Using tongs, gently lower eggs into the water and cover the pot. Adjust heat to maintain a gentle boil. Set a timer and cook the eggs for 6 minutes and 30 seconds. Remove the eggs from the pot and run under cool water to stop the cooking (or place in an ice bath for a minute or two). Peel the eggs and set aside.
  2. Spread mayonnaise on the toasted bread. Place avocado slices on the bread and mash lightly with a fork. Season with a little coarse salt and black pepper. Scatter bacon pieces over the mashed avocado. Slice each egg into even pieces, enough for each avocado toast. Season with coarse salt and pepper. Scatter chives and parsley over the top.

 

Bread, Breakfast, Lactose Free, Recipes

Cream Cheese Biscuits

April 3, 2017

Cream Cheese BiscuitsGood biscuits are an irresistible accompaniment to any meal.  We particularly enjoy them with breakfast as an alternative to our usual toast. Cook’s Country mentions that cream cheese biscuits are a favorite in Charleston, South Carolina.  After making a few batches of these biscuits I can see why they are so popular.  Light in texture and rich in flavor these biscuits are a snap to make for your weekend brunch.

Cream Cheese Biscuit Dough

The dough is gently rolled into a rectangle then cut into 12 squares.  Baked until lightly browned, they are ready in 12 – 15 minutes.

Cream Cheese Biscuits

 

Cream Cheese Biscuits
 
Adapted from Cook's Country magazine
Author:
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ cups cake flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt (1 teaspoon if using unsalted butter)
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 ounces Green Valley lactose free cream cheese (or regular cream cheese) cut into ½-inch pieces and frozen 30 minutes
  • 4 tablespoons Buttery Sticks (or unsalted butter), cut into ½-inch pieces and frozen 30 minutes
  • 1 cup + 1 tablespoon lactose free buttermilk (or regular buttermilk)
  • For lactose free buttermilk: 1 cup minus 1 tablespoon lactose free 2% milk + 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice. Give it a quick stir and let sit for 5 minutes until thickened.
Preparation
  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Pulse all-purpose flour, cake flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda, cream cheese, and butter in food processor until mixture resembles coarse meal. Transfer mixture to a large bowl. Stir in buttermilk until combined (dough may appear slightly dry).
  3. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead briefly until dough comes together. Roll dough into 8x6-inch rectangle, about ¾-inch thick. Cut into 12 squares and transfer to prepared baking sheet. Bake until light brown, 12 - 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes. Serve warm.

 

Bread, Breakfast, Dinner, Lactose Free, Recipes, Veggies

Bacon & Cheddar Zucchini Bread

September 25, 2016

Bacon & Cheddar Zucchini Bread

Bacon and cheddar cheese are a perfect match.  This savory zucchini bread, which incorporates that perfect match, does not require any rising, kneading, or special care.  Mix all of the ingredients together and bake it in a loaf pan.  Then, wait patiently while it cools before you cut a thick slice and toast it until the edges are pleasingly crisp.  This recipe is adapted from Carolyn over at Food Gal.  The recipe comes from Katie Sullivan Morford’s new cookbook Rise & Shine. Katie uses kalamata olives and green onions but I wanted to use bacon, because…bacon!  I also used chives from the garden in place of the green onions.  As Carolyn mentions, this savory bread is not just for breakfast.  I toast slices and serve it with roasted meat or grilled chicken.  It is reminiscent of cornbread in many ways.  Serve it with a pat of butter.  Yum!

Toasted Zucchini Bread with Butter

Grated Zucchini

I haven’t grown zucchini but I hear that they are prolific producers and many home gardeners end up with more than they know what to do with.  I also read a few stories that gave me a good laugh: people will leave bags of excess zucchini in unattended cars or on strangers doorsteps. Fortunately, this recipe doesn’t require that much zucchini.

Fresh Eggs

I love the beautiful speckled brown eggs my neighbor Judy shares with us.

Extra Sharp Cheddar, Bacon, Chives

Use extra sharp cheddar and fairly lean bacon for the best flavor and texture.  This rustic bacon and cheddar zucchini bread turns out perfectly each time you bake it.

Bacon & Cheddar Zucchini Bread with Butter & Mango Pepper Jam

Bacon & Cheddar Zucchini Bread

 

Bacon & Cheddar Zucchini Bread
 
Adapted from Food Gal
Author:
Serves: 1 large loaf
Ingredients
  • 2 cups coarsely grated zucchini (about 2 medium zucchini)
  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1½ cups white whole wheat flour (spooned and leveled)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup plain lactose free yogurt (Green Valley lactose free or regular yogurt)
  • ½ cup lactose free milk (or regular milk)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives
  • ½ cup chopped cooked bacon
  • 6 ounces extra sharp cheddar cheese, cut into ⅓-inch cubes
Preparation
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease a 9x5-inch loaf pan with oil or nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Place grated zucchini into a colander set in the sink or over a bowl. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of the salt and toss together. Leave zucchini in the colander to allow the salt to draw out some of the liquid.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the white whole wheat and all-purpose flour along with the baking powder, baking soda, black pepper, and remaining ½ teaspoon salt.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, olive oil, yogurt, and milk until combined.
  5. Squeeze out the liquid from the zucchini, removing as much of the moisture as possible, The zucchini will remain moist but should not be wet. Add the zucchini to the egg mixture along with the scallions and bacon. Mix to combine.
  6. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and stir gently with a spoon or rubber spatula, just until the streaks of flour disappear. Add the cheese and stir just enough to distribute it throughout the dough.
  7. Transfer dough to the prepared loaf pan and using your spatula, smooth the top. The dough will be rough and craggy.
  8. Bake for about 50 - 55 minutes, or until the loaf is golden and a wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer pan to a cooling rack for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the bread, tip the pan over, and gently dislodge the bread onto the cooling rack. Allow bread to cool for 30 minutes or so, before serving.

 

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