Can you believe Thanksgiving is almost here?! Are you ready? How many dinners are you going to this year? We have just two family gatherings and one friendsgiving. I’m thankful that we won’t have to travel anywhere and we can come home to our warm house to nap after we eat and visit. I’ll be bringing Healthy Pumpkin Pie and Fresh Cranberry Salad to all the dinners this year. Next week I’ll be posting my Fresh Cranberry Salad recipe on Tuesday so you have time to make some too! I promise it’s worth it. A few years ago I made those cute little pumpkin rolls that are shaped like pumpkins for Thanksgiving. They were amazing, so this year I decided it was time to develop my own recipe for Easy Pumpkin Dinner Rolls.
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I put this recipe off for a week because I was having a little trouble wrapping my head around it. I don’t make enriched bread very often and I’m not as familiar with the process. In the end, after a little research and experimentation I have a recipe I’m really excited to publish! The first thing I noticed was that many enriched bread recipes call for scalded milk. I did a search and learned that there are two reasons it’s actually worth while to do this for a bread recipe. The first reason is because scalding milk makes yeast bread lighter. The second is that when you scald milk you deactivate the whey proteins. This is a good thing in yeast bread because those proteins can weaken the gluten in your bread and prevent a good rise. I’m willing to do an extra step if it serves a good purpose!
A few months ago I was reading Paul Hollywood’s book How to Bake and trying some of his recipes. One of the recipes I tried was his Bacon and Cheddar Loaves. However I didn’t have any bacon so I used chorizo instead. They were a huge hit both at home and at work so I filed it away for future reference. This week I decided it was time for some savory baking and I planned to adapt the recipe to share with you. Once I pulled out Paul’s recipe and started looking at it again I realized it was going to be more challenging than anticipated to adapt.
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Paul’s recipe is in metric measurements by weight, which is very efficient but since I post my recipes in both measurements that presents a problem. Converting from weight to volume is way too difficult for this girl so I changed plans on the fly and instead invented my own Rustic Chorizo and Cheddar Loaf. I was nervous since I’ve only developed my own bread recipe once before, but I used that one as a reference and I’m so excited with the results!
Is there anything better than a fresh batch of cinnamon rolls? I really can’t think of anything. In the past I only made them occasionally but I’m thinking that might change now. I developed these Caramel Iced Cinnamon Rolls to be a lighter, healthier, everyday kind of cinnamon roll. Made from a base of my Simple Multi-Grain Bread recipe, the rolls themselves have no butter, sugar, milk or eggs. Now, I realize this doesn’t sound like a great start for cinnamon rolls but trust me, these are amazing! Super soft, flavorful and guilt-free!!
Since the rolls are nice and healthy you can splurge a little on the icing. Remember how I said you’d need caramel this week? Here it is! We’re using last week’s Homemade Caramel Dipping Sauce to bring some extra awesomeness to the icing. I could probably go on and on about how much I love Caramel Iced Cinnamon Rolls but I’m just gonna throw some pictures at you to make you hungry instead! You’re welcome. . .
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If you’ve read any of my story over on my About page you’ll know I started baking bread at the tender age of 11. For those of you who like math that’s 22 years ago, yikes! Here’s what I have learned: there are so many things I don’t yet know about bread making! Did you know that a Master Baker can be knighted? It’s called Chevalier dans l’Ordre du Merite Agricole or Knight in the Order of Agricultural Merit. The French Republic bestows it on individuals such as Dominique Geulin for outstanding contributions to agriculture. Luckily for the rest of us, it’s still quite possible to make a nice loaf or two of bread to devour at breakfast without studying every aspect of bread making first. That’s my goal with this simple Multi-Grain Bread recipe.
Now, this is not an “artisan” bread recipe. I don’t leave it in the fridge or bake it on a stone or use freshly picked wild yeast from the moors of Scotland. This is just a lovely simple bread that’s perfect for home bakers to dip their toes into the deep pool that is bread making. I would try that other stuff though if it meant I got to go to Scotland… Instead we’re going to make and enjoy this pretty loaf that’s a combination of soft and just dense enough to sink your teeth into. Over time we’ll investigate many more ways to make, love, and probably improve our bread. For now this is just what I need in my life, an easy but still healthy Multi-Grain Bread.
Breakfast is often a little touch and go at our house. No one ever wants to eat the same thing on the same day, and they claim to dislike whatever the other one likes. I try not to get too annoyed because I get tired of breakfast food pretty quickly myself. However, I refuse to spend hours tailoring breakfasts. Check your seat kids, if you’re not sitting in plastic orange diner booths you can’t order a custom meal! Don’t get me wrong, I’m a nice Mom and I try and change up what’s available throughout the week so everybody gets something they enjoy. Like these delicious Caramelized Banana Bread Muffins. With these on the counter I can just whip up some eggs in the morning and boom – healthy, yummy breakfast for everyone! Perfect for breakfast, second breakfast, elevenses, dessert, snack….sorry I distracted myself.
Look how pretty they are! You could mix the coconut and chocolate in but I kind of like having it on the top. The coconut gets toasty in the oven and the chocolate is soft and sweet. Plus, this way you can make sure everyone gets chocolate in theirs. Otherwise you have to use the light colored cupcake papers so that you can check the bottom of each muffin and make sure it has plenty of chocolate chips in it before you commit. You know what I mean. This is also a great job for little hands. I put a couple little bowls of topping on the counter and let them have at it!
Since these are Caramelized Banana Bread Muffins it does add an extra step at the beginning – caramelizing the bananas – but it’s soooooooo worth it! Besides, who doesn’t want to smell roasting honey cinnamon bananas first thing in the morning? The rest of the recipe is super simple, you don’t even need to use a mixer. With a healthy mix of flour and a nice dose of fruit you can feel good about eating these yummy muffins. If you don’t have oat flour on hand (I live in the land of bulk food stores) just throw some old fashioned oats into the blender and voila!
Alternatively, if you want to get fancy for gifting as in the first picture, bake in mini springform pans. Wrap in parchment paper and tie with jute twine for an adorable gift! This is a great alternative to cookies at the holidays.
1/2 cup (125ml) oil - vegetable, canola or melted coconut are fine
1 tsp vanilla extract
dark chocolate chips
unsweetened coconut flakes
Preheat your oven to 400 F (205 C)
Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Peel your bananas and lay them out on the tray. Drizzle each one with a zigzag of honey and then sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake for 20-25 mins until the tops become golden brown. Let them cool for about 5 minutes then scoop them into a bowl (I scrape the golden honey bits off the paper in as well). Once cool, mash them up.
Reduce oven temp to 350 F (175 C)
Put 12 cupcake liners into muffin pans.
Whisk dry ingredients together.
In a separate large bowl combine the eggs and sugar and mix until smooth.
Add coconut milk and oil and mix again.
Stir in the vanilla and bananas.
Gently fold in your dry ingredients until just combined. This batter is moist but very thick.
Put about 1/4 cup of batter into each liner and sprinkle liberally with chocolate chips and coconut flakes.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until tester comes out clean.
Eat warm with a cup of tea!
+++ Adapted from Half Baked Harvest +++ If you don't have oat flour, pulse old-fashioned oats in the blender to make your own! +++ The Teatime Baker | www.teatimebaker.com