Showing posts with label sweet bread. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sweet bread. Show all posts

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Cornish Saffron Cake #BundtBakers

Cornish Saffron Cake is a traditional bake from Cornwall, made with an enriched yeast dough, flavored with saffron and sweetened with sugar. It is generally served plain or with lashing of butter or even some clotted cream.

This month my Bundt Bakers group is being hosted by Felice of All That’s Left Are The Crumbs. Her theme and in this case, challenge, was to bake a Bundt cake that uses yeast for leavening. I must confess that when I started scouring the internet for ideas, Cornish Saffron Cake came up after a simple search for yeast cakes.

“Excellent!” I exclaimed, making my furry sous chef jump to alertness, and wrote it down in my notebook. Just from the title, it sounded like a winner. I have saffron, some really good quality saffron, and I’m sure the good people of Cornwall would not have kept making Cornish Saffron Cake for all these centuries if it wasn’t good.

But here’s the rub. When it came time to bake and I actually started reading the (many!) recipes, it turns out that Cornish Saffron Cake isn’t really cake at all, but more of a sweet bread, with mixed dried fruit. The dough is traditionally baked into buns or in a loaf pan.  So, would it qualify for the challenge?

I headed back to our Facebook group to ask and saw that someone else had just asked a question about the nature of our yeasty Bundts: Could the Bundt be savory? When Felice said “sure,” (and I saw that her own recipe title was Hot Cross Bun Bundt) I knew that my sweet bready “cake” would probably be fine as well.

I ended up slightly adapting the ingredients from this recipe on Baking for Britain.

1/2 teaspoon saffron strands
1 1/4 cup or 295ml whole milk
4 cups or 500g unbleached white bread flour, plus extra for kneading
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
2/3 cup or 150g unsalted butter, cubed, plus more for baking pan
1/2 cup or 115g light muscovado sugar
1/4 oz or 7g rapid rise yeast
3/4 cup or 115g mixed dried fruit and peel

Note: Back in the old days, when sterilization was an issue, every bread recipe included the instruction to scald the milk first. I won’t go into the reasons why or explain the method because my friend, Jenni, at Pastry Chef Online has done a remarkable job with both in this Fundamental Friday post, if you are interested. But since I was going to heat the milk to infuse the saffron, I thought, might as well scald it.

Start by scalding your milk, which is to say, bringing it almost to a boil either on the stove or in the microwave. (See more precise instructions in the link above.)

Liberally butter a 12-cup Bundt pan and set aside.

Put the saffron in the milk and leave to infuse for an hour or two, or even overnight, in which case, put the milk in the refrigerator after it has cooled off so it doesn't spoil.

When you are ready to bake, warm the saffron milk up again to about 110–115°F (115°F=46°C.) Put 1/4 cup or 60ml of it in a bowl and add the yeast and a tablespoon of the sugar.

When the yeast is activated and bubbling, you can add it back into the rest of the saffron milk.

Measure your flour into the mixing bowl of your stand mixer and add the butter cubes. Use a pastry blender or your hands to mix the butter into the flour until it resembles sandy crumbs.

Stir in the sugar and salt.

Make a well in the middle of the flour/butter mixture and pour in the yeasty saffron milk.

Use the bread hook on your mixer – or indeed, your hands, but this is a wet sticky dough so if you have a mixer, that’s a good thing – to combine the milk and flour until you have soft dough.

Knead the dough for about five minutes with the mixer or 10 minutes by hand. Sprinkle on a little more flour, if necessary.

Add in the mixed fruit and peel and keep kneading until it’s all incorporated.

Roll your dough into a fat log and fit it into your buttered Bundt pan, overlapping the ends. Cover lightly with cling film and set in a warm place to rise for about an hour.

After one hour, start preheating your oven to 350°F or 180°. Once the oven has reached temperature, put the Cornish Saffron Cake into the oven and bake for about 50-60 minutes, until the outside is golden and it sounds hollow when tapped. If it looks like it’s browning too quickly, you can cover the top with foil.

Remove from the oven and allow to rest for a few minutes before turning it out onto a wire rack to cool.

Cool almost completely before slicing with a serrated knife to serve. It’s perfect just ever so slightly warm so butter will melt into it.


Many thanks to Felice for this great challenge. My favorite part of these baking groups is the opportunity to explore unfamiliar cuisines and recipes to fit a theme. I’ll definitely be making Cornish Saffron Cake again. It's superb with a cup of hot coffee or tea!

Special thanks also to Wendy from A Day in the Life on the Farm for creating our updated link list!

Check out all the other yeasty Bundts we’ve baked for you today.

#BundtBakers is a group of Bundt loving bakers who get together once a month to bake Bundts with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on the BundtBakers home page.

Pin it! 


Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Easy Apple Banana Bread #BreadBakers

Easy Apple Banana Bread is a wonderful transition from summer to fall, as our temperatures finally get cool enough to bake without cranking the air conditioner thermostat down to compensate.

You know when you are so fast asleep that the phone rings and you somehow incorporate it into your dream? That was me the other night. My sister called about 1 a.m. to ask if I could come over to stay with her girls because their father was being taken to the medical center for testing. The doctors suspected a blockage in one artery. Well, I didn’t wake up in the four rings it took the answering machine to do its thing so she had to call our mom to go. I felt terrible the next morning when I saw the phone blinking and realized that I had missed the call.

The next day, while he was still being tested, I was charged with picking the girls up from school, so I decided to bake an after school snack for them. There was a change of plans and I ended up not doing the school pick up but I can assure you that this easy apple banana bread makes an excellent after school snack! Or breakfast. Or midmorning coffee break.

In other good news, my brother-in-law is fine and he was released that day. I believe a stent may be in the cards but at least it’s not an emergency situation.

1 1/2 cups or 190g flour
3/4 cup or 150g sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 ripe bananas, peeled
1/3 cup or 75g butter, melted and cooled, plus more for buttering the pan
1 egg, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large or 2 small apples
Option for decorating: a light sprinkling of powdered or confectioner’s sugar

Preheat the oven to 350°F or 180°C. Butter a loaf pan or line it with baking parchment.

Whisk your flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and cinnamon together in a mixing bowl and set it aside.

In another bowl, use a fork to mash your bananas until they are fairly smooth and pour in the melted butter.

Mix well with the fork until the butter is completely incorporated.

Add in the vanilla and egg and mix well again.

Peel and chop your apple/s finely. Add the apples to the banana bowl and stir well.

Fold the wet and dry ingredients together until just combined.

Pour the batter into your buttered loaf pan. You can sprinkle on a little extra cinnamon and sugar, if you'd like.

Bake in the preheated oven for 50-55 minutes or until the loaf is nicely browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for about 10 minutes on a wire rack.

Run a knife around the edges and turn the apple banana loaf out on to the wire rack to cool completely.

Slice with a serrated bread knife to serve.


This month my Bread Bakers group is celebrating fall fruit and vegetables with a plethora of breads, both quick and yeasted. Many thanks to our host, Pavani of Cook's Hideout, for her behind the scenes work.

#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.

Pin it!


Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Cinnamon Pumpkin Quick Bread #BreadBakers

Cinnamon Pumpkin Quick Bread is made with the muffin-method. Bowl of wet ingredients mixed quickly with the bowl of dry. The texture is light yet moist with just the right amount of sweetness. 

This month my Bread Baker group is doing one of two things. Jumping the gun, if you aren’t ready for pumpkin recipes yet. Or fulfilling your what-the-heck-took-so-long needs for pumpkin bread, if you’ve been waiting.

If you are in the former group, hey, pin them for later. If you are in the latter, you are most welcome. Either way, you are going to love this creative group of recipes. Many thanks to our host this month, Kylee of Kylee Cooks. Kylee is a fellow expat in reverse. She was born and raised in New Zealand but lives in the US now. I can completely relate to her regrets that her boys don't get to spend as much time with their grandmother as she did with hers. There are pluses and minuses to this expat life and missing family is a big downside.

You know what helps ease the pain though? Sweet pumpkin bread with cinnamon. This recipe has been adapted from one on the King Arthur website. I have no idea why they complicated their lives by using beaters for quick bread but my way is much easier and completely delicious.

1 3/4 cups or 220g flour
1/2 cup or 100g granulated sugar
1/2 cup, firmly packed, or 100g dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup or 200g canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
1/2 cup or 120ml vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1/3 cup or 80ml water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

To decorate:
2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
1 tablespoon sugar mixed with 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350°F or 180°C and prepare your loaf pan by rubbing the inside with a little oil or by lining it with baking parchment.

Use a large bowl to mix together your flour, sugars, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and baking soda. My brown sugar tends to get lumpy. If you have the same problem, use the tines of a fork or even your hands to get rid of the lumps.

In another smaller mixing bowl, whisk together the canned pumpkin, oil, eggs, water and vanilla extract.

Pour your wet ingredients into your dry.

Fold until they are just mixed. There may still be a little flour showing.

Pour the batter into your prepared loaf pan. Sprinkle on the pumpkin seeds, then top them with the cinnamon sugar.

Bake in your preheated oven for about 60-70 minutes or until a wooden skewer comes out clean. For the last 20 minutes or so, cover the top loosely with foil.

Allow to cool completely in the pan before slicing.


Check out all the lovely pumpkin or pumpkin spice breads we have for you today.

#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.

Pin it!


Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Chocolate Filled Bundt Bread #BreadBakers

This lovely Bundt loaf boasts loads of dark chocolate in a slightly sweet yeast bread, with a thick chocolate glaze. Perfect for a decadent breakfast or even dessert.

This month my Bread Bakers are pushing out the cacao boat, using cocoa, chocolate or carob in a variety of breads. Many thanks to my fellow Dubai blogger, Shireen from Ruchik Randhap, who is hosting this great event.

I bookmarked this recipe from Just a Pinch more than a year ago, renaming it Chocolate Filled Yeast Bundt Cake so maybe Bread. From a quick read through, it sure sounded more like bread than cake. I ended up adjusting a few ingredients so it's even more bread-like than the original but whatever you call it, it's good and chocolatey.

For the dough:
4 cups or 500g all purpose flour, plus extra for kneading
1/4 cup or 50g sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/3 cup or 315ml warm milk (110°F or 43°C)

Note: If you are using organic or unpasteurized milk, heat it to 180°F or 82°C and then cool down to the right temperature. Read more about how, why and when to scald milk here at Pastry Chef Online.

For the filling:
12 oz or 340g dark chocolate

For the glaze:
6 oz or 170g dark chocolate,
2 tablespoons butter, plus extra for greasing Bundt pan
1 tablespoon golden syrup

Optional: Sprinkles for decorating

Grease a 10-inch  or 25cm Bundt cake pan with butter and sprinkle with flour.

Sift the flour into the bowl of your stand mixer and add salt, yeast, sugar, eggs and warm milk.

Mix with the bread hook until all of the flour has been incorporated into the wet ingredients and you have a sticky dough.

Cover the dough bowl with a kitchen towel and leave it in a warm place for about an hour or until the dough doubles in size.

When the hour is almost up, melt the 12 oz of dark chocolate either in a double boiler or in the microwave with a few short zaps. Set it aside to cool a bit.

Sprinkle your clean work surface with flour and knead the dough for a few minutes.

Roll out the dough into a rectangular shape that is 12 x 16 in or 31x41cm. Spread the cooled chocolate on it.

Roll the up the dough, jelly roll style, starting from the longer side. Pinch the ends together.

Quickly move the roll to your greased Bundt cake pan, trying to make sure the seam side is down. Sprinkle with flour and then cover with a towel for 30 minutes.

Start preheating your oven so it will be at 350°F or 180°C when the 30 minutes are up.

After half an hour

Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes. Leave plenty of headroom for the bread to rise. Because rise it certainly will!

Leave to cool for about 15-20 minutes and then turn out onto a wire rack. I had to trim some off of one side of my bottom to get it to stand up straight.

For the glaze, warm up all ingredients in a double boiler or with a few good zaps in a microwaveable bowl until chocolate is melted. Let it cool a little and pour over the bread.

Decorate with sprinkles, if desired.


Breads with Cocoa, Cacao or Carob in any form

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Mennonite Paska #BreadBakers

Peel and blend a whole orange and a whole lemon to create this slightly sweet yeast bread traditionally served for Easter in the Mennonite community. The buttery sugar glaze is not optional. Neither are the sprinkles. 

This month’s Bread Bakers challenge, chosen by our creative host, Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla is to bake a traditional Easter, Passover or springtime bread, perhaps venturing into another culture or country to expand our horizons. I was determined to make homemade matzo because it’s impossible to find here and I thought with a homemade version at my disposal, I could try all the matzo-based recipes I’ve been seeing on the web like chicken soup with matzo balls, Chocolate Peanut Butter Matzo S’mores, Northern Fried Chicken and Chocolate Toffee Matzo, just to name a few. But the more I researched what it would take to make matzo at home, the more I realized that my sad, sad oven which can barely be coaxed up to 425°F or 218°C on a good day, was just not up to the task. So I started scouring the internet for something new, something different, something tasty.

According to Lovella, one of the authors of Mennonite Girls Can Cook and the sharer of this paska bread, she inherited the recipe from her husband’s grandmother and it’s one of the most viewed pages on their site. I was intrigued by the whole orange and lemon that are pureed then added to the dough. Lovella also declares, and I can confirm, leftovers make fabulous French toast or eggy bread.

Adapted from Lovella’s Paska Bread – I baked two in bread pans and one in a Nordic Ware 12-cup Anniversary Bundt pan but this could easily be stretched to fill four pans. Lovella made five to seven so they must have been smaller!

For the bread:
2 packets active dry yeast (1/4 oz or 7g each)
1 cup or 240ml warm water
1 tablespoon sugar
1 medium lemon
1 medium orange
1 1/4 cup or 295ml milk
1/2 cup or 115g butter, plus extra for buttering the mixing bowl before the first rise and the baking pans
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup or 150g sugar
About 7-8 cups or 875g-1kg flour, with a little extra for kneading

For the glaze:
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Good pinch salt
2-3 tablespoons milk
2 cups or 250g icing sugar

For decorating: colored sprinkles

In the bowl of your stand mixer, put your yeast, the tablespoon of sugar and warm water and allow your yeast to proof. After 10 minutes, if you have a bunch of foam in the bowl, proceed. If not, throw it all out and start over with new yeast.

Meanwhile, zest your lemon and orange with a microplane or fine grater into the vessel of your blender.

Use a sharp knife to cut all the white pith and peel off of the citrus and then cut off and discard any hard membranes between the pegs. Remove any seeds and discard. Add the orange and lemon to the zest in the blender.

Put your milk and butter in a microwaveable measuring cup and heat them in the microwave on a low setting until the butter is just melted. Add them to the blender and blend for two to three minutes.

Add in the eggs, the rest of the sugar and the salt. Blend again for a minute or two.

Pour the mixture into the bowl of your stand mixer (where the yeast has been hanging out and, if all is going to plan, foaming) and mix well.

Start adding the flour, a cup at a time, mixing very thoroughly in between, until you have a nice soft dough. You may not need all the flour.

You can use the dough hook to knead the dough but it should be quite sticky still so I found it easier to take it out and knead it for several minutes on a lightly floured countertop.

Before kneading

After kneading
Wash out your large bowl and rub the insides with butter. I keep empty butter wrappers folded up in my freezer door for this purpose. One use only, but they work beautifully. Go ahead and prepare your baking pans in the same manner.

Return the kneaded dough to the buttered bowl and cover the bowl with a loose tea towel. Leave it in a warm place for about hour.

Before then after the rising. This dough soars.

When the dough has risen, divide it into three or four even pieces.

Press them out gently and fold them over in thirds lengthwise. Put them buttered pans, seam side down, and sprinkle on a little more flour.

Cover the pans loosely with tea cloths and put them back in the warm place for about 45 minutes. About 15 minutes before the second rising time is up, preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C.

When the oven is preheated, carefully remove the tea cloths and place the loaves in the oven to bake.

As you can see, I could probably have made one more loaf.

Bake uncovered for 35-45 minutes or until the internal temperature of the bread reaches 200°F or about 134°C or the bottoms sound hollow when tapped.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool briefly in the pan. Turn the loaves out onto wire racks to cool completely.

Meanwhile, make your glaze by whisking the butter, lemon juice and salt with one teaspoon of milk. Add in the sugar and stir well. Add additional milk a little at a time until you reach your desired pouring consistency.

When the loaves are completely cool, pour over the glaze and quickly decorate with colored sprinkles while the glaze is still sticky. It will harden after pouring, making the loaves easier to wrap and carry.


Do you have a traditional Easter, Passover or springtime bread you make each year? Perhaps you’ll find a new favorite in this great list from my fellow Bread Bakers:


#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all our of lovely bread by following our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated after each event on the BreadBakers home page.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. This month Camilla at Culinary Adventures with Camilla has chosen breads from around the world that are traditional for Easter, Passover, or Springtime. Thank you for hosting, Camilla!

If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send an email with your blog URL to

Sliced up and ready to become French toast