Archive for the ‘Quick Bread’ Category


Hazelnut-Fig Quick Bread

November 29, 2013

I clipped this recipe out of a Cooking Light magazine in March 1999 and finally made it in November 2013. I don’t know why this one took so long to get to, but I’m glad I held on to the recipe. The combination of figs and orange (orange juice + zest) make this especially delicious for breakfast.

hazlenut quick bread

Unlike a lot of quick breads, the nuts are on top rather than mixed in. It’s nice to get a few really nutty bites along with some no-nut bites.

hazlenut quick bread

It took a while to get to this recipe, but I won’t wait 14 years to make it again!

I baked this in two mini loaf pans (5.75 x 3″) rather than in one pan. You can find the recipe here on My Recipes.


TwD Baking with Julia: Buttermilk Crumb Muffins

November 6, 2012

Muffins were on deck for the Tuesdays with Dorie group this week. As much as I love a challenge in the kitchen, I also appreciate a simple muffin recipe that’s quick to mix and doesn’t make a lot of dishes. This recipe fit the bill! I made them late in the morning and we enjoyed them for an afternoon snack.

I made 1/2 recipe which gave me 8 muffins, though I should have made 9. The muffins overflowed a bit and the crumb topping glued itself to the muffin pan, making them a bit difficult to get remove from the pan. Once they were out, they were tasty – sweet, crunchy crumb topping on top of a tender muffin flavored with cinnamon and nutmeg. They were best the day they were baked, and still really good the next day.

Tip: I had some buttermilk in the freezer that I defrosted for this recipe, and it worked great. It seems that I always need less buttermilk than I need to buy, so last time I had extra, I froze it in 1/2 cup portions. David Lebovitz recently wrote a post about freezing cream, and I’m going to try that next. Update: I tried it and it worked! The frozen, defrosted cream whipped up nicely. It will be great to have cream in the freezer for those times I need just a little bit.

Ready for a quick, nicely spiced muffin? You can find the recipe on page 207 of Baking with Julia. Thank you to Alisa from Easier than Pie for hosting this week. She has the recipe posted on her blog today.


TwD Baking with Julia: Irish Soda Bread

March 20, 2012

A half-batch of Irish Soda Bread was quick and tasty and delicious with some soup for dinner. I made a plain version, using just flour, buttermilk, baking soda, and salt, but I’m sure that many of the other Tuesdays with Dorie bakers added currants, other dried fruit, and other creative mix-ins.

I stored the leftover bread in a plastic bag; the next day it was still moist, but the crust was a little soft, so I sliced it, put a little butter and garlic powder on the slices, and warmed it up in the oven. Irish Soda Bread Garlic Bread! If you don’t have time to make a yeast bread, this is a good alternative for some quick and fresh bread.

Don’t wait until next St. Patrick’s Day to make this. You can find the recipe on page 214 of Baking with Julia. Thank you to this week’s hosts: Carla of Chocolate Moosey and Cathleen of My Culinary Mission. They will have the recipe posted on their blogs today.


Tuesdays with Dorie: Apple-Toffee Muffins

October 4, 2011

The Tuesdays with Dorie bakers are kicking off October with Apple Muffin Cake, hosted by Katrina from Baking and Boys! Katrina is known for adding chocolate to recipes, so I’m wondering if she managed to add some chocolate to this one. I didn’t add chocolate, but I did make some changes. Read on to see how I changed Apple Nut Muffin Cake into Apple-Toffee Muffins.

Dorie explains that this was a muffin recipe that she ended up baking as a cake. I like muffins because they’re in individual portions that are easy to give away, so I turned the muffin cake back into muffins.

What I did:

  • I made half the recipe, which yielded 8 muffins.
  • Since I needed 1/2 egg, I used the white and cooked the yolk for the dog (she got the apple peel too).
  • I omitted the raisins and nuts and replaced them with 1/2 cup of toffee bits. After I threw those into the bowl I thought “that was too many toffee bits,” but it was too late.
  • I used paper muffin liners and sprayed them with non-stick spray. I like using the papers, but don’t like it when my muffins or cupcakes stick to the paper. Spraying them worked great!

How it went: There were a lot of things to measure out, but as with most quick breads, it was quick to mix up. I baked the muffins for 19 minutes; they got really brown, but that may have been all the toffee bits, which melted into the batter.

How it tasted: As much as I like raisins and nuts in muffins, the toffee version was really good! The bits melted into the muffin and gave it a sweet, toffee flavor, which was great with the moist chunks of apple. Did I use too many toffee bits? I don’t think so! My husband really enjoyed these and said they taste like something that’s bad for you. (Note that I never claimed it was a good-for-you treat…but it’s probably not as bad as a giant grocery store muffin.)

Open your copy of Baking: From My Home to Yours to page 37 and try Dorie’s version, my version, or your own version of this recipe! If you want to try before you buy, click over to Baking and Boys!; Katrina has the recipe published today.


No-Peeking Popovers from the Pastry Queen

March 22, 2011

Popovers are a blast from my past. When I think of them, I remember my mom’s homemade popovers, which I drenched with honey. A restaurant called The Proud Popover also comes to mind, It was a girls’ lunch kind of place that served them with sweet and savory fillings. After a many-year-long hiatus, I was reunited with my old friend the popover, thanks to Michele. She’s been talking about Rebecca Rather the Pastry Queen, so I got a copy of The Pastry Queen Christmas from the library and we decided to make popovers.

This is a savory recipe, with parmesan cheese (or whatever kind of cheese you want to add). The cheese is layered in the middle and magically rises to the top to form a tasty, toasty cheese crust on the top of the popover. I served them with soup; they’d be great with brunch too. How about fresh, cheesey popovers with your Easter ham?

My first batch looked impressive coming out of the oven, but quickly sank into an eggy lump. I’m pretty sure that it was because I used a silicone muffin pan, but it also could have been because I forgot to adjust the oven temperature. The recipe is easy, but there are three different oven temperatures, and I missed one of the changes.

Attempt number two was a resounding success! I used a regular muffin pan, and even took some liberties with the recipe: I used cooking spray instead of melted butter in the pan, and I used a mix of whole milk and skim milk, because I had used up most of my whole milk on the first attempt. The second round was a little lower in fat and tasted wonderful! The recipe calls for a Texas-sized muffin pan or a popover pan. Using a standard muffin pan, I got six popovers from half a recipe.

If you want to give these a try, Michele has the recipe posted here. Click over to her blog to see it and to see how her popovers turned out. The Pastry Queen Christmas is worth a look too. The Amazon preview shows a few pages and you can look through the index to see what recipes are in the book.


Tuesdays with Dorie: Cardamom Crumb Cake (My pick!!!!)

December 21, 2010

This week the Tuesdays with Dorie (TWD) bakers made Cardamom Crumb Cake. I’ve been baking with the group for over two years, and this is the most exciting week yet. Why? Because I selected the recipe! I love cardamom, so when I saw this in the book, I decided it was the recipe for me. Well, for me and for the other bakers who are baking along with me this week.

It was a piece of cake to make this!

Any other week, I probably would have cut the recipe in half, lightened it by replacing some of the butter with yogurt, and baked it as muffins instead of a cake. But this week, I made the recipe exactly as stated. It was easy to put together, I baked it for 30 minutes, and it was delicious. I couldn’t have asked for more. Cardamom’s mysterious spiciness paired wonderfully with the orange zest. This would be a great cake to serve at a holiday brunch; it’s a welcome twist on the expected gingerbread or cinnamon and nutmeg. I selected this for my tastes, and wasn’t sure how it would go over with my husband. I’m happy to report that he enjoyed it! He appreciated that the cardamom wasn’t overwhelming and he declared the crumbly top to be perfect.

You can find the recipe on page 38 of Baking: From My Home to Yours, or scroll down to see the recipe right here.  Thank you to everyone who baked with me this week!

Crumbs before mixing in the butter

The crumbs

Dry ingredients

Orange zest and sugar, looking pretty groovy

Ready to bake

Hot out of the oven!

Before you start, note that you’ll need melted and cooled butter, more butter at room temperature, and some cooled strong coffee (I put a note on my coffee maker so that I’d remember to save a little of my morning java!)

Cardamom Crumb Cake
from Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan

For the crumbs:

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces, at room temperature

For the cake:

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cardamom
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons finely grated orange zest
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 large eggs
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup strong coffee, cooled
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Getting ready: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan, dust the inside with flour and tap out the excess. Put the pan on a baking sheet.

To make the crumbs: Put all the ingredients except the butter in a bowl and toss them together with a spatula just to blend. Add the butter and, using your fingers or the spatula, mix everything together until you’ve got crumbs of different sizes. It’s nice to have a few big pieces, so don’t overdo it. Set the crumbs aside. (The crumbs can be made up to 3 days ahead, covered and refrigerated.)

To make the cake: Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cardamom, and espresso powder in a large bowl. Turn the dry ingredients out onto a sheet of wax paper, and put the sugar and zest in the bowl. Rub them together with your fingers until the sugar is moist and the fragrance of orange strong, then return the dry ingredients to the bowl and whisk to blend.

Put the remaining ingredients in another bowl and whisk them to blend. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and stir – don’t beat – to mix. Stir only until you’ve got an evenly moistened batter. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and top with a thick, even layer of the crumbs. Pat the crumbs ever so gently into the batter.

Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the cake has risen (it will crown), the crumbs are golden and a thin knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer to a rack to cool in the pan before serving warm or at room temperature.

You can unmold the cake if you want to, but you’ll lose some of the crumbs when you turn it over. I prefer to cut the cake in the pan, taking care not to nick the surface of the pan with my knife. (This is a good job for a plastic or silicone pie server.)

Makes 8 servings

Serving: Cut the cake into squares and serve warm or at room temperature.

Storing: This cake is best served the day it is made. It can be wrapped airtight and frozen for up to 2 months; once it defrosts, it benefits from a quick warm-up in a 350-degree-F oven.

Playing Around: I often make just the crumbs and use them to top ice cream and desserts like Chocolate Pudding (page 383), Coffee Caramel Pots de Crème (page 389) or Lemon Cup Custard (page 387). Make the crumbs as directed and refrigerate them for 2 hours. Crumble up the mixture, spread the crumbs out on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat and bake in a 350-degree-F oven for about 15 minutes, or until golden and baked through. Let cool. The crumbs can be wrapped airtight and kept at room temperature overnight or frozen for up to 2 months.


Tuesdays with Dorie: Oatmeal Breakfast Bread

August 17, 2010

This week’s recipe for the Tuesdays with Dorie bakers is Oatmeal Breakfast Bread. From the title, I thought it would be a yeast bread, but actually it’s a quick bread, and I decided to bake it as muffins. Lightly spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg and topped with brown sugar, cinnamon, and nuts, this is a delicious breakfast treat. Natalie from Oven Love selected this wonderful recipe. Thanks Natalie!

This recipe contains applesauce and oil but no butter, making it lower in fat than many of Dorie’s recipes. In the book, she mentions that there was a trend in the 1980s to lower fat in recipes by using applesauce and prune puree. Does anyone remember the prune puree you could buy in the store? I remember buying it thought I don’t remember what I baked with it. Probably muffins!

What I did:
  • Made a full batch and baked it as 12 (pretty full) muffins.
  • Replaced about half of the oil with plain yogurt.
  • Omitted the pinch of ground cloves.
  • Scooped six muffins into the pan, then stirred golden raisins into the remaining half of the batter (known as the better half).
  • I have pecans in the freezer, so that was the nut of choice for the topping.

How it went: So easy. I love making quick breads!

How it tasted: So, so good. I have had great success with Dorie’s muffins and quick breads, and this was another big hit with me. I loved that it wasn’t so sinful, but was still delicious. I loved how delicious the topping was, even though it was only brown sugar, cinnamon, and nuts. My husband enjoyed his raisin-free muffins and when I asked him for a review, he said the topping was his favorite part. Who knew that topping without butter would a) stick to the muffin and b) taste good?

Take a look on page 44 of Baking: From My Home to Yours, or the recipe will be published on Oven Love today.


Tuesdays with Dorie: Sweet Cream Biscuits

April 20, 2010

This week, the Tuesdays with Dorie bakers baked Sweet Cream Biscuits. Most of my biscuit experience involves the cardboard tube that you rap on the countertop until it bursts open. Well, these are almost as easy to make! I wanted them for breakfast, so I got up, baked them while still in my jammies, and was eating one before I was lightheaded from hunger.

This recipe was selected by Melissa from Love at First Bite. I “met” Melissa when I got her name for the TWD holiday card exchange in 2008, and her blog has been on my  regular reading list since then. Along with the TWD recipes, she’s got a lot of great looking things out there. In fact, I just took a look and remembered that I want to try the Malaysian Chicken Pizza she posted in February. Check out her lovely photos, delicious recipes, and cute boys!

What I did: I made half the recipe and got six biscuits. I baked two of the biscuits and froze the rest for baking in the future. Is it a huge waste of energy to heat up the oven to bake two biscuits? Probably, but if I would have baked more, I would have eaten more.

How it went: Aside from worrying about handling the dough too much, these were really easy to make. Whisk the dry ingredients, mix in the cream, pat to 1/2″ thick, cut into circles, bake. Not having much biscuit-baking experience, I was amazed that these have just cream and no butter.

How it tasted: I ate one right out of the oven, half with butter and half with butter and jam. The texture was crisp on the outside and amazingly soft and fluffy on the inside. This was a wonderful breakfast treat. When my husband got up, I told him to eat the biscuit right away because it might still be a little warm. I think he was generally confused about where the biscuit came from and why I was making him eat it, but he said it was very good and gave it a thumbs-up. He’s not too chatty in the morning, so that was a really good review. I’m looking forward to baking the frozen ones another day!

If you would like to give these a try, look on page 23 of Baking: From My Home to Yours. You’ll also find it posted on Love at First Bite today.

Side Note: I am going to New York City in a few weeks. If anyone has restaurant, shopping, or sightseeing suggestions, please leave them in the comments or email me at bakewithjill [at] Thanks!


Tuesdays With Dorie: Fresh Mango Bread

May 19, 2009

Fresh Mango Bread is Version 2.0 of your trusty breakfast-snack-anytime quick bread. I’m out of the banana bread rut, thanks to Kelly, who picked this week’s recipe for the Tuesdays With Dorie baking group. You can find the recipe on her blog, Baking With the Boys, or on page 45 of Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan. Get the recipe and upgrade your quick bread today!


What I did:

  • I cut the recipe in half and baked it in two mini-loaf pans for 45-50 minutes.
  • Replaced half of the oil with plain yogurt, to reduce the fat.
  • I didn’t have any lime zest, so I added 1/2 teaspoon lime juice (I know it’s not the same, but it’s what I had).
  • Used one whole egg and one egg white to approximate 1.5 eggs.

How it went: This quick bread was just that – quick! And that was a good thing, because I’ve got a knee injury and I need to keep off of my knee. So I was a bit slower than usual, taking care not to make any quick moves in the kitchen and I sat down to peel and dice the mango.

The recipe says to use two cups of diced mango from one mango. I knew right away that I wasn’t going to get two cups from one mango. And I was right – one mango gave me a cup of diced mango plus two bites for me and one bite for the dog. I was ready to declare a Mango Conspiracy Theory, thinking that all of the tropical fruit runts were being sent to Wisconsin. Who should I write a letter to, I wondered. How can I get some of these apparently giant mangoes? But then I read some of the comments from the other Tuesdays With Dorie bakers and found that many of them also had small mangoes. The bakers are spread across the US and throughout other countries, so my conspiracy theory was in the trash, but it’s good to know that my grocery store is not the target of substandard fruit.

How it tasted: I followed the recommendation to give the bread a day for the flavors and spices to meld. The next day it was good, and the day after it was still good. The spices are mild, which I like, and I was wishing for the flavor of the lime zest (which I didn’t have so I didn’t add it). The raisins made it too sweet for me. I love love love raisins, but sometimes they just don’t work, and next time I’d leave them out. My husband said the only thing he’d change is to leave out the ginger. He was fine with the raisins and I wasn’t, which is the opposite of the norm as far as raisins go.

Would I make this again?:  Yes, with a few changes. It was really moist and messy to slice after a couple of days, so I think this would be better as a muffin – no slicing required. I’d delete the raisins and the ginger and up the cinnamon and give the zest a try. Of course I’m not giving up banana bread, but it’s nice to have another fruit bread up my sleeve.


Tuesdays With Dorie: Savory Corn and Pepper Muffins

January 13, 2009

This week’s recipe was selected by Rebecca of Ezra Pound Cake (which just happens to be one of my favorite blog names!).  She probably has the recipe posted on her site, and you can also find it on page 6 of Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan.  A savory recipe! This was a nice break after all the holiday goodies.

What I did:  I just made a couple of tweaks to the ingredients.  I cut the sugar in half after reading that this was pretty sweet with the full 3 tablespoons of sugar.  I used half a jalapeno because I didn’t know how hot it would be with a whole one. And I used half real butter and half Smart Balance. I also omitted the cilantro cuz I just don’t like cilantro. Is that more than a few tweaks? I used Penzey’s Chili Powder, which is great tasting and not hot (they have lots of chili powders; I used “Regular”).  For the cornmeal, I selected Bob’s Red Mill Stone Ground Cornmeal. Bob’s makes lots of good grainy items! I bought a bag of Bob’s 10 Grain Hot Cereal for another recipe and I’ve been eating it for breakfast. It’s tasty!


How it went: This came together pretty quickly.  Like other muffin recipes, you mix the dry and wet ingredients separately and then mix them together just until the dry ingredients are moist.  No special equipment needed! I made a few minis for taste-testing, but I could have used all of the batter to make 12 standard sized muffins. They baked in about 17 minutes, rather than the 20 called for in the recipe.


How it tasted: After they cooled, I distributed a mini size muffin to my husband and our neighbor to taste test.  We all gave them a thumbs up, though the neighbor took one bite and declared it not sweet enough.  I thought that was funny, because there was a sweet/not sweet debate on the TWD site.  He put honey on his and I sent some home with him so he could douse them with honey in the privacy of his own home.  I can kind of see sweetening a plain cornbread, but since this recipe has two kinds of peppers and chili powder, sweetening it just seemed odd to me. The stone ground cornmeal added a lot of texture to the muffins, which I liked, but if grainy texture isn’t your kind of thing, then I’d suggest regular cornmeal.  My husband ate another one for a snack and declared “Those muffins are good!”  We had them with dinner and we both really enjoyed them. They’re moist and full of flavor but not overpowering; the red bell pepper is the perfect addition to these muffins and I didn’t think they were spicy at all with half of a jalapeno.


Would I make these again?: Yes. I’ve got a lot more cornmeal to use up! Although I didn’t serve the muffins with chili, they would be great with a nice bowl of chili or they would be great with any meal that needs some pizazz.

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