Tag Archives: Breakfast

Hot Cross Buns

27 Apr

The April Daring Baker’s Challenge was hosted by Wolf of Wolf’s Den . She challenged us to Spring into our kitchens and make Easter breads reflecting cultures around the world. Since, in addition to sharing the recipe for Osterbrot – German Easter Bread and Mama Pia’s Easter Bread, she had also given us the option to bake any Easter Bread of our choice. I seized this opportunity to bake the “Hot Cross Buns” 🙂

Hot Cross Buns

And I sang the kindergarten rhyme “Hot Cross Buns” all the time I was baking. Well, according to wikipedia, A hot cross bun is a spiced sweet bun made with currants or raisin and marked with a cross on the top, traditionally eaten on Good Friday in the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, the Caribbean, South Africa, and Canada. For the challenge I chose to use the one over at Foodness Gracious. I stumbled upon the blog while looking for a recipe for the buns, and I think I am a fan. I would totally recommend paying them a visit 🙂



  • 1 cup warm water
  • 3 tsp quick rising yeast
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1/3 cup dried milk powder
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 1/2 cup bread flour
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup raisin


  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 6 tsp water


  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 tsp sugar

Dissolve the yeast in warm water and then add sugar, dried milk and the egg. Whisk them till combined. Add 1 1/2 cup of flour and mix it till it forms a smooth paste, cover and set it aside for ~30 minutes.

Hot Cross Buns

Add oil and salt, followed by the remaining flour, and after forming it into a ball, transfer to a stand mixer with a dough hook and add the spices. If the dough is still a little wet, add another tablespoon or two of flour. Add the raisins and mix at a low speed for a couple of minutes. Place the dough in a lightly greased container and set it aside again for ~30 minutes.

Grease a 13*10 inch baking tray and pre-heat the oven to 380 degree Fahrenheit. Divide the dough into 12 balls and place them into the tray  into a 4*3 grid. Cover the tray and set it aside till the dough balls rise enough to touch each other.  Meanwhile, mix water and flour together and once the dough balls are ready, pipe a cross across all the buns.

Bake in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes. Boil sugar and water for the glaze. When the buns are golden brown remove from oven and  glaze them over.

Hot Cross Buns

The buns are now ready. I happened to stumble upon the recipe at the right time, not only was I looking for one I could use for this month’s DB challenge, the weather in the Bay Area has also been perfect to make one appreciate oven fresh buns (yeah,its raining here !!!!! and they say its summer! )

Hot Cross Buns

A good recipe, I say! You can butter them up or splash them over with some jam or marmalade, either way they are delicious. Off I go now, to make some hot tea 😀 Enjoy!!


Cinnamon Swirl Coffee Cake Muffin

3 Apr

I love my weekend brunch ritual at Panera Bread. It was here that we first tried out cinnamon crumb cake and fell in love with it. Now, almost every meal at Panera ends with a slice of cinnamon crumb cake. So, yes, we love it (like one can love food 🙂 ), more so on days when the cake is freshly baked and still warm.

Cinnamon Swirl Coffee Cake Muffin

I had been thinking about baking these for a long time and when I came across this recipe, I immediately bookmarked it. However, it wasn’t until last weekend that I could actually try it out and oh boy, they were amazing!! This is one the most amazing recipes around and as Jessica from On Sugar Mountain said, beneath that modest muffin appearance lies a whole array of comforting flavors and texture.

Cinnamon Swirl Coffee Cake Muffin


Crumb topping

  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp softened butter
  • a pinch of cinnamon

Cinnamon filling

  • 1/3  cup melted butter
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Muffin batter

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk

I used the exact same recipe from Jess’s blog. For convenience, here are the exact steps.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.

Preparation: Crumb topping

Combine all ingredients until mixture resembles coarse crumb and set aside until needed.

Preparation: Cinnamon filling

Whisk all the ingredients together and set aside until needed.

Preparation: Muffin batter

Combine all flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a bowl and set it aside. In another bowl whisk all the wet ingredients and then mix the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients in a few swift movements. Do not over mix.

Pour about 1 to 1 1/2 tbsp muffin batter into all the muffin cups, make sure you have enough batter remaining for the second layer. Add about 1 tsp of cinnamon filling on top of the batter we just poured, followed another tbsp of muffin batter. Top the muffins with the crumb topping and place the pan into the oven for 15-20 minutes or until it passes the toothpick test. I was impatient while pouring the batter into the tins so my muffins came out in different sizes, however the smaller ones had more even more flavor in them 🙂


Cinnamon Swirl Coffee Cake Muffin


Once done, let the muffins cool in the pan for a few minutes before moving them to a wire rack.


Cinnamon Swirl Coffee Cake Muffin


These muffins are simple and delicious and the cinnamon swirl filling and the topping raise the bar to a whole new level.

This recipe is a keeper.  From the looks of it, I will be baking another batch very soon 🙂 




Banana-nut Muffin

6 May

I have always loved banana nut muffins. I love the moist, spongy muffins with small crunchy pieces of nuts. Loved them even when I was in school, they used to be my grab and go snack between classes :), and love them even now, when we get them with breakfast every wednesday! So, I guess I can never get tired of these muffins.

Well, I won’t lie, I bought bananas last weekend and, let them sit there on the fruit stand, just because I wanted to bake these muffins :D.    The recipe source I followed mentioned just 3 bananas for the recipe, but since I had  4, I used them all. They turned out moist and yummy and slightly wet from the inside and I guess the extra banana is responsible for it. However, they are delicious.

Banana nut muffin

INGREDIENTS(12 muffins)

  • 1 cup whole pecans
  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • zest of 1 lemon

Pre-heat oven to 350 degree fahrenheit.

Place the pecans in the oven and remove them in about 10 minutes or when they are lightly roasted.  Let them cool and later, chop them into small pieces.

Banana nut muffin

In a bowl combine all the dry ingredients together, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, zest, nuts and salt. In another bowl combine mashed bananas, eggs, melted butter, lemon juice, and vanilla. Lightly fold, the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Do not over mix the batter else, the muffins will turn out to be rubbery and hard.

Spoon the batter into lined muffin tins. Fill each muffin tin to the brim and bake them in the oven for 20-25 minutes or till a toothpick inserted,  comes out clean. Let the muffins cool on a wire rack.

So, I  now have my stash of muffins ready for the week  🙂  and, the only thing I need to take care of now is to make sure they last till the weekend 😛 !!

<Adapted from: Joy of Baking>

Blueberry Muffins

26 Mar

I have always wanted to bake muffins and am sure perfect muffins are every new baker’s dream. Well I discovered quiet a lot of important facts about muffin’s during my happy stunt with them this weekend. I say happy because the amount of effort that went into baking was really nothing compared to their yummieness. Not only that, they were beautiful, don’t believe me?? Check out for yourself!

Blueberry Muffins

Blueberry Muffins

Well, I made these using the “Muffin Method” as compared to the “Cake Method” of baking muffins and since I really liked the recipe posted on the pioneer woman since it mentioned using yogurt instead of sour cream. I am still a budding baker, and was quiet impressed with the fact that with the muffin method I did not have to use the hand mixer at all! I suggest you read Muffin-101, before you start baking, I found it very informative.

Blueberry Muffin

INGREDIENTS (About 12 small muffins)

  • 1 1/2 cups minus 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup plain un-flavoured yogurt
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • turbinado sugar
  • butter for muffin tins or not, if you are planning on using paper liners

Pre-heat oven to 385 degree F.

In a bowl sift together all the dry ingredients – flour, sugar, nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda, salt and in another bowl whisk together oil, vanilla, egg, yogurt and honey. You can leave the nutmeg out if you aren’t very fond of it. Add the dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir to the count of 10. Its OK if the mixture has lumps, do not over-mix the ingredients. Over mixing results in gluten formation and affects the texture of the muffins.

Blueberry MuffinsPlace the paper liners in the muffin pan. Add the mixture into the muffin pans, fill up to 3/4 of the pan, using a big spoon/ice-cream so that the all the muffins are same size.  I did not have turbinado sugar available, so I sprinkled regular sugar all over on the muffin tops. I should mention here that I am a huge fan of crunchy muffin tops, and it is this sugar topping that makes them crunchy. So, by all means add the sugar topping :). Place the muffin pan into the oven and bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes clean out of it, well, except the blueberry goo sticking to it.

Cool the muffins first in the muffin pan and later transfer them onto the wire rack. While they cool down, feel free to dig your teeth into a soft, moist, crunchy, blueberry oozing muffin and bless yourself 😀

Happy Baking Y’all!!

My Weekend Bake – Cream Scones

17 Mar

Scones like every food, have their own history. I recently discovered that, originally these were made out of oats and baked on a girdle, but as a scone lover I can myself go to any extent to get a fresh one for myself. I am a frequent Starbucks visitor and am very much in love with their blueberry scones! Infact, it was here that I had my first scone but nothing beats being able to bake your own scones and have them with a cup of steaming hot tea! That was motivation enough for me to try to bake them.

Cream scones

INGREDIENTS (14-16 small scones)

  • 2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp COLD unsalted butter, cut into smaller cubes
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream (I used milk and added the quantity based on judgement, enough to make the dough manageable but not too loose)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence


Some notes here, the butter should be really cold, you can keep them in the freezer for a couple of minutes. The second point of interest before we start baking is to remember not to over knead the dough, because we want our scones to be fluffy and crumbly and light! So, I chose to knead the flour lightly using my hands, you can use a mixer as well, your choice.

Pre-heat the oven to 275 degree F.

Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl and add pieces of butter to it as well. Crumble through the mixture till it looks like the picture below.

crumble cold butter with dry ingredients

In a separate bowl beat the egg lightly and add cream and vanilla essence to it and stir them into the dry mixture. Knead the dough to make a uniformly moistened dough. Cover the dough with a cling wrap and refrigerate it for 30 minutes.

Divide the dough into hand sized well rolled balls. On a flat, floured surface, flatten each roll to about 2 centimeters of thickness, using a rolling pin. Now, to shape each scone you can use a cookie cutter or I just used a knife to divide the dough into small scones (the shape they sell them in, at Starbucks!!). Brush the scone tops with oil and sprinkle them with crystal sugar.

sprinkle sugar on scone pieces

Bake the scone pieces on an unlined baking trey, for about 15-20 minutes or until their base is golden brown. The scone tops might be a little soft when taken fresh out of oven, but as long as a toothpick stuck into them turns out clean, they harden perfectly upon cooling.

golden brown scone bottom

fresh out of oven cream scones

The aroma from my kitchen right now is mouth watering, and even my husband complimented the aroma when the cones were still in the oven, not to mention he loved them with butter and agreed to fetch some fresh strawberries for strawberry shortcake (my next post)!! But yes, these scones were an instant hit!

(reference: savorysweetlife)
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