Jalapeño-Cheddar Biscuits

  • 3 c soft white flour
  • 4 1/2 t baking powder
  • 2 t kosher salt
  • 1 7/8 c heavy cream
  • 1/2 lb very sharp cheddar, cut into small cubes or coarsely grated
    • plus an extra 1/4 c (opt.)
  • 2-4 jalapeños, minced, about 1/4-1/3 c total, depending on your preference

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl. Add in the cubed cheese and jalapeños. Be sure to check the chilies’ heat level and decide how much of the inner membranes you want to leave in, if any. Make sure the cheese and chillies are evenly distributed throughout the flour mixture. Add in the cream and mix with a large wooden spoon until it just comes together in a shaggy ball. Be very careful not to overmix or else they will become tough instead of tender and flaky. Using either a dough/batter scoop or a large spoon, scoop balls of dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, 2 inches apart. Brush the tops with cream and sprinkle with more shredded cheese if desired. Bake until golden brown at 450°F for about 12-15 minutes. Let cool and serve.

Makes 24 1 1/2″ small biscuits or about 12-16 large ones.

Lemon Muffins

  • 2 1/4 c all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 c sugar
  • 2 1/2 T poppy seeds (opt)
  • 2 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1 c yogurt
  • 8 T unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 3 t freshly grated lemon zest (zest from 1-2 lemons)
  • 1 1/2 t pure vanilla extract
  • 1 t lemon extract
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (about 1.5-2 large lemons)
  • 2 eggs, plus 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten

Bake at 350F for 15-18 minutes.

Sunflower Seed Bread

  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1/4 c honey
  • 2 1/4 t yeast
  • 2 3/4 c whole-wheat flour
  • 1 c bread flour
  • 2 T wheat gluten (optional)
  • 2 1/2 t kosher or sea salt
  • 1 c toasted, salted sunflower seeds

Mix 1 t of the honey with the water and yeast and allow to proof for 5-10 minutes. Mix flours, salt and gluten if using together in a bowl. Add remainder of honey to water and yeast mixture (assuming yeast is good), and whisk to combine. Add flour to liquid and mix on medium speed for 6 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic, adding either more water or flour as needed. Remove from bowl and flatten the dough out into a large rectangle. Sprinkle sunflower seeds over the dough and then roll tightly, folding the ends up so the seeds don’t spill out. Slowly knead the dough roll to incorporate the seeds evenly throughout the dough, about 5 minutes.

Set dough in a greased bowl and allow to rise for 1 1/2-2 hours until doubled.

Punch dough down and allow to rise again for an hour until doubled again.

Remove the dough from the bowl, shape into a log and place in a greased 9″ loaf pan. Let rise for another hour (it will only rise a little).

Bake at 350F for 45 min-1 hour.

Honey Oat & Sunflower Seed Bread

  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 2 1/4  teaspoon yeast
  • 1/3 cup honey (or agave nectar if making this vegan)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 1/2 cup oat groats
  • 1 cup rolled old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup roasted sunflower seed kernels
  • 2+ cups white bread flour (depending on how moist your groats are)
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour (white or hard red depending on your preference)

Boil 1 1/2 cups of water and pour over the groats and allow to soak for at least half an hour, or use cold water and soak in the fridge overnight. Add the rolled oats 10 minutes before you begin to make your bread dough.

To the warm water (95-105°F) add the honey and yeast. I drain what water is left over from soaking the groats and rolled oats and add enough extra water to that to make 1 1/2 cups so I keep the flavour and nutrients that have leached into the water. Add in the butter and mix well. Add in the groats, rolled oats, sunflower seeds and salt, and then slowly add in the 4+ cups of flour, all the while mixing with the dough hook attachment of your mixer or a sturdy wooden spoon. Only add in enough flour so that it barely comes off the sides of the bowl, this is supposed to be quite a moist dough.

I like to let my mixer knead the dough for about 4 minutes before turning it out onto a lightly floured surface and adding just enough flour so that it doesn’t stick to my hands or the counter. Knead for 5 minutes more until stretchy and it just barely sticks to the counter without a little flour.

Form into  ball, cover and place in a clean, oiled bowl to rise until doubled. Once doubled, punch down gently and allow to rise for a second time, being careful to watch it so it doesn’t over-rise.

Remove from the bowl and shape into whatever shape you choose, a boule, batard, baguette, or place into 2 loaf pans. Top with either a scattering of rolled oats or sunflower seeds (or both)  and allow to rise one final time.

Bake in a 375°F oven until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom/the internal temperature has reached 190°F.

Onion Dill Bread

  • 1 T active dry yeast
  • 2 c bread flour
  • 1 c white whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 c warm water
  • 1/2 c finely chopped onion/leeks/scallions
  • 1/4 c fresh chopped dill weed OR 2 t dried dill weed
  • 1 T dill seed
  • 2 T honey
  • 1 t kosher salt
  • 1 c small curd cottage cheese or whole milk yoghurt
  • 2 eggs: 1 for the dough, 1 for the eggwash

Combine water, honey and yeast in mixing bowl and let sit for 10 minutes. Add remaining ingredients except flour and salt and mix well. Mix salt into the whole wheat flour. Add in the whole wheat flour and 1 cup of the bread flour and mix together.  Gradually add in the last cup of bread flour bit by bit, mixing until each addition is fully incorporated before adding more. The dough should be stretchy and tacky, but not sticky.  Knead for 10 minutes and then return to the cleaned, oiled bowl and allow to rise until doubled. Punch down and then let rise until doubled again. Form into desired shape or place in oiled loaf pans. Beat a second egg with 1 t of water and glaze the top(s) of the loave(s) and then top with either coarse salt, dill seeds, or a combo of the two.

Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes until golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom, or until reads 200°F internally with an thermometre inserted in the centre.

Note: I like to form my loaves into either a boule or a bâtard and bake on a baking sheet instead of in a loaf pan. In addition to being great with a homemade soup (especially tomato), it’s fantastic toasted, buttered and topped with fresh sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, or with cheeses like Gruyère, Emmentaler, Jarlsberg, or sharp Cheddar.

Banana & Dark Chocolate Chip & Espresso Cupcakes with Cream Cheese-Yogurt Icing

  •  4-5 very ripe bananas, mashed well
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream or yogurt
  • 4 ounces of espresso (or very strong coffee)
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso granules (opt).
  • 1/3 cup melted, unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cups brown sugar
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 package bittersweet chocolate chips

Icing

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 6 T unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup full-fat yogurt
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 t vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 – 1 3/4 cups powdered sugar, (add in 1/4 cup increments until desired sweetness and texture is reached. I like my icing on the tangy side)
  • pinch of salt

Citrus & Spice Soda Bread

  • 1 1/2 C AP flour
  • 1/2 C whole wheat or rye flour
  • 1/2 t kosher salt
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1 1/2 t baking powder
  • 6 T unsalted butter
  • 5 T demerara or turbinado sugar, divided
  • 1/2 t cardamom
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 1/4 t mace
  • 1 egg
  • zest of 1 medium lemon
  • zest of 1 small orange
  • 1/3 C lemon & orange juice
  • 1/4 C buttermilk

Sift together all dry ingredients. Cut the butter into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or your fingers until it resembles small peas. After zesting your lemon and orange, juice them into a small bowl and measure out 1/3 C of the juice, reserving the remainder for another use or recipe. In a small bowl mix together the egg, lemon and orange zests, 3 T of the sugar, citrus juice and buttermilk.

Add to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Gather into a ball and place in a buttered 8″ cake pan. Press lightly into a disc and sprinkle with 1-2 T of the remaining sugar. Bake at 375°F for 35 minutes or until lightly browned and firm to the touch.  Let rest for 10 minutes, and then slice into wedges with a bread knife and serve with butter and jam and/or honey.