Category Archives: Breads & Muffins

Raisin Bran Muffins

 

Bran is the outer shell of the grain that has high amount fiber.  Wheat is not grown in Sri Lanka due to warm climate.  But Sri Lanka’s primary food crop is rice.  When rice is milled the husk/out shell is usually thrown away or used as cow feed or to use as manure for crops.  But after coming to the US, I realized how healthy bran is – well a little bit introduction of the bran.

So let’s come back to this recipe.  Now a days I have been avoid diary in my dishes.  It was a challenge to make my own diary free butter milk and yogurt.  After searching on google, I found how to make my own quick butter milk.  To make non-diary butter milk, add one tablespoon white vinegar to 1 cup measuring cup.  Add regular almond milk to the cup.  Mix and transfer to a bowl and let stand for about 10 minutes.

The muffins came out really good, soft and lightly moist which is the consistency I wanted.  But you can always use regular butter milk and butter instead of oil which may give additional flavor to muffins.

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup castor sugar
  • 1 cup buttermilk (made from almond milk)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Juice and zest of ½ lemon
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup wheat bran
  • ½ cup raisins

Method:

 

  • Preheat oven to 400 F. Line a muffin tin with paper casing and set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl lightly beat the egg. Add both sugars and mix well.
  • Now add oil, vanilla extract, juice and zest of lemon and the butter milk and thoroughly combine.
  • Sift together all-purpose, whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
  • Transfer the sifted flour into the egg mixture and slowly combine (the mixture will be quite liquidy so be careful not to spill).
  • Now add the wheat bran and combine thoroughly. Add raisins.
  • Spoon batter into muffin cups and bake for about 15 – 20 minutes
  • Yields: 8 muffins

Note: when making muffins, I always use paper casing to line the muffin tins.  It makes it easy to remove the muffins without breaking and decreases the cleaning time.

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Coconut Banana Bread

 

It’s been so long since I published any recipes.  I have to say, I haven’t tried any new recipes as well for a while.  It’s been hectic with a new job and then a lay-off, looking for a job etc.  Finally I thought, I have to get back on my normal life and start cooking and baking.  But I didn’t want to make anything complicated and came up with this banana bread.  I found this recipe in the “Better Homes & Gardens” website and modified a little bit.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup mashed banana (2-3 bananas)
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup lite coconut milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • ½ cup macadamia nuts
  • 2 tablespoons shredded coconut

 

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 350F. line a 9×5 loaf pan with lightly greased parchment paper.
  • Chop ¼ macadamia nuts into fine pieces and chop the other half roughly into big pieces.
  • In a large bowl sift together flours. Mix in baking powder, baking soda, salt and pumpkin pie spice.  Set aside
  • In a separate bowl lightly beat the egg. Add coconut milk, sugar, cooking oil and mix well.  Fold in mashed bananas in incorporate it well into the coconut milk mixture
  • Slowly fold the banana mixture into the flour mixture and mix until just combined.
  • Add dried ingredients in to the banana mixture and mix well.  Do not over mix
  • Add ¼ cup of roughly chopped macadamia nuts and mix
  • Pour batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with the coconut and reserved almond and bake for about 50 minutes.
  • Half way through baking, cover the top of bread with an aluminum foil to avoid any browning of coconut and macadamia nuts.
  • Cool on wire rack until it becomes room temperature.

Blueberry Orange Muffin

blueberryOrangeMuffin

Blueberries are in season now and I I love them. I eat them as is, add them to salads and of course use them in a lot of baked goods.  If you search my website for blueberries, you will find a lot of recipes with them.  These blueberries are little gems packed full of vitamins and antioxidants.

I read somewhere online that “Amaranth” flour is quite nutritious packed with vitamins.  So why not use it in baking – it does not alter the taste or texture of the muffins.  But raw Amaranth flour has a distinct earthy smell which when used in baking does not show off that smell.  But if you don’t have Amaranth flour handy, you can always replace it with all purpose flour.

This recipe is not Vegan, but dairy free.  I have used almond milk instead of regular milk.  When replacing regular milk with any non dairy alternative, you have to make sure the consistency is same.  For example the soy milk I buy is much thicker.  I have tried adding a bit water to thin it but no luck.  Almond milk works very well especially light almond.

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup amaranth flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • 4 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • ¾ cup milk/almond milk
  • 3 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon orange extract
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated orange zest
  • 1 tablespoon candied orange peel
  • 2 tablespoons crushed slivered almonds

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 375F. Line a muffin tin with 8 paper cases
  • Sift together flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon
  • In a large bowl combine together egg, light brown sugar, oil, milk, and vanilla extract
  • Add the flour mixture into the egg mixture and mix until there are no lumps
  • Mix in blueberries, orange peel, and almonds until just combined
  • Spoon into muffin paper cases and bake for about 25 minutes.
  • Makes 8 medium/regular size muffins

Note: If your muffin tin has more than 8 cups, pour water for about ¼ inch into the empty cups.

Ground Hazelnut and Rice Flour Muffins

 

hazelnutMuffin

Happy Monday every one.  I have a co-worker/manager who is allergic to gluten.  So every time I made muffins, cookies or other baked goods she could not eat.  So I was searching for a nice recipe that is gluten free and tastes so good.  Finally I got this recipe and I was a bit afraid since it uses rice flour instead of all-purpose flour.  Also I replaced butter with vegan butter to satisfy some friends who has lactose problem. I was a bit reluctant since I have never baked with rice flour.  But to my surprise it came out really good – soft and fluffy as any other muffin.

hazelnutmuffin1

Ingredients:

  • 4 oz vegan butter at room temperature
  • ¾ cup castor sugar
  • 4 medium sized eggs at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups ground hazelnuts
  • ½ cup sweetened desiccated coconut
  • ½ cup white rice flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • Pinch of salt (only if you are using sweet cream butter. I used salted vegan butter)
  • 12 whole hazelnuts

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 350F. Line 12 muffin cup pan with paper casing
  • Mix together rice flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt (if using salt). You don’t have to sift since rice flour is very light and powdery and will not clump as all-purpose flour.  Set aside
  • Beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until soft and light. Add eggs one at a time and beat until just combined.  Now add lemon grind and vanilla extract
  • Stir in ground almonds, coconut, and flour. Mix well
  • Stir in blueberries and combine. Make sure you don’t over mix and crush the blueberries
  • Divide mixture into paper cases and add a single hazelnut in the middle of each muffin
  • Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted near the middle comes out clean
  • Leave muffins in tin for about 10 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.

Blueberry Tea Bread

blueberrybread3

Here I am sitting and baking another tea bread – I don’t have any regrets in spending time baking tea breads/loaves.  Yes, I love these tea breads.  Even though they are so called “tea breads”, I eat them for breakfast.  Just one thick slice of this bread replaces a bagel, normal bread or any other stuff.  I started making these so that I can avoid those yummy pastries, doughnuts, bagels etc for breakfast.  Instead eat these fruit and nut filled loaves which does not have too much fat.  I have to admit, I ate this twice already – one slice for breakfast and again one slice with afternoon tea around 4:30 PM.  Week days are out for this kind of relaxed evenings.

This tea bread is very easy to make and there are no big steps in this.  All you need is the normal items that you may have in the pantry with some fresh blueberries.  If you don’t have blueberries you can try fresh cranberries (which of course comes only in fall).  I have not tried with raspberries, but thinking of trying it next time.

blueberryBread1

 

blueberrybread2

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs lightly beaten
  • 6 tablespoons cooking oil (preferably canola)
  • ½ cup castor sugar
  • 2/3 cup orange juice
  • Grated rind of one orange
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ¾ cups all purpose white flour
  • ¼ cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • ½ cup walnuts chopped

 

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 350 F. Line parchment paper to a 9×5 inch loaf pan and grease lightly.
  • Sift together white flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and set aside
  • Lightly beat eggs and add sugar, oil, orange juice, vanilla extract and beat until well combined. Add orange rind and mix well
  • Add dry ingredients into wet ingredients and mix until there are no lumps (the dough will be quite sticky. So I used a spatula to mix in since it will cut through the dough and mix well)
  • Mix in blueberries and walnuts. Make sure not to overdo since you don’t want to crush the blueberries.
  • Fold batter into a prepared pan and bake for about 50-55 minutes or a tooth pick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  • Let bread cool in tin for 10 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.
  • Makes one 9×5 inch loaf.

Coconut Banana Bread

coconut_BananaBread1

Finally I found the best banana bread.  I have made and have posted banana breads in the past.  But this time, I think I nailed it.  I have been looking for banana bread that is soft, moist but firm and that is what I got out of this recipe.  I think the coconut I added had made some miracle.  Flaked coconut is dry but has bit oil in them.  So it adds softness to the bread instead of getting sticky banana bread.  I got this recipe from http://www.recipes.com but changed the ingredients according to my taste.  Also the original recipe called for 1 cup white sugar.  I halved it and replaced with brown sugar which still has a lot of sweetness.

coconut_bananaBread

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • 1 cup mashed bananas
  • 1½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup flaked coconut
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
  • ½ cup dried cranberries

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9×5 inch loaf pan with parchment paper and grease lightly
  • In a bowl sift together all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside
  • In a large bowl lightly beat eggs. Add sugar, oil, and vanilla extract and mix until well blended.
  • Mix in mashed banana and coconut
  • Now fold in sifted flour in batches and mix with a wire whisk until well combined. Mix in nuts and cranberries
  • Transfer dough to the prepared pan and bake in the middle rack for about an hour or until a tooth pick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  • Cool in pan on a wire rack.

Source: adapted and slightly modified from Recipes.com website

Fruit and Nut Marmalade Bread

marmalade_bread

With Christmas coming, I wanted to make something special and so flavorful for breakfast.  Orange marmalade gives this bread a touch of orange flavor and the orange peel gives a distinct taste in every bite.  Adding almonds makes it even better – a crunch taste with raisins that gives a fruity taste.  This can be a perfect light breakfast bread on a Christmas day for the whole family.  Cut into thick slices spread some butter and Enjoy.

marmalade_bread1

Ingredients:

  • 1 ¾ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 7 tablespoons coconut oil (solidified state)
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • 4 tablespoons orange marmalade jam
  • 1 tablespoon orange peel
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon orange extract
  • 3 tablespoons almond milk
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • ¼ cup whole almonds coarsely chopped

 

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 325 F. Line and grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan and set aside
  • Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt
  • Rub butter into flour and mix until it resembles bread crumbs. Stir in the sugar and mix well
  • In a separate bowl mix together egg, vanilla extract, orange extract, marmalade, orange peel and 2 tablespoons of almond milk
  • Transfer liquid mixture slowly into the flour mixture and gently mix with a spatula. It should have a dropping consistency (not too sticky or not liquid like normal cake batter).  If the dough is too thick and hard to work with, add the one tablespoon almond milk.  If necessary, you can add but for me 3 tablespoons gave a very good consistency
  • Mix in raisins and chopped almonds
  • Transfer dough into prepared pan and bake for about 1 hour or 1 hour and 5 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted comes out clean
  • Cool in tin on a wire rack for about 10 minutes and remove from tin and cool until room temperature. Since this bread is a bit crumbly, make sure wrap in a foil to retain the moisture.