Category Archives: Breads and such

Streusel Coffee Cake

It seemed appropriate to have a really, really special coffee cake to start the day of college graduation.  I found this recipe and tweaked it a bit.  The promise was something akin to a Starbucks offering. I don’t know about taste, but Starbucks baked goods are in a class by themselves in presentation.  I was sold!

What I love about this recipe is it doesn’t take any unusual ingredients.  If you have the following on hand, you are 2 hours or so from coffee cake bliss!

All purpose flour–4 1/2 cups

Granulated sugar–approx. 2 1/3 cups

Brown Sugar–1 1/3 cups

Butter–1 cup (2 sticks)

Cinnamon–2 tablespoons

Greek Yogurt, plain (can use regular)–3/4 cup

Milk–1 1/4 cup

Eggs-3 large

Chocolate chips–white/dark chocolate, 1/3 cup each

vanilla & salt & baking powder & cocoa powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare a 9 x 13 pan with baking spray.

Mix together for streusel topping:

2/3 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup flour

1/2 tablespoon cinnamon

4 tablespoons butter, melted

Mix together for filling:

1 cup brown sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder

For Cake:

Beat 3/4 cup butter until creamy in mixer.


1 teaspoon salt, 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, 1/3 cup brown sugar.  Beat into butter.  Add 2 teaspoons vanilla.

Now–beat in 3 eggs, ONE at a time. 

Whisk in a bowl:

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

3 3/4 cups flour

Whisk in a measuring cup:

3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt

1 1/4 cups milk

Okay, here’s the part that is a bit more work…you want to add about a third of the flour, BEAT, a third of the milk/yogurt, BEAT until you have added it all. 

I like to throw a towel over the mixer when adding flour so it doesn’t “fly” everywhere. 

When the batter looks like this

you are ready to assemble your cake

Put half the batter into your prepared pan

Sprinkle with filling and half of your chocolate chips–I did a black/white version–half with dark chocolate/half with white chocolate

Spread remaining batter onto filling/chips;swirl batter slightly with a knife to incorporate filling

Sprinkle with topping

Sprinkle remaining chips on top

Bake a full 60 minutes.  Check with a toothpick into the middle to make sure it’s done.

Let cool on wire rack for 20 minutes.

Cut and serve from pan.



This post is linked to Real Food Wednesday:


Thanks to Baker Chick for the inspiration:


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Filed under Breads and such, Breakfast, Eating well, Special Desserts, Tea time

Seed Bread–Step by Step

Here’s the post I promised–a step by step tutorial on making whole grain seed bread.

First up, gather your supplies:


8 x 4 loaf bread pans

Plastic wrap or cotton kitchen towel

Large rising bowl

Heavy Duty mixer with dough hook or very, very strong arms

Kitchen thermometer

Rolling pin or dowel

Dough scraper


2/3 cup steel cut oats

1 tablespoon salt

4-5 cups good quality whole wheat flour, freshly milled, if possible

3 teaspoons vital wheat gluten

4 tablespoons sunflower seeds

2 tablespoons each black, golden & brown sesame seeds, flax seeds

2 tablespoons vegetable oil & flax seed oil (or all vegetable oil)

3 tablespoons agave nectar (or honey if preferred – not vegan)

2 teaspoons active dry yeast

1 ounce raisins


The night before you are planning to bake:

Place 2/3 cup steel cut oats in saucepan

Measure in 1 tablespoon salt

Bring 2 cups of water to a boil; pour boiling water over oats.  Cook on low heat until thick, about 10 minutes.

Remove from the stove.

Next up–the seeds!

4 tablespoons sunflower seeds

2 tablespoons  of each of the following: black sesame seeds, brown sesame seeds, golden sesame seeds, & flax seeds

Mix together

Stir seed mixture into oatmeal

Cover and let sit overnight.

If you can, mill whole wheat berries into flour

If you don’t have that option, choose the best quality, “fresh” whole wheat flour you can find i.e. don’t use the local supermarket’s dusty bag of whole wheat flour.  Whole wheat flour becomes rancid and does not behave well when it sits on the shelf for months.

Soak 1 ounce of raisins in 1/2 cup water for 15-30 minutes, until raisins are plumped (you can do this step the night before at the same time as the oats)

When nicely plumped, pour water and raisins into blender and liquify.

Pour into seed/oats

I am sure you are thinking by now:  “I see why Dave’s Killer Bread” is over $5 a loaf”

To the oat/seed/raisins, add

2 tablespoons good quality vegetable oil

2 tablespoons flax seed oil

3 tablespoons agave nectar or honey

Warm 1/2 cup water to 110 degrees.  Stir in 2 teaspoons dry yeast and let sit 5 minutes until foamy.

Using a heavy duty mixer with dough attachment:

Measure 3 cups whole wheat flour into mixing bowl


3 teaspoons vital wheat gluten

Blend oat and yeast mixtures into flour on low.

Not very promising.  But wait! Give the flour time to absorb your oat/seeds.  About a 15 minute rest, at least.

Then adding somewhere between 1-2 more cups of flour, knead the dough with your machine.

When properly kneaded, it will look very rustic but clear the sides of the bowl.

Plop it on your counter

Now give it the finishing turns to make a lovely ball.

Place ball in large rising bowl

Cover with a damp cotton dish towel

Place in a warm location and let rise until doubled. One to one and half hours.

Doubled dough does not fill in when you poke it 🙂

It sighs instead.

Do this one more time, deflate, round into a ball and let rise once more.  It will take half as long this time.


Cut in two with a dough scraper (if you don’t own a dough scraper, I would hurry and get one.  They are an inexpensive, invaluable tool for all sorts of scraping you do in the kitchen)

Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let rest 10 minutesThe 10 minute rest relaxes the dough so the next step is easier–roll the round into a rectangle

Using your dough scraper,  tightly roll the rectangle into a loaf

Tuck in the ends

Place in prepared 8 x 4 loaf pans (spray with PAM),  place in warm rising area, and cover with plastic wrap or wet towel

Let rise until beautifully doubled in pan

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for35- 45 minutes.  The loaves will be a deep golden color.  Leave loaves in pans to cool for 2-5 minutes on a rack, then flip onto rack to cool.  The loaves should sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.

Your reward.


We would LOVE any feedback on this recipe.  What worked or didn’t work for you!

This post is linked to Pennywise Platter and Monday Mania


Filed under Breads and such, Eating well, Vegan

Vegan Whole Grain Seeded Bread

If you live in the Pacific Northwest,  you have certainly heard of the story of Dave’s Killer Bread.  Son of a baker, Dave came into his legacy late in life after a rather storied past.  He has ingeniously used that story,  together with terrific baking skills, to market a wonderful line of vegan friendly, whole foods bread.  “WOW”. That is what most people say when they eat his bread.  It’s also terrifically expensive.  I am going on a baking journey to find his secrets and have ‘Dave’s bread on demand’.   I have scoured the internet for ideas and have only found one “genuine” Dave’s recipe–for his “Sin Dawgs” i.e. cinnamon bread roll.  Some help, but only the barest.

UPDATE:  Here’s the complete recipe link!

Here is my first attempt…no recipe, just pictures of my first two loaves.

I started with my favorite, “tried and true” Laurel’s Kitchen Bread Book Oatmeal Bread recipe.  Using the steel cut oats from his ingredient list, I added 2 tablespoons of each of the seeds listed.  I let the seed/oat mixture sit overnight.  My whole grain recipe calls for two risings and then shaping for another rise.

I cut the dough in half

I rolled out each piece until the dough mounds were about 3/8  inch thick

Using a dough scraper

I rolled the dough into a tight loaf, tucking in the ends

Gently I lifted the dough into the  8 x 5 loaf pans and set them in a warm location (in this case, the oven stove top)

Covered it the pans with a damp cotton towel

Then it was a waiting game…until the dough has doubled in size

Baked at 350 degrees in just 35 minutes I had these loaves to admire!

Although we were pleased with the bread, I have some work to do on the recipe.

More to come!



Filed under Breads and such, Vegan

10 Grain Wonder Bread

Do you wonder how you might make healthy bread with only five minutes to spare?  The artisan bread revolution started by Dr. Hertzberg and Zoe Francois has entered the whole foods realm with another book, Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day, to follow their Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day.  Our post, Bread for Everyone introduced their concept.  Although I added whole grains to their recipes, I am excited they have published a book that features whole grains.  My sons love multi-grain bread; this is the first recipe I made from their new book.  In case you are asking…, this does not taste like the slow rise bread that was a part of our lives in simpler times, but it is “good enough” for the ease of it’s preparation.

Ten Grain Bread

This is all you need!

2 cups Bob’s Red Mill 10 Grain Cereal

3 cups white whole wheat flour

2 cups unbleached flour

1 1/2 tablespoons yeast

1 tablespoon KOSHER salt

1/4 cup vital wheat gluten

3 1/2 cups lukewarm water

Whisk together the cereal, flours, yeast, salt, and vital wheat gluten in a large bowl.

Pour water over flour mixture.

Mix together with a spatula.

As you stir, if all goes well,  it will form a ball.

Plop dough into a large plastic container.

Let rise 2 hours at room temperature.

Use spatula to deflate.

You can shape, rise and bake now or refrigerate dough until you want it as much as 10 days later.  When you want your loaf…..

Remove dough from refrigerator.

Weigh (you can guess if you don’t have a scale) a pound of dough…grapefruit size.

Shape into a oblong loaf…I made three loaves.

Be careful to keep the “skin” on the surface…don’t plummet the dough but gently shape.

Place on parchment if you have a stone to bake on or a baking sheet.

Let rise until your finger leaves an indentation, about doubled…approximately 40 minutes unrefrigerated, 90 minutes from the frig.

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees well ahead of baking time.

Ready to bake:

Slide dough onto stone or place baking sheet in oven AND add 1 cup hot water to a pan on bottom rack of oven to add steam.  In 30 minutes, you will be rewarded with this!


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Filed under Breads and such, Breakfast, Eating well, Side Dishes

Homemade Pita for Everyone

I am consistently surprised at the price of bread; any and every kind.  It seems pita is especially overpriced and generally not very good.  One of my fall goals is to start making almost all of our bread again.  The past four or five years my work schedule has not permitted as much bread baking as I enjoy but this fall, I am determined.  I have scaled back my commitments so look forward to many more bread-y posts! As a follow-up to my ‘bread for everyone‘, I have been wanting to post on this wonderful Pita bread recipe.  It is easy, easy and turns out perfect every time.  I have previously posted a sourdough pita but not everyone has joined the sourdough wagon… here’s an easy pita for everyone.

Homemade Pita

In mixing bowl, stir together:

1 packet active dry yeast (about 1 tablespoon)

1/4 teaspoon sugar

1/2 cup warm (110 degrees) water

Let sit until foaming, about 10-20 minutes (this depends on your room temperature–warmer is faster)

Add to bowl:

2 more cups warm water

1 cup unbleached flour

Mix thoroughly and add, one cup at a time:

2 cups white whole wheat flour (or unbleached white, if you prefer)

Let mixture set an additional 10 minutes.  These rest periods are the secret!

Now add:

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons salt

Mix in thoroughly and beat in

3 more cups unbleached flour

Knead with dough hook about 7-10 minutes, until dough is smooth and elastic.

In a large bowl, place 1 tablespoon olive oil.

Now place the ball of dough in the bowl, roll it around to smother with oil.

Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, 1-2 hours.

The dough is doubled when you poke a finger and hole doesn’t fill.

Preheat pizza stone on middle rack of oven to 500 degrees.

Punch down dough, knead briefly and shape into a round.

Cut your round with a dough scraper into 16 pieces–to do this, cut in half; cut in fourths, cut in eighths, cut into sixteenths :).

Roll into small balls by stretching the smooth surface around the ball and let these balls rest under a cloth for 20 minutes.  Use as much flour as needed to not stick.

Roll the ball in to a disk and “throw” onto pizza stone.  Bake 2-3 minutes until lightly golden and puffed.

Wrap warm pitas in a clean cloth to keep them soft.

Serve with hummus……that recipe coming up next!


This post is linked to Real Food Wednesdays

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Filed under Breads and such, Eating well, Side Dishes, Snacks, Vegan

Amazing Pizza Bread–Vegan, too!

This bread absolutely amazes me; it has no cheese but tastes cheesier(is that a word?) than most cheese breads I’ve had the pleasure of sampling.

Cheese is right up there with cookies as one of my favorite food “groups” so I have had the quite a bit of experience in that area.  It does require sourdough but this is a great time to make a starter if you haven’t already.  Starters love warmer weather! Be brave!  Be strong!  Enlist your children in the process; they will love watching the natural, wild yeasts come to life!

Amazing Pizza Bread

The night before,  mix together in your heavy duty mixer bowl:

1 cup sourdough starter

1 scant cup water

2 very full cups flour–although I love my freshly ground whole wheat flour, I have been having a bit of love affair with the new whole grain white flour from Costco–Eagle Mills All Natural Unbleached All Purpose Flour.  My starter is whole wheat but I added the Eagle Mills for the overnight rest.

Mix thoroughly with dough hook or wooden spoon.

Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let it do it’s magic overnight.

Next day:

Measure into bowl with starter:

1 3/4 cup lukewarm water

2 cups whole wheat flour, freshly ground or white whole wheat

1  cup Eagle Mills unbleached flour

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons salt

Knead with dough hook, 5-6 minutes


1 more cup each of whole wheat and unbleached flour–total of  5 cups

1 cup sun dried tomatoes packed in oil, chopped

Knead 1-2 more minutes

Rise until doubled, about 1-2 hours.  Rising time varies greatly depending on flour and temperature in your kitchen.

Punch down and shape into two rounds.

Place on parchment.

Spray with PAM, cover rounds with a piece of wax paper and let rise about 1 hour .

Meanwhile, turn on your oven with baking stone on middle rack to 425 degrees.

When your loaves look lovely about twice their original size, then–

Slit the top of your rounds.  Now slide the parchment with the rounds onto the stone.

Bake 25-30 minutes.  Remove by hand or with a flat, rimless cookie sheet.

Cool on rack.

All your pizza lovers will follow the smell and ask you for a slice way before it’s cool enough to cut.  Go ahead.  Life is short.




Filed under Breads and such, Eating well, Vegan

Sourdough Pita Bread

If you maintain a sourdough starter, you are always looking for ways to use it.  I happened upon this recipe and found it quite good.  I used all whole wheat starter and flour but it still worked well.  My vegan son especially appreciates me when I make pita as it is one of the few breads he can eat since it has no diary products.  I promise a homemade hummus and non-sourdough pita recipe soon!

Sourdough Pita Bread


2/3 c cup warm water (110 degrees–I still use a thermometer EVERY time)

1 teaspoon yeast

1/2 teaspoon sugar

Allow to bloom–get nice and bubbly–10 minutes.

Put in mixer bowl fitted with dough hook (or by hand, if you lack a KitchenAid mixer, and I am sorry for you if that is the case):

2 cups sourdough starter, yeast mixture and 3 tablespoons olive oil.

Turn on mixer to low and add 2 teaspoons salt and 2 cups of whole wheat or bread flour, one cup at a time.

When flour and salt are incorporated and the dough is clinging to the dough hook, turn off mixer, take dough and make a nice mound in a oiled bowl and let rise one hour.  Meanwhile, preheat your oven with a stone on the bottom rack to 500 degrees–this takes at least an hour for most ovens.

Dump your dough ball on a floured surface and pushing out air, make a nicely rounded ball.

Let relax 10-15 minutes.

Cut dough into 12 pieces, being careful to keep the shiny top intact.  Round these pieces, keeping the shiny top on the top (!) and flatten a bit with your hand. Let rounds rest 20 minutes.

If the dough still fights you, just RELAX and try again in a few minutes.  No hurry, here.

Let the  rolled rounds rest for about 5 minutes.

Deftly, throw these rounds on the stone in the oven, as many as can fit.  They will magically puff up and delight you.  Bake just 4-5 minutes.  Over baking will make them hard.  It’s the steam when they puff that makes them “cooked”.

Remove them using a rimless cookie sheet or large spatula.  Repeat until all rounds are baked.

Quickly open one up and eat with your favorite filling.



This post is part of Pennywise Platter Thursday

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Filed under Breads and such, Eating well, Vegan