baked sweets/ breakfast

Homemade Wholegrain Pop-Tarts (Still Frosted)

Ingredients~
Makes 12 smallish pop-tarts

Dough:
1/2 cup & 1 tbsp wholegrain spelt flour
1/2 cup & 1 tbsp whole wheat flour
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold and cubed
2 tsps brown rice syrup or honey
1-3 tbsps cold water
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp kosher salt

Filling:
1 heaping cup rhubarb, sliced into roughly 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp chia seeds
1 tsp cornstarch
or
1 cup fruit preserve/jam of choice

Frosting:
3/4 cups powdered sugar
1-2 tsps concentrated beet water for color (or simply use a drop or two of your go-to pink/red food coloring)
1-2 tbsps milk or water, as needed for thinning the glaze

Instructions~

Note: my inspiration for this post came from Serious Eats’ “Taste Test Every Pop Tart” and the pastry recipe has been loosely adapted from Stella Park’s (also @Serious Eats) classic pop-tart recipe!

baked sweets

Buckwheat Jam-Swirl Scones

  Ingredients~
Makes 12 scones
 
1 cup (135 g) wholegrain buckwheat flour
1 1/4 cups (160 g) all-purpose flour
1/3 cup (70 g) unrefined cane sugar (or regular granulated sugar)
1/2 cup (4 ounces) unsalted butter, cold and cubed
3/4 cup plus 1-2 tbsps milk (dairy or high-protein plant milk such as soy or pea)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 teaspoons baking powder
Scant 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Filling:
1/2 heaping cup blueberry jam (or fig, cherry,…)
4 soft and gooey medjool dates
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp fresh lemon juice

Note: recipe adapted from Kim Boyce’s (@Portland’s Bakeshop) insane buckwheat figgy scone recipe!

Instructions~

1. Begin by whisking together the two flours, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Dice the butter into roughly 1/4-inch cubes and toss the pieces in the flour mixture. Use your fingers to pinch the butter pieces flat and, using a fork or pastry cutter, continue to combine until the result is pea and dime-sized dough pieces. Stir in 3/4 cup of the cold milk until the dough mostly comes together; it will be slightly sticky to the touch. Dump it out onto a generously floured surface and use the palm of your hand to gently press the dough together, sparingly sprinkling 1-2 tbsps more milk as needed. Fold one half of the dough over onto the other half (like a book) and press down, cover with plastic wrap and set in the fridge for 30 minutes.
2. Make the filling by tearing up the dates and adding them to the food processor, along with the jam, spices, and lemon juice. Blend until there are no large chunks of date left. Add a few pinches of sugar to taste if you’d like a sweeter filling (I prefer it without the extra sugar).
3. Once the 30 minutes are up, set the dough on a generously floured surface and gently roll out into a roughly 16-inch long and 8-inch wide rectangle. Moving quickly, evenly spread the jam over the surface, leave about an inch of empty space between the filling and long edge on the far side (where the seal will be). Beginning with the long side closest to you, tightly roll up the dough, and gently pinch together the dough at the end to form a seal. Allow the log to rest seal-side down and gently cut it in half with a sharp knife. Cover with plastic wrap and set in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
4. While the logs chill, preheat the oven to 350 F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Once the 30 minutes are up, place each log on a pan and cut into 6 pieces, each about 1 1/2-inches thick. Bake for 30 minutes until the bottoms are crisp and golden brown. Eat warm!

baked sweets

Brown Butter Rhubarb Loaf

The sun is shining bright and radiating its energy down on Portland today. It feels so good. I think I feel more alive when the sun is out and the clouds are scarce. I wonder why that is; is it in our nature to feel happier when that fiery ball is above us in the sky? Maybe it’s simply our bodies yearning for vitamin D? It almost feels as though some unseen power or magic is being transmitted through the suns rays; when I have the time to sit outside in the sun with my cup of morning coffee, or fit a sun-filled walk or run into my afternoon, I always return back indoors feeling a little changed. It’s only a little change, but it’s a positive one, and, in that sense, it’s monumental.

While this city (Portland, Oregon) is amazing, the weather is where it is lacking; a grey blanket of clouds is almost perpetually in the sky, and drizzle showers are always looming on the horizon, but the closer it inches to Summer, the more the sun reveals itself, and the bees, and flowers, follow suit (and so do the people, too). This rhubarb loaf is one way I celebrate the beaming new weather. I brought it along on a hike up to a waterfall and couldn’t have been happier that I did; maybe I’m a little too food-oriented, but I think anticipating eating a slice of this sweet rhubarb bread propelled me up the mountain more than my own two feet did. Perhaps you need some sweet energy because the sun is hiding in your part of the world, or maybe you’re looking to celebrate the fact that the sun can in fact be seen in your sky today; either way, this loaf can be a converging place for both scenarios. Make it to eat indoors, or make it to eat outdoors; make it because you need some excitement, or make it because you have excitement to expend. To me, this loaf comes close to conveying the same brightness as the sun; rhubarb is literally bright in color, sure, but it is also bright in flavor, and, when combined with sugar, lemon zest, and browned butter (along with a few other things), it leaves me beaming from the inside out, whether the sun is around or not.

Ingredients~
Fills one 9×5 inch loaf

1 cup wholegrain spelt flour
1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unrefined cane sugar, plus more for sprinkling (or regular granulated sugar)
1/3 cup coconut sugar (or swap with brown sugar, though I haven’t tried this substitute myself)
7 tbsps unsalted butter
2 eggs, at room temperature
Finely grated zest of half a lemon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 – 2 cups chopped rhubarb, sliced into roughly 1/4-inch-thick pieces (about 3-4 stalks, plus 1-2 more sliced stalks if opting for a decorative top)

Note: recipe is loosely adapted from king arthur’s rhubarb quick bread recipe!

Instructions~

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Melt the butter in a pan on medium heat, stirring frequently as it begins to bubble/foam. Once you can notice brown specks at the bottom of the pan and a noticeable change in hue from yellow to golden brown, take the pan off the heat and allow it to cool until no longer hot to the touch (your finger doesn’t retract when touching it). As the butter cools down, chop the rhubarb into roughly 1/4-inch-thick pieces and toss in a bowl with the lemon zest, vanilla extract, and both sugars. Set aside.
2. Whisk together the spelt, all-purpose, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Lightly beat the eggs with a fork in a small bowl before adding to the dry mixture, along with the cooled melted butter and the sugar rhubarb mixture (if the butter is still very hot, be sure to continue cooling it! You don’t want to scramble the eggs at this point). Know that the butter will be quite thick. Line a loaf tin with parchment paper (the safest option in my opinion) or thoroughly oil it before pouring in the batter. Generously sprinkle granulated sugar over the top and bake for 50-55 minutes, or until deeply golden on top and a toothpick comes out clean. Allow the loaf to cool on a rack for at least 10 minutes before removing from the pan and allowing to continue to cool before slicing (or nab a slice while it’s warm, but be careful as it is fragile while hot!)

baked sweets

Wholegrain Spelt Profiteroles

Can you tell that the above profiteroles are homemade? And, more astutely put, amateur-baker-crafted? (Yes, you can) They are a little bit on the wonky side, that’s for sure, but my shaky hands are to blame, not the wholegrain spelt flour! I would happily dig into a tower of white-flour profiteroles any (most) days, but the thrill of incorporating wholegrain flour into the mix (a deliciously nutty and hardly-heavy flour at that!) tugged me in the direction of these spelt profiteroles. Much to my relief, someone else had documented their spelt profiterole making experience on the internet and I more than happily gave their recipe a shot. I can safely (and very enthusiastically!!) say that these spelt profiteroles are no shot in the dark; instead, they crisp and puff up like their white-flour counterpart, while also containing heaps more fiber, vitamins (iron & magnesium!), protein (25 g VS. 13 g in all-purpose), and, of course, flavor. There’s nothing not to love about this antique flour! I say we ought to embrace it by letting it into our bellies in the form of perfectly puffed French pastry (that has first been stuffed with whipped cream and topped with chocolate sauce, of course).

Ingredients~

Pastry:
124 g milk (dairy or high-protein plant milk such as soy or pea)
56 g wholegrain spelt flour
56 g unsalted butter
2 eggs, at room temperature
1.6 g salt (=0.28 of 1 tsp, so about one slightly heaped 1/4 tsp of salt)

Chocolate sauce:
1/2 cup (about 4 oz) roughly chopped chocolate or chips
3 tbsps heavy cream (or milk for a lighter sauce)
2 tbsps coconut oil (or butter/vegetable oil)
Optional: 1-2 tsps corn syrup for shine (I didn’t add this)

Cream filling:
1/2-3/4 cup heavy cream (depending on how stuffed you want them)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1-2 tbsps powdered sugar (or more) for a sweeter cream filling

Note: the awesome pastry recipe is from Publican Quality Bread!

baked sweets

Strawberry and Rhubarb Summer Galette

Making this strawberry and rhubarb galette reinvigorated my (not simply figurative) appetite for flaky pastry. This is my first pastry crust of the summer, but it shant be my last! It is a little bit silly that I’m getting into crust-making right as the cold weather winds down and the sun makes its bold (and much needed) appearance here in Portland. While making this galette I re-learned some of the steadfast rules about pastry-making; i.e., don’t attempt to make a flaky crust with clammy hands and a warm countertop! Or do, but don’t be surprised if said galette is lacking in flaky, buttery galore. I’ve always had a problem being patient with pastry dough; I used to loom over my chilling dough, expecting it to speed up in the fridge and harden those butter shards already. Not surprisingly, my pie crusts always fell on the tough and gummy side of the pie-making spectrum. But not this time. No, no. This crust was made with patient hands and controlled with care, rather than by my thoughtless desire to rush to the finish line.

This galette is full of wholegrain spelt flour, though you could totally swap it out for all-purpose and possibly add a bit less water (since spelt is more water absorbant). If you haven’t already noticed, I’m a big spelt fan. It adds a touch more wholegrainy-ness without tasting and feeling as heavy as whole wheat or buckwheat. Plus, it just so happens to be strewn with a significant amount of vitamins and minerals (hoorah for nutrient-packed pies and cakes!). Spelt flour does still contain gluten, but, as I have recently learned, gluten proteins are not all created equal, and the protein in spelt is far easier for the stomach to digest (regardless, I don’t have a gluten intolerance, and welcome bread into my life with open arms). Spelt or no spelt, the real star of this show is the rhubarb. And the strawberries, but mostly the rhubarb. I was blown away by how little I had to do to make something so gaspingly-delicious; toss the rhubarb in a little lemon zest, sugar, and vanilla, bake it, and voila (!), a magical matrix of flavors are now yours to enjoy. I seriously need to get back to the shops and stock up on rhubarb while it’s fresh and in season… a rhubarb loaf next, perhaps? Or a rhubarb crumble topped with embarrassingly generous dollops of cream? I’m thinking pretty much anything that combines the unique tanginess of rhubarb with the almightiness of flour and cold butter.


Ingredients~
Makes one 10-inch galette

Crust:
1/2 cup wholegrain spelt flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour (plus a couple more pinches for dusting the surface of your workspace)
6 tbsps unsalted butter, cold and cubed
3-4 tbsps ice cold water
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
Scant 1/2 tsp kosher salt

Filling and assembly:
2/3 of a pound (300 g) rhubarb, cut into inch-thick pieces or left long and sliced in half lengthwise (or into thirds/quarters depending on thickness of stalks)
4 oz (114 g) fresh strawberries, halved or quartered depending on size
Finely grated zest from half a large lemon (or most of one regular-sized lemon)
1/4 cup granulated sugar (plus more for sprinkling on top)
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsps cornstarch
Optional: 1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp water for brushing the crust (promotes a shinier finish; but know that the above galette was not brushed with an egg wash)

For serving:
Powdered sugar for dusting
Freshly-whipped heavy cream or vanilla-bean ice cream

Note: adapted from Bon Appetit’s buckwheat galette recipe!

Instructions~

1. In a large bowl, toss together the flours and salt. In a separate, small bowl, stir together 3 tbsps of cold water with the apple cider vinegar and set aside. Add the cubed (and very cold) butter to the flour mixture and use your fingers to toss the butter in the flour and pinch the pieces between your thumb and forefinger into flat shards. Continue tossing and pinching the butter and flour until the pieces are roughly the size of peas (about 1/4-inch; some slightly larger pieces here and there are okay). If at anytime the butter begins to feel too soft and easily squishes between your fingers, immediately put the bowl in the fridge or freezer to chill for several minutes before continuing; cold, cold everything is essential here.
2. Add the water-vinegar mixture and use a fork to gently combine it with the buttery flour. The dough should come together slightly, but needs to be dumped onto a clean (and preferably cool) countertop to be put together. Very lightly flour your workspace, and, using your hands, as well as a bench scraper if you have one, fold the right half of the dough mess onto the left half, creating a little stack, and use your palm to press the two stacks of dough together, slightly combining them. Use a rolling pin to roll them out slightly (only so that they gain length and can be folded over again), gently pressing together the sheets of buttery dough in the process, and repeat the previous steps again, folding, pressing, and rolling, at least 1-2 more times until the dough can just be formed into a roughly disc-shaped mass. This will all be very messy at first, with loose crumbs running amuck, but trust in the process and drizzle water sparingly (up to 1 more tbsp) until the dough can just hold together and be wrapped in plastic wrapped; you should be able to see streaks of butter running through the dough, and it shouldn’t feel dry to the touch. Allow it to chill in the fridge for at least one hour but preferably 2.
3. While the dough is chilling, preheat the oven to 400 F. Toss the chopped rhubarb and strawberries in a large bowl with the lemon zest, sugar, vanilla, and cornstarch. Set aside.  Prepare a lined baking sheet for the galette before beginning to roll out the dough. Roll out the dough into a roughly 10-inch wide circle. Carefully transfer the sheet of dough to the baking pan before adding the fruity filling to the center (scraping out all of the sugar-lemon-cornstarch from the bottom of the bowl!). Be sure to leave at least 1 1/2-2 inches of dough around the circumference. Arrange the strips of rhubarb and strawberries as you desire before folding the outer bit of dough over the filling, overlapping slightly as you go. Lightly brush the crust with egg wash if using, and generously sprinkle sugar over the top of the filling and crust. Bake for 35-45 minutes until the crust is thoroughly browned and the rhubarb is soft to the touch. Allow to cool slightly before serving with whipped cream or ice-cream!

baked sweets

Whole Wheat Buttery Garlic Knots

Ingredients~
Makes 10 knots

Dough:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup warm water (think baby bottle warm)
2 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
2 1/2 tsps (1 standard sachet) active dry yeast
1 tsp granulated sugar
3/4 tsp kosher salt

Garlic butter mixture: 
4-5 large cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsps unsalted butter, melted (or more olive oil as a dairy-free alternative)
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4-1/3 cup fresh parsley, very finely chopped
1/2 tsp kosher salt (or add to taste pinch by pinch)

Note: this recipe is pretty much identical to Joy the Baker’s whole wheat garlic knot recipe! I altered the garlic butter mixture ingredients a little, but the dough recipe is from her and credit should be duly given.

Instructions~

1. Dissolve the sugar in the cup of warm water before gently stirring in the yeast. Allow the yeast to bubble (come to life!) for about 5-8 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, whisk together the flours and salt in a larger bowl. Pour the yeasty mixture into the center of the flour mixture and stir to combine. If the dough is too dry, add more water, tsp or tbsp at a time; if the dough is too wet to handle, sprinkle over some flour until the dough is slightly sticky and smooth, but not coating your fingers with goop.
3. Knead the dough for 5-7 minutes on a lightly floured surface. It should be silky smooth, not scraggly or breaking apart, so add more water if needed and allow it to sit for a minute or two to soak up the moisture before continuing to knead. Place the ball of dough in the bottom of a large lightly-oiled bowl. Cover with a clean and slightly damp kitchen towel and allow to rise in a warm place for 1 hour or more/less, until it has doubled in size (don’t stick it in a super hot pre-heated oven!)
4. After the dough has doubled, form the knots by rolling out the dough into a (roughly!) 10 by 10 inch square (as you can see in the pic above, I totally rolled it out into an uneven rectangle, but alas). Use a sharp knife to cut 10 long strips. Tie a knot in the center of each strip and curl each end under and around the knot (again, have fun with it). Cover knots with a towel and allow to rise for 30 minutes or less/more until doubled in size; they will be noticeably puffier! As the knots rise, preheat the oven to 400 F.
5. Lightly coat the knots with olive oil (optional, but promotes more browning) and bake the knots on a lined baking sheet for 15-18 minutes, until nicely browned. As the knots bake, whisk together the melted butter, olive oil, minced garlic and parsley, and salt.
6. As soon as the knots come out, use a brush (if you have one) to coat them with the garlic mixture or simply toss them in the bowl. I found it easiest to use my hands and gently rub the butter and garlic/parsley into the knots; make sure the crevices fill up with bits of parsley and garlic! Serve warm alongside lasagna or soup, and simply warm up in the oven for 5-10 minutes if serving as leftovers.

baked sweets

Blueberry Buckwheat Galette


 Ingredients~

Pastry:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup wholegrain buckwheat flour
1/2 cup (8 tbsps) unsalted butter, cold and cubed
4-6 tbsps ice cold water
2 tsps granulated sugar
1/4 tsp kosher salt

Blueberry filling:
1 1/2 cups blueberries (know that wild blueberries will be a bit messier than regular ones)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tbsps fresh orange juice (or 2-3 tsps lemon juice for more tang!)
1-2 packed tsps finely grated orange zest
1 tbsp cornstarch

For topping:
1/3 cup heavy cream, whipped with 1/8 tsp vanilla extract
Slices of juicy orange to squeeze over each slice

Instructions~

baked sweets

Whole Wheat Gingersnap Cookies

I stumbled upon The Violet Bakery cookbook at the massive Powell’s bookstore in Portland, Oregon. I went in with no desire to buy a cookbook (the internet is essentially one huge one anyway), but after pulling multiple baking books off the shelves only to find them boring and uninspiring, I magically grabbed ahold of Claire Ptak’s beautiful book. After a few moments of admiring the cover and flipping through the bright and clean pages, I was off to the cash register, book full of unknown recipes in tow and mind and body bubbling with excitement. I went home, plopped myself on a bed, and devoured the words and pictures in a couple of hours. I then proceeded to doze off into a nice little slumber and awoke with the urge to bake and bake and bake. Since my first day owning this book I’ve filled it with a thick wad of cute post-it notes; some shaped like butterflies, others like polar bears; it makes the recipe perusing experience all the more fun. One of the first recipes that had me head over heels in awe was the chewy gingersnap cookies. Molasses and ginger plus butter and dark sugar equals a divine revelation.

Ingredients~
Makes 12 large or 16 medium cookies

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup coconut sugar (plus more for rolling the cookies; or light brown sugar)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
1/3 cup & 1 tbsp dark molasses
2 tsps ground ginger
1 1/2 tsps cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cloves
Pinch or two of paprika
1 tsp baking soda
Scant 1/4 tsp fine salt
1 1/2 tsps boiling water

gluten free/ vegan

Salted Date Caramel & Pretzel Dark Chocolate Cups

Ingredients~
Makes 5 regular cupcake-sized cups

Cups:
1/2 cup cocoa butter, melted
1/2 cup cacao powder
2 tbsps brown rice syrup or other liquid sweetener of choice
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

Filling:
1/2 heaped cup chopped medjool dates
1-2 tbsps milk or liquid sweetener of choice (for slightly thinning the date paste)
1/2 tsp red miso paste
Handful of small pretzels (gf if necessary)
Generous pinches of flaky salt to top

breakfast

Buckwheat Pancakes

Ingredients~
Serves 2-3

1/2 cup wholegrain buckwheat flour
1/4 cup wholegrain spelt flour (or other lighter flour such as whole wheat pastry or all-purpose)
3/4 cup milk of choice (I used hemp)
1 tbsp coconut sugar (or other granulated sugar)
1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1 pasture raised egg
1 tsp apple cider vinegar (or white vinegar)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
1-2 tsps pasture raised butter for frying the pancakes
1/2 cup blueberries for stirring into the batter (or chocolate chips! or sliced banana! or raspberries!)

For serving:
1 cup blueberries (cooked on the stove until reduced into compote)
3-4 tbsps heavy cream, whipped into soft peaks
Maple serving or honey for drizzling!