Scone Heaven

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Blueberry and lemon strike again! First, let’s talk about texture. One word, perfect. Even as leftovers, they were so good. Traditional scones like these are usually too dense or just too hard when encountered in the wild (i.e. – pot lucks, the church bazaar or at your Aunt Ethel’s). They should be tender but hold their structure well enough to pick up and eat. The fact that these beauties are also packed with blueberries and flavored with lemon make them the equivalent of encountering a friggin’ white tiger when you’re not at a Siegfried and Roy show. What makes these unique is the light, flaky texture…much like a croissant. These scones were a lot of fun to make. They were a little labor intensive, but I (Megan) enjoyed the process. Nathan would have murdered the person who came up with the process in this recipe.  The way you get this texture is by grating the butter. I know, it sounds exhausting, but well worth it my friends, well worth it. As with any pastry the time and care you put into how carefully you work the dough will pay big dividends in the texture of the finished product. Go the extra mile, trust us (just don’t make Nathan do it). Also,  more blueberries, always add more blueberries. There is nothing as disappointing as not encountering enough blueberries in something purporting to contain blueberries, and no one needs that kind of disappointment in the morning.

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Don’t be afraid to let your scones brown a little. Underdone scones do not work and the brown edges and points give them some visual texture. It is ok for something to visually acknowledge that it’s been in an oven, really. Last bit of advise, save some extra scones for yourself, you’ll want them.

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Blueberry Lemon Scones
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8 scones
 
Ingredients
  • 16 tablespoons unsalted butter (2 sticks), frozen whole (see note above)
  • 1½ cups fresh blueberries (about 7½ oz), picked over or frozen blueberries
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (10 ounces), plus additional for work surface
  • ½ cup sugar (3½ ounces), plus 1 tablespoon for sprinkling
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon table salt
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 425. Score and remove ½ of wrapper from frozen butter. Grate unwrapped ends on large holes of box grater (total of 8 T). Put grated butter in freezer until needed. Melt 2 T of remaining butter and set aside. Save remaining 6 T butter for another use. Put blueberries in freezer til needed.
  2. Whisk together milk and sour cream in med bowl; chill til needed. Whisk flour, ½ c sugar, BP, BS, salt, & zest in med bowl. Add frozen butter to flour mixture and toss with fingers til coated.
  3. Add milk mixture to flour mixture; fold with spatula till just combined. Transfer to liberally floured work surface. Dust dough with flour; with floured hands, knead dough 6 to 8 times, until it just holds together in ragged ball, adding flour as needed to prevent sticking.
  4. Roll dough into approximate 12" square. Fold dough into ⅓ like a business letter, using bench scraper or metal spatula to release dough if it sticks to countertop. Lift short ends and fold into ⅓'s again to form approximate 4" square. Transfer dough to plate lightly dusted with flour and chill in freezer 5 min.
  5. Transfer dough to floured work surface and roll into approximate 12" square again. Sprinkle blueberries evenly over surface of dough, then press down so they are embedded in dough. Using bench scraper, loosen dough from work surface. Roll dough, pressing to form tight log. Lay seam-side down and press log into 12" by 4" rectangle. Using sharp, floured knife, cut rectangle crosswise into 4 equal rectangles. Cut each rectangle diagonally to form 2 triangles and transfer to baking sheet.
  6. Brush tops with melted butter and sprinkle with remaining tablespoon sugar. Bake until tops and bottoms are golden brown, 18 to 25 min. On wire rack cool 10 min. Make Ahead: Put scones on baking sheet, either refrigerate them overnight or freeze. To bake, for refrigerated, heat oven to 425 & follow step 6. For frozen, heat oven 375 & bake 25 - 30 min.

 

Do you know the muffin man?

Ok, let’s have some real talk for minute. While most of what we post on here (read: all of what we post on here) is not designed to make you thin, in our day to day eating habits we generally eat pretty healthy. Granted, we have our free meals (or free weekends, sometimes free weeks, let’s be honest), but the key to feeling good and being at your best is really based first and foremost on what you eat.

If you’re looking for some real advice on that we recommend you speak to someone else. However, having some go-to foods that don’t throw your normal diet off track but still allow you some indulgence (or feel like you’re having some) is important. These muffins are one of our go-to’s. They don’t have any added processed sugars and as you’ll see the ingredient list is full of all those things that you’d find at a Whole Foods. Even so, they aren’t too bad and don’t make you feel like you’re eating from the bottom of kale barrel. (still all things in moderation, don’t have five of these in a sitting)


Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
Ingredients
  • 1½ C whole wheat flour
  • 1¼ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 TBSP cinnamon
  • 1 TBSP ground flaxseed meal
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 2 egg whites
  • ½ C coconut oil
  • ½ C raw honey
  • ⅓ C dark chocolate chips (optional)
  • ½ C chopped walnuts
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In a medium bowl, beat bananas until smooth. Add egg whites and beat until combined.
  3. Gradually mix in honey and coconut oil.
  4. In a different bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, flaxseed, and salt.
  5. Mix dry ingredients into banana mixture; stir in chocolate chunks and nuts, if using.
  6. Spray muffin pan with cooking spray.
  7. Fill each cup with ¼ C of the batter and bake for 15-20 minutes.

 

 

 

It’s all in the crust

No knead artisan bread is something we were introduced to by a friend and it changed our lives. This bread has the perfect crispy crust and a delicious sourdough flavor. You can make it plain or add different cheeses, fruit, seeds, and flavors.

First up, is cranberry, orange, and almond bread. This was delicious! It would make the perfect bread for a turkey sandwich or french toast.

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This dough is extremely sticky, be sure to use plenty of flour.

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I mean really, look at that crust! Plus the size of this loaf is perfect for small get-togethers or a meal with friends (or just grab some butter and/or cheese and eat it yourself despite what Megan is about to write about saving it for later).

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The cheddar jalapeno loaf is also a favorite and one we will be entering into the county fair this fall. It has the perfect amount of heat without being overbearing. I found it a touch hot, but I’m a baby. The cheese and jalapenos are mixed into the dough as well as sprinkled on top. Yellow cheddar gives a nice color to the bread, but I enjoy the taste of white cheddar better. I decided next time I make it, I will do a little both to get the best of both worlds. Cream cheese would be the perfect spread for this bread. (and really anything else, but enough about my addiction to cream cheese) Not to mention it makes delicious toast.

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To store this bread, put the cut side face down on the cutting board. If you put it in a bag, you will lose the crispy crust.

For gifts, we wrapped the loaf in a flour sack towel, which seemed to work well.

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There are a lot of recipes for this no knead artisan bread, each varying slightly. I am posting two slightly different recipes for this bread. If you want just plain sourdough, just leave out the add ins.

This bread is very forgiving and extremely easy. It’s a great recipe to start with if homemade bread scares you. Be creative and have fun with it! I am completely useless when it comes to bread and I can’t manage to mess this recipe up. If I can do it anyone can.

5.0 from 1 reviews
No Knead Artisan Bread
Recipe type: Bread
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 loaf
 
Ingredients
  • 3 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. yeast
  • 1½ cups luke-warm water
Instructions
  1. Combine the three dry ingredients in a large bowl then pour in the luke-warm water. Stir until completely combined. Dough will look messy and not smooth.
  2. Once combined, cover tightly with plastic wrap and let sit on the counter. Let dough sit for between 12-18 hours. Sometimes, I have let mine sit for longer because life got in the way. It still turns out.
  3. When dough is done rising and ready to bake, preheat oven to 450 degrees F and place dutch oven in oven to pre heat. Pan should pre heat for 30 minutes.
  4. Heavily flour clean counter top or surface. Turn dough onto floured surface and shape into a round ball.
  5. After dutch oven has preheated, place ball of dough in the dutch oven and cover with lid.
  6. Bake at 450 degrees F for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove lid and bake for an additional 15 minutes until done. Bread will be golden in color.

5.0 from 1 reviews
No Knead Artisan Bread
Recipe type: Bread
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 loaf
 
Ingredients
  • 3 cups of all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon instant or rapid rise yeast
  • 1¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1½ cups cool tap water
Instructions
  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, salt and yeast.
  2. Add water and mix until a sticky mixture forms.
  3. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for 12 - 18 hours. Overnight works great.
  4. Heat oven to 450 degrees. While oven is pre heating, place pan in oven for 30 minutes to pre heat as well.
  5. Meanwhile, pour dough onto a heavily floured surface and shape into a ball.
  6. Remove hot pot from the oven and drop in the dough.
  7. Cover and return to oven for 30 minutes.
  8. After 30 minutes remove the lid and bake an additional 15 minutes.
  9. Remove bread from oven and place on a cooling rack to cool.

For cranberry, orange, and almond loaf:

1/2 c dried cranberries, 1/2 c almonds (I used slivered), and zest from one orange (mixed into the dough before you let it rise).

For cheddar jalapeno loaf:

1/4 c diced jalapenos, 1 c cheddar cheese (mixed in with dough before it rises) and 8-10 thin jalapeno slices and 1/4 c cheese sprinkled on top right before bread is baked.

 

 

Muffin Lovin at 425 degrees

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Nathan has been slightly obsessed with finding the perfect blueberry muffin recipe for quite some time now. He has tried countless recipes. I’m not sure he has settled on one particular recipe, but this recipe is in the top three for sure. Between me and you, it’s my favorite blueberry muffin recipe.

We hope you like these as much as we do!

Gather all ingredients.

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For the topping.: Stir together sugar and lemon zest until combined and set aside. This topping was a revelation. It adds the perfect amount of lemon flavor and crunch to these muffins. It’s magical.

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Bring 1 cup blueberries and 1 teaspoon sugar to simmer in small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, mashing blueberries with spoon several times and stirring frequently, until berries have broken down and mixture is thickened and reduced to 1/4 cup, about 6 minutes. Let cool.

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This recipe calls for fresh blueberries. We used frozen instead, which seemed to work just as well.

Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl.

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Whisk remaining 1 1/8 cups sugar and eggs together until thick and fully combined. About 45 seconds.

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Slowly whisk in butter and oil until combined .

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Whisk in buttermilk and vanilla until combined.

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Fold egg mixture and remaining 1 cup blueberries into flour mixture until just moistened.

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There will be be a few lumps and spots of dry flour. Do not over mix. About 12 strokes.

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Fill muffin cups 1/2 full with batter.

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Top with a teaspoon or so of the cooked berry mixture.
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Use a toothpick and swirl together.  I was fresh out of toothpicks, so we got creative.
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Divide the remaining batter between muffin cups.  The batter should completely fill the cups and mound slightly.  Divide the remaining cooked berry mixture between muffin cups.  Use a toothpick and gently swirl the berry filling into the batter using a figure-eight motion.  Sprinkle the lemon sugar evenly over the muffins.  
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Bake until the muffin tops are golden and just firm, 17-18 minutes, rotating the muffin tin halfway through.  Cool the muffins in the muffin tin for 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack and cool five more minutes before serving. Let’s be honest, they usually don’t last five seconds on the cooling rack! 
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Blueberry Muffins
Author: 
Recipe type: Muffins
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
This is a great blueberry muffin recipe to keep on hand.
Ingredients
  • Topping:
  • ¼ c. sugar
  • 1½ tsp. grated lemon zest
  • Muffins:
  • 2 c. fresh blueberries, picked over
  • 1⅛ c. + 1 tsp. sugar
  • 2½ c. all-purpose flour
  • 2½ tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 Tbl. unsalted butter, melted & cooled slightly
  • ¼ c. vegetable oil
  • 1 c. buttermilk
  • 1½ tsp. vanilla
Instructions
  1. For the topping: Stir the sugar and lemon zest together in a small bowl until combined; set aside.
  2. For the muffins: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray a standard muffin tin with vegetable oil spray (or line with paper liners and spray). Bring 1 cup of the blueberries and 1 tsp. of the sugar to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, mashing the berries with a spoon several times and stirring frequently, until the berries have broken down and the mixture is thickened about 6 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and cool to room temperature, 10-15 minutes.
  3. Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl. Whisk the remaining 1⅛ cups sugar and eggs together in a medium bowl until thick and homogeneous, about 45 seconds. Slowly whisk in the butter and oil until combined. Whisk in the buttermilk and vanilla until combined. Using a rubber spatula, fold the egg mixture and the remaining 1 cup blueberries into the flour mixture until just moistened. The batter will be very lumpy with a few spots of dry flour; do not overmix.
  4. Fill muffin cups ½ full with batter and top with a teaspoon or so of the cooked berry mixture. Use a toothpick and swirl together. Divide the remaining batter between muffin cups. The batter should completely fill the cups and mound slightly. Divide the remaining cooked berry mixture between muffin cups. Use a toothpick and gently swirl the berry filling into the batter using a figure-eight motion. Sprinkle the lemon sugar evenly over the muffins.
  5. Bake until the muffin tops are golden and just firm, 17-18 minutes, rotating the muffin tin halfway through. Cool the muffins in the muffin tin for 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack and cool 5 more minutes before serving.

Leaven for the Rest of Us

Who doesn’t love homemade bread? And can we talk about that smell?!? Personally, I can’t get enough of it. If homemade bread intimidates you, this is a great recipe to try. Good bread just takes a little bit of practice.

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Start with your ingredients.

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Heat 2 cups of water and dissolve a small amount of your sugar in the warm water. Stir in yeast and let sit. The temperature of the water needs to be between 95 – 115 degrees F. Once you make bread a few times, you’ll get an idea of what the temperature should feel like. When I teach my kids about dough, I have them feel water that is too cold, too hot, and then the right temperature. If your water is too hot, it will kill the yeast. If your water is too cold, it won’t activate the yeast. Yeast is what makes the bread rise, so you want to be sure the water is the right temperature. Adding a little sugar just speeds things up.

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After about 10 minutes, you should see a significant change in the yeast. If nothing has happened, you will need to start the yeast over. It should look like this.

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Melt the butter and add butter, honey, 2 1/2 cups of water, salt, remaining sugar. Mix to combine.

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Add yeast to mixing bowl and mix to combine.

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Begin adding flour. I used white flour this time. This is what the dough should look like after 4 cups have been added.

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Keep adding flour, a few cups at a time. This is after 8 cups of flour.

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I ended up adding about 11 cups total. Knowing when the dough is done will come with time and practice. It should be slightly sticky to the touch.

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Knead the dough for 8 minutes in the mixer.

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The dough should have a nice shine to it. Isn’t it beautiful?

Divide dough into 4 equal parts. I use a kitchen scale for this since I’m terrible at eyeballing.

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Spray 4 bread pans with pan spray.

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Shape dough into loaves and place in the pans.

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Place in warm oven and let rise for 30 minutes and doubled in size.

Remove bread and heat oven to 400. Place bread back in oven and cook for 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to 325 and bake for another 25 minutes, until golden brown on top.

Remove bread from oven and pans. Place on a cooling rack. While bread is still warm, butter the tops of the loaves.

Enjoy!

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I’m blaming it on my holiday sickness. I forgot to let this bread rise. Apparently it’s my first day. I just made sure the internal temperature was around 200. This proves what a great recipe this is. Of course bread should rise, but know that the bread will still turn out.

Bread
Recipe type: Bread
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 loaves
 
Great for beginner bread bakers.
Ingredients
  • 4½ cups warm water
  • 4 TBSP Butter
  • 6 TBSP Sugar
  • ¼ c Honey
  • 1 TBSP Salt
  • 2 Heaping TBSP Yeast
  • 2 TBSP Dough Enhancer
  • 10-12 cups of flour (white/wheat/mixture)
Instructions
  1. Warm 2 cups of water.
  2. Dissolve 1 TBSP of your pre measured sugar in the water.
  3. Add yeast, stir, and set aside.
  4. Add remaining water, sugar, salt, honey, and melted butter into the mixer bowl.
  5. Mix to combine.
  6. Add yeast mixture and combine.
  7. Begin adding flour, 2 cups at a time, stopping occasionally to scape down the sides of the bowl.
  8. Continue to add flour until dough starts to clean the sides of the bowl.
  9. Turn mixer on high and knead for 8 minutes.
  10. Turn dough out onto an oiled surface and form into 4 loaves and place each loaf into a well-greased bread pan.
  11. Place pans in a slightly warm oven to proof for about 30 minutes, until doubled in size.
  12. Take bread out of the oven and preheat to 400.
  13. Place bread into oven and bake for 5 minutes, then reduce the heat to 325 until bread is done. (about 30 minutes)
  14. Remove from oven, remove bread from pans and place on cooling rack.
  15. While loaves are still warm, butter tops and allow bread to cool completely before storing.