Monday, December 6, 2010

The Bread Basket

What is my absolute favorite part of a Brunch buffet? The bread basket. A delicious assortment of freshed baked goodness. To be fair, bread is pretty much my favorite food, so this is kind of a no-brainer. Obviously, when I was hosting my little brunch soiree, I had to make a basket (or tray) for myself (and my guests). My "basket" consisted of blueberry muffins, pumpkin bread, biscuits, and Challah bread. The Challah was from a local bakery, but the other three I whipped up. I served my basket (well the Challah and biscuits really) with butter and the peach-blueberry jam I made this summer. The basket was a big hit, and it was definitely my favorite part of the meal.

The Biscuits were straight from Martha, I am not a bread expert, and I very rarely use yeast, but these came out perfect! I halved the recipe (which made 12) and I will definitely be making these puffy, roll-like biscuits again. I made the dough the day before and refrigerated it overnight, instead of for 2 hours.

Next we have delicious, moist, wonderful pumpkin bread

Pumpkin Bread
1 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter
1 cup of sugar
1 cup of dark brown sugar
1 15 oz can of pumpkin
3 eggs
2 1/2 cups of flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp of ginger
1 tsp of cinnamon
1 tsp of nutmeg
1/2 tsp of ground cloves
1 teaspoon salt

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, melt butter. Mix in both sugars until combined and creamy. Add in pumpkin and eggs, beat until combined. Add in baking powder, spices, and 1/2 cup of flour, mix until just incorporated. Add an additional cup of flour, and mix until just incorporated, repeat with final cup of flour. Grease a large loaf pan and pour batter in. Bake until a fork inserted in comes out clean, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Let cool for about 10 minutes in the pan, then invert pan to remove bread. Cut into slices (each slice can also be cut in half) to serve. (adapted from Martha Stewart)

Finally we have some delicious and bursting with fruity goodness, blueberry muffins

Blueberry Muffins:

1 stick of unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cups of sugar
1 tsp of vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/2 cup of half and half
2 cups of flour
1 tsp of nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp of baking powder
1 tsp salt
3 cups of blueberries
Additional sugar and nutmeg for sprinkling

Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. Beat the butter and sugar until creamy and smooth. Add in eggs and vanilla and mix until fluffy. Add in flour, nutmeg, salt and baking powder. Mix until just barely combined. Add in half and half and stir together gently. Mix in blueberries. Grease a muffin tin (recipe makes somewhere between 12 and 18 muffins) and distribute batter, filling the wells 3/4 full. Sprinkle each top with sugar and nutmeg. Bake until a fork inserted comes out clean and blueberries are bursting, about 25 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before removing from the pan. (adapted from Martha Stewart)

Happy Eating.


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