Category Archives: Bread

Christmas Countdown- The Great Pumpkin Loaf

It’s Christmas Eve!!!! Claire came over to my place today to finish up the Christmas baking. We had a few ideas of what we wanted to bake but due to my poor planning we were limited by the number of eggs I had on hand. We settled on this pumpkin loaf, as both of us have a soft spot for pumpkin. I really like this recipe because it calls for cream cheese in the batter. That makes for an extra tasty treat!

Pumpkin Loaf on a white plate with a red placemat underneath

The Great Pumpkin Loaf (adapted from Jean Pare’s Muffins and More)

4 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 1/4 all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice or cloves (I didn’t have cloves!)

Preheat oven to 350. Cream the cheese, butter and sugar in a mixing bowl (I used my stand mixer.) Beat in eggs one at a time until blended. Beat in pumpkin.
In another bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Stir until mixed. Pour into cheese/butter/sugar mixture and stir until just blended. Pour into greased 9×5 greased loaf pan. Bake for 60-70 minutes until tester comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in pan (I skipped this!) Place on rack to cool.

Merry Merry!



TWD Lemon-Drenched Vanilla Cakes

It has been a long time since I have posted a recipe and I am glad I was able to finally come through on a TWD post. Between having an excess of sweets on my hands after my birthday and a busy schedule, I have been out of the kitchen for quite a while!

This weeks recipe was chosen by Wendy of Pink Stripes. The original recipe is for rum-drenched cakes and to be honest, I probably would have never bothered with this recipe because rum isn’t my thing (well, at least in baked goods!). However, Dorie gave lots of ideas for change and I do love lemon! This was my first time making a pound cake and I think it went pretty well. I really need to invest in a smaller loaf pan because it was a bit wide and short,  but oh well!

I am not usually much for a pound cake but this one was lovely. This cake would make a great little treat if you were having afternoon tea with friends.It was so easy to put together and I halved the recipe which works better for me. I made a few changes (other than the obvious change from rum-drenched to lemon drenched). I used half and half cream (I didn’t notice any difference!) and used pure vanilla extract instead of the vanilla beans. I am sure the vanilla beans would be lovely but I was looking for the easy route last night! This recipe is one I would make again and may even try making a thicker lemon glaze next time for something different.


Raisin Swirl Bread TWD

I have been known to have bread and butter for dinner. Bread really is the one food I couldn’t live without, a low-carb evangelist I am not.  Yet, I have only made yeasted bread once before. The real barrier for me is the time factor. I am not the most patient person in the world and the multiple risings really prevent me from fully embracing bread making (perhaps this is a good thing). However, since this week’s TWD was bread and I love it so, I decided to face my impatience head on. (It didn’t hurt that I was scheduled for a day in the kitchen anyways, as I threw my first high tea on the weekend).

Overall, this was super easy to make. I had the oven on all day so the rising was a cinch. I always get a little confused on the warm place but now I have this nailed down. The bread rose beautifully and I used it to make goat cheese and apple sandwiches for my high tea. The only thing that kept it being a 100% sucess was that there was that it had a bit too much air. Alas, perfection is overrated.  My one adaption was that I used a maple sugar cinnamon mix instead of granulated sugar. Delish.

Raisin Swirl Bread

Thanks to Susan of Food.Baby for this week’s selection. Head on over to her blog for the recipe. You can see what other TWD bakers got up to over here.


Tender Shortcakes TWD

I love scones. They are one of my favourite treats, (ok, I have a lot of favourites) right up there with cinnamon buns and banana chocolate chip cake. Now I know that these are shortcakes but the helpful people who contribute to wikipedia tell me that shortcakes are aka scones.  So I consider these scones by another name. I made them last night and didn’t have anyone to share them with so I ate two *gasp* I know, summer is coming and shorts and tees abound but I couldn’t stop myself.

I halved the recipe and made 6 plain shortcakes/scones and 4 raspberry ones (I couldn’t leave well enough alone and had to add fresh raspberries!) Admit it, you wish you could taste one. The raspberry ones were delicious. In addition to the raspberries, I added an extra tbsp of sugar and I substituted 2% milk for the cream (somehow I knew I would eat two!) I didn’t serve them with whipping cream because it is not my favourite. That’s the beauty of being the baker I get to pick how it all works out. I ate them straight up and so will my taste testers. S. will be stopping by later today to pick up his treats.

For the recipe head on over to Tortefeasor. Thanks Cathy for a GREAT choice.


PS It’s Claire’s birthday today! Join me in wishing her a happy, happy birthday! Being seven years older I remember the day she was born and I am super lucky that she grew up to be a great sister AND a baker. Happy Birthday Claire!!!!

PPS The beautiful pottery dish in the picture came from Susan Card’s studio in the Distillery District. The Distillery is one my favourite places in Toronto because it is filled with local artists, great food and beautiful buildings. I love pottery and I am impressed with Susan’s work especially because she has little platters that I can serve my baked goods on. Be sure to stop by Susan’s gallery the next time you are down there.

Banana bread at home and away!

Like many bakers, my freezer commonly has a supply of bananas waiting to be made into a yummy baked good. I have had this Joy the Baker recipe tagged for a while (amongst many others from her blog!) and whipped it up the other night for a healthy snack or breakfast alternative.

I must try and take my pictures during the day!

I am always a little hesitant with “healthy” baked goods. However, I was pleasantly surprised by this recipe. It had a lot of flavour and ended up being a nice healthy breakfast this past Saturday morning with yogurt and strawberries! I sliced some up for the bf and left it in his freezer so he will have a nice little snack option to take to work and saved a little for myself:)

p.s. While I was in Jamaica this past month, I found myself in a cute little bakery in Kingston. I didn’t have much in the way of dessert throughout our entire trip so I was pretty exited to find a bakery! After some tough decisions, I bought myself a slice of banana bread! It was very yummy and hit the spot! I figured I would throw these pictures in as they go with today’s post, plus I figured Caroline would appreciate:)

The bakery!

My snack for the bus ride to Montego Bay:)

Oatmeal Bread

I love bread. I am quite happy to have a beer and bread for dinner (beer is really liquid bread, isn’t it?) That being said I try not to have that meal too often, for a variety of reasons, one being that if I had it all the time it wouldn’t be such a treat. I have been meaning to enter into the bread making world for a while but I kept putting it off. Last weekend, I committed my Sunday to bread making and it was well worth it.

Now I will be the first to admit that it isn’t the prettiest looking bread I have ever seen but I think it isn’t bad for a first go. The recipe comes from the Mennonite Central Committee’s More with Less cookbook. I recommend this book for it’s simple recipes and ideological perspective, especially in a time when concerns about food security and the ethical use of food resources are so pressing.The other books in the series are equally as good, Extending the Table and Simply in Season. You can buy these books from your local Ten Thousand Villages StoreMCC’s online store or your preferred bookseller.

Oatmeal Bread

Combine in a large bowl:
1 c. quick oats
1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 T salt
2 T butter

Pour over the above mixture:
2 c. boiling water

Stir in to combine.

1 pkg dry yeast (or 1 T) in
1/2 c. warm water

When batter is cooled to lukewarm, add yeast.

Stir in:
5 c. white flour

Once the flour is mixed knead the bread for 5-10 minutes. (I used my stand mixer for 5 minutes or so. I think that it could have used longer so I will try that next time). Place in greased bowl, cover and let rise until doubled (I think this took an hour or so). Punch down and let rise again (Once again I think it took an hour or a bit more).  Shape into 2 loaves and place in greased 9x5x3 pans. Bake at 350 F for 30-40 minutes. Cool and brush with butter. Eat this bread with your friends and family, good bread is meant for sharing.

Cocoa-Nana Bread TWD

I can not get enough of banana recipes and when another one showed up on TWD I was more than happy to make it. Claire and I bailed on the first two recipes of the month because we just weren’t into them but I have to say this one was a winner. In my books, chocolate and banana is a stellar combination, and Dorie, of course, didn’t fail me. Thanks to Steph of Obsessed with Baking for selecting this recipe. If you haven’t checked out Steph’s blog yet you should; her photos are great and her baking looks picture perfect (and she is from Toronto too!)

Cocoa-Nana Bread

I made this recipe in a smaller loaf pan (8 x 4) and 4 mini bundt pans instead of the 9 x 5 that was called for. This meant that I could reduce the baking time and have more to share. As I was making this, I was wishing that I had one of these pans. I think this may have to be my next baking related purchase.

The photos are a little lame this week because even though I baked during the day, it was grey and rainy here in Toronto and my already super dark apartment wasn’t working with me. When I have more time I should make a light tent and when I have money I should get a DSLR. Until then, you my dear readers, will have to deal with my sketchy photos.

Pumpkin Caramel Cheesecake Loaf

My coworker Jen’s birthday was in the summer while I was off on vacation. Jen, being the awesome coworker that she is, made me a super delicious banana cake for my birthday last March. It was seriously amazing. So I was feeling really bad in October when I still hadn’t baked her up a late birthday treat. Jen was very gracious about the whole thing, given that September was beyond crazy in library land, and she was pleased enough to celebrate in October. We hemmed and hawed but when I saw this recipe by Peabody of Culinary Concoctions, we decided this was the one.

We were too busy eating the cake to focus on taking pictures, hence the slightly lame photo. But the cake was delicious, what’s not to like when pumpkin, cream cheese and caramel are involved? I think this would be great for afternoon tea over the Christmas holidays. I’m just sayin’ you might want to try it.

A new banana recipe

This past weekend, some friends were in town staying with the bf. So I thought I would make a sweet treat for him to have on hand for his guests. I had recently saved this recipe for banana bread because I was intrigued by the combination. I have another recipe for banana bread that I will share with you another time but I felt like trying something new.

To be honest, the loaf didn’t turn out as I expected. I didn’t use the peanut butter chips and maybe that would have made a difference because I found the flavour was neither here nor there. It could have either done with a little stronger banana flavour or a little more peanut butter (through the chips). Also, from making other banana recipes in the past I think it may have something to do with using frozen bananas. Does anyone else find that the flavour is never as strong if they have been frozen??

On a side note, it was my most successful loaf removal from pan so if nothing else I gained practice at that! You can check out other yummy recipes at The Repressed Pastry Chef or give this one a try and see if you have better luck!

Pumpkin Biscuits TWD

OK, so I know that this week’s recipe was supposed to be sweet potato biscuits, but I have a thing for pumpkin so I changed it up a little. This recipe was chosen by Erin of Prudence Pennywise. I notice that her biscuits are light and fluffy looking, unlike mine which are neither, light nor fluffy. That being said mine were super tasty. I used a cup of canned pumpkin and I added an extra tablespoon of brown sugar (’cause I like sweetness!).

Hmmm, pumpkin scones

Hmmm, pumpkin scones

Obviously, I need to work these to get to the light and fluffy place but all in all there were super tasty. Hmm, pumpkin.