BERRY MUFFIN BAKE

Sometimes, even a salty gal like myself enjoys a breakfast with a touch of sweetness. I will never be into the morning frosting and caramel drizzle but natural sweetness does get me from time to time. A banana nut or a blueberry muffin will sometimes sneak into the mix.

I have been experiencing said craving recently and in order to satisfy that, I got a bit crafty in the kitchen this morning. I am quite proud of this Berry Muffin Bake! It made such a perfect breakfast and would also make an amazing dessert with a little bit of vanilla ice cream. As an added bonus, this dish is quite patriotic and festive, so ten points for timing!

Ingredients (makes 1)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of kosher salt
1/2 tablespoon of unsalted butter
4 tablespoons low-fat milk

1/2 cup mixed berries (I used blueberries and raspberries–you can really add whichever berry and as many or as little as you’d like!)

Directions
1. Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees
2. Mix all dry ingredients together in an oven-safe ramekin or dish

3. Using your hands, work butter into dry ingredients by pressing the dry mixture and butter together between your fingertips until the butter is in little pieces throughout dry mixture.
4. Mix in milk gradually and use a fork to continue to evenly incorporate all the ingredients.


5. After the berries are rinsed off, start to blend them into the batter. I like to partially mash up the raspberries and get some swirls going and then leave the blueberries whole–totally up to you!


6. Using the end of your fork, tuck the berries under the batter a bit, you don’t want all of them exposed through the top. If they are, they will cook down too much and not quite be a filling.
7. Bake for 25 minutes. Check for the doneness by inserting a fork. If the fork doesn’t come out clean, let it bake for another 5 minutes.

I hope everyone has an amazing long weekend!

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THE BEAUTIFUL BAGEL

You probably only need to know me for approximately five minutes to know that I would walk across coals for a good everything bagel. There is a sad lacking of bagels shops in the Silverlake area–so my bagel consumption, though great for caloric intake, is poor for the soul.

Making New York Style bagels (like Absolute Bagels in NYC on Broadway and 108th, which I’ll tell you all about some other time) at home is so delicious and is not so difficult. It takes a little time but it’s so worth it and a perfect way to spend a Sunday morning. Really though, can you imagine making these for brunch? Oh, and of course, this recipe is for my favorite, an everything bagel.

Ingredients (makes 8 bagels)

dough:
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 ½ tablespoons granulated sugar
3 ½ cups bread flour
2 cups warm water
1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt
topping:
1 tablespoon kosher salt
Half of a sweet onion, finely minced
2 large garlic cloves, finely minced
1 ½ tablespoons poppy seeds (I used blue poppy seeds)
1 ½ tablespoons raw sesame seeds
1 egg

Directions

1. In a small bowl, put in 3/4 cups of the warm water, add yeast and sugar. Do not mix them together and let it sit for 5 minutes. After letting the mixture sit, blend together with a spoon until dissolved.

2. In a separate and larger bowl, combine the bread flour and salt amount set aside for the dough.

3. Pour yeast mixture into flour. Begin to add remaining warm water until dough is firm but still moist.

4. On a surface covered with a more bread flour (I just used the countertop), knead the dough 5 to 10 minutes. You want a very firm dough, this will mean more dense and tasty bagels.

5. Drizzle a large bowl with oil (canola or vegetable will do) and put the dough in the bowl and spin it around a bit to coat. Cover the bowl with a damp towel and put it in a warm place (I turn the over on to 350 degrees and put the bowl on top of the oven) and let it rise until it has doubled in size. This should take about an hour but wait until it is doubled, not just until time is up. Once doubled, punch the dough down and give it another 10 minutes to rest.

6. While the dough is resting, combine your toppings and set aside. Also, make an egg wash by beating the egg in a bowl with a splash of water. Later, this will help the toppings stick.

7. Cut dough into 8 equal parts. This doesn’t have to be exact!

8. Roll each section into a smooth ball and then with a flour coated finger, create a hole in the center of the round and stretch into a bagel shape. Place the eight bagel rounds onto a parchment lined cookie sheet. Cover them with the damp towel and give them 10 more minutes of rest. Meantime, bring a large stockpot of water to a boil. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

9. Boiling time! This is what makes the bagels chewy and dense. Place a few bagels at a time into the boiling water (I suggest no more than 3 at a time) and boil for 2 minutes on each side–be precise about this part!

10. Once the bagels are boiled, brush a little egg wash on each one and dip into the toppings.

11. Bake for 20 minutes. Even if you want to wait for them to cool and be toast-able, you must have one straight out of the oven with a little butter. It is just unbelievably good!

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