Tag Archives: breakfast

Fresh as a Daisy Doughnuts

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2013. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY T. MIKE FLETCHER, UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Finished photoDoughnuts have always seemed to be an ethereal food – out of reach of most of us.  But nothing could be further from the truth!  In reality they take about 20 minutes to mix up, after which they rise, unattended and then sit contentedly in the refrigerator overnight. After a quick roll out the next day they are on their way to the last rise before being fried to a golden brown.  Between the two days you have 45 minutes invested for the treat of a lifetime because if you have never had a homemade doughnut, you have not had a real doughnut.

Yeast doughs have an undeserved reputation of being difficult.  I know people who will tackle the most complicated recipe but won’t go near a yeast dough. I’m not sure where that comes from.  Yeast doughs are extremely forgiving.  This recipe is tailored to making yeast dough easy.  The mashed potato flakes give the yeast something to eat for a light, high rise and a longer shelf life.  The honey adds color and flavor to the finished item also adding to their shelf life.

The dough can be shaped after it’s first rise but it is easier to do after chilling overnight or up to 2 or 3 days.  Just make sure it is tightly covered.  It may rise again when refrigerated, just punch it down, cover well and forget about it. These would make an ideal treat on a weekend.  Start them on Friday or Saturday and have them for breakfast on Sunday.

There are several types of yeast.  Little cakes of fresh yeast are very difficult to come by these days and have a short shelf life.  Instant yeast and rapid rise both come in envelopes, three to a pack.  I call for instant yeast in this recipe.  The flour used is bread flour that has the strength to support a high rise.  All purpose flour will do in a pinch although bread flour is readily available in most areas and is best for yeast breads.  The dough will rise the first time in about 1 1/2 to 2 hours depending upon the temperature of the room. Continue reading

Heavenly French Toast with Blueberry Compote

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2013. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY T. MIKE FLETCHER, UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Finished PhotoWhen I was recently in Chicago, my family took me to Heaven on Seven for a  get together with some friends.  I’d heard about this restaurant for years – especially from my son Dirk – who loves it.  In fact, I was given their cookbook as a gift.   As we approached an office building, I thought perhaps we were making a quick stop, but as we entered the elevator I watched as the number seven was punched. As we exited the elevator, I still had no clue.  A few steps later, we entered Heaven on Seven and I was awestruck by the hundreds and hundreds of hot sauce bottles from ceiling to floor covering wall after wall.  There couldn’t be a better wall covering for one of the countries premier Cajun restaurants

We were led to a long table that seated all 16 of us and we began looking at the menu.  So many choices, all with great promise.  Although it was to be brunch, gumbo was had by many.  I asked about the Bayou Blueberry Blast and after a quick explanation placed my order.  What could be better for brunch than their very special cornbread with blueberries, dipped in French Toast batter and deep fried.  Heaven on Seven www.heavenonseven.com indeed.

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Hot Cross Buns

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2013. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY T. MIKE FLETCHER, UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Finished PhotoHot Cross Buns are traditionally made during Lent.  Full of spices and raisins with a cross on top of the rolls, they are eagerly awaited during the year.  Hot cross buns are a welcome and tasty staple of Lent.   According to Wikipedia: “English folklore includes many superstitions surrounding hot cross buns. One of them says that buns baked and served on Good Friday will not spoil or mold during the subsequent year.”  Well, in my house they won’t last that long!

If you’ve never baked with a product by Sun-Maid called bakers raisins, you’ve missed the perfect raisin for baking.  They are moist and plump and don’t need any soaking to use.  A friend of mine introduced me a few years ago and I have been a fan every since.  I have included instructions for regular raisins that should be soaked to plump them before using in the Hot Cross Buns.   Continue reading

Cinnamon Raisin Bread

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2013. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY T. MIKE FLETCHER, UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Finished photoThis is truly a Cinnamon Raisin Bread to be proud of.  Based on my Basic Sweet Yeast Dough, it is tall, tender and terrific.

I was recently in Chicago visiting my family.  I saw a bag of cinnamon raisin bread on their counter and had a piece for breakfast one day.  To my surprise, it was the best cinnamon raisin bread I ever had.  When I asked where it came from, you can imagine my surprise when I was told, “Walmart”!  Unfortunately, when I returned home and went to my Walmart, no such cinnamon raisin bread was to be found that even came close to the one I had.

So my task was clear.  Make a better cinnamon raisin bread – and I took this very seriously.  There is nothing I like more than working with yeast breads.  There is something magical in combining ingredients and watching them grow.  Several years ago I wanted to come up with my quintessential sweet yeast bread.  I used honey for sweetness and instant mashed potatoes to keep it soft for days.  Vanilla is used to enhance the flavor and the basic dough is used in more than a dozen sweet yeast bread and roll recipes, some familiar and some new. Continue reading