Category Archives: Bread

Honey & Pink Peppercorn Brioche

Fact: writing recipes is hard. Perfecting them is even harder.

Not even the best of us kitchen people get it right the first time — I’ve read quotes from top chefs talking about how they’ve spent years developing and tweaking their signature dishes.

And recipes don’t happen in a vacuum, either — in the pastry industry, we walk a path that’s been largely paved for us, relying age-old techniques that allow us to experiment with new forms of presentation and flavours.

If you engross yourself in the work of others and you’re suddenly inspired, then that’s a gift meant to be shared and passed on, not horded and used to polish your own self image.

This issue is often on my mind, because I often see recipes online with no credit given to their original authors.

And it bothers me, because it’s ridiculously disrespectful.

I’m not going to finger-point, but I’m often disgusted by how some of the “big bloggers” out there fail to light the way for those ahead of them by dimming the lights on those behind.

You should never be ashamed to give credit or cite inspiration.

If a reader can flip through more than 5 recipes in a row on a pastry blog and not see a single “adapted from…”, then it’s likely you’ve been pilfering from somewhere (unless you’re David Lebovitz — but even he talks about his inspiration and the recipes picked up from colleagues).

In a nutshell: not giving credit — just don’t do it. Sheesh.

Anyways, with all that off my chest, I bring you an inspired recipe: honey and pink peppercorn brioche.

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Stöllen

Oh, god — December. Just get out already!

Now, normally I try to write about something light-hearted or historical for my blog, but lately I’ve just been sitting at my computer, anxiously blanking out at the screen, or wasting my time on memebase sites.

While most people wait in anticipation of December and relish in the Christmas season, I fear it.

Like, literally fear it.

Worrying about the Christmas season keeps me up at night — December offers me nothing in terms of relaxation and happiness.

Time off from work? Not with two jobs!

Time off from school? Not unless you count the two weeks off that I will spend working!

Buying presents that I seriously don’t want to buy and getting stuff that I seriously don’t need? Not constructive — I’d rather keep my money for bills and have my friends and family do the same!

Family dinners? Seriously awkwaaaaard.

Not to mention that there’s almost always snarkiness or fighting that breaks out.

My ideal December would involve a month of hibernation and intermittent waking periods for baking cookies and drinking wine and eating stöllen. For reals.

Anyways, enough complaining. I try not to complain, because, seriously — all I’ve got are first world problems.

If this is a season to love and be thankful, then I’ve got a lot to be thankful for.

Like rum spiked nog and stöllen!

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Babka Muffins

Babka muffins — have you heard of ’em? I hadn’t!

They’re one of the many new tasty recipes I’ve been exposed to while at school.

Unlike “regular” muffins (the kind that Liz says are for “people who don’t have the nads to eat cake for breakfast”) these Babka buddies are leavened only slightly with baking powder and mostly with yeast.

That said, they’re still soft and cakey enough for you people would rather eat actual cake for breakfast. Ha!

Oh, but truly awesome thing about Babka muffins is that they’re seriously customizable, as-you-like-’em type muffins.

Do you wanna fill them with brown sugar, ginger, and diced apple? Do it!

How about melted butter with vanilla sugar and toasted almond slices? Ah-ye-ah.

Pumpkin puree with sweet cinnamon chips? That’s my Babka style!

Also (and this totally slipped my mind til now — I’ve been so busy lately!), the lovely Juanita recently nominated me for the “Versatile Blogger Award” — but, as flattered as I am, I just can’t fill the criteria to accept!

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Blackberry & Ginger Pull-Apart Bread

Today, I’m going to write about bread. Just bread with berry.

Sweet and tangy blackberry-ginger filling sandwiched between soft, warm-from-the-oven, pillowy, pull-apart squares of bread.

Did you just drool a little?

We’ve all been there.

To those of you who have ever made their own bread, I don’t need to go on. To those of you who have never made their own bread, you just don’t know what you’re missing.

Sometimes a little flicker of happiness is just fresh bread and a pat of salted butter.

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Sally Lunn Bread

Bread and I don’t always get along.

Our working relationship is strained due to the fact that there have been some long-standing issues between us — um, like…

Bread, why can’t I ever knead you the right way? Bread, why don’t you wanna rise all nice n’ proper for me? Bread, why won’t you ever come out of the oven looking less grumpy n’ lumpy?

Bread, why do you go straight to my hips when I eat you? Bread, I know this is all your fault!

But this particular recipe is a turn for the better for us — no kneading, easy rising, a distinct lack of lumpiness.

I picked up a whiff of Sally Lunn bread from another, much (much, much) more famous and popular blog, and only made a few changes. I added more yeast (since I love the flavour of it), a little more sugar, and a touch of cardamom.

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Chestnut Bread Pudding

It’s really unfortunate, but I’ve noticed that most North Americans (both diners and restauranteurs) are totally unfamiliar with chestnuts.

Not the kind in hard, spiky, lime-green shells that pepper the ground in the autumn, the kind that you used to collect and throw at people as a kid — those are horse chestnuts, and definitely not to be eaten!

I’m talking about the kind of chestnuts that are common in French and Japanese desserts — chestnuts with a slightly nutty, sort of earthy, sweet kind of flavour.

See, over on this continent, people think that chestnuts are just for eating roasted or adding to holiday stuffing.

They don’t know that chestnuts are great with sugar, vanilla, chocolate, honey, cinnamon, and coffee, too!

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