Homemade Whole Wheat Bread with Honey Nut Cinnamon Butter

Whole Wheat Bread with Honey Nut Butter

Whole Wheat Bread with Honey Nut ButterFinally a new post! I was busier than expected for most of February and though this sounds like it might be a good excuse for not posting in three weeks, I admit to have fallen victim to the is-it-spring-yet lack of motivation. There are many great winter recipes throughout my grandmother’s books but surprisingly, this simple whole wheat sandwich bread is what pulled me out of my slump. It’s hard to beat warm fresh bread and butter, even in it’s most basic form.

I’m far from an expert but I’ve played around enough with bread to know that whole wheat breads are more difficult than white breads. They often don’t rise as well, or they come out dense due to the lack of gluten. Even those with only 50% whole wheat flour can be tricky. This is why I am so impressed with this recipe. Rising/proofing was not a problem and the bread came out fluffy and not crumbly (also a potential issue with homemade sandwich bread).

I like to think of this bread and butter combination as a joint effort. This whole wheat bread recipe comes from my grandmother’s book,”The Art of Fine Baking.” While the Honey Nut Cinnamon Butter is my own recipe. I figured they would go nicely together but was surprised by such a perfect match. The bread, though rich with flavor from the whole wheat flour and a bit of molasses, is not sweet. It’s complimented by the nutty honey butter that adds both texture and that missing touch of sweetness. With such a killer combination, it’s hard not to eat half a loaf right from the oven – but that’s ok because the whole wheat flour makes it healthy, right? Let’s just pretend…

Whole Wheat Bread with Honey Nut Cinnamon Butter


4 packages of dry yeast
2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons dark molasses
2 1/4 cups lukewarm milk or water
3-4 cups all purpose flour
3-4 cups whole wheat flour
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 recipe Honey Nut Cinnamon Butter

Grease two 9x5x3 loaf pans.

Combine yeast with salt, sugar, molasses, and milk. Add enough flour to make a stiff dough. Add soft butter. Knead, adding more flour if necessary, until dough is smooth and elastic – about 10 minutes.

Place dough in bowl. Flour lightly. Cover and let rise in a draft free place until it has doubled in bulk (30-45 minutes). Punch down dough and knead briefly to remove all air. Divide mixture in half. Mold dough into two compact loaves which are higher and rounder in the centers. Place in greased pans, filling them 2/3 full. Cover and let rise until dough reaches tops of pans.

While dough is rising for the second time, preheat oven to 425 degrees. Bake on lowest rack in oven 30-40 minutes or until loaves are golden brown. Immediately remove bread from pans and cool on rack.

Makes 2 Loaves

Adapted from the “The Art of Fine Baking,” by Paula Peck.

Whole Wheat Bread


Mashed Potato Egg and Sausage Pizza

Mashed Potato Egg and Sausage Pizza

Mashed Potato Egg and Sausage Pizza

This may look like just a casserole but hidden beneath the layers of sausage, vegetables, cheese, and perfectly delicious runny egg yolks is a pizza crust like no other. Seasoned mashed potatoes are baked until just a touch crispy so they hold together to create that carb replacement for the average pizza dough. The mashed potatoes also add a richness that makes this unusual pizza both filling and satisfying. So why the casserole dish instead of a baking sheet? The original recipe titled “Potato and Egg Pizza” in “The Art of Good Cooking” says to use a baking sheet such as a jelly roll pan. I decided to use a casserole dish simply because I wanted a fairly thick layer of mashed potatoes, a favorite comfort food of mine. However, any baking sheet with an edge would work well here.

The beauty of this Mashed Potato Egg and Sausage pizza is how over-the-top it is. Onions, pepper, and mushrooms along with sliced sausage (I used Italian style chicken sausage) are just the beginning. Fresh mozzarella, Parmesan, and star-of-the-show golden yolks, ooze over the mashed potatoes. Try it with garlic mashed potatoes and this may be one unforgettable pizza.


1/2 cup olive oil
3 cups very well seasoned mashed potatoes
1 large onion peeled and sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 green pepper, seeded and sliced
4 cooked Italian sweet or hot sausages
6 eggs
1/4 grated Parmesan cheese
2/3 cup diced mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Grease a large flat baking dish (such as a jelly-roll pan) generously with as much olive oil as necessary. Spread mashed potatoes evenly. With the back of a large spoon, make indentations in the mashed potatoes for the eggs which will be added late.

Bake potato-lined pan for 30-40 minutes or until potato seems slightly brown and crisp on bottom. Remove from oven.

While potato is baking, sauté onion, garlic, mushrooms and green pepper in remaining olive oil till soft. Slice cooked sausage 1/4 inch thick.

After potato has been removed from oven, spread top of it with sautéed mixture and sliced sausage, leaving indentations clear. Break eggs into each of the indentations. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and dot with pieces of mozzarella cheese. Return to oven. Bake about 25 minutes, or until eggs are set and cheese bubbling. To serve, cut into wedges or squares.

Serves 6.

Adapted from “The Art of Good Cooking,” by Paula Peck

Egg Sausage and Mashed Potato Pizza


Individual Egg Potato and Cheese Casseroles

Individual Egg Potato Cheese Casserole

So I might have used this recipe as an excuse to use these cute little individual casserole dishes from Le Creuset. There’s something welcoming and comforting about having your own personal casserole, lid included. What’s layered underneath the two peeping egg yolk eyes? Alternating layers of mozzarella cheese and potato lightly seasoned with with dried herbs and fresh parsley. Let’s face it: between the melted strings of mozzarella and the brilliant yellow runny yolk flowing over slices of baked potato, gooyeness has undoubtedly taken over this brunch dish.


4 medium potatoes, boiled, peeled and cut into slices about 1/3″ thick
3/4 lb mozzarella cheese, sliced thin
salt and pepper
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/2 cup melted butter
6 eggs
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
3/4 teaspoon dried tarragon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 3-6 ramekins (6 small ramekins or 3 large ones).

Place a layer of potato at the bottom of each ramekin. Cover with slices of mozzarella. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, 1/4 teaspoon each dried tarragon and oregano, parmesan cheese, and parsley. Add another layer of potatoes and repeat seasoning. Add a layer of mozzarella slices. Brush the top of each ramekin with melted butter. Bake about 30 minutes. Break eggs on top (one egg for small ramekins, 2 eggs for large). Sprinkle with remaining butter, herbs, salt, and pepper. Return to oven and bake about 20 minutes or until eggs are set.

Serves 3-6 (depending on the size of ramekins used).

Adapted from “The Art of Good Cooking,” by Paula Peck.





What’s a Schnecken? Some kind of gadget souvenir? This was the thought that crossed my mind when I found this recipe in “The Art of Fine Baking.” After reading through it and then of course baking some, I came to the conclusion that these are basically small, almost bite sized, cinnamon/caramel rolls. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Schnecken, as I was, it’s a German pastry and the name Schnecken means snails – referring to the shape of these delicious breakfast treats. Apparently, Schnecken are often confused with rugelach (also German) but I don’t see much of a similarity other than that they are both rolled pastries creating a spiral of the filling.

I happen to have a weakness for caramel and cinnamon rolls and though these photos may lack the bells and whistles of a carefully styled shoot, you can see that this recipe definitely delivers on all the important aspects: ooey gooey caramel, crunchy nuts, cinnamon, and raisins. One tip: just make sure to use enough of the butter sugar mixture –  the softer and stickier, the better.


1/2 cup soft unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups well-packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon white corn syrup
1 1/2 cups coarsely broken or whole pecans
1 recipes Rich Sour Cream Dough
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 cup raisins
1 cup finely crushed pecans

Cream butter with 1/2 cup light-brown sugar. Beat in corn syrup. Grease regular size or mini muffin tins with this mixture, using it generously. Place 2 or 3 pecan pieces into each muffin cup.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Roll dough into a long rectangle 1/4 inch thick. Sprinkle with remaining sugar, cinnamon, raisins, and crushed pecans. Roll dough tightly, jelly-roll style, sealing the seam. If roll becomes much thicker than the size of muffin tins, stretch it out. If it is too thin, gently compress it.

Slice roll into pieces which will fill muffin cups halfway. Press into cups firmly. Let rise only until dough looks puffy.

Bake in preheated oven about 20 minutes, or until tops of shnecken are golden brown.

Turn muffin pans upside down immediately, to remove schnecken and to permit glaze to run over sides.

Yield: approximately 7 dozen small shnecken or 5 dozen larger ones. Recipe can be easily halved.

Adapted from “The Art of Fine Baking,” by Paula Peck.


Bavarian Apple Pancake

Apple Pancake Slice

Another lovely unpublished recipe from the archives of Paula Peck. Cinnamon, sugar, and apples – what’s not to like? This is a very simple recipe that reminds me more of an apple pie than a pancake. After deciphering the faded typewriter version with it’s hand written edits, I noticed that the recipe directions completely left out 3 of the ingredients listed. I kept re-reading the recipe as if these ingredients were hidden somewhere amongst the four sentences of instruction. Thanks to it’s simplicity, I didn’t need to think twice about where to add them but I was intrigued by the idea that the recipe was so raw that I needed to add more than just the finishing touches. In addition to mixing in the missing ingredients with the remaining dry ingredients, I increased the sugar to 1 tablespoon. The resulting puffed pancake has just enough sweetness to balance the tart apples but can still be eaten with syrup or fresh fruit.

I’m not sure what makes it Bavarian, maybe because it’s baked? Or maybe it’s as bavarian as French fries are French. Either way, this applicious pancake is a sweet way to start or end your day.

3 eggs
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole milk
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tart apples (granny smith)
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons cinnamon sugar (see note)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Beat eggs. Add flour, sugar, and salt, beating in well until no lumps remain. Beat in milk.
Peel apples, cut in half, and remove cores. Cut in slices 1/8 inch thick.

Melt butter in heavy 9″ oven proof skillet. Arrange apples and sprinkle with lemon zest. Allow apples to cook in butter 3-4 minutes.

Remove from heat and pour in prepared batter.

Bake for 15 minutes. Lower heat to 350 degrees and continue to bake another 15 minutes until pancake is puffed and brown.

Serve with cinnamon sugar, melted butter, maple syrup, or fresh fruit.

Makes one large 9″ pancake (serves about 6).

Note: Cinnamon Sugar can be made by simply combining 1 cup granulated sugar with 1 tablespoon cinnamon.


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