My favorite munchkin is growing at supersonic speed, so getting plenty of protein and nutrients into him is even more important than ever.  It can be tricky though, as he can have a picky palate. This weekend’s concoction has whole wheat and oats, bananas, yogurt, and a little brown sugar — to balance the pint of maple syrup he was sure to pour on them.


3 large organic bananas, mashed
2 eggs
6 ounces Greek or Australian yogurt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup canola oil
1 cup oats
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

How I Made Them:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and prepare a muffin top pan with a little vegetable oil.

Combine the bananas, eggs, yogurt, sugar, and canola oil together in a bowl. In a separate bowl, sift together the dry ingredients. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, combining thoroughly.

Spoon the batter into the muffin top pan. It is a thick batter, so use a spoon to spread it in the pan.


Bake for ten minutes or until a tester comes away clean.  Serve hot with a little butter and maple syrup.

How They Turned Out:

They didn’t fool the munchkin, who determined quickly they weren’t pancakes. But with enough syrup they did the trick.






We have a wonderful bakery here in Juneau: Wild Oven.  Their breads are perfect for all sorts of sandwiches and dishes.  I particularly like making French Toast with their Country French and Many Raisins breads.  This weekend, as a treat for my favorite munchkin, I made French toast with a lovely maple cinnamon toast sprinkle from Summit Spice and Tea (an Anchorage specialty store).

IngredientsIMG_2185 (2)

4 medium thick slices of French bread
2 eggs
1/2 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon toast sprinkle (cinnamon, maple sugar, brown sugar, cardamom)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons butter
sliced strawberries, maple syrup, etc. to garnish

How I Made It

Lay the slices of bread in a shallow baking dish.

In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs and milk together. Then pour the egg mixture over the bread. Let the slices soak for 5 minutes. Turn them over, spoon the egg mixture over the top, and let soak another 5 minutes.

(This is a great time to wash and slice your berries.)

Heat the butter over medium-high heat.  Brown the bread in the butter, cooking about 3-4 minutes on each side.  Note that if your bread has lots of nooks and crannies, you’ll need to be sure that all of the egg mixture has cooked through on each side.

Serve hot, with berries and syrup. Serves 2.

How It Turned Out

IMG_2176 (2)


I thought I’d found the perfect bread recipe. I was wrong.  This recipe from Stephanie at Girl versus Dough resulted in the most glorious loaves of bread yet.

I made these loaves without the oats, and I used my trick of letting the dough rise in the oven.  This is before baking:

Bread Before Baking

And this is after:

Bread After Baking


Southerners love their rolls.  I grew up on the legend of “Helen Duck’s Spoon Rolls.” My friend Judy tells the story of the woman who baked and froze hundreds of yeast rolls to be served at her memorial luncheon when she died — because no one else’s rolls were as good as hers.  I’m new to making my own rolls, because Rhodes Rolls are just so easy and yummy.  But for tonight’s dinner party, in the spirit of my bread-baking adventures (and because Judy the roll connoisseur will be there), I made these homemade rolls.


1 tbs Fleischmann’s Active Dry Yeast
2 cups hot water (not boiling, from the tap is fine)
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 cup canola oil
6 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tbs olive oil

How I Made Them:

In a bowl, combine the yeast and hot water.  Mix with a spoon or spatula and let sit for 10 minutes or until foamy.

In the bowl of the standing mixer fit with the paddle attachment, combine the sugar, egg, salt, and canola oil. Switch out the paddle for the dough hook and add 4 cups of flour.  Pour in the yeast mixture and mix on medium speed for 10-12 minutes.  You may need to pause the mixer and scrape the sides if the dough doesn’t pull together on its own.  Toward the end of your mixing time, add the last 2 cups of flour in small batches until you get a firm, slightly sticky dough.

Prepare a big bowl with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, swirled around the sides. When the dough is done, gather it into a ball and transfer it to the oiled bowl.  Turn the dough a couple of times so that all the sides are coated with the olive oil.  Cover and let rise someplace warm for one hour.

The dough will have doubled in size after the first rising.  Punch down the dough and give it a couple of quick kneads.  Prepare muffin tins (30-36) with baking spray.  Transfer spoonsful of dough to the muffin tins, filling about 3/4 full.  Cover the tins and let rise someplace warm for half an hour or until the dough fills the muffin tins.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (if you used my trick of letting the dough rise in the oven, be sure you removed the tins first!).  Bake the rolls for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown.

Serve warm from the oven.

How They Turned Out:


A nice basic roll with a good texture and soft crust. Makes 30 rolls.

I have been pursuing the perfect loaf of homemade bread for months now.  Usually, if there is something that I cannot make better than store-bought, I concede gracefully. However, since I began baking bread to share for Communion at church, I feel the need to create beautiful golden loaves with the perfect crunchy-chewy crust on top.  So far, I’ve managed passable loaves (once you cut off the too-dense or too-dry crusts).

This recipe, however, may just be the Holy Grail of breads.


4 1/2 tsp Fleischmann’s Active Dry Yeast
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 hot water (not boiling, from the tap is fine)
1 tbs kosher salt
3 tbs unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 2/3 cups of hot water (not boiling, from from the tap is fine)
7-8 cups of flour
2 tbs olive oil

How I Made It:

In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the yeast, sugar and hot water.  Mix with a spoon or spatula and let sit for 10 minutes or until foamy.  Add the salt, butter, and remaining hot water and turn the mixer on low speed.  Add half the flour one cup at a time, letting the wet and dry ingredients come together slowly. Add the remaining flour in small batches until you have a smooth, slightly sticky dough.  (This attempt used a little more than 7 cups of flour.)

Let the mixer knead the dough for 10 minutes, adding a little flour if it starts to get too sticky.  Prepare a big bowl with 2 tbs of olive oil, swirled around the sides. When the dough is done, gather it into a ball and transfer it to the oiled bowl.  Turn the dough a couple of times so that all the sides are coated with the olive oil.  Cover and let rise someplace warm for one hour.

♦ The “let dough rise” step has been giving me trouble. Since I live in a rainforest, and I keep my house very cool, I don’t really have a “warm place” that encourages the dough to rise.  Previously, I’ve placed the bowl on the counter over the dishwasher while I ran a load of dishes. That helped but it wasn’t quite enough.  This time I set the oven to warm just as I started to make the bread.  I turned it off after 2 minutes, so it was warm but not hot by the time I was ready for the bread to rise.  I think this is the answer — but you have to watch to be sure your bread dough doesn’t escape the bowl!

Bread Dough

Once the bread dough has risen to at least twice the original size, punch it down and knead it just a bit before turning it out on a floured surface. Divide the dough into three portions. Fold and pat each portion into a loaf. Spray the loaf pans with baking spray and then transfer the loaves to the pans.  Cover the pans and let them rise for another hour.


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees (remove the loaf pans if you were letting them rise in there).  Put the loaf pans on a cookie sheet before putting them in the oven.  Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown on top.  Cover the loaves with non-stick aluminum foil (to prevent burning the top) and bake for another 15 minutes.

Let the loaves cool before slicing.

How It Turned Out:

Three absolutely beautiful loaves of homemade bread to share!

3 Loaves of Bread

This is definitely the recipe I’ll use from now on.




6 cups Gold Medal Better for Bread flour
1 package of active yeast
2 1/4 cups milk
1 tablespoon of butter
2 tablespoons of sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons olive oil

How I Made It:

Combine the flour and yeast in the mixing bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a dough hook.  Grease a second large bowl lightly with olive oil and set it aside.

In a heavy bottom saucepan, heat the milk over medium heat. Whisk in the sugar, salt, and butter.  Heat until the butter is just melted.

Combine the milk mixture with the flour in the mixer at low speed.  Increase the mixer speed to low-medium and let it mix the dough for 3-5 minutes or until all the flour is combined.

Shut off the mixer and remove the bowl.  With your (clean) hands, knead the dough a few times just to be sure it’s all combined. Transfer the dough to the greased bowl, turning it over a couple times in the bowl so it’s coated with the oil.  Cover the bowl with a clean towel and let sit somewhere warm to rise. (Over the running dishwasher is a good place.)

When the dough has doubled in size (2 hours or so), punch it down.  Form the dough into two loaves and place them into two non-stick loaf pans. Cover and let rise for 45 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Bake for 40 minutes (you might need to cover the loaves for the last 10 minutes or so, so the tops aren’t too brown).

How It Turned Out:

Two lovely fragrant loaves of fresh bread to share!

Bread 1