Baking Bootcamp: Triple Berry Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Triple Berry Swirl

This month Joy the Baker teamed up with King Arthur Flour to create one of four baking bootcamp recipes to challenge our knowledge and get some new techniques under our belts.  She posted the recipe on her blog with step-by-step photos that are amazing and helped a LOT to keep me on the right track so I highly recommend heading over to her page to check it out before attempting this recipe as the braiding process can get extremely confusing.  (My "braid" was really more of a giant knot by the time I managed to get it into the skillet and stuff all of the rogue berries back into it, but luckily you can't really tell by looking at the finished product, haha.)

Two things I would do differently next time: dry my berries off before adding them to the dough, and don't use more than 2 cups of them.  My dough was overstuffed and the berries were slipping out every time I so much as looked at them..

Triple Berry Cinnamon Swirl Bread
by Joy the Baker

For the Dough:
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
3/4 cup whole milk, warmed to a warm lukewarm
1 large egg yolk 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 1/4 cups King Arthur All-Purpose Flour
1/2 teaspoon salt a bit of olive oil for greasing the bowl

For the Filling:
1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 cups fresh berries (sliced fresh strawberries, fresh raspberries, fresh blueberries)
1 large egg, beaten for egg wash

  1. In a medium bowl stir yeast with sugar.  Stir in  the lukewarm milk and then add the egg yolk and melted butter.  Whisk together until thoroughly combined.  Allow mixture to rest for 5 minutes.  It should foam and froth.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together the flour and salt.  Pour the milk mixture over the dry ingredients and start kneading it until it pulls away from the edges of the bowl.  Place dough on a lightly floured counter and knead by hand for about 10 minutes more.  Dough ball should be smooth and damp, without being too sticky.  Shape dough into a ball.  Grease a large bowl with olive oil.  Place the dough in the bowl and cover.  Allow to rest at warm room temperature for about 1 hours, or until doubled in size.
  3. While the dough rises, whisk together the butter with sugar and cinnamon for the filling.  Set aside.  Preheat the oven to 375degrees F.  Grease a 10-inch cast iron skillet.  Set aside.
  4. After the dough has doubled in size, place it on a lightly floured counter and knead twice.  Using a rolling pin to roll the dough to a rectangle of about 18×12 inches.  Spoon the cinnamon filling over top, spreading evenly, leaving a clean 1-inch border around the edges.  Sprinkle the fresh berries over the cinnamon filling.  Start by rolling the longest side of the dough.  The roll will be a bit lumpy because of all the berries.  Using a sharp knife, cut the log in half length-wise leaving 1-inch of the edge uncut.  Start braiding the two pieces, by carefully lifting the left strand over the right strand.  Repeat this motion until you reach the bottom of the dough.  Press together to seal.  Join the two ends, creating a circle with the dough and press together.  Using two swift hands, transfer the dough ring to the prepared cast iron skillet.  Brush the wreath with the beaten egg.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and bubbling.  Allow to cool for about 30 minutes before slicing and serving. 


Vegan Horchata


Summer is officially upon us and for me that means tons of iced coffee and cravings for anything sweet and refreshing.  Don't let the word "vegan" scare you, this horchata is every bit as sweet and creamy as its lactic counterpart.  If you've never tried horchata before, stop whatever you're doing and make this right now.  Seriously.


Vegan Horchata

1 1/3 cup uncooked white long grain rice
5 cups water
2 cinnamon sticks
1 cup rice or almond milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 - 1/2 cup agave nectar, to taste

  1. Put the rice, 2 cups of the water, and cinnamon sticks into a blender and blend until the rice and cinnamon are roughly ground.  Add the remaining water and blend thoroughly.  Transfer to a pitcher and let the mixture sit at room temperature for at least 3 hours, or for best results, cover and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve and discard the rice.  Add the milk, vanilla, and agave and stir to blend.  Chill well before serving.


Cold-Brew Coffee

Cold Brew Coffee

I feel like we've come to a point in our blogging relationship where I can be open and honest with you about something I'm not proud of... I'm completely dependent on my daily morning and afternoon coffee.  As in cannot function without it.  It's unhealthy in more ways than one, I know, but I love it.  What I don't love is the amount of money I spend on it every month thanks to my penchant for high quality coffee and independently-owned cafes.

Cold Brew Coffee

Enter this homemade cold-brew coffee.  It couldn't be easier to make and saves my wallet (as well as my sanity) in those hot summer months when all I want is to have an iced coffee in hand at all times.  And maybe an ice cream cone in the other.

Cold-Brew Coffee
makes 2-3 servings

1/3 cup coarsely ground coffee
1 1/2 cups water

  1. Combine coffee and water in a 2-cup jar with a tight-fitting lid and let sit at room temperature for 12 hours or overnight.
  2. Strain/filter to remove grounds. (I like to pour the coffee through a coffee filter to make sure I remove all the grounds as well as the silt at the bottom.)
  3. Refrigerate until completely chilled and dilute with water and/or milk before serving as this is a very concentrated coffee. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.


Vegan Strawberry Shortcake

Vegan Strawberry Shortcake

I made these vegan strawberry shortcakes a handful of times last summer and they are always a hit, especially among the non-vegans!  It may have something to do with their inherently lowered standards as soon as they hear the word "vegan," but I like to think the shortcakes are just that good.

Vegan Strawberry Shortcake

I was lucky enough to find some super sweet strawberries at the farmers market that were begging me to slather them with vanilla frosting and sandwich them between two flaky biscuits - what could I do but oblige? If only it could be summer all year round.

Vegan Strawberry Shortcake

Vegan Strawberry Shortcake
from Babycakes by Erin McKenna
makes 12 shortcakes

3 cups white spelt flour, plus 1/2 cup for dusting
1/2 cup evaporated cane juice
1 1/2 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
7 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup hot water
Vanilla Frosting (recipe below)
2 1/2 - 3 cups stemmed and sliced fresh strawberries

  1. Adjust oven racks and preheat to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, evaporated cane juice, baking powder, and salt. Add the oil, vanilla, and hot water to the dry ingredients. Combine until a slightly moist dough is formed.
  3. Dust the counter generously with spelt flour. Roll the dough through the flour until it is coated on all sides. Gently pat the dough into a 1-inch-thick rectangle and cut out 12 shortcakes with a 2.75-inch round cookie cutter. Place the shortcakes about 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake the shortcakes for 9 minutes, rotate pans, and bake for 7 more minutes. The finished shortcakes will have a slightly golden, flaky crust.
  4. Let the shortcakes cool on the sheets for 15 minutes, or until completely cool. Cut them in half horizontally and spread each side with 1 tbsp vanilla frosting. Spoon 1 generous tbsp strawberries onto one of the halves and top with the second half. Repeat with the remaining biscuits. Store the filled shortcakes in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.

Vanilla Frosting
from Babycakes by Erin McKenna

3/4 cups unsweetened soy milk
3/4 cup dry soy milk powder
1 tbsp coconut flour
1/4 cup agave nectar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups coconut oil
2 tbsp lemon juice

  1. In a blender or food processor, combine the soy milk, soy powder, coconut flour, agave nectar, and vanilla. Blend the ingredients for 2 minutes. With the machine running, slowly add the oil and lemon juice, alternating between the two until both are fully incorporated. Pour the mixture into an airtight container and refrigerate for 6 hours or up to 1 month.


Best Banana Bread Ever

Banana Bread

Hey guys! I'm sorry I've neglected you, it's been forever since I've written a food post. I've been suuuupppper busy with work and school stuff and there's more stress to come so don't be alarmed if we go another few months without speaking, just know that I miss you and am anxious to get back to a regular posting schedule :)

Aaaanyways, this is a recipe that I've been meaning to post for a while now (at least a year) and haven't gotten around to it, but the day has finally come! It's my favorite banana bread recipe ever, and I've definitely tried my hand at quite a few. It's from (pretty much my favorite) cookbook, Flour. Everything I've made from that book has been awesome, I'd absolutely recommend adding it to your bookshelf if you haven't already. One piece of advice on this recipe - don't omit the walnuts. I usually detest nuts in my banana bread but for some reason they go so well with this version.

Banana Bread

1 1/2 cups (210 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 cup plus 2 tbsp (230 g) sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
3 1/2 very ripe, medium bananas, peeled and mashed (1 1/3 cups mashed/about 340 g)
2 tbsp creme fraiche or sour cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup (75 g) walnut halves, toasted and chopped

  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees F. Butter a 9x5-inch loaf pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
  3. Using a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment, beat together the sugar and eggs on medium speed for about 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy. On low speed, slowly drizzle in the oil. (Do not pour in all at once! Adding the oil should take about 1 minute.) Add the bananas, creme fraiche/sour cream, and vanilla and continue mixing on low speed just until combined.
  4. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the flour mixture and nuts just until thoroughly combined. (No flour streaks should be visible and nuts should be evenly distributed.) Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and smooth the top.
  5. Bake for 1 - 1 1/4 hours, or until golden brown on top and the center springs back when you press it. Let cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes, then remove it from the pan to finish cooling.

The banana bread can be stored tightly wrapped in plastic wrap at room temperature for up to 3 days. For longer storage wrap tightly in plastic wrap and freeze for up to 2 weeks; thaw overnight at room temperature.