Category Archives: bread

Mini Mango Bread

After spending the day hiking and exploring Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, a few slices of mango bread in a day pack or back at the lodge with a cup of hot tea would have been a welcome treat! This recipe is adapted from ‘Baking’ by Dorie Greenspan, a cookbook that I would describe as a treasure trove of baking goodies. The recipe is easy to adapt, I added finely chopped crystallized ginger which I love in breads, scones, muffins or cookies. I also like the size of the mini breads, nice for sharing with tea. I loved hiking in the park and went a little crazy taking pictures of ferns in the rain forest, I could start a blog about ferns with all my photos!

Okay, just one more!

Descending through rain forest on the Kilauea Iki trail into the still steaming crater, back out and around the rim of the volcano was amazing, my husband Scott took this photo looking out onto the Kilauea crater.

We also hiked out onto the lava flow which closed the Chain of Craters Road by the ocean and enjoyed incredible views of the windy coast and the cliffs.

The haze in the air is from the volcanic gas, it looks like smog and is dangerous to breathe.

I also saw a Nene bird, an endangered Hawaiian goose, and I think he saw me too!

And for those of you who don’t have Dorie Greenspan’s masterpiece, ‘Baking’, I’ll share my adapted recipe for fresh mango bread.

Ingredients and Directions for Mango Bread

3 large eggs
3/4 cup canola oil
2 & 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon finely chopped crystallized ginger
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup organic light brown sugar
2 cups diced mango, I used 2 large peeled and pitted mangoes
Grated zest of 1/2 lime

Preheat the oven to 350°F

Butter and flour or spray mini bread pans, depending on the size, 6-8 little bread pans.

Whisk the eggs and oil together.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugars, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt.
Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and mix together with a wooden spoon. The batter will be thick, more like dough than a batter. Not to worry, stir in the mango, crystallized ginger and zest. Divide the batter up between the mini pans and smooth out the tops with a spatula.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, depending on size of mini pans. The loaves should be browned and a thin knife inserted should come out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes before unmolding the loaves.

Wrapped in plastic the bread should keep for about 4 days at room temperature.

Serves 12-16


Italian Rosemary and Raisin Buns

This recipe is from ‘Whole Grain Breads’ by Beatrice Ojakangas. I have a few of her cookbooks and this recipe for rosemary and raisin buns sounded like it would be good with fresh pea soup.
This is a holiday bread in Italy that is typically eaten before Easter, like hot cross buns. These buns are rich with eggs and olive oil as well as rosemary and golden raisins. I was instantly attracted to this recipe as I have two large rosemary bushes in front of my house that I like to use. I also like to make polenta with my rosemary. I made a small batch of 8 buns using my stand mixer to mix and knead the dough. My biggest challenge with this recipe was constantly opening the cookbook to the wrong page and reading the directions for filling and shaping the Swedish Tea Ring, the following recipe in the cookbook, why does that always happen when you make a new bread recipe? Because the instructions are all almost the same, mix, shape, bake etc. The differences being amounts, ingredients or something that gets your attention so that you realize you are once again reading the directions for the Swedish Tea Ring. Maybe I will try making that for my next baking project, probably not.

This is why it’s worth the trouble to make your own bread sometimes, beautiful and tasty buns.


2 large eggs, plus 2 egg yolks
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary, plus extra for sprinkling
3 cups European-Style King Arthur’s Artisan Flour, or 2 & 1/2 cups bread flour and 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 & 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
2/3 cup golden raisins


1. Place one egg and one egg yolk in a one cup measuring cup and add enough warm water to fill the cup. Pour it along with the sugar into a warmed mixing bowl and add the yeast. Let stand for 5 minutes then add the additional egg and egg yolk along with the oil, salt, rosemary and half the flour. Beat until smooth. Cover and let stand for 15 minutes.

2. Slowly add the rest of the flour and beat until a soft dough forms. Knead the dough with the dough hook on medium speed until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and is smooth and springy to the touch. If the dough is too wet or sticky, add more flour. Knead in the raisins.

3. Remove the dough and knead a few times on the counter. Clean and lightly oil the bowl, place the dough back in and turn it over to grease the top. Cover the dough and let rise until doubled, about one hour.

4. Punch the dough down, divide into 8 equal parts, roll into balls and place the buns on parchment lined baking sheets.

5. Let rise in a warm place until almost doubled, 45-60 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375°

6. Brush the rolls with olive oil and sprinkle with rosemary. Slash the tops with a big X to make a cross shape. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until buns are golden. Cool on a wire rack.

Irish Brown Soda Bread

Warm brown bread fresh from the oven slathered with butter and marmalade, a favorite for breakfast or in the afternoon with tea. I wish we could buy fresh bread like this at our neighborhood bakery but the good news is how easy this bread is to make at home. From start to finish this bread takes one hour. There is no yeast in this recipe and you don’t have to knead the dough. I found many recipes for Irish soda bread but I decided to go with one from King Arthurs Flour for my first attempt. I made one small addition, an egg. I formed the dough into a loaf and used an 8×5 inch metal pan. I still made a deep cut in the top of the loaf because how could I deny myself that simple pleasure? I used this Irish style wholemeal flour and it makes a great loaf of brown bread!

Now I can’t wait to get to the part about the ‘craggy’ dough because I love that description and sometimes the dough is called ‘shaggy’ which I don’t like because it reminds me of the shaggy dog and I don’t like to think about dog hair when I’m baking.

Preheat the oven to 375° and butter an 8×5 inch metal loaf pan.


3 cups whole meal Irish flour or regular whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 & 1/3 cups buttermilk
2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter

1 egg


  1. In a large bowl whisk together the flours, sugar, salt, baking soda and baking powder. In a small bowl whisk the egg and add the buttermilk and melted butter. Stir the wet mixture into the dry ingredients with a wooden spoon or spatula, the mixture will be stiff and craggy.
  2. Turn the dough out on a slightly floured surface and knead it about 10 times or until it all holds together. Form it into a loaf, the dough will be sticky, I like to wet my hands when I work with sticky dough. Put the dough into the loaf pan and bake for 50 minutes.

How do I know when it’s done? First off, around 40-50 minutes, the entire house will start to smell good like fresh baked Irish brown bread. The loaf will rise about 1/2 inch above the pan, it will be golden brown and crusty on the top, the sides of the loaf will shrink away from the pan. Let it cool for several minutes in the pan on a metal rack. When you remove the bread from the loaf pan, tap on the bottom and it will sound hollow. Let it cool to warm before slicing the bread and enjoying it covered with butter and marmalade. As good as this bread is fresh from the oven, it’s also good toasted the next day.

Easy Dinner Rolls

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I make my own rolls at Thanksgiving because they are so good! The actual hands on time to prepare the rolls is minimal and so worth the effort. I love the fresh yeast smell and if you time it right you can pull them fresh out of the oven right before dinner. This year I tried a new recipe from Rick Rodgers, Thanksgiving 101. I followed the recipe as written except I cut the amount of sugar in half. I left the rolls plain, rolled them into balls and brushed them with butter.

Makes 1 1/2 dozen

1 1/4 ounce package active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus additional for brushing on the rolls
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
5 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt

1. In a small bowl, sprinkle the yeast over 1/4 cup warm water and let stand 5-10 minutes until creamy.

2. Place the buttermilk in a 1 quart glass measuring cup and microwave on high for 1 minute, or until warm. Stir in the the yeast mixture, melted butter, eggs, sugar, and baking soda.

3. Mix the flour and salt in large bowl and make a well in the center. Pour in the liquid ingredients and mix until dough begins to hold together. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Knead the dough, adding more flour if dough becomes sticky, until the dough is smooth and elastic, 8-10 minutes.

4. Place the dough in a large buttered bowl. Turn the dough to coat it in butter, leaving the smooth side up. Cover with plastic wrap and leave in a warm draft free spot until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

5. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Punch the dough down, turn it out on a lightly floured surface and knead briefly. Cut the dough in half and roll each half into a thick rope. Cut each rope into 9 equal pieces to make 18 total rolls. Place a piece of the dough on the work surface. Lightly flour your hands and begin rolling the dough into a ball. The bottom of the dough will stick to the surface as you roll the ball holding your hand like a cage over the ball and applying gentle but constant pressure to the sides as you roll it into a smooth sphere. Repeat with the remaining dough, transferring the rolls to the prepared pans, allowing 9 rolls on each pan. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let stand in warm place until almost doubled in size, about 40 minutes.

6. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

7. Brush the tops of the rolls lightly with melted butter. Bake until golden brown about 20 minutes. Remove from the pans and serve warm.

Banana Blueberry Bread

This recipe is from the Williams-Sonoma Bread cookbook. This is a delicious recipe that I’ve made many times for my son-in-law, Shane. I’ve always made banana bread with my ripe bananas. I like the addition of blueberries and sour cream in the bread.

2 medium ripe bananas, mashed with a fork, about one cup, set aside in a small bowl
2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 & 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
2 large eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 heaping cup fresh blueberries

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

Grease a 9X5″ loaf pan

1, In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nuts.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, sour cream, vanilla, butter and the mashed bananas.

3. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the banana mixture. Stir together the wet and dry ingredients just until combined. The batter should be slightly lumpy. Gently fold in the blueberries, taking care not to break them. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until the top of the bread is firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 50-60 minutes. Let cool in the pan 30 minutes. Turn the loaf out onto the rack and let cool completely.

Ginger Pear Bread

I’ve made this recipe many times, it comes from King Arthur’s Flour, the only thing I added is more ginger, yum! The house smells like ginger and baked pears. This bread is even better the second day.
The following recipe makes 1-8 1/2 x 4 1/2″ loaf. Preheat oven to 350.

3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter
1 egg
1 heaping cup pear puree (1&1/2 pears)
1 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1/4 cup crystallized ginger, chopped into smaller pieces
1 cup walnuts, toasted (350 degree oven for 10 minutes) and finely chopped

1. Puree the pears with the skin in the blender, set aside.
2. In a medium bowl mix together the flour, ginger, baking soda, baking powder and salt, set aside.
3. Cream butter and sugar in the bowl of a mixer, add the egg, vanilla, fresh ginger and pear puree.
4. Mix in dry ingredients with a light hand, then stir in walnuts and crystallized ginger.

Bake for 55 minutes to 1 hour or until toothpick comes out with small crumbs.

Cool for 15 minutes in the pan, remove bread from pan and continue to cool on a rack.

Note: I doubled the recipe this time and made 5 mini loaves, they took 30 minutes in the 350 degree oven.