Pumpkin Coconut Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

PUmpkinBread

This is so perfect for fall. That’s all I can say about my recipe.

Enjoy!

Pumpkin Coconut Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

Makes 2 loaves

Ingredients:

3C all-purpose flour (I used Cup4Cup gluten-free flour)

2C organic natural sugar

2C organic canned pumpkin

1½C semi-sweet mini chocolate chips (soy-free)

1C melted organic cultured unsalted butter, allowed to cool a bit

½C melted organic, extra virgin coconut oil, allowed to cool a bit

¼C organic shredded coconut

4 large eggs (I used 5 small-medium eggs from my chickens)

2t cinnamon

1t sea salt

1t baking soda

1t vanilla

Directions: Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare the loaf pans by greasing with butter or using a Coconut Spray oil. In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, cinnamon, sea salt, baking soda, and chocolate chips. Give it a quick stir

In a small bowl combine the wet ingredients: pumpkin, eggs, and vanilla. Stir to combine and then add the warm, but not hot, butter and coconut oil. Stir until all ingredients are combined.

Slowly add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients. Stir gently and only to combine; do not over-mix or you will create gluten and it will make your bread tough. We’re going for a tender loaf.

Pour batter evenly between the two prepared loaf pans. Tamp on the counter to get the batter to settle and use spoon to even out the top. Sprinkle both loaves with the shredded coconut.

Bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool for 10-15 minutes. Remove from loaf pan to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Enjoy. It’s so good.

Note: I use organic ingredients as much as possible and do not always write ‘organic’ into my recipes. All my organic ingredients are found at local farm stands,  farmer’s markets, Market Basket, Whole Foods, Vitacost.com, or Amazon.com.

Honey Crêpes

Crepe

Cooking breakfast is my least favorite meal to prepare. I love going out for breakfast. There’s something just so perfect about waking up and having someone else make the first meal of the day for you. We all know breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so why not make it special and start your day off great? A sit-down-at-the-table breakfast is the best way to start the day. Weekends are when I really look forward to a nice breakfast. Here is my recipe for crêpes filled with honey-walnut cream cheese. They are light, loaded with flavor and a bit of crunch, then finished with a sweet drizzle of raw honey. Serve with sliced fresh fruit. Add some jazz music, a pot of French press coffee, a newspaper, and your weekend has begun.

Honey Crêpes

Makes about 16 medium or 8 large crêpes

Batter ingredients:

  • ⅔C unbleached pastry flour or Cup4Cup gluten-free flour
  • ½C whole milk
  • 2 farm fresh eggs, room temperature
  • 2T liquid raw honey
  • butter

eggbatter

Filling ingredients:

  • 8oz. cream cheese (one brick), room temperature
  • ½C chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 3T liquid raw honey

Creamcheese filling

Directions:

In a small bowl, using a fork, mash together the cream cheese, honey, and walnuts. Keep stirring until all ingredients are combined. Set aside. In a larger bowl, whisk the flour, milk, eggs, and honey until you have a smooth batter.

Heat a non-stick skillet on medium-high heat, then dot with butter. Drop a dollop of batter onto the pan, rotating it to slide the batter around the pan. You will have to decide how large you want your crêpe and adjust the amount your pour into your pan accordingly. Cook on one side for about 1 minute, then carefully flip over and cook the other side an addition 30 seconds to 1 minute. Repeat until your batter is gone.

Fill the crepe with 1 large tablespoon of the cream cheese filling, spread it on the crêpe to even it out, then fold or roll your crêpe.

Drizzle with honey before serving.

 

 

Coconut Brioche French Toast

Coconut French Toast.

I love baking bread. There’s something so wholesome and Zen about making your own dough and watching it rise. And then there’s the anticipation of that first warm slice. When my daughters were young, I took a baking course at Newbury College. Every Saturday for 6 weeks, my class started off with knot rolls. Did I say every class started out with rolls? Every – single – class. The first class was devoted to learning the basics of yeast dough, and every class thereafter we were expected to get fifteen dozen rolls in the proof box in half an hour. After a while, I was dreaming of knot rolls in my sleep. I didn’t complain – I loved the challenge of getting those rolls done quickly and with their knots all coiled perfectly. Thankfully, the class progressed to making croissants and Danish! Seven hours on a Saturday making Danish is not a bad way to spend a day.

Three years ago, I visited Peter Island in the British Virgin Islands. The first morning I ordered coconut brioche French toast. Amazing. I have been dreaming of it ever since. And so, last week, after sailing around the British Virgin Islands we couldn’t resist stopping there to have breakfast. Yay! The coconut French toast is just the same as ever. I loved it. I devoured it. I may have stabbed my husband a time or two with my fork when he reached to take some.

Since I can’t have the Peter Island French toast whenever I crave it, I created a recipe that comes pretty close. Brioche makes a perfect French toast. It’s similar to Challah, Russian Easter bread, and Portuguese sweet bread; a dense, sweet loaf. The key when baking bread is to make sure it gets a full two rises. For this recipe, I used my 10” loaf pan so I could get even slices, but you can use a traditional brioche mold and cut your slices to suit your style. A traditional brioche mold is round and fluted. The best brioche has an overnight refrigerated rest, but you don’t have to do that to get a nice loaf.

Toasting coconut is very simple, but you have to keep an eye on it. There’s a very fine line between toasting coconut and burning it. To toast coconut start with unsweetened, shredded coconut. I like the large coconut chips that I can get from Bob’s Red Mill. The larger shreds have more coconut flavor. If I want a smaller shredded coconut, I simply put it in my food processor and process for a few pulses. Preheat your oven to 300°. Spread the coconut on a cookie sheet in a fairly thin layer. Bake for about 20 minutes until just toasted. Check on the coconut frequently and give it a stir because it burns very quickly. Toasted coconut is great with Greek yogurt, sprinkled on ice cream, tossed into salads, and snacking. You can also toast coconut on the stovetop.

Brioche Loaf

Brioche
Makes one loaf
Ingredients:

  • ⅓C warm whole milk, 110°F
  • 1 package yeast, NOT rapid rise
  • 4T sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 5T butter, room temp and soft
  • 2¼C flour
  • ¼t salt

Egg Wash
Ingredients:

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1t milk

Directions: Put the dough hook on your heavy-duty mixer. In the bowl of the mixer, pour in the warm milk, sugar, and yeast. Stir to combine, and let it sit for about 10 minutes to wake up the yeast. It should bubble a bit. If it doesn’t, the yeast is probably dead. If that happens, get a new packet and start over.

Turn the mixer to medium-low and slowly add the eggs. Use a rubber scraper to scrape down the sides. Beat until combined, about 5 minutes on low. Add the flour and salt in small increments, and beat on medium speed for 5 minutes. Add the butter one tablespoon at a time. Once all the butter is added, turn the mixer to high and beat the dough for 10 minutes or until the dough is smooth and starting to pull away from the sides of the bowl. It should feel springy to the touch. If the dough is too sticky, add a bit of flour and beat another 5 minutes.

Butter a large stainless steel bowl. Place the dough in the bowl, loosely cover it with plastic wrap, and place in a warm area of your kitchen to rise for up to 2 hours, or until doubled in size. Punch down the dough. Remove it from the bowl, and rolling it with both hands, work the dough into a loaf.

Butter a 10” loaf pan. Place the dough into the loaf pan. Loosely cover the dough again with the plastic wrap, and let it rise until doubled in size, about 1½ – 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350°.

Prepare the egg wash by using a fork to blend the egg yolk and milk. Brush the egg wash over the top of your loaf and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden. The loaf should sound hollow if you tap it on the bottom. Let the bread cool for a couple minutes, then remove from the pan and place on a wire rack to continue cooling.

Egg Wash Brioche Loaf
Coconut Brioche French Toast

Ingredients:

  • 2C coconut, toasted
  • 8 eggs
  • ½C low-fat coconut milk
  • 1C whole milk
  • 1T vanilla or dark rum
  • 1T superfine sugar
  • 1 day old (stale works best) loaf of brioche, sliced into generous 1“ slices
  • 4T+ butter
  • 4T+ coconut oil

For serving:
real maple syrup
fresh berries, bananas, or other fruit of choice

Directions: In a shallow bowl, whisk the eggs, coconut milk, whole milk, vanilla, and sugar until combined. The coconut milk will be lump. Whisk it hard. Dip the bread slices into the mixture and let the bread soak for at least a minute each side.

Press each side of the bread into the toasted coconut. You may have to turn them a couple times to make sure that the coconut sticks to the sides.

Brioche in Coconut

Heat a skillet on medium high heat and add the butter and coconut oil in equal amounts. Cook the bread until it’s golden on all sides. Watch out, that coconut crust can burn! Add more butter and coconut oil as needed to cook the French toast (this is not the time to skimp on the fat). Transfer to a platter and keep warm in the oven tented with foil until all slices are ready.

Serve with fresh fruit and real maple syrup.