Category Archives: Bread and Muffins

Bread and Muffins

Whole Wheat Peanut Butter and Jelly Muffins

Healthy Whole Wheat Peanut Butter and Jelly Muffins are perfect for a grab-and-go breakfast or yummy lunchbox treat.

Whole Wheat Peanut Butter and Jelly Muffins. A delicious and healthy snack or after-school treat! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

These Peanut Butter and Jelly Muffins are a recreation of one of the very first recipes I made for this blog all the way back when I was a senior in college. I remember placing two muffins on a white plate and carrying the plate outside to the concrete steps of our off-campus house, hoping to secure some good natural light for my photos. Back then I used a small point-and-shoot camera and after snapping 5-6 photos of two lonely muffins on a white plate with a beautiful concrete background, I called it a day and posted the photos online. Looking back at those pictures, I’m pretty…well…horrified!

Whole Wheat Peanut Butter and Jelly Muffins. A delicious and healthy snack or after-school treat! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

I’d say things have come a long way since then! Now, some years later, I’ve changed the recipe ever so slightly, and I think you’ll love this new and improved version. If you love a good PB & J sandwich, then these muffins are for you!

Whole Wheat Peanut Butter and Jelly Muffins. A delicious and healthy snack or after-school treat! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

I like to eat these as a midday snack, but they’re also a great option if you have to run out the door quickly in the morning.

Whole Wheat Peanut Butter and Jelly Muffins. A delicious and healthy snack or after-school treat! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Feel free to use the jelly of your choice, whether that’s strawberry, grape, or reduced-sugar. I personally love the taste of real raspberry jam, so that’s what I used in this version.

 

Whole Wheat Peanut Butter and Jelly Muffins
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 12 muffins
Ingredients
  • 1¾ cups whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup coconut sugar*
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1¼ cup milk of choice (I use unsweetened almond milk)
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter, melted in the microwave for 30 seconds
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Raspberry Jelly (or jelly of choice)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a muffin pan and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl combine the dry ingredients (whole wheat flour through salt). Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl whisk together the wet ingredients (milk through vanilla extract). Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and mix in the wet ingredients. Stir to combine.
  4. Fill each muffin cup halfway with the batter. Then place 2 teaspoons jelly in the middle of each cup. Pour the remaining batter on top of the jelly in each cup.
  5. Bake for 16 minutes, remove from the oven and allow to cool in the muffin pan for 5 minutes. Remove the muffins from the muffin pan and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
Notes
*Can substitute brown sugar
 

Whole Wheat Peanut Butter and Jelly Muffins. A delicious and healthy snack or after-school treat! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Bread and Muffins

Healthy Whole Wheat Banana Bread

Hey guys! Happy belated 4th of July! Hopefully you had Monday off and enjoyed an extra long weekend with family and friends. July is going to be a jam-packed, SUPER fun month for me. I am heading to Boston on Friday for some wedding-related appointments, and the following weekend is my bachelorette party in Nashville! I am SO excited!

Recently, I’ve been working on updating the photos for some of my old recipes. A couple of weeks ago I was remaking my healthy whole wheat banana bread, and I decided to not just update the photos, but also make a few tweaks to the recipe.

This Healthy Whole Wheat Banana Bread is delicious with your morning coffee or as a quick snack when you're on the go! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

I couldn’t wait to share this updated recipe with you all because I think this one is even better (and healthier!) than before.

My previous recipe contained butter and milk, but since I try to avoid dairy these days, I decided to make this new banana bread dairy-free. For a vegan version, you can use an egg substitute (like a flax egg) and maple syrup instead of honey. It’s important to use really ripe bananas for this recipe because they provide a lot of natural sweetness to the bread, and that way you don’t have to add as much sugar.

This Healthy Whole Wheat Banana Bread is delicious with your morning coffee or as a quick snack when you're on the go! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Travis and I (okay, mostly me) gobbled up the whole loaf in only three days. So for a larger family, you may want to double the batter and make two loaves because this whole wheat banana bread is bound to go quickly!

This Healthy Whole Wheat Banana Bread is delicious with your morning coffee or as a quick snack when you're on the go! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

I love it slathered with crunchy peanut butter, and it’s also delicious with a little drizzle of honey. Yum!

This Healthy Whole Wheat Banana Bread is delicious with your morning coffee or as a quick snack when you're on the go! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

I hope you guys love this healthy banana bread as much as we do!

 

Healthy Whole Wheat Banana Bread
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 1 loaf
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup canola or avocado oil
  • ⅓ cup coconut sugar*
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 VERY RIPE mashed bananas (about 1.5 cups)
  • ¼ cup unsweetened almond milk
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Lightly grease a 9” x 5” loaf pan.
  2. In a large bowl beat the oil and coconut sugar until smooth. Add the vanilla, baking soda, salt, bananas and almond milk. Beat until well combined. Next, beat in the honey and eggs. Then add the flour. Stir until smooth.
  3. Spoon the batter into the greased loaf pan. Bake for 45 minutes and then lay a piece of aluminum foil across the top to prevent it from further browning. Bake for another 10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  4. Let the loaf cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove it and place directly on a wire rack to cool completely.
Notes
* can substitute brown sugar, but recipe will not be refined sugar free.
 

This Healthy Whole Wheat Banana Bread is delicious with your morning coffee or as a quick snack when you're on the go! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Bread and Muffins Gluten-Free

Gluten-Free Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins…and some EXCITING news!

Hey guys! Sorry, I know I was completely M.I.A. last week, but I have a REALLY good excuse!

Travis and I got engaged last weekend in Philadelphia! EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEK! (—> That’s really the best way to capture all of my emotions.)

Rachel and Travis Got Engaged!

I am so excited and happy and aaah, #somanyfeelings! I promise I will share our engagement story with you later this week. I’ve been trying to put all of my thoughts concisely together into one post, but at this point I have a novel written and I don’t think you want to read that…

 

But for now, I think we should dive into these Gluten-Free Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins.

What do you think?

These Gluten-Free Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins are SO delicious! Plus, they contain NO refined sugars! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com ll Gluten-Free Muffins, Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Muffins, Banana Chocolate Chip, Refined Sugar Free Muffins

If you or anyone you know is gluten-free, then you MUST get this Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free 1 to 1 Baking Flour! Neither Travis or I follows a G-F diet, but we definitely try to be conscious about the amount of gluten we eat. If we’re out at a restaurant and we see a G-F option available (like pasta or pizza crust), we usually opt for that.

Of course, I want to make it clear that “Gluten-Free” doesn’t necessarily mean “healthier”, but removing some gluten from our diets has definitely had positive effects on both of our skin and stomachs.

These Gluten-Free Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins are SO delicious! Plus, they contain NO refined sugars! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com ll Gluten-Free Muffins, Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Muffins, Banana Chocolate Chip, Refined Sugar Free Muffins

I made two versions of these gluten-free banana muffins before perfecting the recipe. The first version was really good, but I felt it needed more banana. The key to making the best banana bread or banana muffins is making sure your bananas are really ripe — the browner, the better!

As bananas ripen, the sugars begin to caramelize, which results in a sweeter, more flavorful muffin or bread.

These Gluten-Free Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins are SO delicious! Plus, they contain NO refined sugars! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com ll Gluten-Free Muffins, Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Muffins, Banana Chocolate Chip, Refined Sugar Free Muffins

I know you guys are going to LOVE these Gluten-Free Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins. If you make them, definitely let me know in the comments below!

 

Gluten-Free Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • 3 large extra-ripe bananas
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup coconut sugar
  • 2 cups Bob's Red Mill 1 for 1 Gluten-Free Flour
  • 1.5 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup dark chocolate chips (low sugar if available)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin pan with muffin liners and spray the insides of each liner lightly with cooking spray to prevent as much sticking as possible.
  2. In a large bowl, mash the bananas. Whisk in the eggs, canola oil and vanilla. Stir in the coconut sugar and mix well.
  3. In a separate large bowl, combine the gluten-free flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix to combine. Slowly pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and stir until there are no dry lumps. Stir in the dark chocolate chips and mix.
  4. Pour the batter into the lined muffin cups, only filling each cup about ¾ of the way. Bake for 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool for 2 minutes. Then remove each muffin from the tray and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
 

Disclaimer: I was provided product for this post from Bob’s Red Mill, but the recipe and all opinions are my own. 

 

 

These Gluten-Free Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins are SO delicious! Plus, they contain NO refined sugars! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com ll Gluten-Free Muffins, Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Muffins, Banana Chocolate Chip, Refined Sugar Free Muffins

Bread and Muffins Cookies Tips and Tricks

6 Tips for Perfect Whole Grain Baking

I try to bake with whole grain flours as much as possible. We all know that whole grains are much healthier than simple white flour, but do you know why? It’s because whole wheat flour has almost four times more fiber than all-purpose flour and provides more potassium, magnesium and zinc. However, if you’ve baked with whole wheat flour before, you know that it can be tricky and it is not always as simple as substituting whole wheat flour for white in every recipe.

Over the last eight years or so, I have slowly swapped out all the white flour in my kitchen for whole grain flours and I’ve learned a lot along the way. Today I want to share with you some my best whole grain baking tips to help you transition to healthier, heartier baking.

 

Simple Tips for Whole Grain Baking

 

1. Start Gradually

If you’re new to baking with whole grains, don’t expect to be able to substitute all whole wheat flour for all-purpose and like the end result. Start by gradually substituting 1/3 of the flour in the recipe for whole wheat. Your family won’t taste the difference and you’ll boost the nutritional content of whatever you’re making. With time you’ll be able to swap out all the white flour for whole grains and you won’t want to go back!

Whole Grain Baking Tips That Will Take Your Baking to the Next Level

 

2. It’s not always one to one.

If you are trying to substitute whole wheat flour in a recipe that calls for all-purpose, a good rule of thumb is to use only 3/4 cup whole wheat for 1 cup all-purpose. This is because whole wheat flours are denser and true baking is a science based on weights.

Whole Grain Baking Tips That Will Take Your Baking to the Next Level

 

3. Sometimes you need more liquid.

When baking cupcakes, muffins and cakes with whole wheat flour, you will likely need more liquid. Try adding an additional tablespoon or two more of wet ingredients (oil, butter, applesauce, etc.) to your batter.

Whole Grain Baking Tips That Will Take Your Baking to the Next Level

 

4. Whole Wheat flours expire more quickly than all-purpose.

Check your package’s expiration date and try to use the flour within three months of opening. I’m not messing around with this one. The smell and taste of rancid flour is awful. Trust me.

Whole Grain Baking Tips That Will Take Your Baking to the Next Level

 

5. Find the right flour.

There are so many brands and varieties of whole grain flours out there. I find that while regular whole wheat may work well for one recipe, it can yield dry, bland results in another. There are so many varieties of flour: whole wheat, white whole wheat, whole wheat pastry flour, oat flour, and so on. It can get confusing! My favorite is whole-wheat pastry flour. It’s lower in protein and milled from a softer wheat—yielding more tender results than regular whole-wheat. I also love white whole wheat flour because the flavor is milder, making it most similar to white flour. BUT, it has the same nutritional value as regular whole wheat flour. Win, win!

My go-to brands are King Arthur Flour and Bob’s Red Mill and I truly believe that higher quality flour yields a better baked good.

Whole Grain Baking Tips That Will Take Your Baking to the Next Level

6. Follow a recipe.

If you’re new to baking with whole wheat flour, follow a recipe! Chances are the end product will be much better than if you just played around on your own the first time. Check out some great examples below!

Whole Grain Baking Tips That Will Take Your Baking to the Next Level

I asked some of my blogger buddies to share their favorite whole grain recipes with you guys. Some of these use a mix of different flours and others are 100% whole wheat.

Blueberry Banana Marscapone Coffee Cake from Jenna Braddock

Vegan Jacoma Almond Fudge Cookies from Chelsea’s Healthy Kitchen

No Bake Banana Nut Protein Bars from Healthy Helper Blog

Mini Snickerdoodle Biscotti from Barr and Table

 

More from Little Chef Big Appetite:

Whole Wheat Apple Honey Muffins

Whole Wheat Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies

Whole Wheat Bagels

 

What about you? Do you have any other whole grain baking tips? Share them in the comments below! 

 

Bread and Muffins Breakfast

Whole Wheat Apple Honey Muffins

Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, is on the horizon, so I thought it would be a good idea to bake something festive this weekend. It is customary to eat apples and honey together on Rosh Hashanah because it represents a “sweet new year.” I was definitely in the mood for something sweet yesterday morning, so I decided to bake these apple honey muffins in honor of the holiday.

Whole Wheat Apple Honey Muffins Recipe

Sadly, I am unable to celebrate the New Year with my family this year, but I will be thinking of them as I dig into these yummy muffins every day this week.  I will seriously miss my mom’s traditional brisket and matzoh ball soup, as well as my brother’s rave-worthy kugel (Dave freeze me a piece of that, would’ya!?)

Whole Wheat Apple Honey Muffins Recipe

These muffins are made with whole wheat flour and are packed with chunks of sweet apples. I added a light cinnamon streusel topping that gives every bite an addictive crunch. Although it’s not required, I highly recommend this extra step.

Whole Wheat Apple Honey Muffins Recipe

I know I’ll be making these muffins regularly throughout the fall. They’re perfect for a weekend brunch and your guests will be shocked that they are secretly healthy! You can also freeze any leftovers you have. Just make sure to wrap them tightly in tin foil and then place them in an air-tight freezer bag.

Whole Wheat Apple Honey Muffins Recipe

Happy New Year to those of you celebrating, but very importantly, happy EATING to all of you!

 

Whole Wheat Apple Honey Muffins
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 12
Ingredients
Muffins
  • 1 large apple, peeled and diced into ¼ inch cubes
  • ½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • ½ Tablespoon +1/4 cup honey (divided)
  • ⅛ teaspoon + ½ teaspoon cinnamon (divided)
  • 1.5 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 egg whites (or 1 whole egg)
  • 4 Tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Streusel Topping
  • 1 Tablespoon white whole wheat or regular whole wheat flour
  • ¼ cup brown sugar, unpacked
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter, cold and chopped into 4 pieces
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a standard 12 cup muffin tray with cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl combine the diced apple with the lemon juice, ½ Tablespoon honey and ⅛ teaspoon cinnamon. Set aside.
  3. In another medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, nutmeg, salt, and ½ teaspoon cinnamon. Set aside. In a large bowl whisk together the additional ¼ cup honey, egg whites, oil, applesauce and vanilla extract. Slowly mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until combined. Stir in the diced apples. Be careful not to overmix.
  4. In a small bowl combine the streusel ingredients. Use your fingers to pinch the butter pieces and form the crumbly topping.
  5. Divide the batter among the 12 muffin cups. Sprinkle each muffin with the streusel topping. Place the muffin tray on the center rack of the oven and bake for 15-17 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a muffin comes out clean. Allow the muffins to cool for at least 20 minutes and then remove them from the tray and place on a wire rack to continue to cool. Store the muffins in an air-tight container for up to 5 days.
 

Healthy Whole Wheat Apple Honey Muffins. Perfect for the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Bread and Muffins Breakfast

Healthy Whole Wheat Zucchini Bread

There is something about the beginning of fall that makes me dream about warm freshly baked breads. Well, to be honest, I’ve been fantasizing about zucchini bread for a few weeks now, but it has been too hot to even think about turning on my oven.

Healthy Whole Wheat Zucchini Bread Recipe

On Monday morning I saw I had three lonely zucchinis in the fridge just begging me to use them, so I finally sucked it up, turned on my oven, and whipped up some damned delicious zucchini bread.

Healthy Whole Wheat Zucchini Bread Recipe

I won’t lie. This zucchini bread had me workin’ up a sweat! After hand-grating the zucchini (which you do not have to do – I was just too lazy to take out clean the food processor) and stirring all of the ingredients, I was TIRED. It didn’t help that the thermometer in my kitchen registered 93 degrees. Oy!

Healthy Whole Wheat Zucchini Bread Recipe

But was it worth it? HECK YES.

Healthy Whole Wheat Zucchini Bread Recipe

My goal was a healthier zucchini bread that wasn’t loaded with sugar and oil, but it still had to taste great. Nothing I could find online fit the bill, so this recipe is completely my own. I subbed some oil for unsweetened applesauce to lower the fat. I reduced the sugar and added a bit of greek yogurt to help the bread stay moist (many whole wheat bread recipes turn out too dry if you don’t add enough wet ingredients).

Healthy Whole Wheat Zucchini Bread Recipe

I am always tempted to dig right into freshly baked breads the moment they come out of the oven, but you are supposed to let them cool for awhile. This bread smelled soooooo good and since I have about zero self-control, I had to force myself to leave the house while this was cooling for about an hour. Kinda pathetic, huh?

Healthy Whole Wheat Zucchini Bread Recipe

Well friends, it was worth the wait. In my incredibly biased opinion, this whole wheat zucchini bread is A++. Next time I think I am going to make this recipe into muffins as a quick grab-and-go snack! They would also make a great fall breakfast or lunchbox snack for your kids 🙂

 

Whole Wheat Zucchini Bread
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 10-12
Ingredients
  • 2 medium zucchini, ends trimmed
  • 1.5 cups white whole wheat flour (or whole wheat pastry flour)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • ¾ cup brown sugar, unpacked
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup plain yogurt (I used non-fat Greek)
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup golden raisins (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8x5 bread pan with vegetable oil spray.
  2. Shred the zucchini on a large box grater. Place the shredded zucchini in a kitchen towel or a few layers of paper towels. Squeeze all of the excess water out of the zucchini. This step is essential or else the bread will be too moist to cook. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Set aside. In a medium bowl combine the eggs, brown sugar, apple sauce, oil, yogurt, lemon juice and vanilla. Stir well. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry along with the shredded zucchini and raisins. Be careful not to over-mix.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared bread pan. Bake for 55-65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Remove pan from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Then use a butter knife to remove the bread from the pan and allow it to continue cooling on the wire rack.
 

Bread and Muffins Breakfast

Homemade Whole Wheat Bagels

There are some foods I believe are worth buying rather than making yourself. If you asked me two years ago, I would have said bagels were one of them.

Homemade Whole Wheat Bagels Recipe l www.littlechefbigappetite.com

However, over the past year, I’ve been trying to master the art of whole-grain bread baking. Baking yeast breads (not quick-cooking) is very time consuming, so I don’t do it all that often, but when I make the time for it, the results are always marvelous.

Homemade Whole Wheat Bagels Recipe l www.littlechefbigappetite.com

These bagels did not take nearly as long as some breads I’ve made in the past. They really only require one hour of “hands-on” time. You can handle that, can’t you?

Homemade Whole Wheat Bagels Recipe l www.littlechefbigappetite.com

I first attempted making bagels one time about a year ago, but this recipe turned out much, much better. I think having completed the process once before (errr…learning from my mistakes) really helped. Additionally, this time around I used White Whole Wheat flour, which makes for a lighter and less dense bagel than regular Whole Wheat flour.

Homemade Whole Wheat Bagels Recipe

If you make the dough the night before, like I did, all you have to do it pull it out of the fridge the next morning and allow it to come to room temperature (about 30 minutes). Before you know it, you will have freshly baked bagels within the hour!

Homemade Whole Wheat Bagels Recipe

You can top your bagels with whatever you like. I opted for sesame seeds and rolled oats. Next time I am going to take a stab at Cinnamon Raisin bagels – my childhood favorite.

Homemade Whole Wheat Bagels Recipe

After baking, these bagels are crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. They are the perfect size for my liking (slightly smaller than the typical bakery bagel). We ate these as soon as I pulled them out of the oven alongside scrambled eggs. It was the perfect protein and whole-grain packed breakfast to keep us going until lunch.

Homemade Whole Wheat Bagels Recipe

If you are a beginner bread-maker, I urge you to try this recipe. It is simple, involves very little kneading, and doesn’t require the patience of a saint.

Go, get to it! The carbs are screaming your name!

Homemade Whole Wheat Bagels Recipe

 

Homemade Whole Wheat Bagels Recipe
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 8
Ingredients
Bagels
  • 1 package active dry yeast (about 1 TBSP)
  • 1⅓ cups (11 oz) warm water (not hot), divided
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 3.5 cups White Whole Wheat Flour (16 oz)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
Toppings (Optional)
  • 1 whole egg + 1 teaspoon water, beaten
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Rolled Oats
  • Poppy Seeds
  • Minced Garlic
  • Asiago Cheese
  • Sunflower Seeds
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl combine the yeast with ¼ cup of the warm water and 1 teaspoon of the sugar. Stir to combine. Allow to sit for 10 minutes until the yeast mixture becomes foamy (if it does not foam then something is wrong with your yeast).
  2. In a large bowl combine the white whole wheat flour, yeast mixture, remaining water, remaining sugar, and salt. Knead for 10 minutes by hand or 5 minutes in a stand mixer. If the dough seems too dry, add an additional Tablespoon of water. Place the dough in a large clean and lightly greased mixing bowl. Cover with a kitchen towel and allow to rise in a warm place for 2 hours*. The dough should approximately double in size.
  3. Place the dough on a clean counter space or large cutting board. Divide the dough into 8 equal sized pieced. Roll each piece gently into a ball. Using your index finger, poke a hole in the middle of each ball. Gently pick up the dough and swirl it around your index finger a few times to make the hole a bit larger. Repeat with all of the balls of dough. Allow to rest for 15 minutes.
  4. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Grease the parchment paper (to prevent any possible sticking). While the dough is resting, bring a large pot of water to a low boil. Add 1 Tablespoon of sugar to the water. Drop half of the bagels into the pot. If they sink, allow them to float to the top (you may need to use a spoon to push them to the top). Once floating, boil the bagels for 1 minute and then flip and boil for an additional minute on the other side. Use a slotted spoon to remove the bagels. Place them on the baking sheet. Repeat until all bagels have been boiled.
  5. If you are using toppings for your bagels, liberally coat the tops of each bagel with the egg wash. Sprinkle the toppings onto the bagels. Bake for 15 minutes, then rotate the pan 180 degrees and bake for an additional 10 minutes. The bagels should be golden brown on top. Allow to bake a few additional minutes longer for crispier bagels.
Notes
*Alternatively, you can put the dough in the fridge overnight for up to 12 hours and allow it to rise in the fridge. If you choose this option, make sure to allow the dough to come to room temperature before baking in the morning. Be cautious because the longer it sits, it will become sour (think sourdough).
 

These Homemade Whole Wheat Bagels are easier to make than you'd expect and only take one hour! Try them for Sunday brunch this weekend! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Bread and Muffins Breakfast

Whole Wheat Blueberry Lemon Muffins

I buy a ton of frozen berries and veggies.

IMG_1767

I use the berries in breakfast smoothies and on top of greek yogurt as a yummy snack. The veggies go into soups and stews or are just served as a quick and easy side to a weeknight dinner. As of lately, I am obsessed with baby peas – did you know they are packed with protein?

The great thing about frozen fruit and vegetables that many people don’t know, is that they can actually be healthier than their fresh counterparts. Why? Because they are frozen at peak ripeness, so they are jam-packed with nutrients. Fruits and veggies found in the fresh-produce aisles in grocery stores are often picked before they are ripe, so they don’t often develop all of their vitamins and minerals.

Don’t me wrong – I love fresh produce, but lot’s of people knock the frozen kinds, when in reality they’re great!

I also love to bake with my frozen berries. In fact, I would argue that they give my baked goods even more flavor than fresh berries.

Whole Wheat Blueberry and Lemon Muffins Recipe

I spent way too many hours this weekend researching the perfect healthy blueberry muffin.

Whole Wheat Blueberry and Lemon Muffins Recipe

I love when lemon is paired with blueberry, so I knew some lemon zest would have to be added into the mix.

Whole Wheat Blueberry and Lemon Muffins Recipe

I also wanted a muffin that wasn’t overloaded with sugar, butter or oils.

Whole Wheat Blueberry and Lemon Muffins Recipe

I was determined to use all whole wheat flour (as opposed to a blend of white and wheat), knowing quite well that 100% whole wheat muffins can turn out pretty dense and unpleasant sometimes.

Whole Wheat Blueberry and Lemon Muffins Recipe

Well, my friends, I believe these muffins turned out pretty darn amazing. I had a slight mishap during the baking process – my oven decided to turn off on me in the middle. I was nervous they were ruined and I would have to toss the batch, but to my surprise they were still great!

Whole Wheat Blueberry and Lemon Muffins Recipe

Next time around I am going to add a cinnamon-sugary topping!

 

Whole Wheat Blueberry Lemon Muffins
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 10-12
Ingredients
  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (you can sub whole wheat flour here, but expect a denser muffin)
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 Tablespoon grated lemon zest (from about 2 lemons)
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 Tablespoons milk (I used skim)
  • 1.5 cups frozen blueberries
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease a standard 12 cup muffin tray or line with baking liners and grease the liners.
  2. In a large bowl combine the flour, brown sugar, baking soda and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together the applesauce, lemon zest, butter, egg, vanilla and milk. Gently fold in the blueberries. Try not to over mix the batter.
  3. Scoop the batter evenly into the muffin cups. Place the muffin tray on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove the muffins from the tray and allow them to cool on a wire rack.
 

Bread and Muffins

100% Whole Wheat Baguette

I’ve been really into whole grain bread making these days.

100% Whole Wheat Baguette Recipe

Whole Wheat Challah, Pizza Dough, now Baguettes!

100% Whole Wheat Challah

Yes, bread making is exactly what you think. It is labor-intensive. You have to be patient because it takes so damn long. And yeah, your arms will definitely hurt from kneading the dough FOR-EV-ER (think of it as a workout).

But, I gotta tell you something. Having that pretty loaf come out of your oven, all hot and basically SCREAMING at you to eat it, is incredibly rewarding and makes the slow process totally worth it.

100% Whole Wheat Baguette Recipe

This recipe comes from Peter Reinhart’s Whole Grain Breads. If you poke around the internet, you will quickly realize that Mr. Reinhart is the guru of this type of bread making. Baking with whole wheat flour can be difficult because the dough is tougher than white flour dough and it can be a little more finicky.

But have no fear! Mr. Reinhart’s book has detailed pictures and descriptions to help show you what your dough should look like every step of the way. I highly recommend it!

100% Whole Wheat Baguette Recipe

Now, there are some food bloggers out there that will tell you “No carbs! Let’s eat only vegetables. Raw! And be insanely healthy (and hungry!)” and others who insist, “Let’s totally eat jelly doughnuts for breakfast, pumpkin pie as a snack, and double chocolate brownie banana splits for dinner and be sooo happy with life”……

I am somewhere in the middle. No need for extreme views people. You only get to live once.

100% Whole Wheat Baguette Recipe

Just, please….try to have a little more self control than me and don’t eat half the baguette as soon as it comes out of the oven. That is, after you’ve already had dinner…

100% Whole Wheat Baguette Recipe

Oops.

If you have the patience (shocking, because I typically don’t…) and love of idea of a HOT, FRESH, CRUSTY-ON-THE-OUTSIDE-SOFT-AND-PERFECT-ON-THE-INSIDE baguette, I hope you take the time to make this. It goes well dipped in olive oil, paired with cheese, as sandwich bread, toasted, or simply on its own.

 

Whole Wheat Baguette Recipe

Notes: If you have a kitchen scale, I stress that you use it for this recipe. Also, plan a day ahead.

Ingredients

Soaker

1 3/4 cups (227 grams) whole wheat flour (I love King Arthur 100% Whole Wheat flour)

1/2 teaspoon (4 grams) salt

3/4 cup water

Mix all of the soaker ingredients in a bowl for 1 minute until the flour is hydrated and the ingredients form a ball of dough. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature for 12-24 hours. The Soaker is good for up to 3 days, so if you are going to use it past 24 hours later, put it in the fridge. Remove from the fridge 2 hours before you plan on mixing the final dough.

Biga

1 ¾ cups (227 grams) whole wheat flour

¼ teaspoon (1 gram) instant yeast

3/4 cup (170 grams) filtered or spring water, at room temperature

Mix all of the Biga ingredients in a bowl to form a ball dough. Wet your hands and knead the dough in the bowl for 2 minutes to be sure all of the ingredients are evenly distributed. The dough should feel very tacky at this point. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes and then knead it again with wet hands for another minute. By now the dough should become smoother, but still tacky.

Transfer the dough to a clean bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 8 hours (Just like the Soaker, this can last in the fridge for up to 3 days). Remove the Biga from the fridge 2 hours before you plan on mixing the final dough.

Final Dough

All of the Soaker

All of the Biga

3 ½ (28.5 grams) whole wheat flour

5/8 teaspoon (5 grams) salt

2 ¼ teaspoons (7 grams) instant yeast

3 ¼ teaspoons (20 grams) agave nectar or honey

1 ½ Tablespoons (20 grams) olive oil or melted unsalted butter

Additional whole wheat flour

Clean a work surface and spread a thin layer of flour over the surface. Using a rubber spatula or a metal pastry scraper, chop the Soaker and the Biga into 12 smaller pieces each.

Combine the Soaker and Biga pieces in a bowl with all of the other Final Dough ingredients (besides the extra flour) and knead intensely with wet hands for 2 minutes, until all of the ingredients are evenly distributed into the dough.  The dough should be soft and slightly sticky (if not, ad more flour or water as needed).

Add more flour to your work surface.  Knead the dough by hands for 4 minutes (you can add as much flour as you need to here) until the dough feels soft and tacky (but not sticky). For the dough into a ball and let it rest on the work surface for 5 minutes.

Clean a bowl and spread a thin layer of olive oil all over the inside of the bowl.  Knead the dough again for 1 minute and then shape the dough into a ball and place it inside the oiled bowl. Roll it all over so that it is coated in the oil.  Let the dough rise at room temperature for 1 hour. The dough should become 1 ½ times its original size.

Clean and flour your work surface again. Shape the dough into two baguettes, by rolling two even sized balls like a snake – be careful to not make the baguette too long and thin here. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the baguettes on the paper. Mist the tops with cooking spray. Let the baguettes rise at room temperature for an additional 45 minutes. They should become 1 ½ times their original size.

Place another empty baking sheet on the top rack of your oven. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.

When the dough is ready to bake, place it in the oven on the middle rack. Place a kitchen towel on the oven’s glass window to protect it from any backsplash and very carefully pour ½ cup to 1 cup of hot water into the preheated baking sheet on the top rack. (This pan is going to be the steam pan). Lower the temperature to 450 degrees and bake the baguettes for 20 minutes. Rotate the bread 180 degrees and bake for another 15 minutes, until the bread is rich brown and sounds hollow when knocked on it. If you need to put the bread back in the oven to have keep baking, place aluminum foil on top to prevent it from burning.

Transfer the baguettes to a cooling rack and cool for a least one hour until serving (if you can wait that long…)

 

Bread and Muffins

100% Whole Wheat Bread with Nuts and Seeds

I made this whole wheat bread. It was so good that I don’t want to buy sandwich bread anymore.

It may become a problem because after it came out of the oven I ate about four slices worth, until I was finally able to gain the will power to pull myself away. It wasn’t easy. I was back at it a few hours later.

I’m going to teach you how to make this bread.

100% Whole Wheat Bread with Nuts and Seeds l www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Yes, it does involve yeast.

Yes, you must wait for it to rise. Twice.

Oh, don’t you walk away from me. Get back here. You’re making this bread.  I’ll help.

You’re going to thank me in the end. It’s that good.

Ok here we go, people.

You need a few basic ingredients. Whole wheat flour, walnuts, sunflower seeds, flax seed (optional for a nuttier flavor), honey, olive oil, salt and yeast.

See, you have these things. Told ya you could do it.

(You have to chop the walnuts and sunflower seeds into small pieces. A food processor is best, but that’s not so common in most college kitchens. So, if you have to, you can use a rolling pin instead. Just place the sunflower seeds and walnuts between two pieces of wax or parchment paper and roll the pin over the top piece, pressing down firmly to ensure you are breaking the nuts and seeds).

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and then add some warm water.

You have that, too.

Here’s your dough. Cover it (plastic wrap or a dish towel) and let it rise. Two hours, please.

You can do a lot in two hours. Please don’t hang around and watch it rise.

100% Whole Wheat Bread with Nuts and Seeds

Form the risen dough into a log. You may want to flour your hands. Stickity-stick-sticky.

100% Whole Wheat Bread with Nuts and Seeds

Place it in a lightly greased bread pan and…

100% Whole Wheat Bread with Nuts and Seeds

put a shower cap over it! Yup, a shower cap. Weird, huh?

It allows the dough to rise, covered, in the pan, but also prevents sticking.  If you don’t have a shower cap, a lightly greased piece of plastic wrap placed loosely over the dough will work fine.

Let it rise again. Two hours, people. You know the drill.

100% Whole Wheat Bread with Nuts and Seeds

After two hours, the dough should have crowned about 1” to 2” over the top of the pan.

Time to place this baby into the oven. 350 degrees. No higher.  No lower.

100% Whole Wheat Bread with Nuts and Seeds

and BAM! In 40 minutes you have yourself a beautiful homemade, healthy baked bread. Perfect for sandwiches, toast, or just snacking right out of the pan.

100% Whole Wheat Bread with Nuts and Seeds

Look at that beauty. I know you want to make this now. I see you looking for that bread pan.

Let me know how it goes. That is, if you have the self control to walk away from loaf…

100% Whole Wheat Bread with Nuts and Seeds

 

100% Whole Wheat Bread with Nuts and Seeds
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 1 loaf
Ingredients
  • 4 cups (16 ounces) Whole Wheat Flour
  • ¼ cup (1.25 ounces) sunflower seeds, chopped
  • ¼ cup (1 ounce) walnuts, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons flaxseed (less or none at all if you prefer a less nutty flavor)
  • 3 Tablespoons (1.25 ounces) olive oil
  • 5 Tablespoons (3.75 ounces) honey (molasses or maple syrup are fine substitutes)
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 2½ teaspoons instant (rapid rise) yeast
  • 1⅓ cups lukewarm water
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl combine all ingredients. Mix until you have a fairly shaggy dough. Let it rest for 20 minutes, covered. Then, knead the dough until it is fairly smooth. Allow the dough to rise, covered, for two hours, until it is nearly doubled in bulk.
  2. Gently deflate the dough (I just pressed down on it with my fingertips about ten times). Shape it into a log and place it into a lightly greased 8½” x 4½” bread pan. Cover the pan with a clear shower cap (or lightly greased plastic wrap) and let it rise for another 2 hours, until the dough has crowned 1” to 2” over the rim of the bread pan.
  3. Bake the bread in a preheated 350 degree oven for 40 minutes. (Mine was done at about 35 minutes, so make sure not to over bake). Place a piece of aluminum foil over the top of the pan for the final 20 minutes of baking to make sure the top crust doesn’t burn.
Notes
*Recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour