Buckwheat – It’s What’s for Breakfast

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Buckwheat maple pancakes stacked ten high. Hey, where’s the tenth one?

It’s new year’s eve in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Why wait for the new year to start adding some more healthful items to our menus? Today’s breakfast featured buckwheat, which boasts 12 grams of fiber in it’s nutritional makeup. Not only were they more healthful than our usual favorite, scratch pancakes for two, but they were quite tasty with their infusion of maple syrup. We wish all of our readers a happy and healthy 2016!

Buckwheat Maple Pancakes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 cup soy milk

Directions

  1. Whisk together flours, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together egg, maple syrup and soy milk.
  3. Whisk in egg mixture to flour mixture until smooth. Consistency should be thick and not runny.
  4. Heat oiled pan over medium heat.
  5. Use 1/4 cup measure to scoop out batter and drop onto hot pan. Once you see bubbles forming on the top and the edges look a bit dry, it’s time to flip your pancakes. Cook for another 2 minutes.
  6. Keep pancakes warm in a low temperature oven while making the rest of the batch.
  7. Enjoy while hot with toasted nuts, fresh fruit, and real maple syrup.

Scratch Pancakes for Two

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Fluffy homemade pancakes served with perfectly ripe bananas, toasted almonds, pure maple syrup and rich, whipped cream. Serves two. Fantastique!

I don’t know how many times we’ve heard that scratch pancakes won’t come out as good as pancakes from a mix. In fact, we’d heard it so many times that for years we fell into blindly relying on Krusteaz pancake mix. Good stuff, but not as good as this…

Everything from scratch tastes better. So we thought it was time to put the pancake myth to the test. Armed with seven pantry staples – things you probably already have in your kitchen, on your camper or in your galley – I went to work. The verdict? Everything from scratch tastes better!

Scratch Pancakes for Two

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together vanilla, milk, egg, and butter.
  3. In the large bowl, make a well in the center of the flour.
  4. Pour milk mixture into the well.
  5. Whisk milk mixture into flour mixture until smooth, do not overmix.
  6. Heat a lightly oiled medium frying pan over medium-high heat.
  7. Scoop about 1/4 cup of mixture onto frying pan. Brown both sides of pancakes.
  8. Serve hot pancakes with toasted nuts, syrup, fruit and whipped cream.

Twisted Cinnamon Loaf Overnight French Toast

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Swirling with, pecans, cinnamon, butter and maple syrup, this decadent creation puffs up like a soufflé in the oven. You and your guests will be inspired to linger over a leisurely morning table with a second mimosa.

We recently baked a loaf of twisted cinnamon bread, which is never better than on the morning it comes out of the oven. Since our Arctic kitchen is quite arid, items left out tend to dry out quickly, which gives us the opportunity to get creative with leftovers.

Overnight French toast is not a new recipe for us. But starting with a base of this wonderful twisted cinnamon bread was new. Soaking the bread overnight in an egg and cream mixture causes the bread to puff up magically during baking. Drizzled with maple syrup and served with a strip of thick bacon this cinnamon loaf French toast was a great way to start a weekend!

Twisted Cinnamon Bread Overnight French Toast

Ingredients

  • 8 inch-thick slices twisted cinnamon bread
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 cup half and half or heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup whole milk or soy milk
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

Ingredients for pecan topping:

  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 4 tbsp packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

Directions

  1. Butter an 8 x 8 inch glass baking dish.
  2. Lay slices of bread on bottom of glass baking dish.
  3. Thoroughly mix together eggs, cream, milk, sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon.
  4. Pour egg mixture over bread. Cover dish and place in refrigerator overnight.
  5. Bring bread mixture out of refrigerator and set on counter to come toward room temperature while preheating oven to 350 degrees F.
  6. Prepare pecan topping by mixing butter, pecans, and brown sugar.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes then top with pecan mixture.
  8. Continue baking another 20 minutes, until golden and puffed.
  9. Serve with maple syrup.

Rustic Pear Gallette with Whole Wheat Blend Crust

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The sweet secret to this gallette is a generous layer of homemade cloudberry jam beneath the pears No cloudberries? Try raspberry, blackberry or apricot jam.

A gallette is a beautiful dessert that can whipped up on short notice – a perfect answer to a seasonal abundance of fresh fruit. During the summer, we made a delicious strawberry-port gallette with sliced almonds in the galley of our sailboat. Since it is wintertime, we decided to make the gallette a bit more full-bodied by adding wheat flour and some cornmeal to the crust. We happened to have pears on hand, but many other fruits readily lend themselves to this recipe. Enjoy a slice of pear gallette with a side salad, a favorite cheese and a freshly brewed cup of tea for a satisfying lunch in any season.

Rustic Pear Gallette

Ingredients

  • 1  cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup coarse cornmeal
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup cold butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk (we made this from powdered)
  • 2 tablespoons cloudberry jam, or jam of your choice
  • 2 D’Anjou pears, thinly sliced
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar mixed with a pinch of ground cinnamon

Directions

  1. Mix together flours, sugar, cornmeal and salt in a medium bowl.
  2. Using a pastry blender, mix in cold butter. Continue mixing until cold butter is the size of peas.
  3. Slowly mix in buttermilk. Stir with rubber spatula until dough forms into a ball.
  4. Wrap dough in plastic and chill for about 30-45 minutes in refrigerator.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  6. Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit the size of a baking sheet.
  7. Place chilled dough on center of parchment paper.
  8. Roll dough to about a 15-inch circle. This is a rustic dessert, so no need to be a perfectionist here.
  9. Brush the entire rolled dough with jam.
  10. Arrange pear slices atop dough, leaving a 2-inch border.
  11. Fold border over pears, pressing down any folds of dough.
  12. Brush dough with egg.
  13. Sprinkle dough and pears with sugar and cinnamon mixture.
  14. Bake gallette 40 – 45 minutes, until dough is golden brown and pears are soft.
  15. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Honey Glazed Polar Bear Claws – Grrrr, Grrrr

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A tempting polar bear claw from our Arctic bakery. No bears were harmed in the making of this pastry!

Topping my baking to-do list this winter were bear claws. There is something about the sweet almond filling that makes these a mainstay of bakery shops – or perhaps it’s their cool name. Jack and I usually pass on these confections because most bakeries prepare them with an overload of sweetness. In researching recipes, I found a plethora of styles, from giant grizzly-sized pastries smothered in sliced nuts to tiny paws with a perfectly manicured almond on the end of each claw, and everything in between.

The recipe I settled on took a bit of time and effort. I wanted a medium-sized confection that emphasized not sweetness but almond flavor.The resulting pastry was superb – a little lighter than standard bakeshop fare and with a nicely balanced taste of almond.

Polar Bear Claws

Ingredients

Dough:

  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, cold
  • 1/4 cup warm water (105 – 115 degrees F)
  • 2 1/4 tsp yeast
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • pinch salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/8 cup sugar
  1. Place flour and butter in a medium bowl. Mix together using a pastry blender until well blended and butter pieces are no larger than kidney beans.
  2. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand 5 minutes.
  3. Stir cream, salt, egg, and sugar into yeast mixture.
  4. Pour flour mixture into cream mixture. Stir with a rubber spatula until ingredients are just moistened.
  5. Place dough in plastic wrap and chill overnight in the refrigerator.
  6. Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface. Dust dough with flour. Roll out dough to 14 x 18 inch rectangle. Fold into thirds, making three layers. Roll out again. Fold into thirds once more and place back into refrigerator while you make the filling.

Filling:

  • 1 egg white
  • 1/2 cup almond paste
  • 1/4 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  1. Add all filling ingredients to bowl of a stand mixer. Mix on medium speed until all ingredients are well mixed and filling is smooth.

Assembling the pastries:

  1. On a lightly floured surface, roll the chilled dough to a 12 x 16 inch rectangle.
  2. Cut the dough in half, length-wise.
  3. Spread half of the filling down the middle of one piece of dough. Repeat with other piece of dough.
  4. Roll each dough rectangle jelly-roll style from the long side.
  5. Tuck seam under roll.
  6. Cut each long roll into 5 pieces.
  7. Cut three slits into each piece to make the toes.
  8. Place each pastry on a parchment-lined baking sheet, curving them slightly (to spread the toes).
  9. Allow pastries to rise in a warm place for about 20 minutes. They should puff up.
  10. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  11. Brush each pastry with beaten egg.
  12. Generously sprinkle pastries with sliced almonds.
  13. Bake 12 minutes. Pastries should be lightly browned.
  14. Let cool slightly on wire rack. Drizzle with honey glaze.

Glaze:

  • 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp milk
  1. Stir together ingredients until smooth. Add more confectioners’ sugar if too thin, or add more milk if too thick.  Drizzle over warm pastries.

Pepperonata Breakfast Pizza: Healthy, Tasty, Easy

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Individual-sized breakfast pizzas are a fun way to start the day. These can be whipped up in a sailboat galley, a mountain cabin, a lakeside camp, or virtually anywhere else. Who says pizza isn’t healthful?

The essence of pepperonata is stewed tomatoes, bell peppers and olive oil. In our Arctic kitchen and on our sailboat, the tomatoes are no problem. Although we occasionally get fresh tomatoes, we more often rely on diced canned tomatoes which, when cooked, are virtually indistinguishable from fresh. Finding good bell peppers at a reasonable price has been another matter. That’s where Penzeys Spices dried red bell pepper flakes shine. Cut into 3/8″ (1 cm) pieces, when hydrated these peppers come alive with aroma and flavor.  A four-ounce bag goes a long way, making them perfect for kitchens where getting to the market isn’t always feasible.

Small pizza crusts are generally available in supermarkets, but we make our own. These days, our favorite dough is a 50/50 blend of whole wheat and all-purpose flour. Crusts made from this balance have an excellent consistency and deliver a hearty flavor. We always keep on hand a few pizza crusts in both 5″ and 12″ size. To do this, we pre-bake our crusts for 10 minutes at 400 °F and then seal them in plastic bags and freeze them. When we’re ready to use the crusts, we pull what we need from the freezer, let them thaw while we’re preparing the topping, top them, and then bake them for the same 10 minutes at 400 °F. Pizza stones make a big difference; we even have a pair of small ones for our sailing vessel, Bandon that fit nicely in the small galley oven or on the boat’s propane grill. While we don’t have refrigeration or a freezer onboard, we’ve found shelf-stable pizza crusts that keep for months.

Pepperonata can be modified to accompany many dishes. Anchovies, olives, capers, herbs, spicy peppers and other vegetables can easily find their way into this versatile, chunky sauce. It’s an excellent topping for white fish and poultry, and is a perfect topping for toasted bread, too.

And the fried egg? We use a Swiss Diamond non-stick pan, low heat, and good olive oil. We like our sunny-side up eggs lightly salted with a grind or two of cracked pepper and a pinch of Italian seasonings, cooked in a covered pan till the whites are just firm.

Pepperonata Breakfast Pizza

Ingredients: (For 2 servings)

  • two, 5″ pizza crusts
  • 16 oz can of diced tomatoes, most of liquid drained (or 1 1/2  cups fresh tomatoes, diced, seeds and pulp removed)
  • 2 tablespoons Penzeys dried pepper flakes (or 1/2 cup diced red, orange or yellow bell pepper)
  • 1/4 cup sliced kalamata olives
  • olive oil
  • sea salt
  • freshly cracked pepper
  • Italian seasonings such as oregano, thyme, basil, etc. to taste
  • Two eggs, fried any style
  • finish with freshly grated parmesan and capers

Directions:

  1. Bake pizza crusts according to directions.
  2.  Hydrate dried bell peppers (if using dried).
  3. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add tomatoes and a pinch of salt. Cook until tomatoes are tender and stew is thick. (About 10 minutes for canned. About 20 minutes for fresh.)
  4. Add bell peppers. Cook until tender.
  5. Meanwhile, prepare fried egg.
  6. When tomato mixture is cooked to desired consistency, add olives, seasonings and additional salt, if desired. Stir to mix thoroughly.
  7. Spoon mixture onto warm pizza crusts. Add capers. Add egg. Top with grated parmesan. This pizza is easiest to eat with a sharp knife and fork.