Pumpkin Gingerbread with Orange Glaze


  • 3/4 cup (12 tablespoons) butter or vegetable shortening
  • 1 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 3/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup mini diced ginger
  • 1/2 cup diced pecans or 1/2 cup chocolate chips, optional
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 2 cups (or one 15-ounce can) pumpkin purée


  • 1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon orange oil OR 1 tablespoon orange zest (grated orange rind)
  • 2 tablespoons water or milk


  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease two 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ loaf pans for loaves; if you’re making muffins, grease 24 muffin cups, or line them with muffin papers.
  2. In a large bowl mix together the butter (or shortening) and brown sugar until well blended.
  3. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, spices, ginger, and nuts or chips, if you’re using them. Mix well — the batter will look crumbly.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl after each addition.
  5. Stir in the molasses and pumpkin, combining well.
  6. Scoop the batter into the greased loaf pans or the muffin cups, filling the cups about 2/3 full.
  7. Bake the muffins for 18 to 20 minutes, or until they’re lightly browned on the edges and the middle springs back when touched. Bake the loaves for 50 to 55 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
  8. Remove the bread from the oven and let it cool for 15 minutes before taking it out of the pan(s). Let it cool a bit, then glaze if desired.
  9. To make the glaze: Whisk together all the ingredients, adding extra liquid until the glaze is smooth and the consistency of molasses.
  10. For a shiny finish, brush the glaze over the bread or muffins while they’re still warm; for a thick white finish, cool the bread completely before glazing.
  11. Store well wrapped on the counter for 3 to 4 days; or freeze for up to 3 months.

Simple, Overnight, No Knead Bread

Rosemary-Lemon No Knead Bread

This simple, delicious bread is a breeze to make, as long as you remember to start it the day before you’d like to eat it.  The rosemary and lemon add a wonderful flavor, but could be left out for a more versatile recipe.


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast
  • 1 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 tsp. chopped lemon zest
  • 13 ounces water
  • Cornmeal as needed


In a large bowl, combine the flour, yeast, salt, rosemary and zest. Add 13 ounces water and stir until blended; the dough will be messy and very sticky. Cover the bowl and let the dough rest at room temperature until the surface is dotted with bubbles, 12 to 18 hours.

Place the dough on a lightly floured surface. Sprinkle the dough with a flour and fold the dough over onto itself once or twice. Cover loosely and let rest for 15 minutes.

Using just enough flour to keep the dough from sticking to the work surface and your fingers, gently and quickly shape the dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel, preferably a flour sack towel (not terry cloth), with cornmeal. Put the dough, seam side down, on the towel and dust with more flour or cornmeal. Cover with another cotton towel and let rise until the dough is more than double in size and does not readily spring back when poked with a finger, about 2 hours.

At least 30 minutes before the dough is ready, put a 3 quart cast iron dutch oven in the oven and preheat to 450°F.

Carefully remove the pot from the oven. Slide your hand under the towel and turn the dough over, seam side up, into the pot; it may look like a mess, but that is OK. Shake the pan once or twice if the dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with the lid and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and continue baking until the loaf is browned, 15 to 30 minutes more.

Transfer the pot to a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes. Turn the pot on its side and gently turn the bread; it will release easily. Makes one 1 1/2-lb. loaf.

Adapted from Williams Sonoma.

Brioche | Yeast Bread

Poor Man’s Brioche
Adapted from The Bread Baker’s Apprentice
For the sponge
1/2 cup bread flour
1 tablespoon instant yeast
1/2 cup whole milk, lukewarm
For the dough
2 large eggs
3 1/2 cups bread flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
To make the sponge, in the stand mixer bowl, add the 1/2 cup flour, yeast, and lukewarm milk and stir with spoon until combined. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise for about an hour until it looks frothy.
To make the dough, add the four eggs to the sponge and whisk until everything is combined. In a separate medium bowl, stir or whisk together the 3 1/4 cups of flour, sugar and salt. Mix to combine.  Let rest for 5 minutes.
Using the dough hook, add the butter two tablespoons at a time, wait until the butter is completely mixed in before you add the next two tablespoons. Increase the speed to medium low and knead the dough for about 6 to 8 minutes. Add a little more flour if the dough seems too sticky: It should easily clear the sides of the bowl in the mixer. The dough should be very smooth and warm, and light when it’s done.
Lightly oil a bowl, and transfer the dough to it. Cover with plastic wrap, and let it rise for about an hour and a half to two hours, or until it’s doubled in size.
When it’s ready, shape it into either small rolls or into a rectangle for a loaf. Let the dough rise again for another hour, or until it fills the pan.
Preheat the oven to 400F, and bake the bread for about 35 to 40 minutes.


Remove the bread from the mold or pan as soon as it comes out of the oven and let it cool on a rack.


Pumpkin-Cinnamon Streusel Buns

These cinnamon buns are surprisingly simple to prepare.  I like to double the filling and the glaze, but it’s still yummy as directed. 

Pumpkin-Cinnamon Streusel Buns
Adapted from The Best of Cooking Light


  • 1 package dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 1/4 cup warm water (100° to 110°)
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1/2 cup Pumpkin Puree
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Cooking spray
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces


  • 3/4 cup sifted powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon hot water
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

To prepare the buns, dissolve yeast in warm water in a large bowl; let stand for 5 minutes. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Add 2 cups flour, pumpkin, and next 5 ingredients (pumpkin through nutmeg); beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes); add enough of the remaining 3/4 cup flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands (dough will feel tacky).

Place the dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place , free from drafts, for 45 minutes or until doubled in size. (Press two fingers into the dough. If an indentation remains, the dough has risen enough.)
Combine 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, brown sugar, 2 tablespoons flour, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal.
Punch dough down; cover and let rest for 5 minutes. Roll the dough into a 12 x 10-inch rectangle on a floured surface. Sprinkle with brown sugar mixture. Roll up the rectangle tightly, starting with a long edge, pressing firmly to eliminate air pockets; pinch seam and ends to seal. Cut roll into 12 (1-inch) slices. Place slices in a 9-inch square baking pan coated with cooking spray. Cover and let rise 25 minutes or until doubled in size.
Bake the rolls at in preheated oven at 375° for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for 15 minutes in pan on a wire rack.
To prepare the glaze, combine the powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon water, and vanilla extract in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Drizzle glaze over buns. Serve warm.

    Cranberry-Orange Scones

    Some days scones are just necessary.

    Cranberry-Orange Scones
    adapted from The Williams Sonoma Baking Book


    • 3 cups (15oz) all purpose flour
    • 3 tbsp sugar
    • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp baking soda
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • grated zest of 1 orange, or 1 tsp orange oil
    • 10 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
    • 1 cup (8 fl oz) cold buttermilk
    • 1 cup (6 oz) frozen or dried cranberries
    • 3/4 cup (3 oz) powdered sugar, sifted
    • 1 tbsp fresh orange juice, or as needed

    Preheat oven to 425.

    In a bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and orange zest.  Add the butter to the flour mixture.  Using a pastry blender cut the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
    Add the buttermilk to the flour mixture all at once and stir until a sticky dough forms.  Stir in the cranberries until evenly distributed.
    Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface.  With floured hands, gently knead the dough 8-10 strokes, it will be very soft.  Press the dough into a thick circle.  Cut into 8 pieces.
    Place the wedges, 2 inches apart onto a baking sheet or pizza stone.  Bake until the scones are golden brown 14-18 minutes.  Transfer to wire racks.
    In a small bowl, stir together the powdered sugar with the orange juice until smooth.  Adjust the consistency with a little more juice, if needed; it should be thick but pourable.  Using a pastry brush, top warm scone with glaze.  Let stand 10 minutes to set.

      Homemade Tortillas

      Tortillas have long been something I would like to perfect.  This recipe is about as close as I’ve gotten yet.  These were perfect served with beans and rice, but would also be excellent with guacamole or cheese dip.

      Thin Tortillas
      Adapted from King Arthur Flour Baker’s Companion


      • 1 1/3 cups (5 1/2 ounces) unbleached all purpose flour
      • 2/3 cup (2 3/4 ounces) yellow cornmeal
      • 4 tbsp (1 3/4 ounces) vegetable oil
      • 1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp (4 1/2 ounces) water
      • 1/2 tsp salt
      Combine flour, cornmeal and oil in a medium bowl.  Slowly mix in water and salt.  Knead briefly, until dough becomes smooth.  
      Divide dough into 10 pieces, weighing about 1 1/4 ounces each.  Round the pieces into balls and press to flatten slightly.  Let rest, covered, for at least 30 minutes.
      Preheat a griddle or frying pan over medium high heat.
      Flatten dough balls into 8 inch rounds using either a tortilla press, rolling pin, or your hands.  Fry the tortillas in an ungreased pan for about 45 seconds on each side.
      Serve warm or at room temperature.

        Drop Biscuits

        Besides tasting fantastic, these biscuits are a breeze to whip up.  They can be on the table within 20 minutes of reading the recipe!  Shhh, don’t tell anyone how simple making fresh biscuits really is!

        RECIPE: Drop Biscuits 
        Adapted from Cooking Light: Complete Cookbook


        • 2 cups all purpose flour
        • 2 tbsp baking powder
        • 1 tsp sugar
        • 1/2 tsp salt
        • 1/4 cup chilled butter, cut into small pieces
        • 1 cup cream or milk
        • cooking spray


        1. Preheat oven to 450.
        2. Add dry ingredients to food processor with dough blade attached; pulse to mix.
        3. Add butter; pulsing until dough resembles a course meal.
        4. While pulsing, slowly add milk; until just moistened.
        5. Drop batter onto parchment lined cookie sheet or spoon batter into 12 muffin cups coated with cooking spray.
        6. Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden.
        7. Remove from pan immediately and serve hot.