I don’t think Easter is a very important holiday. I always have lots to do because it’s in the middle of the year, and I have to study very hard for some deadlines. But this year, I wanted to do something special. So I made an Easter breakfast. We had: freshly pressed grapefruit juice, coffee, Easter chocolate eggs, jam and butter, blueberry streusel muffins, chocolate American pancakes, brioche and a boiled egg. I wanted to make an oven-egg thingy too, but we had already to much to eat, so I made them a few days later.
The blueberry streusel muffins were very good, it were the best muffins I ever had, warm and cold. They are incredible airy, but not dry. And the crumbles on top (that’s why they are called streusel) give them a nice bite. I forgot to buy blueberries, but without worked very good too. We ate them with blueberry jam.
Something went wrong with the pancakes. I am used to baking Dutch pancakes, thin ones, with a rather runny batter. But American pancakes have a more solid batter, so you get those nice puffy small pancakes. I really don’t know what the right consistency of such a batter has to be. I believe I did something wrong, either with conversing the cups to metric, or with making the mixture. So the baking was rather difficult. But when ready, the pancakes tasted really very good. I think I’ll make the recipe again and try to make a better batter, the taste is worthy of making these. We ate them with ready bought chocolate sauce, because that was a leftover from an earlier dessert. You can also make your own, spread them with some butter or serve them with some fruit. They definitely need something moist to serve with.
Making the brioche went very well. Because it takes some time, I made this the afternoon/evening before. It’s an easy process, but not very quick, and it’s rather messy. So if your lazy, don’t like mess or don’t have much time, just buy brioche. I think this brioche is less sweet and less sticky than the bought variant, so making it yourself is worth the time and effort. I love to have a slice plain, with just some butter.
Blueberry streusel muffins (12 muffins)
from Once upon a plate
60 gram butter, softened
70 gram sugar
1 egg, whisked
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
375 gram flower
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
250 ml milk
350 ml blueberries (1,5 cup; frozen or fresh)
For the crumbs:
100 gram sugar
55 gram flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (you can omit this, or use vanilla instead)
60 gram cold butter
Cream the butter with the sugar. Whisk in the egg and vanilla. Add the flower, baking powder and the milk. Fold in the blueberries. Fill the muffin cups (grease and flower them, or use a paper liner) for 2/3. Crumble the ingredients for the crumble together, it should be crumbly. Put the crumbles on the muffin batter. Bake in a preheated oven for 25-30 minutes on 200 degrees Celsius.
Chocolate pancakes(15-18 small pancakes)
from Desserts for breakfast
225 ml full-fat milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
225 gram flour
60 gram cocoa-powder (dutch processed)
60 gram sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
115 gram butter
Mix 170 ml of the milk with the egg and the vanilla extract. Add the flower, cocoa powder, sugar, salt and baking powder, mix. Heat the remaining milk and the butter until just simmering, add to the mixture, mix until just combined. Bake small pancakes in a non-stick frying pan.
Brioche (2 loaves, or one big braid)
adapted from “The Conran Cookbook”
30 gram fresh yeast (or 15 gram dried yeast)
2 tablespoons sugar
5 tablespoons tepid milk
2 teaspoons salt
565 gram strong white bread flour
115 gram butter, softened
beaten egg with some milk to glaze
Cream the yeast with 5 tablespoons pf tepid water and add 1/2 teaspoon of the sugar. Leave in a warm place to start working and become frothy (or follow the directions on the package of dry yeast). Beat the eggs with the milk, salt and the rest of the sugar in another bowl and leave in a warm place.
Warm a large mixing bowl and put the flower in it. Make a well in the centre and pour in the yeast and egg mixtures. Mix thoroughly to a rough dough. Turn the dough on to a clean work surface and knead until smooth, sprinkling on a little more flour if the dough feels too sticky and unmanageable. When you have a smooth ball of dough, cover loosely with cling film and let is rest for a few minutes before you start incorporating the butter.
This is a messy business, but all the butter will be absorbed eventually. Flatten the dough and put a few dabs of butter over the surface (about 15 gram or a bit more). Then fold up the dough and knead it well until the butter is smoothly worked in. Let the dough rest for a minute, covered with cling film, then repeat. Keep on adding the butter, kneading and resting the dough as before, until all the butter had been mixed in. Let the dough rest again, then knead in to a smooth ball and put into a buttered bowl. Cover with a sheet of cling film and a cloth and leave to rise in a warm place for 1,5 hours.
Knock back the dough and knead it for a minute, then re-form it into a ball. Return it to the bowl, cover with oiled cling film and a cloth as before and leave to rise a second time for 1-1,5 hours.
Prepare a baking tray, line it with baking paper or use a silicon sheet. Divide the dough in three pieces, form them in long “sausages” and make a braid with them(on the baking tray). Tuck the ends underneath. Cover again and leave to prove until well risen and rounded. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celcius. Glaze the top of the loaf with the egg-milk mixture for a nice crust. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until it sound hollow when tapped on the base. Leave to cool on a rack, eat warm or cold.
Oven egg thingy (4 thingies)
a splash of milk
8 slices bacon (or as much to cover 4 holes of your muffin tin)
1 small onion, diced
some mushrooms, diced
fresh herbs (I used rosemary, thyme and oregano)
salt and pepper
a little grated cheese
Sauté the onion and mushroom a little, otherwise they wont cook fully in the oven. Meanwhile cover your pans with the bacon. Whisk the egg with the milk (like making an omelet). Add the onion, mushrooms, chopped herbs, a little salt and some pepper. Pour this mixture in the tins. Grate a little cheese on top. Put in the oven (200 degrees Celsius) for about 15-20 minutes, or until puffed and golden.