By Terese Allen, Organic Valley Food Editor
Made-from-scratch baked goods are to the morning meal what a cozy fireplace is to a house. Human beings are irresistibly drawn to that tempting aroma and nourishing warmth. We crave the homespun goodness. The truth is, fresh-baked bread and pastries are the most inviting part of breakfast or brunch.
Yet baking can be daunting. Like gardeners with their green thumbs, the best bakers seem to have a white thumb. They possess some kind of innate ability when it comes to working with yeast. They have the patience to knead dough, plus the time to wait for it to rise. But most cooks aren’t so talented (or lucky)…and that’s where quick breads can come to the rescue.
If you want real home-baked quality, all you need is twenty or so minutes to mix up a quick bread. This is a baking category that includes a wide array of morning favorites: batter-based muffins, tea breads and coffeecakes, as well as dough-based biscuits, scones, cobblers and savory shortcake. Because they’re leavened with baking powder or baking soda, quick breads are faster to make and more easily mastered than yeast breads.
So don’t be daunted. Check out the guides and recipes for creating different types of quick breads. For guaranteed success, make them with the best ingredients you can afford--farm-fresh dairy and eggs, wholesome flours, rich pasture butter, organic soy milk. Serve your specialty warm from the oven and pair it with something equally special: a glass of frothy orange juice, some piping-hot java, a just-whirred yogurt-and-fruit smoothie.
Then, sit back and let your family toast to your amazing white thumb.
Cheddar Thyme Biscuits – Crusty on the outside, tender on the inside.
Almond Buttermilk Scones – These get their almond essence in three ways: ground almonds and almond extract in the batter, and a roasted whole nut on top of each scone.
Katy’s Pumpkin Bread (or Muffins) – A honey-sweetened family favorite from CROPP member Katy Christianson.
Gluten-Free Carrot Orange Muffins – Flecked with grated carrots, sparked with citrus and not too sweet, the muffins can be eaten as is or frosted with a cream cheese icing.
Irish-American Soda Bread - Hearty and craggy-crusty, this variation of a classic old-country bread is studded with American dried cranberries (or cherries) and moistened with Organic Valley yogurt.
Potato Parmesan Biscuit Bread - A savory round loaf that can be cut into wedges and served alongside eggs for breakfast, or with soup for lunch.
Cinnamon Apple Tea Bread – This tea bread has apple-flecked homespun simplicity.
Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler - Who said cobbler had to be a dessert? If you’re an early riser, make this one for the morning meal
Gingerbread Muffins with Cream Cheese Frosting – A gluten-free muffin recipe shared by the Wedge Natural Foods Co-op in Minneapolis.
Cream-Glazed Blueberry Coffeecake – Rich and special enough for brunch (or dessert).