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Morning Buns

These buttery buns are great for breakfast and can be refrigerated in dough form a day ahead and baked after an hour at room temperature. Unlike cinnamon rolls, morning buns are a buttery, flakey dough similar to croissant.

Ingredients;
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 sticks of unsalted butter cubed and cold
1 cup sour cream
1 egg yolk
1/4 cup orange juice
3 tablespoons cold water
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt

Filling:
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons orange zest
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a large bowl add the flour, sugar, yeast and salt, whisk well. Add in the cubed butter and with a pastry cutter begin to crush the flour mixture and butter together to form a course mixture. Stir in the sour cream, orange juice, water and egg yolk until combined. On a lightly floured surface knead the dough to form a smooth dough ball. Roll out to a 12″ x 20″ rectangle, then roll short ways forming a 12″ long log. Spray plastic wrap with vegetable oil and cover the log completely. Place in the freezer for 30 minutes. In the mean time spray a 12 cup muffin pan with vegetable spray. Pull the log from the freezer and roll out onto a lightly floured surface and form another 12″ x 20″ rectangle. Sprinkle evenly with the filling. This time roll the dough the long way. Trim both ends to expose the filling (about 1/2″) Slice the dough into 12 equal parts and place into the muffin pan. Cover with a kitchen towel and allow to proof in a warm area until double in size (about 1 1/2 to 2 hours) Pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees. Place the pan in the oven and bake for about 5 minutes then reduce the heat to 325 degrees and continue to bake for 30 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes then remove onto a cooling rack. Best if you serve them warm.

Enjoy
Chef Brian Klauss

Italian Bread

If you are into baking, you realize the great self satisfaction you get in making a great loaf of bread. The feel of kneading a soft dough and watching it rise and finely consuming a fresh slice of your prize bread. This recipe is just that….. easy, satisfying and fresh.

Ingredients;
3 cups bread flour
1 cup of mild beer (Room temperature )
6 tablespoons water
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
sesame seeds
spray bottle with water

In this recipe I use a baking stone to form a crispy crust. If you don’t have one that’s ok it just won’t be as crispy. (A baking stone can be purchased for as little as $15.00 to $20.00 on the internet) Line a half sheet tray with parchment paper

In a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook mix together the flour, yeast and salt. In a medium bowl whisk together the beer, water and oil. At a low speed slowly add the liquid and mix until it begins to gather, then increase the speed to a medium. Allow the dough to form and pull away from the sides of the bowl about 10 to 12 minutes. Pull the dough and place on a lightly floured surface and knead for about a minute and form a ball. Spray a medium bowl with vegetable spray and drop in the dough and flip so both sides are coated. Heat a cup of water in the microwave until it boils (2 – 2 1/2 minutes) Place the cup along with the bowl in your unheated oven and allow to proof or cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm area to proof (this will take a little longer) until double in size 1 – 1 1/2 hours. Pull the dough and punch down on a lightly floured surface and roll out to about a 12″ x 12″ square. Pull the four corners of the dough to the middle and pull towards you to form a loaf. Flip so the seam is at the bottom and stretch and seam to form a torpedo shape 4″ x 15″.
Place onto the parchment paper and proof again for about an hour. Pre-heat your oven to 450 degrees. If you are using a baking stone you will need to preheat your oven for an hour prior with the stone at the lower middle rack. With a sharp knife carefully slice a 1/2″ cut into the top of the loaf beginning and ending 1 1/2″ from each side. Spray with water and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Place the dough on the baking stone or the baking sheet and bake for 30 – 35 minutes. (The internal temperature should read between 205 – 210 when done)
Place on a cooling rack and allow to cool about 3 1/2 hours before serving.

Enjoy
Chef Brian Klauss

Mango Bread

The one thing you can find in abundance here in Florida is Mango. It’s at just about every grocery store, road side stand and served in restaurants. I have made banana bread, zucchini bread and even carrot bread but this is the first for mango bread. I have to say it turned out moist and delicious.

Ingredients;
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
l/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup melted butter
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups chopped Mango
1 cup chopped pecans
1 teaspoon cinnimon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
zest of one orange

Streusel Topping
1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter (cubed)
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and spray 2 – 5″ x 9″ loaf pans with vegetable spray.
Place the chopped mango into a food processor and pulse to form a light puree, add in the orange zest and set aside.

In a medium bowl sift together the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon, set aside. In a separate medium bowl whisk together the butter, oil and sugar add in the eggs one at a time and vanilla extract. Slowly add the wet mixture into the flour mixture and blend well to combine. Fold in the mango and the nuts to incorporate. Divide the mixture into the two pans. Make the streusel topping by adding all ingredients to a medium bowl and with a pastry blender form a crumble like consistency. Divide the topping between the two pans by sprinkling evenly over the top of the batter. Bake for 40 – 50 minutes in the center of the oven until a toothpick comes out cleanly. Allow to cool 10 minutes before removing from the pan onto a cooling rack.

Enjoy
Chef Brian Klauss

Mexican Wedding Cookies

These are a buttery melt in your mouth cookie made with pecans. These cookies are a part of the Mexican wedding tradition and can be baked in many different shapes and sizes. When I bake cookies I use a portion scoop (ice cream scoop) that comes in many sizes and sometimes have color coded handles to indicate the portion per scoop. They range from as little as .32 of an ounce to 8 ounces and help to keep your cookies uniform and allow for a quick dough placement.

Ingredients;
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup unsalted butter (soften)
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup pecans (toasted)

Coating;
1/2 cup confectioners sugar in a gallon ziplock

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and line 2 – 1/2 sheet trays with parchment paper. ( A good way to keep the parchment paper down while seating the dough is by applying a small amount of water between the paper and the sheet tray).
Place the sea salt in a food processor and grind until fine, set aside. Place the pecans into the food processor and grind to a medium course level, set aside. Place the flour and sea salt into a medium bowl and mix together. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment add the butter and sugar, mix on medium speed until combined. Add in the vanilla and continue to mix. At a slow speed add in the flour mixture, then add the ground pecans and mix until incorporated. Using a 1 ounce scoop transfer the batter to the lined sheet trays keeping the dough about 1″ apart. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes until the bottoms are lightly brown. Transfer to a cooling rack and allow them to cool completely. Place approximately 12 cookies into the bag filled with confectioners sugar and gently shake to coat. (makes 36 – 40 cookies)

Enjoy
Chef Brian Klauss



Crumpets

These are made with both yeast and baking soda and have a bread like flavor. They are fried on a griddle or fry pan and become crispy, chewy and spongy. You then place them in a toaster for that finished product. They are great for breakfast with butter and jam. You will need 4″ x 1/2″ high crumpet rings (you could also use a tuna can washed with both the top and bottom removed. Griddle set at 275 degrees.

Ingredients;
1 3/4 cups of all purpose flour
1 cup of warm milk (100 degrees)
1 cup warm water (100 degrees)
1 tablespoon yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Mix the sugar, milk and yeast into a small bowl and whisk. Allow to stand for about 10 minutes. In a stand mixer add the flour and salt and mix until combined. With a paddle attachment and at a low speed slowly add the yeast mixture into the flour mixture and mix until the dough pulls from the sides. Knead into a ball and place into a greased bowl in a warm area, cover loosely, then allow to proof doubling in size.
Mix the baking soda into the warm water and dissolve. Place the dough back into the stand mixer and add in the water. Mix slowly until well combined. Cover the bowl loosely again and allow to raise and become bubbly it should take about 30 – 45 minutes.
Coat the rings and the griddle with butter and allow the rings to heat upon the griddle. Spoon enough batter into the ring to reach approximately 1/2 way up and cook for 10 minutes. You may have to adjust the temperature down during the cooking process if your griddle cooks to fast. Keep an eye on the bottoms so they don’t burn. You can remove the rings with tongs once the crumpet has formed and flip them over to cook the tops slightly. You want to achieve a medium brown color with airy holes in the tops. Cool on a wire rack completely. You can store them over night in a bag or freeze well wrapped for up to 3 months. They should be toasted before serving, great with butter and jam.

Enjoy
Chef Brian Klauss

Cheese Puffs

It’s a cold, over cast Sunday and you are looking for something to bake, well I have a great recipe for you that only takes a couple of hours. This tastes great all by itself or with your favorite dip like spinach, vegetable or cheese.

Ingredients;
1 1/2 cup water
11 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
6 eggs
8 oz Gruyere cheese (shredded)

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and line 2 1/2 sheet pans with parchment paper. Also locate a large pastry bag and attach a large star tip.

In a medium sauce pan add in the water, butter and salt, bring to a boil. Add in the flour and stir until well blended and the dough pulls away from the pan. Remove from the heat and place the dough into the bowl of a stand mixer. With a whip attachment at a medium speed blend in all but about 1 ounce of the cheese and mix the dough until the temperature of the dough cools down below 100 degrees. Slowly add in one egg at a time allowing the dough to develop into a sticky paste like texture. Place the batter into a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip. Form 1 1/2 ” star dough shapes onto the parchment paper approximately 1″ apart. Sprinkle the remaining cheese onto the tops of the batter then bake at 400 degrees in the center of your oven for 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees and continue to bake an additional 20 minutes. Turn off the oven. Leave the cheese puffs in the oven while it cools which will allow the interior of the puffs to dry out.

Enjoy
Chef Brian Klauss

Yule Log

The history of the yule log dates back before the medieval era. Back then, Gaelic Europeans and Celtic Brits would gather to welcome in the winter solstice at December’s end. People would feast and celebrate the days finally becoming longer, signaling the end of the winter season. To cleanse the air of the previous year’s events and to usher in the spring, families would burn logs decorated with holly, pinecones or ivy. Once burned, the logs ashes were a valuable treasures said to have medicinal benefits and to guard against evil.
As time past, the hearths in homes became smaller and ideal for baking and judging from the ingredients the first yule cake could have been as early as the 1600. Sponge cake which is the base of the log is one of the oldest cakes still made today. You may be intimidated by this cake but with a few tricks you can make the perfect log for the center piece of your table.

Cake batter (Genoise)
1/3 cup cake flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
4 eggs at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons melted butter

Filling
1 2/3 cups powered sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter (soften)
1 1/2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/3 cup marcarpone cheese
2 tablespoons coffee flavoring liqueur

Frosting
1 cup heavy whipping cream
8 ounces dark chocolate chips

Bark
8 ounces dark chocolate chips

Prepare a 1/2 sheet tray by brushing melted butter on the inner surface and lining the bottom with parchment paper and the coating the paper with butter.
Sift the flour and cocoa powder into a medium bowl and set aside. Place the eggs into a metal bowl and add in the sugar, whisk immediately to avoid lumps. Place the bowl over a pot of water and slowly bring up the heat until you reach about 100 degrees. Remove the bowl from the heat. With a hand mixer at high speed blend the egg mixture until you reach about a triple volume. Lower the speed for about a minute to decrease the air bubbles. Add in the flour mixture to the egg mixture by folding it in. Do not over mix, only mix until flour pockets are no longer visible. Pour the batter into the prepared 1/2 sheet tray. Spread the batter to all sides evenly and tap the sheet tray to the counter slightly to release the bubbles. Bake in the center oven for 8 – 10 minutes until springy to the touch. Run a knife around all edges and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Sprinkle a kitchen towel larger than the sheet pan with some powered sugar. Invert the towel over the cake and flip over releasing the cake onto the towel. Roll the cake from the short end until you have a rolled up log. Allow to cool 15 minutes.
Prepare the filling; whip the powered sugar, butter, cocoa powder, salt, and coffee liqueur. Then add in the mascarpone cheese and mix until incorporated. Unroll the cake and spread the filling across the surface evenly. (reserve a small amount to attach branch) Roll the cake back up and refrigerate for approximately 3 hours to firm. Prepare the frosting; Bring the heavy whipping cream to a boil then add in the chocolate chips. Allow to stand for 1 minute, then whisk until chips are completely melted. Remove the log from the refrigerator and slice about 3″ off one end at a 45 degree angle to from the branch of the log. Lay the log onto your platter and attach the branch to the desired side and attach with remaining filling. When the frosting has cooled slightly and thicken, begin to cover the entire area by pouring over the top and spreading with a knife. To make the bark melt the chocolate in a microwave for one minute and stir. Heat again for another minute and stir until completely melted. Spread onto parchment paper (which is laying on the back of a 1/2 sheet tray) thinly and allow to cool. (Placing it into the freezer will speed things up) Then break the thin chocolate into 1/2″ x 3″ pieces and place onto the log.

Enjoy
Chef Brian Klauss

Pecan Tarts

With the bakery closed for the season and the holidays approaching I’m doing a lot more baking from my home kitchen. Because of the pandemic, I also spend a lot of time in the house with my wife. So today we decided to make one of the recipes from her recipe box together. I love my wife but working on any projects together bring up another level of patience…….because we hardly ever agree. We worked 30 years together in our business but she always knew her place…...I was the boss……. and if you ask her, she would agree. But after several years together in semi-retirement she has slowly moved up the ladder. To keep peace I hold my tongue, as she explains how to assemble, fill and bake the recipe she claims to have made since the beginning of time. I do like making individual desserts and this one is easy and fast and best of all it taste great.

Ingredients (crust)
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup butter
3oz. cream cheese

Filling
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon unsalted butter (soften)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup chopped pecans

To make the crust; with a hand mixer cream together the flour, butter and cream cheese until smooth. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate about 3 hours.
Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. You will need a 24 mini cupcake pan and 24 mini cupcake liners.
To make the filling; In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment add the brown sugar, butter, egg and vanilla extract beat at a medium speed until light and fluffy. Stir in the chopped pecans, then set aide. Pull the dough from the refrigerator and on a lightly flour surface, roll the dough out to about 3/16″ thickness. With a two inch round cutter cut 24 round disks of dough. Take and flatten the paper liner and place one dough disk in the middle, then place it into the mini cupcake pan and press down slightly allowing the dough to take the shape of the pan. (Do not press hard when the filling is added the dough will drop and seat itself). Fill each dough with about a teaspoon of filling to the top of the edge of the dough. Bake in the middle rack for 25 minutes. Cool slightly and remove each tart to a cooling rack.

Enjoy
Chef Brian Klauss

Gingerbread Cookies

What a great cookie project to do with your grandkids right before Christmas, either building a gingerbread house or an army of gingerbread men and women. This recipe can make both. There is nothing like the smell of gingerbread cookies during the holidays. If you are sitting there watching the snow fall, get up and make these cookies.

Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 egg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt

Royal Icing
4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup warm water
3 teaspoons meringue powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle add the butter and sugar then beat until light and fluffy. Beat in the molasses and egg to incorporate. In a medium bowl add the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and spices, mix well. At a low speed slowly add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and mix until combined. Divide the batter in half and wrap into plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. In the mean time make your royal icing by mixing together all the ingredients in a stand mixer at a medium speed with a whip attachment. Transfer to a pastry bag with a small round tip. (Tint separate bags of royal icing with desire colors)
Pre-heat your oven to 325 degrees and line two 1/2 sheet trays with parchment paper
On a floured surface roll out your dough to about 3/16″ to 1/4″, using a gingerbread cutter, cut the gingerbread and place onto the parchment paper about 1″ apart. Bake 12 to 14 minutes, Let cool completely before decorating them.

Enjoy
Chef Brian Klauss

Maple Date Bread with nuts

Here in Michigan it’s cold, cloudy, and raining…another great day for baking. Here is a quick bread recipe that you can make for the family or wrap it up and give it as a gift. I personally love nuts in just about anything but this recipe can be made without them, if you prefer.

Ingredients
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup chopped dried dates (pitted)
1 cup chopped walnuts
3/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup orange juice
1 egg (lightly whipped)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Streusel Topping
1/4 cup unsalted butter (cold)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees and spray four 3″ x 5″ disposable foil mini bread pans with vegetable spray.
In a stand mixing bowl fitted with a paddle, add the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt and mix to incorporate. In a microwave safe bowl add the water, orange juice and orange zest. Microwave for three to five minutes until it comes to a boil. Stir in the butter and dates and then allow to cool for 15 minutes. Now mix in the egg and syrup into the date mixture. At a low speed, add the date mixture to the flour mixture until just incorporated. Divide the batter into the 4 pans equally. To make the topping mix all ingredients into a medium bowl. Using a pastry cutter, grind until a crumb consistency is achieved. Top each loaf with the streusel mixture. (if you have extra you can place it into an airtight container for later use). Place the loaf pans onto a baking sheet pan and into the center rack of your oven. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes (toothpick needs to come out cleanly when finished). Allow to cool on a cooling rack.

Enjoy
Chef Brian Klauss