Thursday, August 31, 2006

Breakfast or dessert... you choose!

As you have seen, I make the majority of the snacks in the house - all sorts of biscotti, cookies, muffins and granola bars. If we won't go through them fast enough, we like to freeze them so we can have them as needed because most items tend to thaw pretty quick. For something a little different, I made individual sweet breads (easy to freeze!) that both of us really enjoyed today.

Studded with chocolate chunks and dried fruit, Chocolate-Cherry Breakfast Bread is not too sweet to have in the morning, but would also be nice to have as an after dinner treat. A double shot of chocolate flavor in these chewy rolls comes from cocoa powder in the dough in addition to the chopped bittersweet chunks. In the recipe you may notice there is a variable amount to the flour - how much you use will use depends on the humidity and how you measure out your flour. I would always start start out with the least amount and slowly add enough, a tablespoon or two at a time, until the dough feels tacky. You do want to use enough so that you can knead without it sticking to your hands. If you don't have access to instant yeast, you can always make this with active dry. Just proof the yeast with a pinch of sugar, using the water called for in the recipe, for about 5 or 10 minutes.

Tonight for dinner, I made a Cheddar, Broccoli and Pasta Bake. To keep down the amount of dishes, I added fresh broccoli into the pasta midway thru the cooking time so I didn't have to do it separately. When you cook the pasta, you don't want to let it go all the way as it will finish cooking in the oven - so drain it a littler earlier than you normally would. While you could add all of the sharp cheddar as you mix the ingredients together, I saved half of it to scatter on top to create a gooey cheesy top. The eggy filling was a nice compliment to the tender broccoli and pasta. The bite from the cayenne pepper sauce was subtle, but it added just enough heat to keep it interesting.

Before adding the ingredients into the pie dish, a layer of panko breadcrumbs is added to the pie dish. This adds a crunch to the outside and also allows for easy removal of the pieces. A little more panko, mixed with a touch of olive oil, is also scattered on top for an additional crunch. I think one of my favorite parts was the ends of penne that stuck up out of the pie and got a little crispy!


  1. I have to try that bread. I love making yeast breads and my dad loves chocolate/cherry combinations. This is looks like a great item to make for him! Thanks...

  2. oh i like the idea of adding the breadcrumbs to give it that extra crunch

  3. Ohmyga...that bread needs to be at my breakfast table, pronto. Thanks for the recipe!

  4. I love cherries, I'm definitely making this...
    I still had lots of zucchini leftover after making your spiced bars with cranberry and pecans, so I've been doing a lot of baking:

  5. The pasta bake looks great! Do you have the nutritionals on it and also, how many servings is it? Thanks!

  6. The crispy bits are always my favorites.

  7. Jill - Let me know if you try it!

    Whersemymind - Ok!

    Teddy - Panko works so well for that.

    Crystal - We really enjoyed this version, I'm having a hard time trying not to make it again so soon!

    Brilynn - Wow! What a spread!

    Anon - 4 to 6 servings. The nutritional information would depend on what you end up using - if you would like to e-mail me with how you would want the recipe, I can run them through mastercook.

    Amy - Yeah!