Breakfast Before the Feast
Crescent Bacon Breakfast Ring, recipe provided below (adapted from Jo Cooks).
- 1 can Pillsbury Crescents (8 in a can)
- 8 slices of cooked bacon
- ½ red bell pepper, chopped
- ½ green bell pepper, chopped
- 5 eggs
- 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 egg for egg wash (optional)
- Preheat oven to 375 F degrees.
- In a bowl beat the eggs and add the chopped peppers to it and stir. Season with salt and pepper. Cook the eggs in a skillet so that they're scrambled.
- Lay out the crescent on a parchment pepper, like a star as shown in the picture above.
- On each crescent lay a piece of bacon. Add half of the cheese around the ring. Add the scrambled eggs around the ring and top with remainder of the cheese.
- Fold the crescents over. You may now brush with the egg wash if you prefer, I did because it gives the ring a nice and golden colour.
- Bake for about 20 minutes or until the crescents are cooked and golden brown.
The Best Monkey Bread, recipe provided below (adapted from Mel's Kitchen).
- 4 tablespoons butter, divided, 2 tablespoons softened and 2 tablespoons melted
- 1 cup milk, warm (about 110 degrees)
- 1/3 cup water, warm (about 110 degrees)
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
- 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for work surface
- 2 teaspoons salt
Brown Sugar Coating:
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 8 tablespoons butter (1 stick), melted
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar
- 2 tablespoons milk
- Butter a Bundt pan with the 2 tablespoons softened butter. Use a pastry brush or a paper towel or anything that will really help get inside all of those nooks and crannies. Set aside.
- In a large measuring cup, mix together the milk, water, melted butter, sugar, and yeast. Mix the flour and salt together in a standing mixer fitted with dough hook (see below for instructions to make the dough by hand). Turn the machine to low and slowly add the milk mixture. After the dough comes together, increase the speed to medium and mix until the dough is shiny and smooth, 6 to 7 minutes. If you think the dough is too wet (i.e. having a hard time forming a cohesive mass), add 2 tablespoons flour at a time and mix until the dough comes together (it should still be on the sticky side, just not overly wet). Coat a large bowl with nonstick cooking spray. Place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat lightly with the cooking spray. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise until doubled, 1-2 hours (alternately, you can preheat the oven to 200 degrees, turning it off once it reaches 200 degrees and place the covered bowl in the oven to speed up the rising time).
- For the sugar coating, while the dough is rising, mix the brown sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl. Place the melted butter in a second bowl or shallow pie plate. Set aside.
- To form the bread, gently remove the dough from the bowl and press it into a rough 8-inch square. Using a bench scraper or knife, cut the dough into 64 pieces.
- Roll each dough piece into a ball (it doesn't have to be perfect, just get it into a rough ball-shape). Working one at a time, dip the balls in melted butter, allowing excess butter to drip back into the bowl or pie plate. Roll the dipped dough ball in the brown sugar mixture, then layer the balls in the Bundt pan, staggering the seams where the dough balls meet as you build layers.
- Cover the Bundt pan tightly with plastic wrap and let the monkey bread rise until puffy and they have risen 1-2 inches from the top of the pan, 1-2 hours (again, you can use the warm oven approach to speed this up).
- Heat the oven to 350 degrees F (remove the pan from the oven if you placed it there to rise). Unwrap the pan and bake until the top is deep brown and caramel begins to bubble around edges, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool the monkey bread in the pan for 5 minutes (any longer and the bread will be too sticky and hard to remove!), then turn out on a platter or large plate and allow to cool slightly, about 10 minutes.
- For the glaze, while the bread cools, whisk the confectioners' sugar and milk together in a small bowl until the mixture is smooth. Using a whisk, drizzle the glaze over the warm monkey bread, letting it run over the top and sides of the bread. Serve warm.
Pumpkin Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread with Vanilla Glaze, recipe provided below (adapted from Mel's Kitchen).
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 1/2 tablespoons instant yeast
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 5-6 cups all-purpose flour (I've added half ground white wheat flour before with great results, too)
- 1 cup milk
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
- 4 tablespoons butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/8 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons milk
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook (or just a large bowl if you are going to power through and make this by hand, which I've done, and it really isn't so bad), combine the salt, yeast, sugar and 4 cups of the flour. In a small saucepan, warm the milk and butter until the butter is just melted and the mixture is warm to the touch. If it feels too hot, let it cool until it is at warm room temperature. With the mixer running (again, just adapt by hand by pouring it into the dry ingredients), add the warm milk/butter mixture and the pureed pumpkin. Continue mixing, adding additional flour as necessary, until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl, and knead the dough (by mixer or by hand) until it is smooth, elastic and just slightly sticky (don't overflour - see the note above the recipe).
- Lightly grease a large bowl and place the dough in the bowl. Cover the bowl with lightly greased plastic wrap and let it rise until doubled, about an hour, depending on the warmth of your kitchen.
- While the dough is rising, make the filling by combining the brown sugar, white sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in a bowl. Set aside.
- When the dough has doubled in size, lightly punch down and divide into two pieces. Roll out one of the pieces on a lightly floured countertop to about 20-inches by 12-inches. If it has trouble rolling out without shrinking back in, lightly cover the dough and let it rest 10-15 minutes before proceeding. Once rolled out, brush the dough with 2 tablespoons of the melted butter and spread half of the filling mixture evenly over the top, lightly pressing it into the buttered dough.
- Lightly coat two 8 1/2-inch by 4 1/2-inch bread pans with cooking spray. With the long edge of the rectangle toward you, cut the dough into 6 strips (see pictures below for a visual). Stack the strips on top of each other and cut the stack into 6 even portions (again, pictures are below). Grab the cut stacks, one at a time, placing them in the bread pan and pressing them up against each other so they all fit into the pan. Repeat with the remaining half of dough and filling ingredients.
- Cover the pans with lightly greased plastic wrap and let the bread double in size until it looks really puffy, about an hour.
- Bake the dough in a 350 degree F oven for 30-40 minutes, until the bread is browned and bubbly and cooked through. Remove the pans from the oven. While the bread cools slightly in the pans, make the glaze by bringing the butter, brown sugar and milk to a boil. Remove it from the heat and stir in the powdered sugar and vanilla until it is smooth.
- After the bread has cooled for about 5 minutes in the pan, loosen the edges with a butter knife and turn the bread out onto a cooling rack set over a piece of parchment or wax paper. Drizzle the warm bread with the glaze. Pull off pieces of the glazed bread and eat warm (the bread reheats well, microwaving several pieces on low power for 15-20 seconds).