Muffins to brighten the winter day

By Lori Jury

November was National Bread Month and January is National Bread Machine Month.  Bread is a substantial part of our daily diet.  There are not many things that are better tasting than a fresh piece of bread straight out of the oven with melted butter.  Even the smell of fresh bread is enough to get a person drooling.

Muffins are another wonderful addition to a menu.  I often forget about muffins, but when my kids are tired of the same old cereal or toast for breakfast, we’ll make some fruity muffins (blueberry, raspberry, or peach).

Cherry Orange Poppy Seed Muffins

2 c. flour

3/4 granulated sugar

1 T. baking powder

1 T. poppy seeds

1/4 t. salt

1 c. milk

1/4 c. butter, melted

1 egg, beaten

1/4 c. dried cherries

3 T. grated orange peel

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, poppy seeds and salt in a large mixing bowl.  Add milk, melted butter and egg; stir until dry ingredients are moistened.  Gently fold in cherries and orange peel.  Fill paper-lined muffin cups 3/4 full.

Bake in preheated 400 degree oven for 18-22 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Let cool 5 minutes in pan.  Remove from pan and let cool on wire racks.


Sage Buns

1 1/2 c. milk

2 T. shortening

3-4 c. all purpose flour, divided

2 T. sugar

1 pkg. active dry yeast

2 T. dried sage

1 t. salt

Heat the milk and shortening in small saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly.  Heat until shortening is melted and the temperature is between 120 and 130 degrees.  Remove from heat.

Combine 2 cups of flour, sugar, yeast, sage and salt in a large bowl.  Add milk mixture and beat for 2 minutes.  Add remaining flour, 1/4 cup at a time, until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl.  Turn the dough onto a floured board or work surface and knead for about 10 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic.  Add flour as necessary.

Shape the dough into a ball.  Place into a large (lightly oiled) bowl.  Turn the dough over to cover the dough with oil.  Cover with a towel; let rise for about an hour in a warm place (until dough is doubled).

Grease a 13×9″ pan and set aside.

Turn the dough onto a lightly oiled surface.  Divide into 24 equal pieces.  FOrm each piece into a ball and place evenly into prepared pan. Cover with towel and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Bake 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from pan and cool on wire rack.


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