Category Archives for Breads

White Chocolate Hot Cross Buns – Easter Tradition with a Twist

Hot cross buns! Hot cross buns! One ha’ penny, two ha’ penny, Hot cross buns! If you have no daughters, Give them to your sons…

I love, love, love me some hot cross buns. Waking up on Easter morning, running into the kitchen to see Hot Cross Buns in the oven was life altering. Something so simple and easy yet so irresistibly good – how could they not change lives?!


Of course we always had them on Good Friday, but us kids didn’t really understand what that was. But boy, when we got tucked in and told we were having Hot Cross Buns in the morning it was like Christmas Eve.

You remember that anticipation that kept you from closing your eyes for more than a few minutes at  a time.


I love that my son gets to embrace this tradition today, and I imagine he’ll share it with his children too. Or at least marry someone who will. Everyone has their own way of making hot cross buns, and I’ve added a little twist to mine. My mom used to use raisins  her mom used currants, I use white chocolate chips. Don’t judge me, they’re soo good!

white chocolate I make my Hot Cross Buns pretty big, but we like ’em big. Truth be told, they would probably bake better if they were smaller. We’ve never had enough leftovers to need to freeze them, but I imagine they would keep for a couple days at least. What do you think?

How do you like your Hot Cross Buns?

White Chocolate Hot Cross Buns
Author: Amber
  • 5 tsp dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups warm (not hot) milk
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 4 tablespoons butter, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 2 eggs, plus 1 egg beaten
  • 4 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (or stick with cinnamon if you prefer)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips, plus 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  1. Pour 1/2 cup of the warm milk into a small bowl. Add the yeast and allow it to bloom for 10 minutes.
  2. Whisk in the honey, 2 eggs, butter, pumpkin pie mix, salt and white chocolate chips. Mix in the flour, slowly. While mixing, carefully add the 1 cup of milk.
  3. Once the mixture is dough like, dump it onto a counter and knead 4 times. If it’s too sticky add a little flour to smooth it out. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to double in size; about 20 minutes.
  4. Lightly flour your work surface and place the dough on it. Pull off pieces about the size of a baseball (or your preferred size) and make them into balls. Place the balls on a parchment lined baking sheet. Continue until all the dough is used. Cover again with plastic wrap and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. I like to sit my buns on the oven to rise while it’s preheating. This take between 10 and 15 minutes.
  5. Uncover the buns and cut crosses into the tops. Brush the tops with the beaten egg and bake for 20 minutes or until browned.
  6. To ice the tops I melted 1/2 cup of white chocolate chips and piped the crosses on with that. Yummy!


Garlic Knots Recipe

I was trying to find something to go along with my baked manicotti and happened upon this recipe from White on Rice Couple. The recipe is for Garlic Knots and they looked too good to not try. I knew I wanted some type of garlic bread without it being a plain garlic bread. With the Garlic Knots we had something to dip in the left over easy marinara sauce.


I altered the recipe a bit and only used half of the dough. I put the remaining dough in a Ziploc bag and have it in the fridge for future use. Reading through the comments on the original recipe’s post I see that the dough will keep up to a week and still be good (longer yields a sour dough type bread.) I know we’ll use the dough because these are absolutely amazing.


The main changes I made to this recipe was the garlic sauce. I used 2 sticks of unsalted butter and only a drizzle of oil (swirled around the bowl once.) I also used garlic powder instead of garlic cloves because I ran out. Good enough reason!

What’s your favorite pasta side dish?

Garlic Knots Recipe
Recipe Type: Appetizer
Cuisine: Italian
Author: Amber
  • [b]Dough Ingredients:[/b]
  • 1 3/4 c Warm Water
  • 1/4 c Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 t. Salt
  • 2 TBSP. Sugar
  • 1 1/2 TBSP. Active Dry Yeast
  • 5 cups all-purpose, unbleached Flour
  • [b]Garlic Sauce Ingredients:[/b]
  • 2 sticks of unsalted Butter
  • 3 TBSP. Garlic powder
  • 1/4 c Parsley
  • Drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  1. Combine water, 1/4c olive oil, salt, sugar, and yeast in a large bowl. Mix to dissolve the yeast.
  2. Add the flour and mix thoroughly. Cover with a lid or cloth and allow to sit for 1 – 3 hours. I left mine in the laundry room while I had the dryer on.
  3. Prepare/flour your surface for rolling out the dough. Roll it to about 1/2 inch thick and then cut slices from the rolled dough.
  4. Roll the slices between your hands to form ropes (think starting a fire with sticks rubbing.)
  5. Tie the ropes into knots. The original recipe suggested using oil to prevent the rope from sticking – sounds like a great idea to me!
  6. Place the knots on a parchment lined baking sheet and cover again to allow them to double in size.
  7. Preheat the oven to 400° F.
  8. When the knots are doubled in size bake for 12 – 15 minutes or until the knots or golden.
  9. While the knots are baking start making your garlic sauce. I made mine in a wok but a saucepan will work too.
  10. Add in the butter and garlic and heat at medium heat until the butter is melted. Transfer the sauce to a large bowl and drizzle Extra Virgin Olive Oil around the bowl once. Stir the sauce so it’s well mixed.
  11. Toss in a few garlic knots at a time.Stir until each knot is well coated with the garlic sauce. You can brush the sauce over the knots if that’s easier.


Sloppy Joe with Homemade Buns

Ever noticed how sometimes the simplest dinner can be all the rave? Take Sloppy Joe as an example. It’s something we’ve enjoyed for generations and come on, what kid doesn’t love them?


The beauty of making your own Sloppy Joe’s is you get to choose what goes in it. Peppers, onions, mushrooms – anything and everything you desire can be added – or omitted. Go all out or keep it simple. See, beautiful! Here is a great recipe for Sloppy Joe’s that seems very customizable.


Pair them with homemade French Fries and homemade hamburger buns and you’re set. Of course you could just buy the buns from the store, but where’s the fun in that? Don’t be intimidated at the thought of homemade hamburger buns – you can do it.


Making your own hamburger buns is a great way to ensure only the best for your family. You control the size and know the ingredients. Not to mention it’s so easy to make them. No – really, super easy!


Homemade French Fries are a longtime favorite of mine. I use redskin potatoes, cutting away the eyes and any imperfections. I leave the skin on for the added nutrients and they are delicious! slop

On a day when I don’t feel like spending hours in the kitchen, this is my go to, healthy and hearty meal; what’s your? 

Sloppy Joe with Homemade Hamburger Rolls

Recipe Type: Dinner
Cuisine: Comfort Food
Author: Amber
Serves: 8
An American favorite made even better with homemade buns & french fries.
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (plus extra for flouring surface)
  • 2 tablespoons active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Sesame Seeds (optional)
  1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water.
  2. Mix in oil and sugar and let sit for 5 minutes.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and mix until dough is soft.
  4. Knead until smooth and elastic like.
  5. Allow to sit for 90 minutes, covered in a warm place.
  6. Divide the dough into 8 pieces and shape into balls.
  7. Cover again and let sit for 30 minutes.
  8. Brush with melted butter and top with sesame seeds if desired.
  9. Place on greased cookie sheets and bake at 425° for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
Serving size: 1 bun