Carrot Muffins Recipe Review and Gluten Free Modifications

I used this recipe from Spend with Pennies. I bought a 5 pound bag of carrots and have to use it up. Although you can make 2 cups of shredded carrots from 1 large carrot so this recipe didn’t use that many. I pretty much followed it except for swapping out brown sugar for white and King Arthur’s measure for measure gluten free flour and left out the salt. I filled the wells to almost full just because gluten free flour, I was expecting it to sink back down. Surprisingly, these came out very puffy and light and didn’t collapse back down after baking.

Overall, I think if I didn’t make any modifications, this recipe would have been very good. They weren’t too sweet. Even with my modifications, I was very happy with their soft texture, but there was a bit of grit. Because I used the alternate flour, I probably had to mix it more or perhaps add a little more liquid. I didn’t notice any grittiness when I made the blueberry muffins swap which calls for adding milk. I also had barely any flavor left to my ground cinnamon (which is a Costco sized bottle years past it’s expiration date) so I would probably have added an extra teaspoon of cinnamon to it.

The only major disappointment I had was in the oil I used. It just stuck out as an awful flavor. I used soybean oil since it said not to use a flavored oil like olive oil. However, maybe my oil went rancid though the bottle said it was supposed to be good until November of this year. I should have tossed it out when I smelled it. This didn’t go away when I baked it. Why does carrot cake use oil? Is it supposed to be healthier? Could I have just used melted butter?

I will keep this recipe to try again. Maybe with some cardamom or cloves and some vanilla?

Hamburger Buns Recipe Review and Smash style Wagyu Beef Burger Recipe

I was able to get a pack of Wagyu ground beef at Costco the other day and had a hankering for burgers. I had time last night to make the recipe for KA’s beautiful burger buns (love the alliteration btw). They are brioche like in that it’s an enriched dough with egg and butter.

These are delicious!

I liked how the buns turned out. They were soft and fluffy and tasted really rich and buttery. I probably would have let them rise a bit more to get a fluffier bun. I made 10 buns instead of 8 and baked it for 15 minutes. Brushing it with melted butter gave it an extra yum!

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Papo Secos (Portuguese Rolls) Recipe and Review

A baker’s dozen!

I’m really enjoying this recipe. Dare I say, if had to eat one type of bread for the rest of my life, this could be it. It takes a lot of time for bread, but it’s worth it. It’s a pretty malleable dough so it’s not a lot of hard kneading. I cannot get it to look like the store bought version with the oven spring and resulting crust but it taste wise. BINGO!

I’ve adapted the recipe from Leite’s culinaria. Below are my tweaks.

Makes 12/13 rolls (3oz rolls)

Time: Doesn’t matter. Don’t look at your watch. Good for a snow day stuck indoors.

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Gluten Free Blueberry Muffins Recipe Repost

It’s the middle of winter, and you just bought some fresh blueberries for your breakfast. Who doesn’t like fresh fruit? After taking a bite, you discover why unseasonal fruit is unseasonal. They are subpar in sweetness, borderline sour, and their mushy texture renders them unpalatable… What do you with the 18 ounce container? Waste not, want not! Why not make some muffins?? They will cook down so you won’t know what texture they were to begin with. Add more sugar to adjust for any overly sour berries. Win-win!

Here is a link to the original recipe post from July 2020. This time I used King Arthur Company’s 1 for 1 all purpose gluten-free flour. A benefit of their mix is that they added some vitamins which are lacking in a DIY gluten free flour all purpose mix.

I kind of over baked them by 10 minutes in this batch, a bit dark but still edible!

Portuguese Rolls or Papo Secos (Pap secosh) Recipe Review

I decided to take a break from my somewhat unsatisfying baguette obsession and moved on to a local northern New Jersey favorite. The recipe has similar ingredients to most breads: salt, bread flour, water, yeast but you add sugar and butter.

From my experience, the best Portuguese rolls I’ve had to date are made in Newark. I don’t know if other states make them like this. They are just so good. The rolls have a very short shelf life which makes me think they don’t add preservatives.

I used this recipe from Leite’s culinaria. I used slightly less than 1 Tablespoon of coarse sea salt because I’m sort of watching my salt in take but bread really needs it. The recipe takes a long time to rise and shape, reshape. The shaping was trickier than expected, so I got weird ball looking things, but the bread had an excellent crumb, almost like a sponge cake with a fine crumb that was also soft. However, it didn’t quite achieve the feathery cotton like texture on the inside, but it was super close definitely more tender and satisfying than all my previous attempts put together! No gummy bread here, folks, so that’s what I call a win!

Baguettes Obsession: with Recipe part 5

Oh la la, les baguettes!

This time I let the dough cold proof over night and let come to room temp for an hour before shaping and then let rise for an hour. Slash and then sprayed the loaves until they looked wet. Baked at 450 with a pan of boiling water underneath for 15 minutes. Lowered heat to 350 and baked for another 15 minutes. Turned off the oven and left the loaves in the oven with door slightly ajar.

The crust ended up a nice golden brown, but way too crusty with an almost unpleasant hardness in some parts. So maybe less spritzing next time? More flavorful, but not by much. Less yeasty because I only used 1 teaspoon. The overnight rise made the bread chewier vs a quick rise. I like this way better but less crustiness next time. Water seems to aid in the browning effect as well. I got a nice oven spring, you can see where the dough busted out of the slashes this time. I made the cuts a bit deeper. Still haven’t found consistency in my methods, but its getting there. Still not Zabar’s…


  • 13 ounce King Arthur Company’s French style flour (You can probably replace a third of the flour with basic AP flour)
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon yeast
  • 1 1/4 cup warm water


  • Mix the dry ingredients well in a large bowl
  • Add the water, stir until a shaggy dough forms.
  • Use a dough scraper to bring the dough and fold over the edges into itself, and then invert
  • Cover with a lid or plastic wrap. Let rise at room temperature for 30 minutes. Fold the North edge to the center, follow with East, West and South sides. Then flip dough over. Cover and repeat for 2 hours.
  • Put in the refrigerator and let rise overnight
  • Remove and do the fold and flip method. Let come to room temperature for about an hour.
  • Take a large cutting board and dust with flour. Cut dough into 3 rectangles. Cover with plastic wrap or a large pan that doesn’t touch the dough. Leave for 30 minutes.
  • Flatten dough slightly and fold the long edge to the bottom 2/3 and press and do the opposite to the bottom edge to the top, press along the seam. Roll gently until you get a long baton shape. Place on your baguette pan. Repeat for the other pieces.
  • Let rise for 1 hour. Dust with rice flour. At the last 15 minutes, preheat oven to 450 degrees. Make long slashes along the baguettes, Spritz with water.
  • Bake 15 minutes with a pan that has boiling water. Lower to 350 and remove the pan. Remove right away and let cool on a rack.

French Baguette Batch 3

Batch 3, using a bit of bread flour, but mostly all purpose. Shaping needs work, but I’m more concerned in preserving the air bubbles from the over night rise. Crumb texture is soft, but overall the loaves feel heavy for their end size. I feel like a baguette should feel like and airy and these are more like bricks…

Preheated oven to 450, Let the dough rise for about 45 minutes post shaping and lowered oven to 375 and baked for 30 minutes, along with a tray of boiling water for steam. I used scissors to cut the slashes this time around.

French baguette recipe and King Arthur company baguette pan review

While I’m waiting to be able to travel to France and one day try authentic French baguettes, I’m on the search for a recipe that mimics Zabars lighter than air baguettes. So I’m trying a bunch of things from what’s posted on the internet. I previously tried King Arthur Company’s recipe for classic baguettes using all purpose flour and kneading in my bread machine and didn’t have much flavor. The result was a dense tough bread with more chew than I wanted and a flat bottom. This post is for a different recipe.

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