Mini Bacon Cheddar Cornbread Muffins

I love mini muffins. They are the perfect size for little fingers, bake up in a matter of minutes and pack lots of flavor into every bite. For this post, I took one of my favorite cornbread recipes, added some savory elements to it and whipped up some magical honey butter to make the perfect cornbread mini muffin. Not too sweet, not too savory. Crumble these up in your chili, add them as a side with soup or even a salad or serve them to a crowd. These mini bacon cheddar cornbread muffins are my new go-to quick side and that honey butter…pretty sure I need that on repeat – it’s so good!

White or Yellow Cornmeal – What’s the Difference?

I live in Kentucky. Kentucky is culturally very Southern and in the South we enjoy a lot of cornbread. Most of that cornbread is made with white cornmeal. In other areas such as the Northeast and Texas, you may find yellow cornmeal commonly called for in recipes. What is the difference? The difference lies mainly in their coloring. White cornmeal comes from white corn and yellow cornmeal from a yellow corn. They can be used interchangeably in recipes. I love using this cornmeal from our local mill or in a pinch I’ll pick a bag up at my grocery store. You may also see cornmeal labeled as “bolted.” Bolted means that the cornmeal has been ground finely and is sifted through to give you the finest grain. Unbolted cornmeal has a more “gritty” texture. For this recipe I recommend a bolted, or finely ground white cornmeal.

Magical Honey Butter

What is cornbread without honey butter? These mini bacon cheddar cornbread muffins don’t have a whole lot of sugar in them. If you prefer a sweeter cornbread, you may want to increase the sugar by 1/3 of a cup, or just make some of this amazing honey butter to slather on your muffin. This honey butter is made with room temperature butter and whipped together in a mixer making it creamy and smooth. It would be delicious on top of any bread, but a little dollop of honey butter on this savory cornbread muffin is especially delicious.  

Substituting Buttermilk

These days, buttermilk is not always kept in kitchens. I do love the properties of buttermilk and almost always keep my kitchen stocked with buttermilk to use in many of my recipes. However, I like having easy substitutions for when I do run out of buttermilk. My favorite substitution for buttermilk is to mix together 1 part sour cream and 1 part milk in a liquid measuring cup. In this recipe I would fill a liquid measuring cup with 3/4 cup sour cream. Add 3/4 cup milk to the sour cream until you reach 1 1/2 cups of liquid. Stir together and use in place of the buttermilk.

Bacon Cheddar Chive Muffins

Before adding the liquid ingredients to the cornbread muffins, I mix together all the dry ingredients in the bowl. This includes cooking up the crispy bacon and dicing it into small chunks. Grate the cheese right into the dry ingredients and cut small pieces of chives right on top of the dry ingredients. I love the flavor combination of bacon, chives and cheese. The cheese you use will determine how much cheddar flavor these muffins will have. A sharper cheddar will lend to more of a cheesy flavor. These muffins remind me of our favorite sourdough cheddar biscuits with a light cheddar flavor. If you’d like to leave out the bacon, cheese and chives, the muffins recipe will give you a more traditional corn muffin. Fluff together the dry ingredients with the savory elements before adding the liquid to this batter.

The Key to Light and Tender Cornbread Muffins: Don’t Over-mix

One of the keys to a light and tender cornbread muffin is to not over-mix the batter. Mixing starts to activate the gluten in the flour which is wonderful in bread, but not so wonderful in muffins. Once you add the liquid ingredients to the dry, mix together lightly until mostly combined. It’s okay to have a few streaks of dry ingredients left. This batter will be more on the thick side. If you think it is too thick, add a little splash of milk, being careful to not mix too much. 

Scooping Batter and Baking Cornbread Mini Muffins

Spray a mini muffin tin with cooking spray and scoop the batter using a cookie scoop (this one is the perfect size for mini muffins) straight into your mini muffin tin. If you have little pieces of bacon sticking out, push them down a bit with your fingers. Bake the muffins in a preheat oven for about 10-12 minutes. These muffins don’t need a liner and will pop right out of a good mini muffin tin. Enjoy warm with a smear of magical honey butter or plain…straight from the oven!

Frequently Asked Questions

I can’t find chives. Can green onion be substituted for chives?

Some herbs aren’t as readily available in some grocery stores. Finely chopped green onions are an easy substitute in these cornbread muffins for chives.

Can I make these muffins without bacon and cheese?

Sure! If you want a plain cornbread muffin that tastes delicious, you can leave out the savory bacon, cheese and chives.

How should I store cornbread muffins?

Cornbread muffins can be stored at room temperature in a ziplock bag for about 24 hours. After that, stick them in a ziplock in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Can I make these muffins into a regular size muffin instead of mini muffins?

Yes! You can scoop the batter into a regular, 12 cup muffin tin. Bake at the same temperature for about 15 minutes.

I don’t like sweet cornbread. How sweet is this recipe?

These cornbread muffins are not super sweet. The sweetness pairs very well with the savory in these muffins. If you want a sweeter cornbread muffin, I would increase the sugar from 1/3 cup to up to 2/3 cup total.

Mini Cheddar Bacon Cornbread Muffins with Magical Honey Butter

Delicious cornbread muffins studded with bacon, cheese and chives. Crumble them into some chili or eat plain with some magical honey butter. These mini muffins are the perfect quick side for soup night.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 12 mins
Course Bread, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 36 mini muffins

Ingredients
  

Mini Cornbread Muffins

  • 2 cups all purpose flour 10 oz
  • 1 cup cornmeal 5 oz see recipe notes
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar (change to 2/3 cup total if a sweeter muffin is desired) 3 oz
  • 1.5 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk 12 oz see recipe notes for substitutions
  • 2 eggs
  • 8 Tablespoons unsalted butter melted and cooled
  • 2-4 oz bacon (cooked and crumbled) 4-8 oz bacon uncooked see recipe note
  • 1 small bunch chives
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese 3 oz

Magical Honey Butter

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 Tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions
 

Cornbread Muffins

  • Cook the bacon, drain the grease, crumble and let cool.
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  • Grate the cheddar cheese and add to the dry ingredients.
  • Using kitchen shears, cut the bunch of chives into small pieces over the dry ingredients. Whisk to combine.
  • Add the bacon to the dry ingredients and mix to combine.
  • To a large liquid measuring cup, add the buttermilk, cooled melted butter and eggs. Whisk to combine.
  • Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix gently until just combined.
  • Scoop small balls of muffin batter into a mini muffin tin. Bake in preheated oven for about 10-12 minutes until muffins spring back and are baked through.

Magical Honey Butter

  • Using a handheld mixer or stand mixer, whip the softened butter until light and creamy.
  • Drizzle in the honey and whip until fully incorporated. Add the powdered sugar and salt and whip for a few minutes until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Enjoy! Honey butter can be stored at room temperature, covered for a few days or refrigerated for longer storage.

Notes

Cornmeal: I prefer using white, finely ground cornmeal, typical in Southern cornbread. You can also substitute yellow cornmeal.
Buttermilk Substitution: I love using buttermilk in these muffins but if you’re in a pinch you can substitute half sour cream and half milk, whisked together for the buttermilk. 
Bacon: Cook the bacon and crumble into small pieces before using in the recipe. You can use more or less bacon based on your preference. The bacon can be made ahead of time, refrigerated and used cold in the recipe. You can also make these without the bacon, they are still delicious.
Keyword bacon, cheese, cornbread, fall, mini muffin, muffins,, quick, quick bread, thanksgiving

Rating: 1 out of 5.

Disclaimer: I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a very small amount from qualifying purchases.

Follow me on Instagram @amybakesbread, like Amy Bakes Bread on Facebook or follow me on Pinterest for more baking ideas. Please share this recipe if you enjoyed it! Post a photo and tag me @amybakesbread so I can see your bake.

Naan Bread for the Ooni Koda Pizza Oven

If you’ve been on social media over the past year you’ve probably seen advertisements for the Ooni Koda Pizza Oven. I have always loved Italian-style pizza and after watching so many videos and researching brands, I decided to purchase it. The oven itself took six months to arrive (thanks to being backordered and difficulty getting products right now). After using it for the past month, I can definitely tell you it was worth the wait. I’ve been dabbling with pizza (recipes will be coming soon) and recently I made this amazing naan bread in the Ooni Koda Pizza Oven that I knew I had to share. This naan is light, fluffy, chewy and just delicious to sop up some curry or eat plain. Seriously so good! The Ooni Koda is not just for pizza. It’s also for amazing naan bread.

Ooni vs a Tandoor Oven

We love naan bread. When we lived in Japan we ate at many different Indian restaurants, all with delicious naan made in tandoor ovens. Those ovens give naan a delicious crust while still being nice and soft. The Ooni Koda mimics the high heat of a tandoor oven which makes for amazing naan bread. I’ve been using this naan recipe for years and love it grilled on a skillet. This new recipe is a game changer when made in an Ooni Koda Pizza Oven. The high heat puffs up the naan so well and forms a beautiful chewy crust. Brush on some melted butter and it will be the highlight of your meal.

Use Bread Flour

Using bread flour is a key to light, delicious, chewy naan bread. Bread flour has a higher protein content than all purpose flour and higher protein content gives bread more chew. All purpose flour can work in a pinch, but I highly recommend using bread flour in all your breads if you can. It will significantly increase the quality of your baked goods just by using bread flour in place of all purpose. In a pinch you can add 1-2 Tablespoons of vital wheat gluten to all purpose flour to increase the protein content and chew of the bread. 

Kneading the Naan

I love using this Bosch Mixer to knead bread. This naan bread is no exception. Pour all the dough ingredients into the bowl except the flour. Mix together while adding the flour a cup at a time. As the dough kneads, continue adding flour as needed. Be careful not to over-flour the dough. Once the dough collects on one side of the bowl and the consistency is such that you can pinch off a piece of dough and roll it up in your fingers with just a little sticky residue, stop adding flour. Set a timer and knead for 8-10 minutes. You can also do this by hand or using a different mixer. The dough will become smooth and silky as you knead it.

Rising and Shaping

After the dough has been kneaded, transfer it to a large container and let rise for 1-2 hours until doubled or tripled in size. The ambient room temperature will affect how fast your dough will rise. Once the dough has risen, use a bench scraper or a large knife to separate the dough into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece of dough into a ball by cupping your hand around the dough and tightly dragging the dough around into a circle. See the pictures below for an example. 

Refrigerating Naan Dough

Once the dough is shaped into tight balls, cover lightly with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator for 1 to 24 hours before baking. Chilling the dough makes it much easier to work with using the Ooni Koda Pizza Oven. This is a great recipe to make a day in advance or in the morning before baking in the evening for dinner. 

Shaping Naan

Pull the dough out of the refrigerator. Use a rolling pin and a scant dusting of flour, if needed, to roll the dough into a small circle. Then use your fingers to stretch the dough into a larger circle shape. Do your best not to rip the dough. If the dough rips, it will still be delicious, the naan just won’t puff up quite as high when baked. Stretch the naan as thin as you can without ripping it so it will bake evenly.

Naan dough that’s been stretched a little too far with holes won’t puff up quite as much as naan without any tears. Still delicious, just a little different look.

How to Bake in the Ooni Koda Pizza Oven

Preheat the Ooni Koda on the highest setting for about 20-30 minutes before baking your first piece of naan bread. The oven should reach a temperature of over 500 degrees Fahrenheit before you bake. On a wooden cutting board, sprinkle a little bit of flour or cornmeal (something to keep the naan from sticking to the cutting board). Stick the naan dough on the cutting board and launch into the pizza oven by quickly thrusting the board forward, moving the naan off the board and into the oven. Bake for about 1 minute until the naan puffs up and is a little charred on the outside. Use a pizza peel to take the naan out of the oven and transfer to a plate. Repeat this process until all of the naan has been baked. You can fit at least two pieces of naan at a time in the Ooni Koda 16 oven once you get the hang of using the pizza oven.

How to Serve Naan Bread

Brush the hot naan with melted butter and top with fresh herbs if desired. Serve the naan bread right away for the most delicious addition to your meal. We eat naan with curry or as a side to a salad or other main dish. Another family favorite is topping day-old naan with pizza toppings for a quick lunch or dinner. If you haven’t tried anything other than pizza in an Ooni Pizza Oven, then what are you waiting for? Try this delicious Naan bread paired with a savory curry or eat it as your main meal. It will be a new family favorite either way.

Frequently Asked Questions

I don’t have a pizza oven. Can I bake this Naan Bread in a regular oven?

If you don’t have a pizza oven, the next best way to bake the naan is on a pre-heated pizza stone in your oven. Crank your oven to 500 degrees and preheat your pizza stone at that temperature. Bake the naan for a few minutes on the pizza stone until puffed up and crispy. You can also bake this bread in a frying pan or using a griddle, though it won’t have quite the same puffy texture and results. It should still taste delicious.

Can I use dry active yeast instead of instant yeast?

Yes. Proof the yeast with the warm water and sugar in a small bowl for about 10 minutes. Once it gives off a sweet, yeasty smell and bubbles, you know it is ready to use.

Can I substitute all purpose flour for bread flour?

You can make this Naan bread with all purpose flour. I recommend adding 1-2 Tablespoons of vital wheat gluten along with the all purpose flour to help increase the protein content of the flour. However, in a pinch you can use only all purpose flour.

What do you serve with Naan Bread?

We love to eat curry with our naan bread. Sometimes we’ll make a salad and pair it with naan or top leftover naan bread with pizza toppings for a quick meal.

How do I store leftover Naan Bread?

If you don’t eat all the naan at once, place leftover naan in a ziplock bag. It can stay on the counter for 24 hours. After 24 hours I would stick it in the freezer to use within a couple of months.

Naan Bread for an Ooni Koda Pizza Oven

Perfect naan bread made in the Ooni Koda pizza oven. Light, chewy and absolutely perfect, this naan bread bakes up in a minute's time and will be the star of your dinner.
Prep Time 3 hrs
Cook Time 1 min
Course Bread
Cuisine Indian
Servings 12 pieces

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup warm water (temperature of baby's bathwater) 8 oz
  • 1 Tablespoon instant yeast
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1.5 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup plain yogurt 9.5 oz (see recipe notes)
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil or other neutral flavored oil
  • 4.5-5 cups bread flour 27.5 oz (see recipe notes)
  • 6 Tablespoons melted butter salted or unsalted
  • a bunch of fresh herbs if desired

Instructions
 

  • To a stand mixer add warm water (temperature of baby's bathwater), instant yeast and sugar. Let sit for a minute until the instant yeast smells and bubbles just a bit.
  • Add the salt, plain yogurt and olive oil to the mixer. Turn the mixer on and add the flour a cup at a time until the dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl. It should be tacky to the touch but not overly sticky.
  • Mix the dough in a stand mixer for 10 minutes to develop the gluten in the dough. Add a bit more flour as needed.
  • Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled container. Cover and let rise until doubled or tripled (about 1-2 hours).
  • Once dough has risen, turn out onto the counter and cut into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a tight ball and set on a baking sheet.
  • Cover and refrigerate the dough balls on the baking sheet for 1 hour or up to 24 hours before baking. Cold dough is easier to shape for the Ooni pizza oven. A longer time in the refrigerator deepens the flavor of the naan bread.
  • Preheat your Ooni Koda Pizza oven for 20-30 minutes on high.
  • Once your oven is pre-heated, take the dough out of the fridge. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a small circle. Use your hands and fingers to stretch the dough out into a larger circle without breaking the bread. Repeat this process with all of the dough balls.
  • Place a piece of naan dough on a wooden cutting board. Using a quick motion, toss the naan bread from the cutting board into the pizza oven. Watch carefully as the naan bread bakes. Each piece should take about 1 minute.
  • The naan is ready when it puffs up and is a little charred on the outside. Use a pizza peel to take the naan out of the oven. The Ooni Koda 16 can bake at least two pieces of naan at a time (it could probably hold four pieces if you can get them all out in time without burning!).
  • Once the naan is out of the oven, slather each piece with melted butter and sprinkle with herbs if desired. Enjoy!

Notes

Yogurt: This recipe works best with regular, plain yogurt. Greek yogurt can work but may require a little less flour because the Greek yogurt is thicker. You can substitute sour cream for yogurt in a pinch.
Bread Flour: Bread flour works best in this recipe because of the higher protein content. If you don’t have bread flour, you can substitute all purpose flour and add a Tablespoon of vital wheat gluten to increase the protein content of your all purpose flour. This will give the naan bread more chew. In a pinch you can substitute with all purpose flour, though it really is worth picking up a bag of bread flour at the store for this naan bread.
Keyword naan, ooni, ooni koda, pizza oven, yeast bread

Rating: 1 out of 5.

Disclaimer: I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a very small amount from qualifying purchases.

Follow me on Instagram @amybakesbread, like Amy Bakes Bread on Facebook or follow me on Pinterest for more baking ideas. Please share this recipe if you enjoyed it! Post a photo and tag me @amybakesbread so I can see your bake.

Easy Apple Crisp

Apple picking is on the top of our family’s list as a favorite fall activity. We spent Labor Day weekend in Michigan this year and enjoyed a day at Crane’s Orchard where we picked over 100 pounds of apples! We’ve been enjoying this apple crisp recipe on repeat. It is delightful and full of our favorite fall flavors. This apple crisp is so easy to throw together, the hardest part is deciding if you want to take the time to peel the apples! Eat it warm with a scoop of ice cream for dessert or room temperature for breakfast the next day. No judgement here! This easy apple crisp is a crowd pleaser and a family favorite.

Peeling and Slicing the Apples

We prefer our apple crisp with peeled apples, though if you don’t mind the texture and taste of the skin, it would save you a bit of time and still taste good leaving them on. You can use a vegetable peeler to peel apples but if you really want something that makes peeling apples easy and fun, I highly recommend one of these apple peelers (affiliate link). They work perfectly to peel and slice your apples. I love the uniform slices for baking and dehydrating. Side Note: we love this dehydrator for apples. Once the apples are peeled and sliced, I cut them into small chunks and pour them in a baking dish. Keep the apple chunks about the same size as you chop them for even baking.

One Bowl, One Baking Dish

As a busy mom, I love recipes that only require one bowl. These one-bowl pumpkin muffins or this sourdough gingerbread cake are some of my favorite one-bowl recipes. Less dishes to wash just makes me love a recipe even more. In this apple crisp, I mix the apples together with the sugar and spices directly in the baking pan. Sometimes I’ll use a bowl to mix the apples together, dump that mixture in the baking pan and then use the same bowl to mix up the crumb topping. Either way, one bowl is the way to go for this simple apple crisp.

Soft or Melted Butter

For the apple crisp topping, I like to use very soft or melted butter. Mix the butter with the brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, flour and oats until you get a crumbly topping. If your topping feels too dry you can add another small pat of butter to help moisten it a bit. Crumble the topping on top of the apple crisp.

Glass Pan or Metal Pan?

Should apple crisp be baked in a glass pan or a metal pan? I love my metal USA pans but apple crisp is really best baked in a glass pan. Metal pans are perfect for cakes, brownies, cookies and biscuits while cobblers and fruit crisps fare better with glass pans. Glass pans take longer to heat up, which make them perfect for anything you bake for a longer length of time at a moderate heat (in this case, about an hour). This is the glass pan that I use most frequently in my kitchen (affiliate link). If you don’t have a glass pan, a metal pan will work in a pinch.

I hope you enjoy this delicious treat. It’s quick, easy and perfect to share with family or friends on a cold fall night. We love dolloping a big scoop of ice cream on top for an extra indulgent dessert.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Apples Should I use in Apple Crisp?

Any tart apple or a combination of tart apples work well in this apple crisp. I’ve used Granny Smith, Honeycrisp and McIntosh with great results.

How should I store leftover apple crisp?

Leftover apple crisp can be covered and left on the counter for 24 hours. After that, stick it in the fridge for a couple of days and reheat as needed.

Do I have to add almond extract?

You don’t have to add the almond extract, but it adds a subtle flavor that complements the apples and enhances the flavor.

Can I use other fruit instead of apples?

This crisp would work well for a variety of fruits. Berries would be great and you could even use peaches during peach season. We love mixing cranberries in with the apples for a beautiful tart flavor. It’s perfect for fall.

Easy Apple Crisp

The perfect fall dessert. Sweet, tart apples topped with a delicious oat topping and baked low and slow. Top this apple crisp with vanilla ice cream and you have the perfect taste of fall!
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 9 people

Ingredients
  

Apple Filling

  • 4 large apples see recipe notes
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice squeeze of about half a lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract optional but delicious
  • pinch of salt

Apple Crisp Topping

  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter softened or melted
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup old fashioned oats

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease an 8 by 8 glass baking dish (affiliate link) with butter or non-stick cooking spray . Set aside.
  • Using an apple peeler (affiliate link), peel, core and slice the apples. Chop into chunks and pour into the glass pan.
  • Sprinkle the brown sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and salt over the top of the chopped apples. Add the lemon juice, vanilla extract and almond extract. Toss together with a spoon until the apples are completely coated.
  • To a small bowl, mix together the butter, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, flour and oats until it forms a crumbly topping. The mixture will be crumbly but should clump together. If it is too crumbly, add another half Tablespoon of butter. Press the crumb mixture on top of the chopped apples. Place in preheated oven.
  • Bake apple crisp for 50-60 minutes until the juices from the apples are bubbling around the edges. Pull out and serve warm with a scoop of ice cream if desired. Enjoy!

Notes

Apples: My favorite apples to use are Honeycrisp or Granny Smith. Sometimes I will mix a few of these tart and tangy apples with a few Fuji or Gala apples (really any apples I have in my fridge). 
Keyword apple crisp

Rating: 1 out of 5.

Disclaimer: I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a very small amount from qualifying purchases.

Follow me on Instagram @amybakesbread, like Amy Bakes Bread on Facebook or follow me on Pinterest for more baking ideas. Please share this recipe if you enjoyed it! Post a photo and tag me @amybakesbread so I can see your bake.

Chocolate Sourdough Zucchini Cake

Chocolate, sourdough and zucchini. At first I wasn’t sure those three words belong together, but after making this chocolate sourdough zucchini cake on repeat…they do! After baking and sampling with dollops of the ethereal chocolate whipped cream, I kept coming back throughout the day for just one more nibble. I couldn’t stop after just one piece. This chocolate sourdough zucchini cake is rich with a deep chocolate flavor and has a perfectly moist crumb (thank you zucchini).Top it with chocolate whipped cream and it’s pretty much perfection.

Jump to Chocolate Sourdough Zucchini Cake Recipe

Sourdough Discard

If you’ve followed my site for long, you know how much I love sourdough. I have many favorite sourdough recipes using sourdough starter. This Babka or my favorite no-knead bread are, well, favorites. This zucchini cake benefits from the leftover sourdough discard that I almost always have hanging out in the back of my fridge. I don’t like to waste the excess flour/water from feeding my sourdough starter. Instead I find ways to incorporate discard into baked goods. The older the discard (the longer it’s been sitting out), the stronger the sourdough flavor. I typically prefer a mild sourdough flavor in sweet baked goods, like this sourdough blueberry crumb cake or these brown butter sourdough chocolate chip cookies. I don’t mind as strong of a flavor in these discard rolls or these amazing sourdough pretzel bites. Whatever your preference, this is the perfect cake to add some sourdough discard. It is moist, fluffy and delicious.

Zucchini

We love zucchini at our house. I make this favorite zucchini bread often and we love sautéd zucchini as a side for our dinner many weeknights. When we want to use zucchini in a dessert, though, this chocolate sourdough zucchini cake is it. I love that this recipe has you shred the zucchini and immediately toss it into the batter—no squeezing out excess water required. It definitely makes it super quick to throw together. And don’t worry, zucchini is the perfect vehicle to increase the moistness of the cake. If you shred it finely on a box grater, you (or your picky eaters) won’t even know it’s there. Promise!

Chocolate Whipped Cream

Whipped cream is my favorite in all forms, but this chocolate whipped cream topping takes it up a notch. While this chocolate zucchini cake can definitely stand on its own, the chocolate whipped cream is absolutely amazing. It is the perfect deep chocolate flavor, not too sweet and so good you won’t mind the extra step of pulling out the beaters and licking them clean! We love to top each slice of cake with a scoop of chocolate whipped cream for an extra decadent bite.

9 by 13 pan

My favorite pan to bake this zucchini cake in is a 9 by 13 pan. I love this USA pan (affiliate link), because it is non-stick and bakes the cake so evenly. I typically like to bake desserts in smaller pans (too tempting!), but this one is worth the larger pan. It is perfect for a crowd and I can even trick myself into thinking this is healthy…it’s mostly vegetable, right?!

If you’re looking for the perfect way to use up zucchini and sourdough discard, this chocolate sourdough zucchini cake is it. Perfect to serve at a family gathering or just for fun, it is worth picking up some zucchini and starting up your sourdough starter again just for this cake. Chocolate sourdough zucchini heaven!

Chocolate Sourdough Zucchini Cake

Frequently Asked Questions

What can I substitute for sourdough discard?

If you want to make this recipe without sourdough discard, you can increase the flour to 1 1/2 cups and increase the buttermilk to 3/4 cup.

Can this sourdough zucchini cake be made in a smaller pan?

Yes. This recipe works well in an 8 by 8 pan, (affiliate link). Just cut the ingredients in half and bake at the same temperature. Check for readiness of the zucchini cake a few minutes early. The smaller size may bake a bit quicker.

Should I squeeze out the liquid from my zucchini?

Some recipes call for squeezing out the excess liquid and water in zucchini, like this zucchini bread. Zucchini has a very high water content (over 90%) which can affect the texture of some baked goods if not squeezed dry. This is a very moist zucchini cake and one of the benefits of it is not having to wring dry the shredded zucchini (though you can if you want to).

What are the best recipes to use sourdough discard?

Sourdough discard (the byproduct of sourdough starter) can be used in small quantities in most baked goods. I don’t like to waste food or discard, so I add it to many of my recipes. Some of my favorite discard recipes are these sourdough discard rolls or pretzel bites. This sourdough discard blueberry crumb cake is delicious too. It’s so easy to add some discard to pancakes or waffles for breakfast. Sourdough discard works especially well in these sourdough cheddar biscuits with a nice hearty soup.


Chocolate Sourdough Zucchini Cake

Amy
Chocolate sourdough zucchini cake is rich with a deep chocolate flavor, perfectly moist crumb and topped with a downright delicious chocolate whipped cream. The perfect cake for a party or family gathering.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 1 9 by 13 cake

Ingredients
  

Chocolate Sourdough Zucchini Cake

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk see recipe notes
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil or any neutral flavored oil
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup sourdough discard see recipe notes
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all purpose flour about 5 oz
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 cups finely shredded zucchini

Chocolate Whipped Cream Topping

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions
 

Chocolate Sourdough Zucchini Cake

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare a 9 by 13 pan, affiliate link, by spraying with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Finely shred the zucchini on a box grater until you have 2 cups of shredded zucchini. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs. Add the buttermilk, oil and granulated sugar. Whisk to combine. Pour in the sourdough discard and vanilla extract. Whisk until completely incorporated and smooth.
  • In a small bowl, use a fork to incorporate the flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Fluff with a fork until completely combined.
  • Pour the dry ingredients on top of the liquid ingredients and mix together with a wooden spoon or spatula. Add the shredded zucchini and mix together until just incorporated.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 30 minutes. Stick a knife or toothpick in the middle of the cake to check for doneness. The cake will be very moist, rise and spring back lightly when touched with your finger. Once baked through, allow the cake to cool.

Chocolate Whipped Cream topping

  • Using wire beaters, whip together the heavy cream, cocoa powder and powdered sugar until thick and creamy. Add the vanilla extract and mix until incorporated. Dollop on top of each slice of cake.

Notes

Buttermilk Substitution: Mix together 1/4 cup sour cream with 1/4 cup milk and replace for the buttermilk if you don’t have it on hand.
Sourdough Discard: The discard I use is 100% hydration. I prefer using discard that has not been sitting long in my fridge in this recipe for less sour undertones. You can also substitute sourdough starter for the discard.
Flour: When I measure flour, my 1 cup weighs about 5.3 ounces.
Keyword beginner sourdough, chocolate cake, chocolate zucchini, sourdough discard, sourdough zucchini cake,, zucchini cake

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Brown Butter Sourdough Chocolate Chunk Cookies

I think it was at the beginning of the pandemic a year and a half ago – when people were going crazy putting sourdough discard in everything – that I first heard of adding sourdough discard to cookies. Now I don’t bat an eye at adding sourdough discard into recipes and it has produced some pretty amazing bakes i.e.: sourdough blueberry crumb cake, I’m looking at you! In the beginning, I did have a few misses with an overly-sour flavor that just wasn’t the flavor I wanted. As I’ve baked more and more with sourdough discard, I love creating recipes with the addition of discard. These brown butter sourdough chocolate chunk cookies are no exception. The brown butter combined with the sourdough discard (or bubbly starter) adds such a complex and delicious flavor. I wish I was eating one right now! Thin and crispy or thick and chewy, these brown butter sourdough cookies are only about half an hour away from this screen to your stomach.

Jump to Brown Butter Sourdough Discard Cookies

Brown Butter in Sourdough Discard Cookies

Browning the butter is one of the key steps to these sourdough cookies. If you’ve never browned butter before, it’s a pretty simple process. Heat butter over medium heat, stirring every couple minutes. It is easiest to use a pan with a white bottom, but you can also use a darker bottom pan. As the butter heats it will start to brown. This can take 5-10 minutes, so it’s important to watch closely. Brown butter can easily turn into burned butter if you don’t watch it and that is no good for cookies! Once you notice little brown bits on the bottom of the pan take it off the heat. It will smell nutty and delicious. Pour the butter with the brown bits into a bowl to cool a bit before using in the cookie dough.

Sourdough Discard in Cookies

In working with sourdough discard recipes, I have found some recipes complement the discard and enhance the flavor. Other recipes don’t necessarily need sourdough discard, but they are a great vehicle for using up sourdough discard so it doesn’t go to waste while still tasting delicious. This is the case with these Brown Butter Sourdough Chocolate Chunk Cookies. Brown butter cookies don’t necessarily need sourdough discard (plenty of recipes out there don’t call for sourdough discard in their cookies) but these cookies taste amazing with the discard. The brown butter complements the discard and makes for a deliciously complex cookie that you can feel good about. No waste, plus a delicious flavor. The sourdough discard in this recipe is made from starter that is 100% hydration. If you use discard that is fed at a different hydration, you may need to add more or less flour to the cookie dough.

Thin and Crispy or Thick and Chewy Cookies?

There is one simple trick for turning a thick and chewy cookie into a thinner and crispier cookie. Less flour! I prefer my cookies to puff up, be a little bit thick and gooey in the middle with crispy edges. The flour called for in this recipe is the perfect amount for a thick and chewy cookie. If you want to make these thinner and crispier…which is also super delicious, reduce the flour by 1/3 cup. Only add 1 cup of flour instead of the 1 1/3 cups flour and you will get cookies that look like this. Still delicious, just spread a bit thinner with a crispier bite. Either way, these brown butter sourdough chocolate chunk cookies are delish.

Convection Bake for Cookies

I have waxed poetic before about using convection bake when baking cookies. I make a lot of cookies (my kids run a little bake shop that sells awesome cookies and yours truly helps them create the recipes, etc…). Convection bake is one of the secrets to a delicious crispy edge with a gooey or chewy middle. If you have convection bake on your oven, use it! If you don’t have convection, you can increase the temperature by 25 degrees (400 degrees Fahrenheit for this recipe) and preheat your oven for 15-20 minutes to get it really hot. 

Chilling the Dough

The brown butter in the dough is warm and melted which means that these cookies will spread even more in the oven if you don’t chill the dough. If I’m in a hurry, which let’s face it, I usually am when it comes to chocolate chip cookies, I’ll stick the bowl of dough into the freezer for 15 minutes. It is just long enough for the dough to firm up a bit, which helps solidify the fats. This will help the cookies hold their shape while baking. If you want even better flavor, you can chill the dough for up to 24 hours in the refrigerator. This dough also freezes well. Shape the dough into balls and freeze. When you’re ready to bake, pull the dough balls out of the freezer and set them out for 10-15 minutes to thaw a bit, then bake according to the recipe directions. 

Chocolate Chunks, Dark Brown Sugar and Sea Salt

I love using dark chocolate chunks in these cookies. They add a yummy pop of rich chocolate flavor that complements the brown butter. Dark brown sugar is another key ingredient to these cookies. Can you use light brown? Yes, you can. However, the dark brown sugar complements the sourdough and brown butter flavor much better than regular brown sugar. If you can grab some dark brown sugar, do it (though not having any wouldn’t keep me from making these cookies). Adding a sprinkle of flaky sea salt (affiliate link) also takes these cookies to next-level deliciousness! You can also use chocolate chips in these cookies if you don’t have chocolate chunks on hand.

Cookie Scoop

My grandma gifted me this cookie scoop many, many years ago (affiliate link). It has made hundreds and thousands of cookies and held up so well. I use it for scooping mini muffin batter with these banana muffins, scooping meatballs and of course cookies. It is the perfect size and I highly recommend investing in one of these if you are cookie connoisseur. And if you don’t have sourdough discard on hand and want some awesome chocolate chip cookies, check these favorites out here.

If you love using sourdough discard and a deep, complex cookie flavor, these cookies are for you! They are chewy, rich and downright delicious. These cookies are kind of addicting, it was hard to stop at one or two. My kids gobbled them up and didn’t even know they had sourdough discard in them. I hope you love them too!

Brown Butter Sourdough Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Thick, chewy and deep flavor – these brown butter sourdough chocolate chunk cookies are perfect to satisfy your sweet tooth. Add a sprinkle of sea salt for a more complex flavor or a little less flour for a thinner, crispier cookie.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 7 mins
Chill Time 15 mins
Course cookies, Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 20 cookies

Ingredients
  

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup sourdough discard see recipe notes
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3 cup all purpose flour see recipe notes
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chocolate chunks or chocolate chips
  • flaky sea salt if desired

Instructions
 

  • Brown Butter: Heat the butter in a pan or pot on the stove over medium heat. Swirl the butter around and stir every few minutes until little brown flecks are on the bottom of the pan and the butter smells nutty and delicious. Be careful not to overheat as it can burn the butter. Pour the brown butter along with all the little brown bits on the bottom of the pan into a medium sized bowl and let sit for 5 minutes to cool.
  • Add the dark brown sugar and granulated sugar to the bowl with the brown butter. Stir to combine.
  • Mix in the egg yolk, sourdough discard and vanilla extract. Mix together with a spoon until the mixture turns light and fluffy.
  • Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt to the middle of the bowl. Mix together using a light hand so the flour mixture is evenly dispersed throughout the dough.
  • Add chocolate chunks (or chips) and stir into the dough.
  • Place the whole bowl into the freezer and chill the dough for 15 minutes. It is possible to bake these cookies right away, but they will not be quite as puffy and will spread a lot more than the chilled dough. You can also chill the dough in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours or freeze the dough in small balls. Let the balls come back to "chilled" temperature before baking.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees convection. Scoop the dough into balls and place onto a parchment lined baking sheet (my favorite linked here, affiliate link), about 12 cookies per baking sheet. Sprinkle the top with flaky sea salt if desired.
  • Bake cookies at 375 degrees convection for 6 minutes until cookies are puffed up and the edges are a little crispy. Let the cookies sit for about 5 minutes on the baking sheet to set up before removing. If your oven doesn't have a convection setting, preheat oven for 20 minutes and bake cookies at 400 degrees for 6-8 minutes.
  • Repeat with the remaining cookie dough and enjoy!

Notes

Substitutions: This recipe has the best flavor with dark brown sugar. You can substitute for light brown sugar, but the cookies may have a little more sourdough tang.
Sourdough Discard: I feed my starter with equal weights of water and flour for a 100% hydration starter. If your starter is fed differently, you will want to adjust the amount of flour called for in the recipe; adding more flour for a starter that is fed with a higher percentage of water and less flour for a lower hydration starter. The longer your discard sits in the fridge, the more “tang” it will have. I prefer using a younger discard in this recipe to balance with the other flavors.
Flour: This recipe has been tested with more and less flour. If you want a thinner and crispier cookie, use 1 cup of flour. If you prefer a thicker cookie, use 1 2/3 cup flour. I’ve found 1 1/3 cup flour to be perfect for the way we like our cookies. FYI: When I scoop flour, 1 cup is about 5 oz.
Keyword beginner sourdough, chocolate chip cookie, cookies, sourdough discard

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Perfect Peach Cobbler

We are at the tail end of peach season, but this recipe is one I’ve been working on perfecting over the summer – and I’ve got it just where I wanted it. This perfect peach cobbler is a combination of biscuit/cake topping, perfectly spiced peaches and absolutely divine with a scoop of ice cream or whipped cream. Even thought I may be a bit late to the game posting it for this season, I want it somewhere I can come back to again and again, because it tastes like summer in a pan. While I love fall and have many pounds of apples sitting on my kitchen counter, I’m still holding on to the tail end of our warm days while I can.

Jump to Recipe

Cake or Biscuit?

Peach cobbler is often made with a biscuit topping or a cake topping. Both are delicious in their own right. This peach cobbler combines the flavor of a biscuit topping with the spreadability of the cake topping. It is not overly sweet like cake toppings sometimes are, allowing the fresh peaches to really shine through. The cake topping benefits from baking powder and buttermilk which give it a beautiful rise and the combination of a crispy crust with tender cake and mixed with fresh peach…it can’t be beat!

Fresh, Frozen or Canned Peaches

This perfect peach cobbler is definitely best with in-season, fresh peaches. Can this be made in the “off season” with frozen or canned peaches? The short answer is yes. The longer answer is, make sure to drain the canned peaches or for frozen, bring them to room temperature, then drain off the juice and excess water. You may also want to increase a Tablespoon or two of flour in the peach mixture to help thicken the peach mixture. This will help your peach cobbler from turning into peach soup!

Use a Glass Baking Dish

I love USA bakeware metal pans (affiliate link) that I use daily for almost all my baking. Originally I baked this peach cobbler in a metal baking dish but when I switched over to a glass dish (affiliate link), my results were consistently better. Cobbler is baked for a long time and the slow heating of the glass pan helps the cobbler bake evenly and retains the heat when the cobbler is finished baking in the oven. If you can use a glass dish, it will improve your finished cobbler.

One Bowl, One Baking Dish

If you’ve been around here for awhile, you know that I love using one bowl when I can. My favorite one bowl pumpkin spice muffins here. Applesauce bread using one bowl is here. This favorite sourdough discard zucchini bread here. Perfect peach cobbler is no different! The less dishes, the better. I mix together the peaches with the sugar, flour and spices right into the baking dish. Then I’ll mix up the cobbler topping in a bowl and spread it on top. I love how simple this recipe is and how you really only need to wash one bowl.

If you’re looking for a way to use up the last of those summer peaches, give this perfect peach cobbler a try. I’m hoping to make this cobbler or my favorite sweet peach bread at least once more this season. Either would be the perfect end-of-summer dessert, and I won’t tell if you happen to have a bowl or two for breakfast!

Perfect Peach Cobbler

Perfect Peach Cobbler

Perfect peach cobbler with fresh peaches, spices and the perfect topping that tastes a little bit biscuit and a little bit cake.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 1 8 by 8 pan

Ingredients
  

Peaches

  • 5-6 cups peaches sliced
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Peach Cobbler Topping

  • 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour about 6 oz
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter melted and cooled
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  • Cut and slice 5-6 cups of fresh, soft peaches. Add them to the bottom of an 8 by 8 glass pan (affiliate link). Add the brown sugar, flour, lemon juice, cinnamon and vanilla to the peaches and stir to combine.
  • To a bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the melted butter, buttermilk, egg and vanilla extract. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry and whisk together until no dry streaks remain.
  • Spread the batter over the top of the peaches.
  • Bake for 45-50 minutes until a toothpick is inserted into the center of the cobbler and no batter streaks remain.
  • Serve the cobbler warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

Notes

For canned or frozen peaches: Bring frozen peaches to room temperature and drain the excess liquid before using. Drain canned peaches before using. Add a Tablespoon or two of extra flour to the peach mixture before topping with cake topping.
Buttermilk substitution: If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, substitute 3 Tablespoons sour cream with 2.5 Tablespoons milk, mixed together.
Peeled or unpeeled: Peaches can be peeled or unpeeled depending on your preference.
Keyword peach, peach cobbler

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Sweet Peach Bread

Have you ever had fresh Georgia peaches? Twice a summer the peach truck stops in our little town bringing fresh Georgia peaches to all who want a 25 pound box. Twenty five pounds is a lot of peaches. I had dreams of all the baking I would do with these beauties which were quickly dashed as my son ate 12 peaches on that first day! Slow down kiddos! I couldn’t really blame them though. Ripe peaches are what summer dreams are made of. Sweet, juicy and if you’re lucky you can save a few of them to make this absolutely perfect peach bread. What more could you ask for?

Are the Peaches Ready?

Part of the beauty of this peach bread is how the peaches just melt into the bread giving a beautiful moist texture and delicious flavor. To get this texture and flavor, it’s important to use very ripe and soft peaches. I often let my peaches ripen on the countertop for a few days until they are very soft and even start to wrinkle. Then I chop them up to use in the bread. These slightly over-ripe peaches seem to have the best peach flavor and texture for the perfect peach bread. I’ve only ever used fresh, ripe, peaches, though I think that canned peaches would work as long as they are well drained.

Jump to Sweet Peach Bread Recipe

Peeled or Un-Peeled?

Do you have a preference? We love eating peaches with the skins on and I truthfully don’t mind the peach skin on peaches in my peach cobbler, but for this perfect peach bread, I prefer the texture using peeled peaches. I know you can throw the peaches into some boiling water to help remove the skins, but I don’t ever do that. I use very ripe peaches that pucker a bit on the skin. Then I will gently cut the peach into quarters and peel the skin back, using a paring knife and my fingers to separate the peach from the skin. Dice the peaches into chunks until you have two cups worth of ripe peaches for this recipe. 

Coat Peaches in Flour Mixture

This peach bread can be made all in one bowl and a liquid measuring cup (my favorites linked, affiliate link). I whisk together the dry ingredients first. Then add the diced peaches to the flour mixture and coat the peaches in the flour mixture. This flour coating helps suspend the peaches throughout the bread and keeps them from all sinking to the bottom. Definitely don’t skip this step! I’ve found this method works great for blueberry breads or anytime you are adding a mix in to a quick bread. Giving it a quick toss in the dry mixture before adding the liquid ingredients helps make the perfect loaf. After coating the peach chunks in the flour mixture, whisk the liquid ingredients together in a liquid measuring cup, pour on top and stir until just combined.

Crumb Topping

Basically, any quick bread is better with a crumb topping. It gives a little extra sweetness and sets this bread apart from a more traditional loaf. Mix together the butter, brown sugar, flour and spices with a fork or your fingers and sprinkle over the top of the loaf. If you want to omit this step, you can. I like a little extra sweetness to the top of my bread.

Parchment Paper

Line your pan with parchment paper and thank me later. The first time I made this peach bread the flavor was delicious but we were scooping it out of the pan because it stuck to the edges. I love my nonstick USA pans, but whenever I make something sticky like this swirled brioche or this cinnamon chip bread, I always line my pan with parchment paper. It’s a small step but you will be happy when you can pull the whole loaf out of the pan to cool and it looks perfect! One other note about this recipe, it works best in a 9 by 5 pan which is slightly bigger than my trusty USA bread pans. Check out this pan (affiliate link) if you’re looking for another good option.

We love peach season at our house and this peach bread has made its way into our yearly rotation. It is moist, flavorful and really the perfect peach bread. 

Sweet Peach Bread

Amy
A delicious loaf of bread dotted with sweet peaches and topped with a crumb topping. This bread is delicious with fresh peaches and makes the perfect breakfast or snack on a summer day.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 10 mins
Course Bread, Breakfast
Cuisine American
Servings 1 loaf

Ingredients
  

Fresh Peach Bread

  • 2 cups fresh, ripe peaches peeled & chopped (13.5 oz)
  • 2 cups all purpose flour (11 oz)
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar (6 oz)
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract optional, but delicious

Crumb Topping

  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter softened
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • pinch of salt

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Choose peaches that are very soft, ripe and feel like the skin will come off easily when cut open. Peel and chop the peaches until you have 2 cups worth. I like using a liquid measuring cup (affiliate link) to measure the chopped peaches and later to whisk my liquid ingredients together.
  • To a mixing bowl, add the flour, brown sugar, baking powder and salt. Whisk together to combine.
  • Pour the peaches on top of this flour mixture and lightly coat the peaches in the flour mixture until dispersed throughout.
  • To a liquid measuring cup (affiliate link), add the oil, milk, egg, vanilla and almond. Use a fork or whisk to mix it all together.
  • Add the liquid ingredients to the peach/flour mixture and stir gently to combine until a thick batter is formed.
  • Make the crumb topping by mixing together with a spoon or your fingers, the softened butter, brown sugar, flour and spices. Set aside.
  • Line a 9 by 5 loaf pan with parchment paper. This recipe is perfect for a 9 by 5 pan. If you use a smaller bread pan it may be a little too much batter and you'll want to leave some out or have an overflowing pan.
  • Pour the batter into the parchment-lined pan. Top with chunks of the crumb topping.
  • Bake for about 60-70 minutes until a toothpick is inserted in the middle and comes out clean. Let rest for 5 minutes in the pan and then pull out and cool on a cooling rack. Let the bread cool to room temperature. Slice and enjoy!

Notes

Canned Peaches: I haven’t tried this recipe with canned peaches, though I think it would work well. To substitute them, drain as much juice as possible, chop and use in the recipe.
Keyword peach, peach bread

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Sourdough Cinnamon Sugar Babka

This Babka bread is decadent. It is filled with buttery cinnamon sugar. It is light, soft, tender and uses 100% sourdough to make a really delicious loaf of sweet bread. The sourdough has a bit of a learning curve that includes making a sweet leaven, but when you open the oven door and see two beautifully risen loaves of Babka, all the time is completely worth it. If you’ve never made a Babka before, this advanced sourdough cinnamon sugar babka recipe should make your list.

Jump to Sourdough Cinnamon Sugar Babka Recipe

What is babka?

Babka originated in Eastern Europe and is an enriched bread dough that is usually swirled with a sweet chocolate or cinnamon sugar filling. If you’re looking for a chocolate filling, try out this one I’ve used for a swirled brioche before. It would be delicious with this recipe. Pronounced “bahb-kah,” this bread has become very popular at bakeries and in home kitchens this past year with the beautiful swirl braids and outstanding flavor. I love that this recipe gives two loaves of Babka. If I’m going to trouble with a three day sourdough recipe, I always like to share a loaf or freeze one for later (or who am I kidding…eat the day after we eat the first loaf).

Sample Sourdough Cinnamon Sugar Babka Schedule

I find it personally helpful to see a sample schedule when making sourdough because it does take longer than a traditional dough using commercial yeast. This dough is enriched with a lot of eggs, butter and sugar which takes even a bit longer to rise. 

Day 1 (Make Sweet Leaven)
  • 8 AM: Mix sweet leaven, let rise and bubble
  • 8 PM: Take 120 grams of the sweet leaven and feed it again with the measurements in the recipe. Cover and let it rise and bubble until morning.
Day 2 (Mix Babka Dough, First Rise)
  • 8 AM: Mix together Babka dough ingredients (except salt and butter), rest. Add salt, mix, rest. Add butter a Tablespoon at a time and mix using stand mixer for 10 minutes.
  • 11 AM: First set of Coil Fold
  • 1 PM: Second set of Coil Folds
  • 2 PM: Cover dough and rest in refrigerator overnight (12-24 hours)
Day 3 (Assemble and Bake)
  • 8 AM: Roll out and shape Babka
  • 8:30-3PM: Let Babka rise (the rise time will vary depending on the warmth of your kitchen, but allow for at least 6-8 hours)
  • 3-4PM: Bake Babka

Sweet Leaven

One of the unique things about this sourdough recipe is making a sweet leaven before actually making the bread. Typically with sourdough, the longer the bread rises, the more tang you will taste from sourdough. I love the tang in this recipe in my Basic Country Artisan Loaf or my no-knead sourdough loaf but in a sweet babka, I don’t want to taste the tang. Making a sweet leaven helps temper the tang and mellows the flavors, letting the sweet cinnamon be the overpowering flavor. The addition of sugar to the leaven also helps temper the sour flavor. The taste of the Babka is sweet, light and delicious when using a sweet leaven. You can create this leaven directly from your current sourdough starter and through a series of power feeds (feeding it twice in a 24 hour period before using it), have it ready to mix your Babka in just 24 hours. Sweet leaven is also fairly stiff compared to a regular 100% hydration leaven. Due to the low water content, this stiff leaven ferments slowly and helps the bread keep its texture and maintain the gluten structure. This helps the bread rise slowly to keep the sweet flavor expected from a Babka.

Enriched Dough

Babka is made with an enriched dough. Lots of milk, butter, eggs and sugar go into this beautiful loaf. One of the keys to making a great Babka is the process of incorporating the butter. Once the leaven, flour, milk, eggs, sugar and salt have been mixed together to form a dough, it is time to add the butter. This takes a somewhat thick dough and turns it into a silky, smooth and a little bit sticky enriched dough. Cut the softened butter into chunks and add it to the center of the dough hook as the dough is mixing. Plan to knead the dough for about 10 minutes. I like to set a timer and let my dough get to work developing the gluten and incorporating the butter. I highly recommend using a stand mixer for this process. It can get very sticky and is difficult to knead for the length of time required with cold hands (so the butter doesn’t melt and leak everywhere)

Coil Fold

The coil fold is a technique of picking up the dough from the middle and letting the dough fall down onto and under itself, resulting in a coil. Wet your hands with water. Place your hands under the middle of the dough and pull up. The dough will stretch up (but should not tear) and release from the bottom of the bowl. Once the dough releases, let the dough fall back under itself. Repeat the process for both sides of dough. Then turn the container and repeat the coil fold. This process of folding the dough increases tension and strengthens the strands of gluten in the dough. If you skip this step, the dough can bake up flat because it lacks structure. Watch the coil fold process below to help visualize the process.

Refrigeration

Refrigerating the sourdough cinnamon sugar babka dough overnight or 12-24 hours (not much longer than that) chills the butter, enhances the sweet Babka flavor and makes the dough easy to work with when you pull it out in the morning to shape your Babka. The dough will not double in size and may not even look like it did much rising. Don’t worry! Once it comes back to room temperature it will rise again. When you pull the dough out of the refrigerator to roll out, it will be a little stiff and hard because it is cold. This chill actually makes it easier to work with the Babka dough. Add a little bit of flour on the bottom and on top of the Babka to help roll it out. 

Babka Filling

Babka can be filled with any kind of sweet (or sometimes savory) filling. When mixing the filling, use softened, room temperature butter to mix with the dough. If the butter is too cold, it will not incorporate fully into a paste. If it is melted, it will leak all over the dough and make the Babka difficult to shape. I also love the addition of a bit of flour to the filling. This keeps the filling sticking to the dough and not falling all over your pastry mat. Mix the ingredients together to form a thick paste and set it aside. I have also made this Babka into a strawberry flavored version, using white sugar and crushed up freeze dried strawberries, that was insanely delicious. Check the recipe notes for the full substitution.

How to Shape Babka

Flour a countertop or pastry mat and roll out the dough into a large rectangle, about 14 by 18 inches. Spread half of the cinnamon sugar mixture on the dough and roll up cinnamon-roll style. Take a sharp knife and slice the Babka in half, length-wise. This will leave you with two long, open-faced pieces. Pinch together the ends and twist the dough around each other to form a swirled and braided loaf. Place into a parchment-lined loaf pan and let rise.

A Long Final Rise

I have made the mistake before with this recipe of being a bit impatient and baking the Babka too quickly. This results in a dense, gummy bread that is just not good. It can be hard to be patient with sourdough, but I promise the results are worth it. Wait until the bread has puffed up and mostly filled out the loaf tin which will take 6-8 hours. You can also lightly press the top of the Babka dough and watch as the dough springs back. If it springs back without any indentation, it needs to rise longer. If it springs back just a little and has been at least six hours, then you should be good to bake. The time will vary based on the warmth of your kitchen so it could rise faster or slower. My experience has been six to eight hours generally.

Simple Syrup

What better way to finish off a decadent bread than with some simple syrup, am I right?! To help keep the Babka fresh and moist, whip up this simple syrup while the Babka is baking. I make mine in the microwave, but you could use a pot on the stovetop as well. Mix together the sugar and water. Microwave on high in 1 minute increments until the sugar is dissolved and liquid is boiling. Stir together and let sit while waiting for the Babka to bake. The mixture will thicken as it cools. Pull the Babka out of the oven and let rest for 5-10 minutes in the pan. Then remove to a baking rack and brush the simple syrup over the top of the Babka. Use all of the simple syrup, even if it looks like it doesn’t need more.

It is hard to let the Babka cool and truthfully, I don’t always wait because it is so tempting! This Babka does slice best when it has cooled and even makes great french toast a day or two later if it lasts that long. Sourdough cinnamon sugar Babka is a showstopper recipe and it tastes even better than it looks! Enjoy!

Sourdough Cinnamon Sugar Babka

A rich and delicious cinnamon sugar babka bread made completely with sourdough
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 55 mins
Rise Time 1 d
Course Bread
Cuisine American, Polish, Ukrainian
Servings 2 loaves

Ingredients
  

Sweet Leaven (feed at least twice before making the Babka dough)

  • 120 grams sourdough starter 100% hydration see recipe notes
  • 100 grams all purpose flour
  • 25 grams granulated sugar
  • 40 grams water

Babka Dough

  • all of the leaven about 300 grams
  • 620 grams all purpose flour
  • 200 grams whole milk see recipe notes
  • 4 large eggs about 200 grams
  • 50 grams granulated sugar
  • 16 grams salt
  • 200 grams unsalted butter, softened about 14 Tablespoons

Babka Filing

  • 160 grams unsalted butter, softened 3/4 cup
  • 2 Tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 160 grams brown sugar 2/3 cup
  • 2 teaspoons all purpose flour

Egg Wash

  • 1 teaspoon water

Simple Syrup for Babka

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup water

Instructions
 

Sweet Leaven (24 hours)

  • Mix together ripe sourdough starter, flour, granulated sugar and water. Cover and let sit for about 8-12 hours.
  • Take 120 grams of this new leaven and feed it with flour, sugar and water. Cover and let sit for 8-12 hours until bubbly, about doubled in size and passes the float test.

Babka Dough Day 1

  • Set the bowl of a stand mixer on a kitchen scale. Tare the scale and add all of the sweet leaven, flour, whole milk and eggs. Mix together with a spoon or dough whisk. Let rest for 10 minutes.
  • Add the dough hook to the bowl, sprinkle in the salt and mix for 6 minutes. Let the dough rest for 10-20 minutes.
  • Cut the butter into Tablespoon sized chunks. With the dough hook running, add the butter to the center of the dough. The butter will begin to incorporate into the dough. Continue adding chunks of butter until all the butter is added.
  • Knead for a total of ten minutes until the dough is smooth, sticky and silky.
  • Turn the dough out into a rectangular container (I use this 9 by 13 pan, affiliate link). The dough will be sticky. It can help to wet your hands before turning the dough out if it sticks to your fingers. Cover the dough and let rest at room temperature for 2 hours.
  • After 2 hours, wet your hands and perform one set of coil folds on the dough by lifting up in the middle of the dough and letting the sides pull up and fall under the dough. Repeat from the other direction. This is one set of coil folds. See video for how to perform a coil fold. Cover and let rest.
  • After another 2 hours, perform a second set of coil folds on the dough. Cover and let rest another hour.
  • Transfer the dough to a container, cover tightly and set in the fridge to chill overnight or 12-24 hours.

Babka Dough Day 2

  • Prepare two 9 by 5 loaf pans (affiliate link) with parchment paper.
  • The next morning, make the Babka filling. Mix together the softened butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and flour to make a thick paste. Set aside. See recipe notes for strawberry version.
  • Pull the dough out of the refrigerator. Lightly flour a pastry mat or silpat liner (affiliate link). Turn the dough out onto the mat and cut in half.
  • Lightly flour one piece of dough and roll into a 14 by 18 inch rectangle.
  • Divide the Babka paste in two. Use your fingers to spread half the cinnamon sugar mixture over the rectangle of dough. Once the dough is covered, roll the dough up cinnamon-roll style.
  • Using a sharp knife, cut the roll in half; straight down the middle of the roll the long way. This will leave two long ropes of dough. Beginning on one end, squish the ends of the dough together and then twist the dough around each other forming the Babka loaf. Push the ends of the dough together and place the Babka in the prepared loaf pan. Repeat this process with the second loaf.
  • Cover the loaves and let rise 6-8 hours, depending on the warmth of your kitchen. This bread is made with 100% sourdough and will take much longer than a traditional loaf of bread to rise. Let it rise until it has mostly filled the loaf pan and gets light and puffy.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Whisk together the egg and a teaspoon of water. Lightly brush the egg wash on top of the bread until covered.
  • Bake Babka for 50-55 minutes until baked all the way through.
  • While the Babka is baking, prepare the simple syrup for the top of the Babka. Mix together the granulated sugar and water in a microwave safe liquid measuring cup. Microwave on high a minute at a time until boiling and all the sugar is dissolved. Mix together with a spoon and let cool until the Babka is out of the oven. The simple syrup can also be made on the stovetop. Boil the sugar and water together for about 1 minute until the sugar is completely dissolved. Cool a bit while the Babka bakes.
  • Pull Babka out of the oven and let rest in the pan for about 5-10 minutes. Remove the loaves from the pans using the parchment paper and place on a cooling rack. Pour half of the simple syrup on one loaf and half on the other loaf, using a pastry brush as needed. Let it soak into the warm bread.
  • Let the bread cool before slicing and enjoy!

Notes

Sweet Leaven: I make this leaven with 100% hydration sourdough starter. If you don’t have 100% hydration starter, take a Tablespoon of sourdough starter and add equal weights of water and flour to it. Let it rise and then use it in the recipe for sweet leaven.
Whole Milk: If you don’t have whole milk, you can substitute 180 grams 2% milk and 20 grams heavy cream.
Strawberry Babka:  To make a strawberry filling, replace the brown sugar with white granulated sugar. Replace the cinnamon with 2 Tablespoons of crushed up freeze-dried strawberries. Combine white sugar, softened butter, crushed up freeze-dried strawberries and flour. Mix together into a paste and use in place of the cinnamon-sugar filling for a delicious strawberry flavored Babka.
Keyword babka, Cinnamon sugar

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Sourdough Focaccia

Focaccia bread – where have you been all my life? I have made focaccia before but it wasn’t until I started using my sourdough starter that focaccia has become a staple around our house. Airy, filled with craggy holes and a crisp, crunchy bottom, this focaccia bread is perfect for sandwiches, to dip in some oil and vinegar or just to eat plain. Every time I make this recipe, the bread disappears within a day. My family can’t get enough of it and I don’t blame them. It is show-stopper worthy!

This is an advanced sourdough recipe. Click the links some beginner sourdough tips, tools and recipes.

Jump to Sourdough Focaccia Recipe

Sourdough Takes Time

One thing to always keep in mind when working with sourdough is that it takes time. Sourdough starter is not the same as instant yeast. It’s going to take at least 24-48 hours for this focaccia bread to make it from your mixer to your belly, and that’s okay! Leaven is mixed and rises. Dough is mixed and folded using the coil fold technique. The dough is spread in a pan and left to sit overnight in the refrigerator giving a beautiful crust and flavor to the focaccia bread. You can find a sample schedule below:

Focaccia Sample Schedule

Day 1: Build Leaven

10 PM: Mix the leaven using ripe sourdough starter. Cover and let sit overnight.

Day 2: Mixing/Developing Dough 

8 AM: Mix the dough using a stand mixer (affiliate link). 

9 AM: Use coil folds to strengthen the gluten in the dough. Let the dough bulk rise

12-1 PM: Stretch the dough into an oiled pan, cover and refrigerate overnight.

Day 3: Bake Day

8 AM: Pull Focaccia out of the fridge, let it bubble up and come to room temperature.

12 PM: Top and bake focaccia

High Hydration Dough

This recipe for focaccia uses a very high hydration dough. Hydration is the percentage of flour to water in a recipe. For this focaccia you will be working with a dough that is 85% hydration. This can be a little tricky because the dough is so wet. The benefit of this high hydration is the beautiful crumb that will result in your focaccia. It will be airy, bubbly and have lots of holes throughout. To help deal with such a high hydration dough, keep a jug of water nearby to continuously water your hands as you work with the dough. This prevents dough from sticking to your fingers. The dough is initially mixed in a mixer on low speed for five minutes and then high speed for five minutes to develop the gluten. It will be very, very wet. Don’t worry! You will see a beautiful change in the dough as you proceed with folding the dough over the period of a few hours.

High Gluten Bread Flour

Another trick to help with the high water content is to choose a high gluten bread flour (affiliate link). High gluten bread flour will have a protein content at or above 14%. You can find it here. Please do not substitute all purpose flour for this recipe as written. Transforming the gluten in this dough is very important to a beautifully risen focaccia bread. If you don’t have high gluten bread flour, use bread flour and add vital wheat gluten (affiliate link) to the dough. You can find more information about the benefits of using vital wheat gluten in your bread baking here. Check the recipe notes for the exact measurements. If you are adding the vital wheat gluten instead of using high gluten bread flour, you can also try decreasing the amount of water in the dough by 25 grams to make the dough easier to work with.

Coil Folds

The coil fold is a technique of picking up the dough from the middle and letting the dough fall down onto and under itself, resulting in a coil. Once the dough is initially mixed, it will be very sticky. Place the dough in a rectangular container or glass pan. Cover it and let it sit. After half an hour, open the container and perform 4-6 coil folds. The dough will be very sticky for this first set of coil folds but will strengthen over time. Wet your hands with water. Place your hands under the middle of the dough and pull up. The dough will stretch up (but should not tear) and release from the bottom of the bowl. Once the dough releases, let the dough fall back under itself. Repeat the process for both sides of dough. Then turn the container and repeat the coil fold. Don’t worry if the dough is super sticky for the first one or two coil folds. It will transform into beautiful dough throughout this process.

I find it very helpful to watch this process before attempting it.You can watch the process here:

Focaccia Pan and Refrigerated Rise

After the dough has been developed through coil folds, let it bulk rise for an hour or two. Then it is time to put the dough in a pan. I have tried this recipe in a glass pan and a metal pan – the metal pan (affiliate link) wins hands down. I personally love using this pan. Coat a metal pan with olive oil and transfer the dough to the pan. Stretch lightly to get the dough into all four corners of the pan. If the dough resists, wait a minute and then try again, lightly stretching until the dough fills the pan. Cover the pan and place in the refrigerator overnight. This refrigeration process adds flavor and texture to the focaccia bread. I have baked the focaccia before without the refrigeration, and I think the bread turns out best when it has been refrigerated. If you really can’t wait, you can let the focaccia rise in the pan for another hour or two and get bubbly on top. Then dimple, cover with toppings and bake. For best results, though, use the overnight refrigeration method.

Good Quality Olive Oil and Salt

Another important step to amazing focaccia bread is using good quality olive oil. Olive oil coats the bottom of the pan that the dough is baked in. The focaccia will take on the flavors of the olive oil and give the most beautiful crispy crust. It may just be my favorite part of the focaccia bread. Top the focaccia bread with a flaky sea salt, some fresh herbs and maybe parmesan cheese for a delicious flavor. You can also top focaccia with tomatoes, olives, peppers, really anything that would be delicious in bread.

Dimpling the Dough

Focaccia bread is known for its dimpled look. Once the dough has been refrigerated overnight, pull it out of the fridge and bring it to room temperature (this may take longer in the winter months and shorter in the summer). Watch for the dough to bubble up and see that fermentation happening. Once the dough is bubbly and puffed up, top with desired toppings. Then take your fingers and press down lightly into the dough all around the pan. The entire top of the bread should look dimpled and bubbly. At that point it is ready to bake.

The Perfect Slice

Once the focaccia has been baked at high heat, let the bread sit in the pan for about 5-10 minutes. This lets some of the oil soak into the bread dough a little more and keeps the bottom nice and crispy. Remove it from the pan after 5-10 minutes and let cool completely on a wire rack. We all agree that focaccia is one of those breads that tastes better cooled or room temperature. The flavors have a chance to blend and it is just perfection!

If you’ve never made focaccia before, what are you waiting for? It is one of our favorite breads to snack on and never lasts more than a day around our house. If I ever have any leftovers I love to slice them up and freeze them in a big ziplock bag. I hope you love this recipe as much as we do!

Sourdough Focaccia

Crispy, light and airy sourdough focaccia bread. This recipe is made with 100% sourdough starter and makes delicious bread to eat as a sandwich or to enjoy plain.
Prep Time 1 d 12 hrs
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 1 d 12 hrs 25 mins
Course Bread, Sourdough
Cuisine Italian
Servings 1 9 by 13 pan

Ingredients
  

Leaven

  • 1 teaspoon ripe sourdough starter
  • 50 grams room temperature water
  • 50 grams all purpose flour

Focaccia Dough

  • 100 grams leaven
  • 425 grams room temperature water
  • 500 grams high gluten bread flour (14% protein or higher) see recipe notes for substitution
  • 13 grams salt

Instructions
 

Leaven (night before you mix the bread, day 1)

  • Mix together 1 teaspoon ripe sourdough starter with 50 grams water and 50 grams flour. Cover and let sit overnight at room temperature until bubbly and passes the float test. You can also substitute 100 grams of bubbly sourdough starter if you have some on hand.

Focaccia Dough (Mixing/Developing Dough day 2)

  • To a bowl with a stand mixer, add 100 grams leaven, 425 grams water and 500 grams high gluten bread flour. Mix together with a spoon until a sticky dough forms. Cover and let rest for 20-30 minutes.
  • Add the salt. Place the bowl into the stand mixer and fit it with a dough hook. Mix for 5 minutes on low speed (I use a 2 on my KitchenAid, affiliate link). After five minutes, on low speed, mix for 5 minutes on high speed (6-8 on my KitchenAid). Don't add more flour. The dough will be very wet but stays together.
  • Get your hands wet and transfer the dough to a shallow container. Cover and rest for 30 minutes.
  • Coil Fold 1: Open the container and perform 4-6 coil folds. The dough will be very sticky for this first set of coil folds but will strengthen over time. Wet your hands with water. Place your hands under the middle of the dough and pull up. The dough will stretch up (but should not tear) and release from the bottom of the bowl. Once the dough releases, let the dough fall back under itself. Repeat the process for both sides of dough. Then turn the container and repeat the coil fold. I find it very helpful to watch this process before attempting it. You can watch a video of the coil fold here. Cover and let rest for 30 minutes.
  • Coil Fold 2: Wet your hands. You will notice the dough is stronger than your first set of coil folds. Repeat the coil fold 4-6 times. Cover and rest for 30 minutes.
  • Coil Fold 3: Wet your hands. Repeat the coil fold 4-6 times. Notice the dough is getting stronger and the coil folds are easier to perform. Cover and rest for 30 minutes.
  • Coil Fold 4: Repeat the coil fold 4-6 times. Cover and rest for 1.5-2 hours.
  • After the long bulk rest, prepare a 9 by 13 baking pan (my favorite here, affiliate link) with 1/4-1/3 cup good quality oil. Pour the oil in the pan and tip the pan around to cover the entire bottom.
  • Turn the dough out into the pan and stretch slowly to fill the edges of the pan. Pull up gently on the underside of the dough to stretch it into place. If it doesn't want to stretch, let the dough rest for a minute and then try again.
  • Cover the pan with plastic wrap and stick in the fridge to rest overnight.

Baking the Focaccia (day 3)

  • Take the pan of dough out of the fridge and set on the counter. Let it come to room temperature (2-4 hours). The focaccia dough will begin to bubble up as it sits on the counter.
  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  • After the dough is at room temperature, puffed up and you see little air bubbles, take your fingers and gently dimple the dough. Start at the top and work your way down the dough until the entire focaccia is dimpled and bubbly.
  • Drizzle olive oil over the top of the dough. Top with your choice of fresh or dried herbs, salt and parmesan cheese (or any other topping you would like ie: cherry tomatoes, peppers, olives, etc…).
  • Bake for 25 minutes until bubbly, crispy and light golden brown on top. Let cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes before removing to a wire rack.
  • Cool to room temperature before slicing. Enjoy!

Notes

High Gluten Bread Flour: The high protein content in high gluten bread flour is really important for this recipe because of the high hydration level in this dough. Flour with 14% protein content or more works best. You can buy that here or if you don’t have bread flour, you can substitute with:
440 grams all purpose flour and 60 grams of vital wheat gluten
475 grams bread flour and 25 grams vital wheat gluten
The vital wheat gluten adds enough protein to the flour to give a similar texture to the high gluten bread flour. 
Keyword focaccia, sourdough

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Sourdough Carrot Cake Loaf

Something about this time of year with the warmer weather, flowers pushing their way out of the ground and birds singing in the trees makes me want to pull out my pans and whip up a loaf of quick bread. I have some delicious recipes on my site; this sourdough zucchini bread, gingerbread snack cake and this delicious applesauce bread, not to mention some favorite muffin recipes. But springtime and Easter season have me eyeing carrots and dreaming about a nice slice of carrot bread. Last year I made these carrot cake muffins for our Easter dessert. This year, I decided to mix in some of my sourdough discard to make a loaf of carrot cake bread and let me tell you, it is delicious!

Jump to Sourdough Carrot Cake Loaf Recipe

Shredding the Carrots

One of the biggest tips about this carrot cake: please do not use the shortcut of “pre-shredded” carrots at the grocery store. I have made this mistake before and the bread just doesn’t have the same texture. Pre-shredded carrots get all crunchy and don’t melt into the bread like freshly-shredded carrots do. The best carrots for this recipe are traditional, large and long carrots. You can also use baby carrots in a pinch. Shred your own carrots, please! I use a food processor (affiliate link) to make quick work of the carrots, but you could also use a cheese grater for good results. The carrots melt into the quick bread, giving it beautiful pops of orange and delicious flavor.

Sourdough Discard

Not all sourdough discard is created equal. Some discard might have been sitting around in your fridge for a week or two and some is only a day or two old. I prefer to use a “young” discard because it isn’t quite as strong as an older discard. I like a light sourdough flavor instead of a strong flavor in my carrot loaf. You can use what you prefer. I typically use a 100% hydration sourdough discard–equal weights of water and flour mixed with the starter. If your discard is maintained at a different hydration you may need a splash of milk for a thicker discard or a little extra flour for a thinner discard.

Mixing the Loaf

Don’t let the long list of ingredients scare you off. This bread is super quick and will come together in just a few minutes. The hardest part is shredding up the carrots (and that isn’t very hard). Whisk together the dry ingredients in a bowl with the spices. Add the carrots and mix until the carrots are lightly floured. To a liquid measuring cup (affiliate link…I use it almost daily and it’s my favorite), mix together the sourdough discard, vegetable oil, yogurt, eggs and vanilla extract. Slowly add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. 

Baking Tips

One of my favorite tips when baking quick breads is to keep the heat high for the first few minutes of baking and then reduce the temperature. This activates the rising agents and gives the bread a nicely domed top. I also like using a 9 by 5 pan (affiliate link) for this bread, though it would probably work in an 8.5 by 4.5 pan too (just be careful not to overfill it).

Cream Cheese Icing

This sourdough discard carrot loaf is amazing without any cream cheese icing, and you can definitely serve it that way. However, I love cream cheese icing that just gives a hint of cream cheese but isn’t overpoweringly “cream cheesy.” This icing fits the bill. It is rich, buttery and has just a hint of cream cheese flavor that pairs beautifully with the carrots and spices in this loaf. If you’re looking for a little extra luxurious taste, whip up this cream cheese icing and top the loaf with it. The carrot loaf with the icing puts this recipe dangerously into the “yearly family tradition” category. It is that good. 

Sourdough Carrot Cake Loaf would make the perfect addition to your Easter spread. We also love it for a spring dessert or an afternoon snack. It looks delicious, tastes divine and is just all around a yummy bake. I hope you love it as much as we do!

Sourdough Carrot Cake Loaf

A delicious loaf of spiced, carrot-flavored quick bread made with sourdough discard and perfect for any carrot-cake lovers. The creamy topping adds a delicious sweetness to this moist carrot cake loaf.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 55 mins
Course Bread, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 1 9 by 5 loaf

Ingredients
  

Carrot Cake Loaf

  • 1 1/2 cups carrots, shredded see recipe note
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup sourdough discard see recipe note
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil any neutral flavored oil works
  • 5 Tablespoons plain yogurt sour cream can be substituted in a pinch
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup chopped nuts or dried fruit optional

Cream Cheese Topping

  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter softened
  • 1 oz cream cheese softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1-2 Tablespoons heavy cream as needed
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt

Instructions
 

Carrot Cake Loaf

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  • Shred the carrots in a food processor (affiliate link) or grate them on a box grater. Set aside.
  • To a large bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Add the shredded carrots and mix with a spoon to combine.
  • To a large measuring cup (affiliate link and my favorite), whisk together the liquid ingredients: vegetable oil, plain yogurt, eggs and vanilla extract.
  • Pour the liquid mixture on top of the flour/carrot mixture and gently stir to combine. Add 3/4 cup chopped fruit, nuts or a combination of both if desired.
  • Line a 9 by 5 loaf pan with parchment paper or use a good quality non-stick loaf pan (affiliate link).
  • Spread the carrot cake loaf batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 10 minutes at 425 degrees. Then reduce the temperature to 350 degrees and continue baking for 45-50 minutes. Insert a toothpick or sharp knife in the center to check for doneness. If it comes out "clean" with no crumbs, it is ready. If it comes out wet, let it bake for another few minutes and check again.
  • While the loaf cools, prepare the cream cheese topping.

Cream Cheese Topping

  • To a small bowl, whip the unsalted butter and cream cheese together until light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar and a tablespoon of heavy cream. Whip together. Add the vanilla extract and a pinch of salt. Continue whipping until light and fluffy. Add a little more heavy cream as needed if the topping is too thick.
  • Spread the cream cheese topping on the cooled loaf and enjoy!

Notes

Carrots: The best carrots for this recipe are traditional, large and long carrots. Peel and grate them (or use a food processor) for best results. You can also use baby carrots. I do not recommend pre-shredded carrots which you can buy at the grocery store. They do not hold the moisture needed for this recipe and don’t melt into the loaf as well.
Sourdough Discard: I prefer to use fresh sourdough discard (or even young sourdough starter) in this recipe. I find it doesn’t give an overpowering “sour” aftertaste to the finished loaf. If you want more sour flavor, use discard that has been sitting longer in your fridge.
Keyword beginner sourdough, carrot cake, carrot cake loaf, quick bread, sourdough discard

Please share this recipe if you enjoyed it! Post a photo and tag me @amybakesbread so I can see your bake 🙂

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