Category Archives: Breads and Pancakes

This section includes salty breads, sweet breads, pancakes, rolls, breakfast muffins and doughnuts.

Carrot Bread

No one in our family was terribly inclined toward overly sweet desserts. Sweets were luxuries, not to be regularly partaken of. Mom’s and Grandma’s cakes and cookies were made more often of nutritious rather than decadent ingredients, with plenty of  nuts, poppy seeds, cottage cheese, and dried fruits rather than just sugar and flour.

It’s not surprising, then, that we  often opted for carrot bread  when we wanted a comforting snack or a satisfying breakfast: moist carrot bread with a touch of cinnamon, never too sweet, and laden with grated carrots and chopped nuts.

Ingredients for Carrot Bread

  • 1-1/2 cups flour
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup finely grated carrots
  • 1/4 cup chopped nuts

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Combine the oil and the sugar. Add the eggs and beat till fluffy. Add dry ingredients. Stir in grated carrots and nuts. Bake in oiled loaf pan at 350 F (180 C) for 55 to 60 minutes.

Basic Wholewheat Sourdough

Sourdough starter

  • 1 cake yeast ( or 1 pkg dry)
  • 1 t sugar
  • 2 cups warm potato water

Combine all ingredients and place in a glass or pottery jar. Cover with cloth and let stand at room temperature for 48 hours. Stir down occasionally.

To make sponge starter: Add equal parts of flour and water (usually 2 cups per recipe) and let stand in warm place for at least 8 hours. Take 1 cup of starter to store, covered, in the fridge. Use rest for recipe.

Basic wholewheat sourdough bread

  • 1 recipe starter (4 cups)
  • 3 T honey
  • 2 t salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 6-1/2 to 7-1/2 cups whole wheat flour

Prepare starter 10 hours ahead of time, adding 2-1/2 cups warm water and 4 cups flour to sponge. In a large bowl mix starter, honey, salt and milk. Stir in flour until dough pulls away from sides of bowl. Knead until elastic. Divide into 2 parts, shape in 3″ diameter rolls. Sprinkle cornmeal on a cookie sheet. Put loaves on top, brush with cream or oil, and cover. Allow to double. Bake at 374F for 40 minutes. Servings: 2 loaves

Potato Pancakes

Potato pancakes, a staple in many European cuisines, are so simple yet so comforting.

Some synonyms and variants: Latkes (Jewish), Boxties (Irish), Raggmunka (Swedish), Bramborak (Czech).

  • 1 large potato, grated
  • 1 egg
  • 1 garlic clove, mashed
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 T flour
  • 2 t oil

Combine all ingredients. Fry the potato pancakes in oil till golden. Serve with sour cream.


  • 4-1/2 cups unbleached flour
  • 3 T sugar
  • 5 t active dry yeast (2 pkgs.)
  • 1 T salt
  • 1 egg beaten with 1 tsp water

Combine 1-1/2 cups flour, sugar, yeast, salt. Stir in 1-1/2 cups lukewarm water, and with an electric mixer beat at high speed 3 mins. Stir in 2 more cups flour and knead for 5 mins. Add as much of the remaining flour as is necessary to make a smooth dough. Let rest, covered, 15 mins. Divide into 16 pieces, roll each into a 7″ roll, and form into rings, sealing ends with a bit of water. Put bagels on lightly floured sheets and let rest, covered, for 5 mins. In a large pot bring 6″ of water to a boil. Boil bagels, 4 at a time, turning several times, for 3 mins. each. Transfer to a towel to drain. Place bagels 2″ apart on backing sheets, brush with the egg wash, and bake in a preheated 375ºF over for 25-30 mins., or until golden. Makes 16 bagels.

Mom’s Banana Bread

A simple recipe that was always a favorite. It takes easily to conversion to a vegan version and is also delicious with a few chopped walnuts and/or raisins added.

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 1/4 cup milk, soured with 1 tsp vinegar

Cream sugar and butter. Add eggs and stir till smooth. Add flour and baking soda. Mash bananas and add, alternating with milk. Bake 1 hour at 350 F.

Vegan substitutions:

Use 1/3 cup coconut oil instead of the butter, almond milk instead of regular milk, and replace the eggs with 1 T finely ground flax seed and 3 T of water per egg (soak the flax seed in water for a few minutes until thickened before adding to the recipe).

Loretta’s Hoska

Hoska is a delicious Czech Christmas sweet bread made by Grandma, and then Mom, and then Loretta, and now Anna.

A couple of kids

Recipe submitted, after extensive taste testing, by Nancy & Anna.
Makes 2 loaves. Bake 1 hour at 325-350F.


  • 1/2 C sultana raisins
  • 1/2 c sliced almonds plus a few whole peeled almonds

Soak #1 in 1/2 c rum or Grand Marnier overnight.


  • 1/2 c lukewarm milk
  • 2 T dry yeast
  • pinch sugar

Let #2 rise 5 minutes or until puffy.


  • 1 c soft butter
  • 1 c sugar

Cream together #3

Mix together #s 2 and 3 and add:


  • Zest of 1 lemon (not lime)
  • 1-1/2 c warm milk (room temperature)
  • 4 eggs (1 at a time)
  • 1 t Mexican vanilla
  • 1-1/2 t salt
  • 6 – 8 c flour (as needed)

Mix to form a dough and knead 15-20 minutes.

Add #1 minus whole almonds.

Place in a large buttered bowl and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled (1-1/2 to 2 hours).

Shape into 2 double braids (see below).

Place soaked whole almonds decoratively along double braids. Cover and let rise again to double–about 30 to 45 minutes. Mix 1 egg with a bit of milk and brush tops of braids. Bake 1 hour or so at 325 F until golden, brushing on more of the milk/egg wash about 1/2 way through.

If necessary, use foil to cover if Hoska appears to be browning too fast.


To form double braids:

  • Divide dough in half – then separate each half into 6 balls (3 larger, 3 smaller)
  • Roll balls into about 30 cm long ropes, using hands. There should be 3 thicker and 3 thinner ropes.
  • Braid larger ropes and place on baking sheet tucking in ends of braids.
  • Braid smaller ropes and place them on top of the larger braid.

Grandma Pancakes

  • 6 eggs
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 2 T water
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 3 T icing sugar (optional)

Combine eggs, salt and water and beat thoroughly Sift flour adn sugar and beat into eggs until smooth. Allow to stand for at least 2 hours.

Heat griddle with a little oil. Pour small quantities of pancake mix onto griddle and swirl to disperse as thinly as possible. When dry on top, flip and fry other side until golden. Sprinkle with icing sugar if desired.

Cat. Kati.
Cat. Kati.

Norwegian Rye Flatbread

Most of us in our family enjoyed crisp, dark, nutty-flavored whole grain crispbread or flatbread. We used it as an accompaniment to the salamis and sausages and cheeses that we all loved.

  • 2 cups rye flour
  • 2 cups wholewheat flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup warm water (or as necessary)

Blend flours and salt together. Stir in water until dough pulls away from sides of bowl. Knead well. Let sit for a few minutes.

Divide the dough into four or more parts and roll into rounds as thin as possible. Flour a heavy round griddle, carefully roll the flattened dough onto the rolling pin to transfer it to the hot griddle, and cook the flatbread over low heat, piercing the top with fork, until browned and crisp (about 15 minutes).

Get flatbreads and crispbreads

Tortillas de Harina (Wheat Flour Tortillas)

Although the corn tortilla is the staple flatbread of Mexico and part of almost every traditional Mexican meal, flour tortillas were introduced by the Spaniards during the colonial period and today are common fare, particularly in the northern Mexican states.

Ingredients for Wheat Flour Tortillas

  • 2 cups all-purpose or whole wheat flour
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1 t salt
  • 3 T lard or chilled coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup cold water or milk (soy or almond milk is okay)

Mix flour, baking powder and salt. Cut in lard or coconut oil. Add liquid to make stiff dough; lumps are okay. Divide into balls and roll out thin.

Place tortillas on a pre-heated, ungreased comal (flat griddle) until toasty spots start forming on the underside (1-2 minutes).  Flip the tortilla and do the other side — they should be pliable, not crisp.

Wrap in a towel to keep warm. Best eaten hot off the grill, but can be stuffed with cheese, beans, or other fillings, folded over, and then returned to the griddle and toasted until crisp.

Servings: 12 tortillas

Originally derived from the corn tortilla, a bread of maize which predates the arrival of Europeans to the Americas, the wheat flour tortilla was an innovation by exiled Spanish Jews who did not consider corn meal to be kosher, using wheat brought from Europe, while this region was the colony of New Spain.

Wikipedia contributors. “Tortilla.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 22 Mar. 2016. Web. 29 Mar. 2016.


Rich crescent rolls filled with nuts or cheese, very similar to Hungarian beigli.

  • 1/2 cup warm milk
  • 2 T yeast
  • 1 T sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 6 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 lb. butter
  • 1 t salt
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1-1/2 cups sour cream

Dissolve yeast in warm milk with 1 tbsp sugar. Mix 1/2 cup sugar, flour, butter and salt until crumbly.

Form a well in center and add the yolks, sour cream and yeast mixture. Knead lightly.

Refrigerate overnight, covered. Roll into tennis-sized balls. Roll each ball into a circle. Fill and roll into crescents (see fillings, below). Let rise.

Bake at 350F until golden.

Nut Filling:

Beat 1 egg. Add 1 cup ground nuts, 1/2 cup packed brown sugar and 1 T cinnamon.

Cheese Filling:

Combine 1/2 lb. cottage cheese, 2 to 4 T sugar, 1 tsp vanilla, 1 tsp lemon peel, 1/2 cup raisins