Pumpkin French Toast Casserole



Pumpkin French Toast Casserole-w-SycamoreLane Photography


Pumpkin French Toast Casserole

(original recipe here.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9×13 inch pan.

8 eggs

1 t  vanilla

2 t  cinnamon

1/2 t  cloves

1/4 t  nutmeg

1/4 t  ginger

2 T  white sugar

1/4 c  milk

1- 15oz can pumpkin puree

~Mix all the above ingredients into a large mixing bowl.

~Cut up a 2 lb loaf of French bread into 1/2 inch cubes.

(I have an old standby recipe that I use for my French bread and so I always make it fresh. But, you could also use store bought or even a loaf of Texas toast bread.)

~Place the bread into the pumpkin mixture and toss until the bread is well coated.

~Pour into prepared baking pan.

~Mix together the following in a small bowl, until crumbs form.

1/3 c  brown sugar

1/2 t  cinnamon

2 T  flour

1 1/2 T  butter, softened butter.

~Sprinkle over the top of the bread.

Bake 30-40 min or until golden brown and knife inserted comes out clean.


This was a huge hit with all my guys. I served it with big mugs full of fruit smoothies.  The combination of the pumpkin and spices was perfect! It wasn’t icky sweet like some french toast casseroles can be.  There was very little left. My boys kept going back for more and if my youngest son, who has been sick, had joined us for dinner I’m sure they would not have been a single crumb left.  It’s that good!


Hard Rolls

Bitter cold days produce in me this need to bake bountiful quantities of bread and hot meals.  What a blessing to be able to do this.  I am so grateful to God for providing food for my family and for those in my neighborhood who are in need. 

One of my guys recent favorites are these hard rolls.  I didn’t have a single one left the night I served them.


hard rolls-web

Hard Rolls

(recipe from: The Secrets of Jesuit Breadmaking)

4 1/2- 5 1/2 c   all purpose flour

2 T  sugar

1 t  salt

1 T  active dry yeast

4 T  butter, softened

1 1/2 c  warm water

1 egg white


For the Glaze:

1/2 c  water

1 t  cornstarch

Poppy seeds


Combine 1 1/2 c of the flour, the sugar, salt, and yeast in a large bowl. Cut in butter.  Gradually add water to the flour mixture and beat for 5 minutes. Add the egg white.  Beat for another 5 minutes, adding flour until dough begins to pull away from the side of the bowl. (I did this portion by hand since I do not have a mixer that does well with bread dough.)  Turn out on a lightly floured surface.  Knead 8-10 minutes, until dough is smooth and elastic, adding flour as necessary to prevent stickiness.

Lightly oil a large bowl.  Place dough in the bowl and turn to coat on all sides. Cover and let rise in a warm place, until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.

Line baking sheets with parchment paper or grease sheets and sprinkle with cornmeal.

Punch down dough. Turn out again, cover with a towel, let rest 10 minutes. Divide in half and shape into two 9 inch rolls.  Cut each roll into nine 1-inch pieces and form each into a small ball.  Place on the baking sheet and 3 inches apart. Cover with towel and let rise until doubled- another 45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 450.

To make glaze, mix water and cornstarch in a pan. Bring to a boil.  Cool slightly before brushing on rolls. Slit tops in a crisscross fashion.  (I cut the tops before I let the rolls rise. I wasn’t sure how easy it would be to cut the rolls once they had risen.) Sprinkle with poppy seeds.

Bake for about 15 minutes.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

yield 18 rolls



So as you can tell from this post our days have been pretty quiet.  I have enjoyed them.  I needed some quiet!  It has been good to just be home, I love the coziness of it all.  To be able to focus on school and the needs of my family is just what I have been needing.  And for a girl who loves the snow, but can’t do the bitter cold it’s been a wonderful week of watching the snowflakes from the warm side of my window!

Cinnamon-Sugar Pumpkin Pull Apart Bread

Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Pull Apart Bread


After posting this photo on my blog this past weekend I had many requests for the recipe.  I am very to happy to share! These little bread bites were scrumptious! And something I will make again soon.

Last week I made a batch of Streusel Pumpkin Sweet Rolls, a recipe that I got from my friend Kristin’s blog. These huge delicious rolls, Joel and my boys rated just below my regular Cinnamon Rolls. They were super good. The recipe for the rolls had called for a cup of pumpkin. I scooped, what I needed, out of the can and then refrigerated the rest. 

Naturally I couldn’t let that good pumpkin go to waste so I started contemplating how I could best use it.  Finally towards the end of the week I saw a recipe for dinner rolls that were a Pull Apart bread. That was all the inspiration I needed.  I took that recipe and tweaked it into the decadent bread above.

Each piece was like the center of a cinnamon roll, soft, light, fluffy, and buttery sweet!

So without further torturing here is the recipe…

Cinnamon-Sugar Pumpkin Pull Apart Bread

3t yeast

1c warm milk

1/2c sugar

1c canned pumpkin

1/4c shortening or butter

1 egg

1/2t salt

4 1/2- 5 1/4c flour

6T melted butter

Cinnamon and Sugar mix

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in the warm milk.  After yeast is dissolved, add shortening, egg, pumpkin, salt and 2c of flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough of the remaining flour to form a soft dough. Knead in remaining flour 3-5 minutes. Place dough in greased bowl, turning once to coat. Cover, place in warm spot to rise…about 1 hour.  Punch dough down. Grease (grease well!) a 10’ Bundt pan. Take small amounts of dough and shape into 1” balls. Dip the dough balls into the melted butter and then into the cinnamon-sugar mix. Coat well.  Place in greased Bundt pan.  After all the dough is placed into the pan, drizzle the dough with any remaining butter. Cover and let rise about 30 minutes.  Bake in 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes. Let set for 5 minutes then invert onto a serving platter. 

Then just dig in!  But be careful, if your anything like us, in your attempt to savor the awesome goodness, you may realize a bit too late that it is quite hot!  We had a few mouths pop open and a bit of huffing and puffing going on to cool the hot, steamy bread that they had shoved in their mouths. 

I of course wouldn’t have been one of THOSE people!




Poppy Seed Braid Loaf



poppy seed braid bread


1 T yeast

1 c warm water

1t sugar

Let these set until the yeast is proofed (bubbly).

Stir in:

1 egg, beaten

1/4c oil

1t salt


4-5 c flour

Stir in 3 cup of the flour beat well.  Add in as much of the remaining flour as you can with the spoon. Then knead in remaining flour. Knead for about 8-10 minutes or until smooth and elastic.

Place in a greased bowl, cover and let rise until doubled (about 1 1/2 hours).

Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

Punch down dough and gently knead for 2 minutes.  Split into 3 pieces and make into 15” ropes.  Braid.  Let rise 30 minutes.  Brush loaf with milk and sprinkle with poppy seeds.

Bake at 425 for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

(recipe taken from The Secrets of Jesuit Breadmaking)

Homemade Pita Bread

pita bread



2  1/2c  warm water

2 Tablespoons oil

2 teaspoons salt

4 teaspoons sugar

3 1/2 c  all purpose flour

2c  whole wheat flour

2/3c  gluten

3 teaspoons yeast


Place warm water in a bowl.  Add yeast and let dissolve for about 5 minutes.  Add oil, sugar, salt, gluten and the 2 cups of whole wheat flour.  Mix well.  Add in as much of the remaining white flour as you can by hand.  Then turn out onto a well floured counter and knead in as much of the remaining flour as possible, approximately 6-8 minutes.

Place dough is greased bowl, turning once to grease top of bread. Cover with a towel and place in a warm place for about 1 hour or until double in size. 

Punch down dough and divide into 16 equal pieces.  Roll each piece out into about a 6” circle.  Cover with a towel and let rise another 30 minutes. 

Preheat oven to 500 degrees.  Place to of the pitas on a wire rack lightly sprayed with cooking spray.  Bake 4-5 minutes.  Remove from oven and immediately wrap pitas in a damp tea towel to soften. Continue to cook the rest of the pitas.

Remove the tea towel from first set of pitas and set them on a wire rack to finish cooling.  Wrap tea towel around next set that comes out. Continue this pattern until all pitas are cooked.



This recipe can be easily cut in half, but if your family is like mine they will devour them so quickly and you’ll wish you made more!

Herbed Peasant Bread



3 Tablespoons butter

1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons warm milk (120-130 degrees)

1/2 cup shredded cheddar

1 Tablespoon sugar

1-1/2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon dill weed

1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1 package of active dry yeast

3 to 3-1/2 cups flour


Place butter and milk in saucepan and heat up until butter almost melts. Remove from heat and let cool until around 120-130 degrees.

I just use the finger test. I dip it in and gage the temp. that way.  Just make sure it isn’t too hot or it will kill your yeast.

In a mixing bowl, add milk, sugar, salt, herbs, yeast, cheese, and 3 cups of flour; beat until smooth.  Add enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes. Punch the dough down. Shape into a long loaf and place on greased baking sheet. Make 3 or 4 diagonal slits in dough.  Cover and let rise until doubled,  about 45 minutes.

Bake 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Remove to a wire rack; brush with melted butter.

Cool. Yield: 1 loaf

English Muffins


English muffins are so easy to make and it is one of my families favorites. They make wonderful breakfast sandwiches when combined with eggs, cheese, ham, bacon or sausage.  Or just toasted and slathered with butter, honey, peanut butter or jelly.  Which ever way you look at it, these are just darn good!


1 cup milk

3 T butter, cut into pieces

2 T honey

1 c warm water (110*F)

1 pkg yeast


5 1/2 – 6 cups any combination of white and wheat

1 t salt


Combine the milk, butter and honey in a saucepan.  Warm the mixture over medium heat until the butter starts to melt. Whisk slightly and remove from heat. Allow to cool until lukewarm.

In another bowl, add yeast to the warm water and let set 5-10 minutes.

Line 2 baking sheets with wax paper, sprinkle with cornmeal

Pour cooled milk into yeast mixture. Mix well.

Add 3 cups of flour and the salt and beat well.  Beat in enough of the remaining flour so that the dough is firm enough to knead.  Knead in remaining flour about 3 to 4 minutes.

Roll our dough to 1/2” thickness.  Cut dough into 3 or 3 1/2” circles and place on baking sheets to rise.  Let rise 35-45 minutes.

Cook on 300 degree griddle 10 minutes on each side.  If cooking too quickly reduce heat.