La Boulangerie

Do not laugh. Ok, you can laugh… I have started another blog to feature some of my own recipe concoctions. I am not really trying to become a food blogger, but I wanted to organize my stuff in one place. This is borne of not being able to adequately utilize Pinterest, if you want to know the truth. I might be a Pinterest idiot but I can’t find a way to save your own stuff there without providing a link to an outside website. As I was fuming over it, I thought about doing the side blog and sort of connecting it to my book: Breaking Bread. So with that in mind I have created …

La Boulangerie

I haven’t put any recipes up yet, but I’ll get started soon. If you join me over there, I’d be delighted, but if you don’t, I won’t be offended.

Le Boulangerie (12) Cinnamon Swirl Bread

To accompany my novel in progress: Breaking Bread, welcome to Le Boulangerie.

I realized after I baked this bread and started preparing this post, that cinnamon bread is more of a mid winter, even holiday-esque kind of bread and here we are at the start of spring. Nevertheless, in my neck of the woods, we had our first real snowfall of any significance last week and the cold returned with a vengeance. Which put me in the mood for this comforting bit of goodness. And while this seems like a decadent loaf, the cinnamon has a positive effect on one’s blood sugar so don’t feel too bad in your indulgence!

Cinnamon Swirl Bread:

For the dough:

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon instant yeast
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cup milk


  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 3 tablespoons ground cinnamon


  • In the stand mixer, combine all dough ingredients with the dough hook attachment.
  • After a smooth dough forms, allow to rise in the bowl, covered with a towel, for an hour and a half.
  • After rising is complete, turn the dough out onto a floured surface and roll (with a pin) into a rectangle 18×24″.
  • Mix together filling ingredients and spread onto the sheet of dough, leaving a one inch border all around.
  • Starting with the short end, roll the dough into a log. Pinch the ends closed and fit it, seam side down into a lightly greased 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ bread pan.
  • Cover pan and allow bread to rise for about 2 hours (or until the loaf crowns just above the rim of the pan).
  • Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes, tenting with aluminum foil about halfway through the bake time.
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool on wire rack before slicing.


Le Boulangerie (9) – Beignets

To accompany my novel in progress: Breaking Bread, welcome to Le Boulangerie.

It is Fat Tuesday today, Mardi Gras or if you are Pennsylvania Dutch (German) — Fasnacht Day (Fast Night Day), the last day before the start of Lent, which if you are observant is not supposed to be a whole lot of fun. Thus Fat Tuesday, is the last day to party hard and indulge in sweets and other goodies before the restrictions apply.

Beignets are pastries made from deep frying choux pastry dough (light, moist dough that will puff up when fried). When a heavier yeast pastry is used, they are referred to as boules de Berlin or Berliner doughnuts. (Fun fact: Remember when President Kennedy said ‘Ich bin ein Berliners’ [we are all Berliners]? – he was telling everyone they were doughnuts. Speechwriter, you had one job…)

In New Orleans, the Cafe du Monde is famous for its beignets. And what other city in the USA is more famous for its Mardi Gras celebration than New Orleans? So in Le Boulangerie this week, we ‘laissez le bon temps roulez’ and made beignets. I trashed my kitchen and developed diabetes in one fell swoop…

Beignets (makes about 2 dozen):


  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten and at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • vegetable oil for frying


In the bowl of a stand mixer, dissolve the yeast and one tablespoon of the sugar in the warm water for about 5 minutes. It’ll get foamy. Add the milk, egg, vanilla, butter, the rest of the sugar, baking soda, salt, and flour. Using the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed until a sticky dough forms. Transfer the dough to a floured surface, dust with more flour, and either flatten by hand or roll to an 1/8 inch thickness. Using a knife (or I used a pizza cutter) cut the dough into 2 inch squares. They don’t have to be perfect. Mine were all different shapes and sizes.

Preheat the oil such that a drop of water will sizzle when you test it. I realize that’s not very precise… do your best. Err on the side of too cool rather than too hot.  Gently drop the squares, a few at a time, into the hot oil. Once they have risen and puffed, flip and cook on the other side until golden brown. Drain on paper towels and repeat with the remaining dough. Generously dust with confectioners’ sugar.  Eat until they’re gone or you’re in a sugar coma, whichever comes first!