Sunday, February 7, 2016

Pirates and Muffins

We are still celebrating Carnival season in these parts and while it is always much fun to attend the Carnival festivities, it is also always a good idea to enjoy something delicious and hearty before leaving the house in the morning. While you will be watching the traditional Carnival parades with all those colorful and fun floats and keep busy with trying to catch as many sweets and small gifts that the participants will throw at you, you will be glad for having had a hearty breakfast.

Savory Pirate Muffins

For the yeast dough
  • 4 tbsps. milk (3.5%)
  • 125 grams unsalted butter
  • 400 grams strong wheat flour, (AP flour)
  • 1 package dry yeast  (7 grams/1/4 ounces)
  • 80 grams superfine (caster) sugar
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla sugar (best homemade)
  • a generous pinch of fine sea salt
  • 1 egg (M), free range or organic
  • 1 egg white (M), free range or organic
  • 125 grams fresh farmers´ cheese (also called "quark", "fromage blanc" or "curd cheese")
  • 50 grams dark raisins
  • 50 grams golden (sultana) raisins (or use other dried fruit to your liking)

  • 1 egg yolk (M), free range or organic
  • 1 tbsp milk (3.5%)
  • some slithered hazelnuts (or almonds)

  1. In a small saucepan, heat the milk until warm to the touch. Add the butter to the milk and stir until dissolved.
  2. In a large bowl, carefully combine the flour with the yeast.
  3. Add all the remaining ingredients, except for the raisins, to the flour mixture, and using the dough hook, mix everything together for a good 5 minutes ot until the dough has reached a springy consistency.
  4. Transfer the dough to a large, buttered bowl, cover with a clean tea towel and place in a warm spot until it has doubled in size (this will take anywhere from 60 to 90 minutes.
  5. Pre-heat your oven to 180 ° C (or 160° C convection/fan-assisted).
  6. Butter a 12-capacity, regular-sized muffin tray.
  7. Take the dough out of the bowl, now add the raisins (or other dried fruit you might be using). Knead well until the fruits are incorporated in the dough.
  8. On a lightly-floured work surface, shape the dough into one big roll.
  9. Cut the roll into 12 equal parts.
  10. Shape each dough piece into a ball and add to the muffin tray.
  11. Cover the muffin tray with the tea towel and place in a warm spot until the muffins have increased their volume (this will take about 30 minutes).
  12. In a small bowl, mix together the egg yolk and the milk (best done with a fork).
  13. Take the tea towel off the muffins, and using a soft-bristled brush, brush each muffin with some of the egg yolk mixture and sprinkle a few slithered hazelnuts (or almonds) on top.
  14. Bake in your pre-heated oven for about 20 minutes or until the muffins spring back when touched and have a golden color.
  15. Transfer to a cooling rack and as soon as the muffin buns are cool enough to handle, take them out of their molds and serve.

They are best eaten while still warm or at room temperature. They are definitely at their best the day they are made BUT if your happen to have any leftovers, remember to „Love Your Leftovers“ and use them for French toast and serve for breakfast the next morning. Or try your hand at an old-fashioned English family favorite that works best with day-old bread,  a wonderful bread pudding which is lovely with tea, or custard or ice cream, for dessert the next day!

So, whether you are attending Carnival celebrations and are busying trying to carry home your loot consisting of small toys, sweets, candies, gifts and tiny bags of snacks. Or whether you are just simply looking to feed your hungry and exhausted cowboys, princesses, monsters, sheriffs, and pirates in general, why not bake them these savory muffin buns for breakfast to get them off to a delicious and good start to their day!


  1. You are a breath of fresh air!
    As always, I love clicking over here to be part of your creations.
    Who know, pirates could be so COOL?
    How are you?

    1. Kim, the pirates are my favorite theme for costumes this year and we came across quite a few of them already! I loved the way they looked like.
      I am doing well, just a bit busy with a few projects these days - looking forward to springtime and better weather for my photos though!
      Love all your comments, my dear, thank you for your wonderful friendship!

  2. These muffins sound delish - like cheesecake in a muffin. Your Carnival celebrations sound fun.

    1. Gaye, thank you, actually no "real cheese" in sight in this recipe, just "fromage blanc" or "Quark" as we call it, that white, creamy stuff that can be used in sweet as well as savory baked goods and dishes - these "muffins" are more like yeast rolls baked in a muffin pan, rather than cheesecakes. And the fromage blanc just lends a light, tangy touch to the yeast-based dough.
      Thank you for your comment,

  3. I always love to visit your blog. It brings back so many memories from when I was a child and young adult living in Germany. Celebrating carnival was so much fun. Your pirate muffins are perfect for the festivities. Have a great week.

    1. Grelinde, how nice that I am bringing back a few fond memories with my blog post! Carnival is meant to be all about great costumes, fun, festivities, and good food!
      Liebe Gruesse nach Santa Cruz!

  4. Great looking muffins Andrea, and I love the idea of cheese in sweets...I don't know if I would have leftovers for next day recipe...your baked goods are awesome!

    1. Juliana, what I call "cheese" here is the white, fresh "farmers´ cheese" that does not taste like cheese at all as it is very creamy - maybe you know it by the name of "fromage blanc". Most traditional German cheesecake recipes (sweet) call for this kind of fresh cheese. Around here we can easily find it in supermarkets or at farm shops.
      Thank you for your kind comment,