Make getting up in the mornings easier with a delectable homemade breakfast.
Whether you prefer a sweet or savoury meal in the morning, we’ve compiled six delicious breakfast recipes from some of our favourite new cookbooks to fill you with energy for the day. For more recipes, visit our archive here.
Six breakfast recipes to brighten your morning
Three-Grain Bircher Muesli with Stewed Rhubarb and Cardamom
A breakfast full of texture and crunch, this bircher muesli recipe has a subtle burst of cardamom for an extra dash of flavour.
For the muesli
- 100g rolled jumbo oats
- 50g spelt flakes
- 50g rye flakes
- 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds
- 1 tbsp desiccated/shredded coconut
- A small pinch of salt
- Approx. 1 tsp ground cinnamon (if you like a subtle cinnamon flavour, start with less)
- Approx. 350ml plant-based milk (you could also use half water, half milk, any of choice), plus a few tbsp extra after soaking
For the stewed rhubarb
- Approx. 400g fresh rhubarb, roughly chopped
- 2 heaped tbsp coconut sugar/palm sugar/any other natural raw sugar
- 1 lemon, juiced, 1/2 zested
- 4-5 cardamom pods, shells removed, seeds crushed, or 1-2 tsp dried
- Approx. 2.5cm ginger, finely chopped or grated
- A pinch of salt
- Ideally, prepare your muesli and let it sit over-night in the fridge. This helps with digestion and also allows the mix to really thicken and the grains to soak. Put the oats, spelt flakes, rye flakes, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, coconut, salt and cinnamon into a bowl. Mix to combine. Slowly start to add your liquid, mixing as you go. The measurement is approximate, so you may need more or less. You want the mixture to be quite thick but with liquid still apparent. The longer you leave it the better, but if you only have a few hours, make it a bit ahead of time.
- Put the rhubarb into a pan and add enough water to almost cover it. Add the sugar, lemon juice and zest, crushed cardamom, ginger and salt, and stir to combine. Bring to the boil, then lower to a simmer until the rhubarb is cooked. This could take between 10 and 15 minutes. If the pan becomes dry, add a little more water, stirring occasionally. Once cooked, place to one side to cool.
- Remove your Bircher from the fridge and give it a good stir. If the mixture is quite thick and you want it looser, simply add a few tablespoons of milk until you reach your desired consistency.
- To serve, spoon the Bircher into bowls and add a hefty serving of the stewed rhubarb. You’ll have extra rhubarb, which you can simply place in an airtight container in the fridge. Sprinkle over any extra toppings and dig in.
Our favourite extra toppings include a handful of granola, extra seeds, crushed nuts or fresh fruit.
Recipe sourced from The Whole Vegetable by Sophie Gordon (Penguin Michael Joseph, RRP: £25.00) Photography Issy Croker.
Pain Au Lait
Sweet, buttery and simple, pain au lait buns originated in France and make the perfect morning treat.
Makes 7 buns
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Resting time: 3 hours and 15 minutes
Baking time: 13-15 minutes
- 500g (scant 4 cups/1lb 2oz) white bread flour (T65)
- 230g (scant 1 cup/8oz) full-fat (whole) milk
- 20g (2 tbsp) fresh yeast, crumbled
- 35g (3 tbsp/1 1/4oz) caster (superfine) sugar
- 10g (2 tsp) Guérande sea salt
- 80g (1/3 cup/3 oz) butter, softened and diced
- 1 egg, beaten, for glazing
- Nibbed sugar, for decoration
- In a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the flour with the milk, yeast, sugar and salt. Mix and knead for 4 minutes on low speed and then for 8 minutes on high speed. When the dough forms a ball and comes away from the sides of the bowl, gather it into a ball and add the butter. Knead until the dough is soft and smooth and comes away from the sides again. Gather the dough into a ball. Cover the mixer bowl with a slightly damp cloth and leave the dough to rise for 1 hour at room temperature. The dough should expand.
- On a floured work counter, divide the dough into seven pieces of equal weight (about 130g/4 1/2oz each). Cover with a cloth and rest for 15 minutes at room temperature.
- Shape the dough pieces into bâtard loaves (see below*) about 15cm (6 inches) in length. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with baking (parchment) paper with the seam underneath. Brush the tops with beaten egg. Cover with a cloth and prove (proof) for 2 hours at room temperature.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F). Brush the dough pieces with more egg. Score them with scissors dipped in egg: run the scissors over their length, snipping into the dough every centimetre (1/2) inch). Sprinkle with nibbed sugar and bake for 13-15 minutes.
- Remove the buns from the oven, then cool on a wire rack.
*How to shape a bâtard loaf
- Carefully flatten the dough piece.
- Fold over a third of the dough and press with your fingers. Turn the dough piece 180 degrees, then fold over another third, like a letter, and press.
- Fold it in half lengthways and seal the edges with the heel of your hand.
- Roll it with your palms into an oval shape with tapered ends or a more elongated shape, depending on preference.
Recipe sourced from The Bread Book by Éric Kayser, published by Phaidon. Photography by Massimo Pessina.
Apricot Breakfast Cake with Seeded Streusel Topping
The textural contrast of the moist sponge, crunchy topping and soft apricots mean this cake hits all the right spots. It’s Easy to make and keeps well for 3–5 days wrapped in baking parchment and stored in an airtight container.
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes
- 175g (6oz) butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
- 100g (3 1/2oz) light soft brown sugar
- 50g (2oz/ 1/4 cup) Demerara sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 100g (3 1/2oz) Greek-style yoghurt
- 150g (5oz/scant 1 1/4 cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
- 150g (5oz/1 1/2 cups) ground almonds
- 1 tsp baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- 411g (14oz) tin apricot halves, drained and patted dry with paper towels
For the seeded streusel topping
- 50g (2oz) butter, softened
- 50g (2oz/ 1/4 cup) Demerara sugar
- 75g (2 1/2oz/scant 2/3 cup) plain (all-purpose) flour
- 75g (2 1/2oz/ 2/3 cup) mixed seeds
- Preheat the oven to 160° fan (325°F/gas 3) and grease and line a 30 x 20 x 5cm (12 x 8 x 2in) rectangular baking tin (pan) with baking parchment.
- First, make the seeded streusel topping, in a small bowl, rub the butter, sugar and flour together with your fingertips until it is clumping together. Stir in the seeds and squeeze with your fingertips to incorporate until the mixture looks like damp sand. Set aside.
- Beat the butter and both sugars together in a large bowl until creamy. Add the eggs, beating after each addition until combined. Add the yoghurt and beat again, then add the flour, ground almonds, baking powder and salt. Stir the mixture until it is a thick, smooth cake batter.
- Transfer the cake batter to the prepared tin, spreading it out into an even layer. Dot the apricot halves over the surface, then sprinkle the streusel topping evenly over the top. There will be some parts of the apricots and cake batter poking through, but don’t worry, this makes the texture even more intriguing and the cake prettier.
- Bake in the oven for 45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for 15 minutes, then transfer to a cutting board and cut into squares. Serve warm or leave to cool completely, then wrap and store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
Use tinned apricots in juice as they are available all year round and are more affordable too. If you prefer, use fresh apricots when they are in season and swap with apples or pears for a change.
Recipe sourced from The Shortcut Cook All-in-One by Rosie Reynolds (Hardie Grant, £16.99).
Blueberry, Orange and Honey Plait
Sweet blueberries and a hint of orange make this plait a delight to eat in the mornings, while the addition of honey brings extra sweetness and fragrance.
Makes 1 large plait
Total time: 3 and 3/4-5 hours
- 115g (4oz) warm milk, 25-30°C (77-86°F)
- 1 medium egg (50g/1 3/4oz egg without the shell), plus 1 egg, beaten, for glazing
- 14g (1/2oz) fresh yeast, crumbled, or 7g (1/4oz) fast-action dried yeast
- 250g (9oz) strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
- 4g (1 tsp) salt
- 35g (1 1/4oz) honey, plus extra for glazing
- Grated zest of 1 orange
- 35g (1 1/4oz) room-temperature unsalted butter, broken up into pieces
- 100g (3 1/2oz) blueberries
- Pearl sugar nibs, for sprinkling
Making the dough: 20-25 minutes
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the milk, egg and yeast with a balloon whisk until the yeast has softened.
- Add the flour, salt, honey and orange zest, then mix with a dough scraper until the mixture starts to come together into a rough dough. Add the butter and dimple it into the dough with your fingertips.
- Turn your dough out onto a clean work surface and knead without any additional flour for 10 minutes. It has the potential to be slippery and buttery here but keep your scraper handy to tidy up every once in a while, and the dough will come together nicely.
- Cover the dough with a clean cloth and rest on the work surface for 5-10 minutes or so to make the next stage easier.
Adding the fruit: 2-5 minutes
- Dust the work surface lightly with flour and roll the dough out with a rolling pin into a 15cm (6in) circle. Sprinkle 75g (2 1/2oz) of the blueberries evenly all over the dough right to the edge, then press down with your palms to stick them to the dough.
- Roll up your dough into a loose sausage. Then turn it 90 degrees, press it flat with your fingertips and roll up again into a short sausage.
Resting: 1 1/2-2 hours
- Shape the dough into a ball and place it back in the bowl. Sprinkle the top with a little flour, cover with an upturned bowl and rest at room temperature for 1 1/2-2 hours.
Dividing and pre-shaping: 5-10 minutes
- Dust the work surface lightly with flour and use your dough scraper to turn the dough out upside down onto it, sticky side up.
- Use your fingertips to flatten the dough gently into a circle. Cut it into 4 equal-sized wedges with your dough scraper. If you want them all to be exactly the same size, weigh them out at about 140g (5oz) each.
- Starting at the pointy end, roll up each wedge of dough into a loose sausage.
Resting: 10 minutes
- Cover with a clean cloth and rest for 10 minutes to relax the dough ready for the next stage.
Shaping: 5-10 minutes
- Line a large baking tray with baking parchment.
- Working with one at a time, flatten a dough sausage and roll it up into a sausage again, then roll out with your palms on the work surface until it is about 40-45cm (16-17 3/4in) long. At this point some blueberries might burst, but this is part of the game! Do your best to be delicate but firm enough to roll your sausages out nice and long, dusting any sticky patches as you go.
- Line up the 4 strands vertically and pinch the tops together to join them. Working with the strands in 2 pairs and stating with the right pair, fold the right strand over the left. Repeat with the left pair, folding the right strand over the left. Next, take the 2 strands now in the middle and fold the left over the right. Repeat to the end: right over left, right over left, then left over right in the middle.
- Press the ends together to stick and tuck them underneath the plait. Place the plait on your lined tray.
Resting: 1-1 1/2 hours
- Cover your plait loosely with cling film dusted with flour and rest for 1 hour.
- Towards the end of resting, preheat your oven to 180°C fan/400°F/Gas Mark 6 with a shelf in the middle and a deep tray on the oven floor. Half fill a kettle.
Baking and glazing: 30-35 minutes
- Boil the kettle.
- Stud your puffy plait with the remaining blueberries.
- Place your baking tray gently on the oven shelf and carefully pour the hot water into the tray below. Bake your plait for 30-35 minutes. Slide a knife underneath it and lift to have a peep at the underside. If it’s golden, it’s done, but if it’s a little pale in the middle, bake for another 3-5 minutes at a time until it’s ready.
- As soon as it’s cool enough to handle, transfer your plait carefully to a wire rack. Place the lining paper underneath to catch any honey drips. Drizzle the top of your plait generously with honey while still hot, then use a pastry brush to brush it all over to give it a lovely sheen and sprinkle over some pearl sugar nibs.
Top tip: It’s all about the honey!
There are tons of different honeys available, each with their own nuances of flavour and fragrance that shine through in this sweet dough. So, take a good look and have a play with what’s available in your area to really make this loaf your own.
Recipe sourced from Bake with Jack by Jack Sturgess (Ebury Press, £22). Photography by Andrew Hayes-Watkins.
Sea Kale with Hollandaise and Poached Eggs
In the 18th century sea kale was used as a winter substitute for asparagus and was still a common feature in cookbooks by Victorian time. Now, it is combing back into favour and features in this delectable dish, ideal for a leisurely, late breakfast.
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
- 4 large eggs (as fresh as possible)
- 1 bunch sea kale, washed
- 1/2 quantity Hollandaise sauce (see above)
- 10g/ 1/4oz (2 tsp) butter, warmed
For the Hollandaise sauce
- 125g/4 1/4oz (9 tbsp) butter, diced
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1/2 tsp white wine vinegar
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- Salt and pepper
- Make your Hollandaise sauce: Fill a saucepan about halfway with water and bring it to a simmer. Meanwhile, melt the butter in another saucepan slowly over a low heat. Once melted, remove from the heat and leave to cool before skimming the milk solids off the top. Put the egg yolks and vinegar into a heatproof bowl that will fit over the saucepan without touching the water, and whisk for about 30 seconds, before setting the bowl on top of the saucepan. Keep whisking, but make sure that you keep the saucepan over a low heat, otherwise the eggs will scramble. Slowly add the melted butter, whisking constantly, until it has been completely incorporated. Add a little of the lemon juice at a time (you won’t need it all) to loosen up the sauce, then season with salt and pepper and serve.
- Fill a medium saucepan halfway with water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to medium and keep to a simmer. One at a time, crack an egg into a small teacup or ramekin, then, using a wooden spoon, stir the simmering water to create a vortex. In one motion, add the egg to the centre of the vortex and cook for 3-4 minutes depending on how set you like your egg. Repeat with the other eggs and keep warm.
- Meanwhile, fill another saucepan half to three-quarters full of water and bring to the boil. Add 2 pinches of salt, then carefully add the sea kale. Boil for 3-4 minutes until tender. As the sea kale cooks, warm through the Hollandaise (if it’s not warm already). Drain the sea kale well and toss with a little warm butter and salt.
- Divide the sea kale between 2 serving plates, then add the poached eggs with the warm Hollandaise poured over the top and serve.
The sea kale can be steamed instead of boiled if desired.
Recipe sourced from The British Cookbook by Ben Mervis is published by Phaidon. Photography by Sam A. Harris.
Aubergine Shakshuka with Chilli Yoghurt
A vegan version of the classic Middle Eastern breakfast classic, this recipe is a great choice for veganuary. If serving more people or for extra protein, add in a can of drained and rinsed chickpeas, and serve with warm toasted pitta.
- 1 tbsp sunflower oil
- 1 aubergine (eggplant), roughly diced
- 1 red onion, finely chopped
- 1 red (bell) pepper, roughly chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- Pinch of mild chilli powder
- 2 tsp harissa paste
- 500f (2 cups/17oz) passata (sieved tomatoes)
- 1 tsp granulated sugar
- 4 tbsp soya yoghurt
- Generous pinch of dried chilli flakes
- Generous pinch of sea salt and black pepper
- Juice of 1/2 unwaxed lemon
- Handful of coriander (cilantro) leaves, roughly torn
- Heat the oil in a large pan, add the aubergine and cook over a high heat for 2 minutes, then add the red onion and pepper and soften for a further 2 minutes.
- Stir in the garlic, smoked paprika, chilli powder and harissa and cook for a further minute, coating the vegetables in the spices.
- Pour in the passata and stir in the sugar. Cook for 20 minutes over a medium-high heat, stirring frequently to avoid sticking.
- Meanwhile, stir together the soya yoghurt and chilli flakes in a bowl. Allow to infuse for a few minutes while the shakshuka is cooking.
- Remove the pan from the heat and season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir through the lemon juice and scatter over the coriander leaves.
- Spoon into serving bowls, then add a spoonful of the chilli yoghurt over the top. Scatter over a few extra chilli flakes before serving, if you like.
Cook the aubergine, onion and pepper the evening before and keep them refrigerated in a sealed tub, for a speedier brunch the next morning.
Recipe sourced from Easy Speedy Vegan by Katy Beskow (Quadrille, £20).
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