How to Host Brunch
How to Host Brunch
Sometimes, as a personal chef, you are challenged to cook in tough situations. Last weekend I had the opportunity to prepare brunch for 75 people for a groundbreaking ceremony. The site is a vineyard currently under construction. The property is being transformed into a fantastic community of new homes, Adams Vineyard. With the old muscadine vines left intact, I’m sure it’s going to be lovely when it’s completed. There is still a house and garage on the property but no electricity, no water and a bulldozer or two. I knew with a little planning I could make it work.
MY 4 INGREDIENT BERRY SCONES RECIPES WOULD BE PERFECT FOR THIS BRUNCH! Here’s the recipe
We used the garage on the property after a thorough cleaning. White curtains accented with green burlap hung over the windows, tables with white cloth and arrangements of sunflowers made the space look rustic/chic.
Here’s the beverage station we created for the brunch. A combination of coffee, juices, and water were served to quench thirsts. Some Champagne would have been a nice touch if this was a weekend brunch, but it was 11 am on a weekday, we didn’t want to send people back to work tipsy.
The most popular dish on the menu was these Ham Biscuits with Peach Mustard. We cooked the ham on a portable stove and kept them warm in a chafing dish.
The menu for the day was hot ham biscuits with peach mustard, blueberry scones, donuts, gluten-free chocolate chip cranberry muffins and bacon, apple cinnamon rolls. We also did a complete bagel set up with assorted cream cheeses, smoked salmon, tomatoes, red onion slices and capers.
Here’s a tip for your brunch at home. Serve a combination of homemade and store-bought items. Make scone dough in advance, cut them out and freeze them a few days before the party then bake them straight from the freezer on brunch day. You can make a hot dish like the ham biscuits or a quiche (here’s a great recipe) and buy bagels and smoked salmon.
- 2 Cups all purpose flour I prefer White Lily
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 tbs granulated white sugar
- 1 tbs lemon zest or a pinch of cinnamon optional
- 6 tbs cold butter cut into small pieces
- 3/4 Cup half and half
- 1 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
- 1 egg
- ½ Cup dried fruit or chocolate chips optional
- Extra flour for dusting counter
- Extra sugar for sprinkling on top of scones
- Preheat oven to 425°
- In the bowl of an electric mixer add flour, baking powder, salt and sugar and stir until ingredients are blended. Add butter into flour mixture to the same bowl of and with a paddle attachment mix on medium speed until the mixture has a sandy texture.
- To do this by hand crumble the mixture together with your fingers or a pastry blender until the mixture has a sandy texture.
- In another bowl blend half and half, vanilla and egg.
- Reserve two tablespoons of the half and half mixture to use an egg wash, pour the rest of the liquid over the flour mixture and mix until combined.
- If you are adding any extras like dried cranberries, dried blueberries (delicious with lemon zest), raisins (add cinnamon) or chocolate chips add them now.
- Lightly sprinkle extra flour onto a clean counter. Scrape scone dough onto floured counter and lightly press the dough together.
- Shape dough into a disk 6 inches diameter and 1 and 1/2 inches high
- Cut the disk into 8 pieces
- Place scones an inch apart onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and brush the tops with egg wash.
- Sprinkle sugar on top of scones ( turbinado or raw sugar is delicious)
- You can freeze the scone dough at this point. No need to thaw before baking.
- bake for 15 - 18 minutes
how to host brunch