Breads

Pumpkin Bread

by Nancy on November 8, 2011

in Breads,Snacks,Vegetarian

I suppose I can admit that we don’t always have pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving anymore. Kinda sad I know but the apples on my tree ripen about a month before Thanksgiving so I often make an apple pie and freeze it so all I have to do is bake it the day before. And then I have a couple of diehards that insist on a pecan pie for Thanksgiving. Carrie is one of them so she bakes the pecan pie, one less thing for me to do. But it still doesn’t seem like fall without something pumpkin with the accompanying spicy aroma.

So to get my pumpkin spice fix I make pumpkin bread and have a slice or two for breakfast with a cup of tea. Many pumpkin bread recipes suffer the same “flaw” as carrot cake (another favorite of mine). To keep the bread moist, the recipes use a lot of oil – 2/3 to 1 cup for an average loaf. I don’t like my pumpkin bread or carrot cake to leave an oil ring on my plate and that oil adds a lot of calories. So I tested several recipes and made a few changes of my own until I came up with a recipe that is moist and uses only 1/3 cup of oil.

Pumpkin Bread

Makes two 3″ x 7″ mini loaves.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup walnuts, raisins or dried cranberries (optional)
  1. Blend pumpkin, sugar and egg with spoon in 1 quart bowl.
  2. Stir in oil, salt and spices.
  3. Add water, baking soda and baking powder.
  4. Mix in flour.
  5. Pour into two 3″ x 7″ mini loaf pans and bake at 350 degrees F for 50 minutes. Do not underbake.

 

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Seed Bread

by Nancy on September 13, 2011

in Breads

A local bakery that supplies artisan bread to local Safeways use to make a Sweet Three Seed Bread. It was one of my favorite breads but the line was cut back and this was one of the breads that Safeway doesn’t carry anymore. I miss this bread. It has such a wonderful flavor and aroma when toasted. It’s like the peanut butter (or sunflower butter) is built right in. I like to make bread so I decided to develop my own Seed Bread recipe.

I do a couple of things to tweak the flavor to my liking. First, I use peanut oil instead of vegetable oil to add more nut flavor. Peanut oil has a definite peanut flavor. Second, I use malted barley flour to give an “earthy” flavor. Malted barley flour is made from the same malted barley used in malted milk balls and beer so you get a malted/beer flavor. Malted barley functions as a sugar (it’s sweet) and you can use it to replace part or all of the sugar normally found in a bread recipe.

You can use any mix of seeds that you like. As a rule of thumb, I use 2 tablespoons of each small seed and 1/4 cup of each large seed (twice as much as small seeds) for four cups of flour.

I always toast this bread to bring out the flavor of the seeds. It’s perfect for a toasted cheese sandwich. It slices nicer when it is a day or two old.

Collecting all of the ingredients for this recipe can be a challenge. Bob’s Red Mill is an excellent source carrying all of the hard-to-find ingredients – malted barley flour, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds. We’d like to thank Bob’s Red Mill for providing those ingredients.

Seed Bread

Makes two 4″ x 8″ loaves or three 3″ x 7″ loaves.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon yeast
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons malted barley flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 egg
  • 3 1/2 – 4 cups bread flour
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  1. Microwave milk for 1 minute. This heats up the milk so the yeast will grow faster. You should be able to hold your finger in the milk indefinitely or it is too hot and will kill the yeast. Let it cool if it is too hot.
  2. Pour milk in bowl. Add all other ingredients except egg, seeds and bread flour. Mix.
  3. Wait 5 minutes. You should see froth or bubbles forming in the milk. The yeast is starting to grow. If the yeast is not growing, wait 5 more minutes. If it is still not growing, the milk was probably too hot and killed the yeast. If so, add another tablespoon or package of yeast and wait until it starts to grow. This is called proofing the yeast. You are proofing or proving that the yeast will grow.
  4. Add egg and 3 cups of flour. Mix.
  5. If you are using a machine to knead the dough, add more flour until the dough forms a mass around the dough hook and does not stick to the sides of the bowl. If kneading by hand, pour on floured counter and knead in more flour until the dough is no longer sticky, is smooth and begins to “pop back” as you knead it.
  6. Divide dough in halves or thirds. Place each in a greased pan. Press it out to the edges of the pan with floured fingers
  7. Let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes depending on the temperature of your kitchen. If you are in a hurry or your kitchen is cold, heat oven to lowest temperature possible. Turn oven off, place kuchen in oven and let rise there (remove from oven before heating oven to baking temperature).
  8. Bake at 375 degrees 35-40 minutes.

 

 

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Oat Date Muffins

by Nancy on July 12, 2011

in Breads,Snacks,Vegetarian

About 25 years ago I occasionally worked in southern California, inland near the Salton Sea. On one trip the group I was with stopped for a travel break at Hadley Dates on I-10 near Indio. It was a small run-down building used as a packing house with a gravel parking lot for a half dozen cars. There were about 20 women stationed along 2 conveyor belts sorting and packing dates. On a counter were samples for us to taste and a few items for sale like boxes of dates and mixed dried fruit trays like you see at Christmas. I vividly remember two things about this stop. First, I tasted my first Medjool date. It was the perfect eating date – large, soft, and sweet. Second, one of the products for sale was date sugar. I’d never heard of date sugar. It is just very dry dates ground to a powder and used like sugar. I purchased two items that day, a box of Medjool dates and a pound of date sugar.

With date sugar in my cupboard, I now had to decide how to use it and eventually came up with a recipe for oat date muffins. These are what I call traditional muffins. They are barely sweet muffins that are more like bread and designed to eat with a meal. They aren’t sweet like Costco muffins that are more akin to cake. Not that I don’t like Costco muffins, they’re just a different type of food. My first attempt came out dry so I wanted to add some oatmeal to make them moister. They were still dry so I decided I needed oat flour. I ended up grinding oatmeal into flour in my blender. When I later ran out of date sugar I had to grind dates into sugar too. The process was a lot of work so I didn’t made oat date muffins very often.

Recently while looking for some other ingredients I discovered that Bob’s Red Mill made both oat flour and date sugar and if I couldn’t find them locally where Bob’s Red Mill products are sold I could mail order them. Oat date muffins are now back in my menus!

PS – Last winter I was down in the southern California desert again and wanted to see if Hadley Dates was still there. I really expected that it would be gone or, because it was so small, I would miss it. Not the case! Hadley Dates has expanded into a tourist stop complete with freeway sign, large sales room, snack shop serving date shakes and enough parking for tour buses. Unfortunately the packing operations which were my favorite part have been moved.

PSS – A couple of weeks after I mentioned to Carrie that I found oat flour and date sugar at Bob’s Red Mill, she was attending the BlogHer Food conference where Bob’s Red Mill had a display. The people at Bob’s Red Mill graciously sent us samples of some of their products so we will be mentioning Bob’s Red Mill, using Bob’s Red Mill products, and thanking them for samples in some of our upcoming recipes. Thank you to Bob’s Red Mill!

Oat Date Muffins

Makes 12.

  • 1 cup Bob’s Red Mill oat flour
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup Bob’s Red Mill date sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  1. With spoon, mix dry ingredients.
  2. Add wet ingredients and mix just until blended.
  3. Grease muffin tin if not using paper liners. Spoon mixture into muffin cups.
  4. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

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English Muffin Loaf

by Nancy on April 5, 2011

in Breads

What I love about this English muffin loaf is that it has “knooks and crannies” and real English muffin taste just like store-bought English muffins. I bake it in small loaf pans so that when it is sliced, the slices are about the same size as a round English muffin. The best part is that you get almost all center, only the two end slices are covered with crust.

Use the suggestions in Fast Yeast Breads, One Rise in a Warm Oven to make these loaves up quick.

English Muffin Loaf

  • 1 T yeast
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. baking soda
  • 3 cups flour

Makes one 4″ x 8″ loaf or two 3″ x 7″ loaves.

  1. Heat milk to 110 degrees. You should be able to hold your finger in it without it getting so warm you want to remove your finger.
  2. Pour milk in bowl. Add yeast, salt and sugar. Proof.
  3. Add soda and flour. Beat until well mixed or knead lightly. This dough can be soft and doesn’t need to be kneaded heavily, just enough to mix well.
  4. Grease loaf pan(s). Place dough in pan(s).
  5. Let rise until tripled.
  6. Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes.
  7. Let cool for 10 minutes then remove from pans, place on rack until cool.

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Banana Bread

by Nancy on March 15, 2011

in Breads

This banana bread is an old family favorite. I remember making it as a child. The bananas need to be very ripe with black spots on the skin. If you have only one or two bananas or bananas are on sale at the store, mash them and put the mashed banana in the freezer. This recipe doesn’t require a mixer. Mash the bananas with a fork right in the mixing bowl and then stir in the remaining ingredients with the same fork.

Banana Bread

  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tbsp. water
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup walnuts (optional)

Makes one 4″ x 8″ loaf, two 3″ x 7″ loaves, or nine muffins.

  1. Mash bananas with fork.
  2. Blend in sugar, salt and egg.
  3. Melt butter or margarine and stir into banana mixture.
  4. Dissolve soda in water and add with flour.
  5. Chop walnuts if desired and stir in.
  6. Grease loaf pan(s). Pour batter in pan(s).
  7. Bake at 350 degrees 45 minutes for loaves or 25 minutes for muffins.

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