Saturday, October 18, 2014

Pumpkin Bread Says Fall

This time of year signals a lot of changes outside as well as inside our home.  Quick breads are breads made without the use of yeast.  Several loaves are made each year of pumpkin bread.  It all starts with the frozen pumpkin processed the previous year.  This can easily be purchased in canned form from your local grocer.

 Here is the recipe handed down in my family. 
Makes 3 small loaves or 2 regular loaves.  
3 1/3 to 3 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. cinnamon
3 cups sugar

Sift dry ingredients together.  Then add the following ingredients:
1 cup shortening- I use vegetable oil
4 eggs
2/3 cup water
2 cups canned pumpkin

Then mix until combined.  Beat until smooth. Pour into pans sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.   Bake in a 350 degree oven for approximately one hour.  
 Above you can see the two baking pans ready to go into the preheated oven. As the loaves bake the house smells AMAZING! Test for doneness with a toothpick.
If desired you can add a powdered sugar glaze.  Ours never lasts long enough.  At most it gets spread with a little butter.  I will toot my 4-Hers horn  this recipe has won blue ribbons.  Eat in good health as you enjoy the fall foliage.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Bread Making Time

When the weather becomes cooler I start thinking of baking.  One of the easiest recipes is a recipe for No knead bread.  Yes I said no kneading required.  The top photo shows step one.  First in a large bowl combine 3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, 1/4 tsp. instant yeast, and 11/4 tsp. salt.  Add 15/8 cups water warm but not hot.  Stir until all ingredients combined.  Cover with plastic wrap and leave in a warm place to rest for roughly 12 hours.  The photo below shows the mixture at rest.
After 12 hours more or less it will have risen and will look fluffy.
At this point what I did changes from the initial recipe instructions.  Original recipe and instructions here.I then heat the baking vessel(which should have a lid and could be cast iron) in a 450 degree oven.  After the oven has heated with baking vessel inside I sprinkle cornmeal in the vessel and coat my hands.  I more or less flop the mixture in the pan cover with the lid and place in the oven.  I bake covered 30 minutes then I remove the lid and bake for another 15 minutes.  When finished baking should have a nice golden brown color.  This is great with simple butter or with herb butter.
Herb butter- add fresh minced herbs a tablespoon to a 1/4 cup of soft butter.  Stir, the flavors to enhance the butter.  My husband prefers Italian seasoning added to  olive oil to dip the bread into.  This is a great recipe to start your baking this fall.
Yum. I will try to highlight more bread recipes this fall...stay tuned.