……………………………………………………. Baking our mark

Savory Summer Squash Bread for the Bread Maker August 30, 2011

Here goes my next recipe for using summer squash (I like this one too, as it combines my abundance of squash with my fascination with my new-ish breadmaker.)

Makes quite a delicious base for a grilled cheese

Savory Squash Bread – for a 1.5 lb. loaf that cooks to the size of a 2 lb. loaf

3/4 cup warm water
1 Tbs honey
1.5 Tbs vegetable oil
1 cup zucchini or squash, shredded
1 cup flour
2.5 cups bread flour
1/2 tsp dried basil or rosemary
1 Tbs sesame seed
1 tsp salt
2 tsp dry yeast

Throw it all in the bread machine and bake it.


Zucchini Bread August 28, 2011

The plant continues to grow and grow and grow. And I continue to give squash away.

And yet, there are pounds and pounds and pounds of it on my counter.  [This story is certainly getting old, isn’t it?]

So, I’m whipping up batches and batches of zucchini squash bread. (The boyfriend’s uncle told me it doesn’t matter if you use zucchini or summer squash – and he’s correct.) And, here are three different recipes that have turned out ok.
 Light Lemon Zucchini Bread

Really light, moist, lemon-y zucchini bread that’s heavier on the squash than on the bread

2 cups grated zucchini
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup honey
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp lemon zest, or 1 tsp lemon juice

Mix together all wet ingredients. In a separate bowl, sift together all dry ingredients. Then combine all together, being careful not to mix too much. Bake in a greased loaf pan at 325 for 45-60 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Paula Deen’s Zucchini Bread (with less sugar)
I think this is my favorite. It’s really a classic recipe that makes for some great snacks.

3 1/4 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking soda
1.5 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup water
2 cups grated zucchini
1 tsp lemon juice
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, and sugar. In a separate bowl, combine oil, eggs, water, zucchini, and lemon juice. Mix wet ingredients into dry, add nuts and fold in. Bake in 2 greased loaf pans for 1 hour at 350, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Smitten Kitchen’s Zucchini Bread
Solid recipe for zucchini bread – though it can’t compete with Paula’s, even with less sugar

3 eggs
1 cup olive oil or vegetable oil
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 cups grated zucchini
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups flour
3 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Beat eggs, then add in oil, sugar, zucchini and vanilla. Combine all dry ingredients separately. Then, stir all ingredients together and fold in nuts. Bake the mixture at 350 in two loaf pans for 60 minutes, or in 24 muffins for 25-35 minutes until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.


Family Recipes: Great-Grandma’s Sour Cream Coffee Cake August 13, 2011

Filed under: Bread,Dessert — krandle @ 12:31 pm
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For quite a few months, my mom and I have been compiling all the family recipes we can get our hands on and typing them up for my grandmother. One of our absolute, all-time favorites is my great-grandmother’s coffee cake.

It’s one of the recipes that was always left in its full-fat, full-sugar version, never affected by the negative side effects of busy motherhood, the depression, poverty, or anything else. My grandmother was incredibly protective of the recipe; she sent two alternate recipes before my mom had to go to her house and secretly raid the recipes to find exactly how she put it together.

Even my boyfriend, who considers the Entenmanns version “real” coffee cake, decided that it was delicious, and that he had to wolf several huge slices down immediately.

If I didn’t enjoy having fully functioning arteries, I would eat this constantly.

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

1 cup butter
1 ¼ cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cups sour cream
2 cups sifted flour
1 tsp soda
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
¾ cups nuts

Cream butter and sugar; add eggs one at a time.  Add sour cream.  Mix dry ingredients together then add to butter mixture.  Combine (fold—don’t mix too much or it will get tough.)

Put into buttered and floured pan (tube pan or bundt pan). Put in ½ batter then put in ½ nuts and cinnamon mixture. Then add remainder of batter and sprinkle with remaining toppings.

Bake at 350 degree for 55 minutes.


Homemade Cornbread June 27, 2011

Filed under: Bread,Side dish,Vegetarian — krandle @ 5:29 pm
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I think my deep affection for cornbread lies not in my experiences in the South, and does not result from eating frugally–instead, my love for cornbread is rooted in the Little House on the Prairie books. They were always eating corn foods – and Ma had a skillet that she used to cook the cornbread, just as my mom did. So, when my mom whipped up a batch of cornbread in her well-seasoned cast iron skillet, I was pretty much as happy as the Ingalls girls when they got tin cups for Christmas. [Yes, I was one of those girls who read all the books, even the ones written by the distant relatives, and watched the TV show and pretended to be Laura when I was making mud pies in the back yard. Who didn’t do that?]

I, unfortunately, do not yet have a cast iron skillet. However, I do have my mother’s delicious cornbread recipe. And, as of late, I also have locally produced wildflower honey, which makes up for the lack of skillet when I put slather it on a piece of warm cornbread. And, since the recipe is incredibly quick and relatively light (esp. for cornbread), it’s really easy to whip up with a casual dinner or for whatever else you need cornbread (like the broccoli ‘gratin’ I like).


Mix together:
1/2 cup cornmeal
1.5 cup flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 Tbs. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

Combine separately:
1/3 cup oil
3 Tbs. melted butter
2 eggs
1.25 cups milk

Stir together wet and dry ingredients until fully mixed. Pour into an 8×8 pan and bake at 350 for 35 minutes, or pour into muffin pans at 350 for 18-20 minutes.

Butter and honey are delicious with cornbread. I’m just throwing it out there.


Low-Effort Homemade Bagels March 15, 2011

Filed under: Bread,Breakfast,Snack — Michelle Jackson @ 9:04 pm
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I’ve been craving toast a lot in the past weeks, and decided that I’m done with store-bought bread, for a little while at least.  (Mostly because it’s embarrassing how quickly I can go through a loaf of rye bread by myself.)  My bread exploits have been infrequent these days because of a lack of time and space to roll things out.  The most successful in the past year or so have been challah loaves and whole wheat knots (recipes to come eventually).  Bagels are a little more accessible for people with tiny kitchens and these are actually not impossible to make by hand, so that’s what I decided to go for.  The time frame for these is also manageable for a leisurely weekend afternoon– ready in just about an hour and a half! Most of this recipe is stolen from here, but I sort of made up the directions myself.  That recipe also name-drops a brand of flour, but I don’t care about brands so we’ll just keep things generic as usual.  Also, this makes about 14 medium-ish sized bagels. I froze half.

Low-Effort Bagels:

1 tablespoon active dry yeast (or one .25oz. package of yeast)

2 cups water, warm

2 tablespoons light brown sugar (or white)

1 teaspoon diastatic malt powder (Didn’t have this, didn’t use it, didn’t matter)

3 cups Unbleached Bread Flour

3 cups White Whole Wheat Flour (You can use half bread flour and half white whole wheat if you want, I just used 3 cups all purpose flour and 3 cups white whole wheat)

1 tablespoon salt

1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil

Sprinkling of cornmeal

[I separated this into 8 steps to make it more organized. It seems daunting if you’re new to bread-making, but seriously, this is not impossible and actually rather forgiving. Deep breaths, relax and enjoy!]

1. Dissolve the yeast into a medium sized bowl with the warm water. Stir in the sugar as well. Let this mixture sit for about 10 minutes until you see the yeast start to get frothy.

2. Whisk in 1 cup of all purpose flour and let that sit for another 5 minutes or so. Meanwhile, in a large bowl whisk together the flours and salt.

3. Add the yeast mixture to the flour in about 3 batches, mixing as you go. I did this by hand, but you could use a hand mixer for this. If the mixture is too dry by the end, add a teaspoon of water, if too watery add an  1/8-1/4 cup of flour.

4. Start kneading the dough while it’s still in the bowl, then turn out onto a floured surface (this can be a clean countertop, a bread stone, or in my case, a large wooden cutting board). Knead the dough until it’s springy to the touch, then turn it around in an oiled bowl until it’s evenly coated. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and let it rest for 20 minutes.

5. After 20 minutes, separate the dough into 14-16 parts and roll out into 8-9 inch pieces.  Then form each rope-looking piece into a ring to form the bagel shape. Place the bagels onto a baking sheet with a the cornmeal sprinkled on it.

6. Let the bagels rise again for 30 minutes.

7. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Set up a large pot with 4-6 cups of water and bring to boil.  Boil the bagels (about 3 at a time) until they rise to the top (this takes like 5 seconds) and remove with slotted spoon.

8. Place on baking sheet again and bake for 15-20 minutes. Cool and store in an airtight container.


Cuisinart Banana Bread March 13, 2011

Filed under: Bread,Breakfast,Vegetarian — krandle @ 8:45 am
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We’ve had a couple of dead bananas in the freezer for about a month and a half now. They’ve gone in and out of hiding among the bags of frozen green beans, but they always manage to wriggle back to the top of the pile. And there’s really only one thing you can do with bananas that black: make banana bread.

I was never the banana bread person in our house. That job went to my sister. I’m not quite sure why, since I was the maker of all things baked–cookies, brownies, cakes, other random experiments–but for some reason, that was her thing. When she and my mom got going, they’d bake what seemed like endless numbers of loaves of banana bread. Some would be given away, others would be popped into the freezer for later consumption. Because in my family’s house, banana bread does not last. If there is somehow any left on day 3, you’d better take all of it for your own breakfast, no matter how full you are, because by the afternoon, there won’t be even a crumb left.

So, when I set out to make my mom’s recipe in my own shiny new food processor, I had pretty high expectations. And this simple recipe did not disappoint. I threw the bread in the oven and hopped in the shower–and when I came out of the bathroom, the whole house smelled just like banana bread. Exactly the right kind of banana bread. Not too sweet, not too light or fluffy, no chunks of banana–just good, banana, nutty goodness.

Cuisinart Banana Bread

2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
6 Tbs. butter, room temperature, cut into 6
1¼ cup mashed banana
2 large eggs
1 cup walnut meats
1 1/3 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
¾ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt

Butter and flour pan / 6-cup ring mold. Preheat oven to 350. Add sugar, lemon juice and butter to bowl with metal blade. Process until well-mixed (30 seconds). Scrape down. Add banana; process about 35 seconds. Add eggs; process until smooth (15 seconds). Add nuts; pulse on and off.

Stir dry ingredients together. Add to bowl. Pulse on and off only until flour disappears. Place in pan. Bake—1 hr 15 minutes for loaf pan; 50 minutes for ring mold. Test with cake tester.