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Archive for ‘breads’

August 19th, 2013

cherry almond quickbread

cherry almond quick bread 1

This bread is too good. I-can-eat-the-whole-loaf-in-a-day-if-I’m-not-careful too good. Mmmm. And it is super simple to make!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar (*You can make a sugar-free version of this too using a sugar baking substitute).
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped dried tart cherries
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 8 Tbs. (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 tsp. almond extract

Directions

  • Preheat an oven to 350°F. Lightly grease an 8-by-4-inch loaf pan.
  •  In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the cherries and toss to distribute evenly.
  •  In another bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, butter and almond extract. Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture and stir until combined. Do not overmix.
  •  Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until the top of the loaf is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 55 to 60 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes. Turn the loaf out onto the rack and let cool completely before serving*.  Makes 1 loaf (+ a baby mini loaf if you want it to, which I like making to “test taste”).
  • * This step is crucial to being able to slice the loaf. I know it is SO HARD TO WAIT. This is where your mini loaf can come in handy 0 eat it while you are waiting on the big loaf to cool!

cherry almond quick bread

I stumbled across the recipe in a Williams Sonoma product catalogue of all places! Just another reason to love WS. I’ve now made this bread no less than 6 times (I even made sugar-free versions for a friend and she loved it so much!) and now I keep dried cherries in my pantry at all times. You know. Just in case I need to make a loaf.

Don’t laugh.

Make it once and you’ll be won over. I promise!

August 4th, 2013

chocolate chocolate-chip quick bread

chocolate chocolate chip quick bread

 

Hubs’ daughter was here this summer and she is a chocoholic to the max. I’m sure she would have “improved” this recipe with a generous drizzle of chocolate sauce, if I had any on hand. The recipe was originally for muffins, but we made it as bread; it is quick and easy and perfect for the novice baker. The recipe was enough so I could make a mini loaf (to taste test) and a regular sized loaf, so she could take one home.

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons best quality cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup superfine sugar
  • 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips, plus 1/4 cup for sprinkling
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Put the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa, sugar, and 3/4 cup of the chocolate chips into a large bowl.
  3. Pour all the liquid ingredients into a measuring jug. Mix the dry and wet ingredients together, remembering that a lumpy batter makes the best muffins/bread.
  4. Pour into greased loaf pan and sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup chocolate chips on top. Bake for 20 minutes or until the loaf is dark, risen and springy.

chocolate chocolate chip quick bread 1

Serve warm, with a glass of cold milk. Enjoy!

January 17th, 2013

super moist spiced pumpkin bread (or that time I read the recipe wrong but it turned out great)

I stumbled across this pumpkin bread on Project Grownup* and immediately knew I’d give it a try!

First, it’s a Paula Deen recipe (nuff said) and second, I had exactly 2 cans of pumpkin puree in my pantry with no plans on how to use them.

Do you ever do that? Just buy canned pumpkin because you know you are going to need it?

No? Just me?

Let’s move on.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil (or applesauce)
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cans pumpkin
  • 2/3 cups water
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 3/4 cups pecans (or walnuts), chopped

Cooking Directions

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour two loaf pans (or whatever pans you’re using).

Combine flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and pecans; whisk together and set aside.

Mix sugar and oil with mixer. Add eggs and blend. Add pumpkin and blend. Add water and blend.

Add dry mixture to wet mixture a little bit at a time until combined. I add about a fourth of the dry mixture at a time. Fold gently until it just comes together. (Don’t overmix.)

Fill loaf pans equally and bake for until golden brown and set in the middle (about an hour). If you’re using mini muffin tins, grab a good book and stay near the kitchen because you’ll have no less than 12 batches!

pumpkin bread sliced

*Note: Now comes the moment of truth. I was back on PG’s website to get the recipe to type out here and I noticed her recipe said 2 CUPS, not CANS, of pumpkin puree. OOPS. Truth be told, I did think the mixture was a bit soupy AND it was practically overflowing out of my mixer bowl… BUT the bread is fabulously moist and it got rave reviews by everyone who tried it! So see? Mistakes sometimes lead to amazing recipes. Sometimes.

In this case – it was a delicious mistake and I challenge you to give this recipe a try – you won’t be sorry you did!

 

August 13th, 2012

dried cherry almond scones

I love cherries – dried or fresh, the tartness with the sweetness makes them a perfect fruit in my opinion.

I discovered dried cherries a few years ago, though I had only every really enjoyed them in my homemade trail mix or just by the handful when traveling. This scone recipe is super simple, it takes about 30 minutes – which is exactly the kind of baking I love: instant gratification baking!

dried cherry almond scones

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 12 scones

Ingredients

  • 2 c. flour
  • 1/3 + 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 c. chilled butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 c. + 3 Tbsp whipping cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1 c. dried cherries
  • egg wash 1 egg + 1 tsp water, beaten
  • raw sugar for sprinking
  • sliced almonds for decorating

Cooking Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325F.
  2. In a food processor, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add in butter pieces and pulse until well incorporated. Pour into medium bowl.
  3. In a small bowl combine 1 egg, whipping cream, vanilla extract, and almond extract. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix just until moistened. Add cherries; mixture should be sticky.
  4. Turn onto floured surface and knead 4 to 5 times with floured hands, make sure all cherries are well incorporated. Pat out into TWO 1/2" thick circle shapes and use a knife to make 3 diagonal cuts (like cutting a pizza pie) to get 6 triangles out of each circle (this will yield 12 scones total). Brush triangle tops with egg wash, sprinkle with raw sugar and top with sliced almonds.
  5. Place on a greased baking sheet and bake for 15-18 minutes, until bottom edges appear golden.
  6. Remove and allow to cool 5 minutes before transfering to a cooling rack.

I found this recipe on Food Network’s site, it originally came from Blacksmith Inn in Wisconsin.  I added a little extra whipping cream than the original recipe called for and I used a food processor to bring the dry ingredients together rather than how the original recipe directs.  I also think these would be tasty made with orange zest and cranberries, or even lemon zest and blueberries – there is lots of room for creativity!

The scones turned out great – not overly sweet and the cherries offer just the perfect compliment of tart fruitness that you can enjoy these any time of day…and trust me, I’ve had them at all hours of the day since I made them!