Pumpkin Bread

It’s finally Fall and you know what that means – well, it’s already in full effect – Pumpkin Spice everything! It really is amazing how many different things come in Pumpkin Spice. I actually picked up a box of Pumpkin Spice Cheerios last week while grocery shopping. I haven’t tried them yet though. And while at Target the other day I saw Pumpkin Spice Caramel Corn, but, I just couldn’t bring myself to buy it. There has to be a line drawn somewhere… LOL!

So, in honor of Fall finally arriving I bring you my first pumpkin treat of the season… Pumpkin Bread. A simple yet delicious treat that I was quite surprised I hadn’t made before. I opted to halve the recipe and use the remaining pumpkin puree to make Pumpkin Pancakes, unfortunately they didn’t come out that great – there wasn’t much pumpkin flavor. Hopefully I’ll attempt them again before the end of the season, if not, there are some other pumpkin recipes that I can’t wait to try and share. But for now back to the… Pumpkin Bread!

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Pumpkin Bread

Ingredients:

3 (1 1/2) cups sugar

1 (1/2) cup vegetable oil

4 (2) eggs, lightly beaten

16 ounces (1 cup) canned unsweetened pumpkin

3 1/2 (1 3/4) cups flour

2 (1) teaspoons kosher salt

2 (1) teaspoons baking soda

1 (1/2) teaspoon baking powder

1 (1/2) teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 (1/2) teaspoon ground allspice

1 (1/2) teaspoon cinnamon powder

1/2 (1/4) teaspoon ground cloves

2/3 (1/3) cup water

*Please note the amounts in parenthesis are for 1 loaf

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 Degrees F. Butter and flour 2 9 x 5 loaf pans (I opted to use baking spray which contains butter and flour.)

Stir together the sugar and oil and then add in the eggs and pumpkin. You could also use a hand or stand mixer on the lowest setting.

In a separate bowl combine all of the dry ingredients, the flour to the ground cloves.

Blend the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture, alternating with the water.

Divide the batter among the loaf pans and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Let stand for 10 minutes and then remove from the pans and let cool completely on a wire rack.

Recipe from Food Network

Buttermilk Cheddar Not Quite Biscuits

We’ve all been there, a mishap in the kitchen. Could it be the recipe, a missed ingredient, an incorrect measurement or maybe it was just an off day for your oven? I had one of those mishaps happen to me recently when I made Buttermilk Cheddar Biscuits. I had some leftover buttermilk in my fridge from a previous recipe and I didn’t want to go to waste and I wanted to make something different; I’ve never made biscuits before. Unfortunately my biscuits didn’t rise and I ended up with some pretty flat biscuits – I don’t even think I can call them biscuits. I’m still not sure what exactly went wrong.

My prep work seemed to be just fine… I started by putting flour, baking powder and salt in the bowl of my stand mixer.

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With the mixer on low I added in cold diced unsalted butter.

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Once the butter looked like small peas I added in a buttermilk / egg mixture and continued mixing the ingredients until the mixture was moistened.

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In a small bowl I combined shredded cheddar cheese with a small handful of butter.

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After adding in the cheddar to the dough I dumped the dough onto a well-floured surface and kneaded the dough a few times and then rolled it into a rectangle.

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I then sliced the dough into 8 pieces and placed it onto a parchment lined cookie sheet and brushed them with an egg wash.

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After baking in a 425 F preheated oven for about 25 minutes this is what I got… Flat biscuits.

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Luckily they tasted really good and were a nice breakfast treat the following morning with my cup of tea! Thankfully my mishap wasn’t a total loss.

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What kind of mishaps have you encountered in your cooking and baking adventures?

Buttermilk Cheddar Biscuits

Yield: 8 Biscuits

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, diced

1/2 cup cold buttermilk, shaken

1 cold extra-large egg

1 cup grated cheddar cheese

1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon milk

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 425 F

2. Place 2 cups of flour, the baking powder, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer and mix on low. Add the butter and mix until the butter is the size of peas.

3. Combine the buttermilk and egg in a small bowl or measuring cup and beat lightly with a fork. With the mixer still on low, quickly add the buttermilk mixture to flour mixture and mix only until it’s moistened. In a small bowl mix the cheddar cheese with a handful of flour. Add the cheese to the dough, still mixing it on low, and mix until roughly combined.

4. Dump the dough onto a well-floured surface and knead lightly about 6 times. Rolled the dough out to a rectangle (10 by 5 inches.) With a sharp floured knife cut the dough lengthwise in half and then across in quarters, making 8 rough rectangles. Transfer to sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Brush the tops with the egg wash and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the tops are browned and the biscuits are cooked through. Can serve hot or warm.

Parmesan Herb Loaf

If you follow my blog you know that I tend to try out a lot of Food Network recipes. It’s one of my go-to stops for looking for a recipe when I have something in mind and since I receive their monthly magazine it’s hard to resist the amazing recipes they include each month. Also included each month is a tear out booklet with 50 recipes designated to a specific thing… for the October issues it was 50 Quick Breads. And I was quick to try out one of those breads, the Parmesan Herb Bread to go along with the soup I posted about yesterday.

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To begin I caramelized two onions on medium-low heat for about 30 minutes.

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Following that I whisked sour cream, vegetable oil and eggs together in one bowl.

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In another bowl I combined flour, grated parmesan cheese, sugar, chopped rosemary, baking powder, lemon zest, baking soda, salt and pepper and finally the caramelized onions. If you are wondering why the onions were mixed in to the flour mixture as opposed to the egg mixture it’s because coating the onions with the flour will prevent them from sinking to the bottom of the bread. Hence they will be evenly distributed throughout the bread.

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After that I folded the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.

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I then poured the batter into my prepared loaf pan – I lined it with parchment paper and sprayed it with baking spray – and baked it in a 350 F preheated oven for 40 minutes.

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I let the bread cool in the pan for about an hour and then removed it and let it cool completely on a wire rack.

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Then it was time to slice it up… As you can see each slice had a nice amount of onions throughout it as opposed to just on the bottom. This bread was super simple to make; granted waiting for the onions to caramelize does take some patience but the end product is definitely worth it. It was incredibly moist and flavorful, it reminded me of Thanksgiving!

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Parmesan Herb Bread

Ingredients:

2 onions sliced and caramelized

3/4 cup sour cream

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 eggs

1 3/4 cups flour

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

1 tablespoon sugar

2 teaspoons chopped rosemary*

1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon lemon zest

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

*The original recipe also called for 2 teaspoons of chopped thyme which I omitted

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Prepare a 9 x 5 loaf pan by lining it with parchment paper, leaving an overhang, and spraying it with baking spray.

2. To caramelize the onions, cook in olive oil over medium-low heat for 30 minutes.

3. Whisk together the sour cream, vegetable oil and eggs in a medium-sized bowl.

4. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, grated parmesan, sugar, chopped rosemary, baking powder, lemon zest, salt, pepper and baking soda. Add in the onions.

5. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake 40 to 50 minutes until a tester comes out clean.

6. Let cool 1 hour, then remove the bread from the pan and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

 

Zucchini Spice Bread

Another mini road trip meant it was time to bake another dessert that wouldn’t require refrigeration. This time I went with a Zucchini Spice Bread. If you are not a fan of zucchinis, or vegetables for that matter, no worries the addition of some warm spices masks the fact that a vegetable is the main ingredient in this delicious loaf cake. Luckily for me, I love all vegetables – even those bitter Brussels sprouts. Trust me; they can be delicious when made the right way.

I began by grating a medium-sized zucchini. While the recipe called for the zucchini to be coarsely grated I opted to finely grate it which I think added to the moisture of the bread.

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Next I whisked together the dry ingredients; flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and the spices: cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and ground cloves.

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In another bowl I used a hand mixer to mix together canola oil, light brown and granulated sugar, two eggs, vanilla extract…

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And finally the zucchini.

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I then added in the flour mixture and mixed it until it was just combined.

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After pouring it into my prepared loaf pan – I sprayed it with baking spray – I baked it in a preheated 350 F oven for about 50 minutes.

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The cake smelled delicious right out of the oven and I couldn’t wait for it to cool so I could try a piece.

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After letting it cool for a half hour in the pan and then transferring it to a wire rack to cool completely I was finally able to slice into the loaf and I definitely wasn’t disappointed. It was incredibly moist and the spices were a perfect touch. Next time I make it though I will probably add in some walnuts for a little texture and added flavor.

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Zucchini Spice Bread

Ingredients

1/2 cup canola oil

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

A pinch of ground cloves

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1/4 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 medium zucchini, coarsely grated (about 1 1/2 cups)

Directions 

1. Heat oven to 350 F. Grease a loaf pan (I used a 9 1/4 x 5 1/4 inch pan.) In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, salt, baking soda, nutmeg and cloves.

2. In a large bowl, mix together the oil, light brown and granulated sugars, eggs and vanilla; mix in the zucchini. Add the flour mixture and mix until just combined (do not over mix.)

3. Spread the batter in the prepared pan bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes. Cool in the pan for 30 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Banana Nut Bread… A Single Loaf

As some of you may know I have a tendency to let bananas sit for a tad bit too long which means I won’t eat them – I prefer my bananas not to have any spots on them – but instead I bake with them. Over the course of my blogging I have made Marbled Nutella Banana Bread, Banana & Chocolate Cupcakes, Banana Chocolate Chip & Nut Muffins, Banana Cream Pie, and the first banana recipe I posted, Banana Nut Bread. Which I just made again, although the first time I made it I followed the recipe exactly and ended up with two loaves, this time though I only had three of the six called for bananas so I decided to halve the recipe and am happy to say it worked out perfectly, so I decided to share that with you today. I must say I never particularly cared for Banana Bread until I made it myself and this recipe was definitely key to me liking it. It’s the perfect amount of banana flavor and sweetness.
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Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups flour
3 large bananas, very ripe, mashed
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts*
Directions:
Preheat the oven to 325 F & grease one loaf pan.
Cream together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.
Sift the dry ingredients together and add to the cream mixture. Stir in the bananas and chopped walnuts.
Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for about an hour and 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
*The original recipe called for pecans

Sun-Dried Tomato Bread

As I may have mentioned before I have quite a few cookbooks that I normally mark recipes from but more often than not don’t get around to trying out. Recently I started going through some of these cookbooks to refresh my memory on those marked recipes and also to see if I can make room on my bookshelf for other cookbooks that I will get more use out of. In doing so I came across a Sun-Dried Tomato Bread recipe in Marcus Samuelsson’s New American Table cookbook which I immediately decided I wanted to try. This is one cookbook that I didn’t purchase myself but instead received as part of a prize package I got a few years back and probably haven’t looked at it since. This also marks the first time I attempted to make bread, yes, I have made banana bread and such in the past but, I guess I should clarify that it’s the first time I am making a yeast bread. I’ve only baked with yeast once before, just this past holiday actually, and it was disastrous. I tried to make cinnamon rolls from scratch but my yeast never properly dissolved and reacted with the water so the rolls were a mess, but, they did smell good. Luckily this time my results were a complete 180. I can’t even tell you how happy I was when my loaves actually expanded while they rested prior to me putting them in the oven… Sometimes it really is the little things in life.

I began by preparing the sun-dried tomato – kalamata olive – garlic paste that I ultimately kneaded into the dough. I soaked chopped sun-dried tomatoes in water for ten minutes and after patting them dry I combined them with chopped kalamata olives. To prepare the garlic I cooked four unpeeled cloves in olive oil for about twenty minutes until they were softened and then squeezed the pulp from the cloves into the mixture. I then mashed all three items together with a spoon to form the paste.

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Next I combined the yeast, salt and water in a bowl and let it sit in a warm area until the yeast activated. While the recipe called for fresh yeast I used dry yeast instead. I was able to find the dry equivalent after doing a quick Google search. At first nothing happened with my water, but, after reading the back of the yeast packet I learned that I needed to add a bit of sugar to get the process going. It wasn’t long after that the yeast was ready.

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I poured that into the center of the two flours – unbleached all-purpose and wheat flour – the recipe called for.

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After some kneading the dough was ready to be incorporated with the tomato-olive-garlic paste.

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After some more kneading I formed the dough into two loaves which I placed in prepared (sprayed with non-stick cooking spray) loaf pans.

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I covered them and let them rest for one hour in a warm area so they could double in size. My warm area ended up being right on top of my stove while the oven was on. And boy did they double…

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I then brushed the tops of the loaves with olive oil – I used the same olive oil that I cooked the garlic in to add a little extra flavor – and sprinkled some salt and freshly chopped marjoram on top.

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I baked them in a 375 degree preheated oven for 30 minutes uncovered and then another 25 minutes covered with aluminum foil. After letting the loaves rest in the pan on the wire rack for ten minutes I then removed them so they could cool completely.

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After cooling overnight I sliced them up and am happy to say that baking with yeast this time was a success for me! This bread is delicious!

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Sun-Dried Tomato Bread Recipe

Servings: 2 Loaves

Ingredients

1/2 cup roughly chopped sun-dried tomatoes

2 tbsp olive oil

4 garlic cloves, unpeeled

1/4 cup kalamata olives, pitted and roughly chopped

2 oz fresh yeast (approximately 7 tsp. dry yeast)

2 1/2 tsp salt

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

2 cups whole-wheat flour

2 marjoram sprigs, chopped

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Soak the sun-dried tomatoes in cold water for 10 minutes. Rinse and pat dry.

3. Heat the olive oil in a small saute pan over low heat. Add the garlic cloves and cook until softened, shaking the pan occasionally, about 20 minutes. Let cool slightly, then squeeze the pulp from the cloves into a bowl and mix with the olives and sun-dried tomatoes to form a paste.

4. Combine the yeast, 2 teaspoons of the salt, and 2 cups lukewarm water in a mixing bowl. Stir to dissolve, then let sit in a warm place until the yeast begins to bubble, 5 to 10 minutes.

5. Place the all-purpose flour and whole wheat flour in a large bowl and make a well in the center. Pour the yeast liquid into the well. Slowly combine the liquid with the flour. Using your hands, work the flour and liquid together to form a dough. On a lightly floured work surface, knead the dough until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato-olive mixture and knead until fully incorporated, about 5 minutes.

6. Divide the dough in half and form into 2 loaves. Transfer to two greased 81/2 x 41/2-inch loaf pans. Cover and let rest in a warm spot until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

7. Brush the tops of the loaves with olive oil and sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and the marjoram. Place the loaf pans in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Cover the pans with aluminum foil and bake for another 30 minutes.

8. Remove the loaves from the oven and let cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove the loaves from the pans and let cool completely on the racks.

Blood Orange-Olive Oil Cake

I recently picked up Martha Stewart’s newest cookbook – Martha Stewart’s Cakes  – and after going through it I was eager to try out one of the many delicious recipes in it. I was all set to make a butter cake until I came across some blood oranges in my local supermarket and remembered a Blood Orange – Olive Oil cake recipe from the book.

The oranges…

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After zesting and peeling the oranges….

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I squeezed a few segments to get 1/4 cup of juice. While it probably would have been easier just to squeeze the juice into a measuring cup this oddball method was what my hands reached for first.

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After mixing the orange zest and sugar together with my fingers (per the instructions) I then added in the juice and buttermilk and whisked it together with my hand mixer… not my fingers!

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I then added in three eggs and extra-virgin olive oil. No worries… There wasn’t a hint of taste of olive oil in the final outcome and I must say the olive oil produced a very moist cake. If you want some more information on baking with olive oil check out this website.

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And finally I added in a sifted mixture of flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

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I knew this cake was going to be a winner when the batter itself already had a wonderful aroma and it wasn’t even in the oven yet.

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I then poured it into a prepared – I sprayed it with non-stick baking spray – 9 x 5 inch loaf pan and baked it in a 350 degrees preheated oven for about forty-five minutes.

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I first let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for fifteen minutes and then turned it out on the rack to finish cooling overnight.

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Once the cake cooled I made a dark chocolate glaze to drizzle over it. I did so by chopping up two ounces of bittersweet chocolate and then poured warmed heavy cream over it.

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After letting it sit for a few minutes I whisked it together.

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And then drizzled it over the cake.

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I couldn’t wait to slice it into it and was not disappointed. The cake had a nice orange taste and that little bit of chocolate on top was just perfect! The recipe actually called for a honey-sweetened blood-orange compote to go along with it but I opted not to make it and I definitely didn’t miss it.

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Blood Orange – Olive Oil Cake

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

3 blood oranges

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup buttermilk

3 large eggs

2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

2 oz. bittersweet chocolate

1/4 cup heavy cream

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare a 9-by-5 inch with non-stick baking spray. Finely grate enough rind from oranges to yield 1 packed tablespoon zest.

2. Peel the oranges and then working over a bowl squeeze the segments to obtain 1/4 cup juice.

3. Combine sugar and zest in another bowl; using your fingers, rub together well. Add juice and the buttermilk; whisk to combine. Add eggs and oil; whisk to combine. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a small bowl; add to buttermilk mixture, whisking until smooth.

4. Transfer batter to prepared pan. Bake until golden and a cake tester comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool 15 minutes. Turn out cake onto rack to cool completely.

5. Place chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Bring cream to a gentle simmer in a small saucepan. Pour over chocolate, let stand 5 minutes, and then whisk together until smooth. Drizzle over cooled cake and let set about 1 hour.