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Archive for the ‘Bread’ Category

Pumpkin cornbread

I’m on a pumpkin kick. Nevermind that I shudder at the sight of real pumpkins at the farmer’s market. I’m not ready to buy gourds yet. Single studio living is just not conducive to oversized vegetables. So when I say pumpkin kick, I mean a canned pumpkin kick. I bought organic, does that count?

Last week I made pumpkin hummus for a friend’s BBQ. This week, I bring you pumpkin cornbread.

I like most things sweet, so I will add sugar or honey to the recipe next time. But it’s nice and fall-like as is.

Pumpkin cornbread
1 cup flour
1 cup cornmeal
1 tbs baking powder
1 tsp salt
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
2 eggs
1 cup pumpkin puree
2/3 cup brown sugar
¼ cup canola oil
1 Tbs molasses (or 3/4 tbsp brown sugar if you don’t have molasses)

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease 9-inch baking pan.

2. Combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt and spices in a large mixing bowl.

3. In separate bowl, beat eggs and whisk in pumpkin, brown sugar, oil and molasses.

4. Combine pumpkin mixture and blend batter but don’t overmix.

5. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 30 minutes, or until cornbread is browned. Serve with butter.

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simple bulls-eye sandwich

My favorite 5-minute meal (after peanut butter and jelly, of course) is undoubtedly the bull’s eye. I learned how to make these delicious goodies at Girl Scout camp back in the day, and it stuck with me after all these years. Actually, that’s not surprising, considering my other memories of being a Girl Scout include hours of forced child labor, such as: pulling a wagon stockpiled with overpriced cookies door to door during a Chicago blizzard; sitting outside Dominick’s grocery store in the dead of winter, shivering, pleading, begging people to buy our damn cookies so we could go home…etc. Scary stuff. Moving on.

Since this is literally a 3-4 ingredient recipe, it’s really important to use quality, hearty bread. I bought a loaf of whole wheat bread from the U Street farmer’s market, and I don’t think I’ll be able to go back to store-brand stuff. I’ve become a farmer’s market snot.

Here is what you do. Take a slice of bread and cut a medium-sized hole in the middle. Eat the circle of bread before proceeding. Lightly spread butter on both sides of the bread and place it in a warm frying pan. Crack an egg into the hole.

When the egg has cooked enough so that it doesn’t run out when you lift one side slightly with a spatula, flip over to the other side, carefully and quickly so that the egg stays in place. If you’re a meat eater, you can also add a slice or two of ham onto one side and flip it over again so that the ham cooks directly on the pan for a minute or so. I like my eggs kinda runny, so I usually only cook on each side for a minute or two.

During tomato season, I like to put some baked tomato slices on top.  You could also add cheese. mmm.

Easy, plain, delicious.

DISCLAIMER: This is not a baked good. But you know, sometimes it’s ok to fry things.

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I think this may be the first time in my life I have ever consumed a baked good and preferred the non-chocolate version.

I threw in some dark chocolate chunks into my first loaf, per a referral recipe. But because the olive oil adds such a pure, underlying richness to the bread already, no chocolate is needed. I know, it’s weird. And if you bake this, your kitchen will smell good for a long time.

I found spelt flour at my local Yes! Organic Market. I’m pretty sure that Harris Teeter carries it as well.

Green and black.

Rosemary olive oil bread (Recipes adapted from 101 Cookbooks)

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Cinnamon raisin swirl bread

Hello, I’ve returned from across the pond. Now that I’m back in DC and it’s hotter than Justin Bieber outside,* I’m happy to take refuge in my air-conditioned kitchen and bake.

So let’s get right to it. I bet you haven’t had cinnamon raisin swirl bread since you were a kid. Good for you, because the store-bought white bread variety isn’t very nutritious. And let’s be honest; as self-respecting adults, if we are going to shell out dough for specialty bread, it had better come with an impressively long title, something like sun-dried tomato with rosemary and olive oil foccacia bread. But now, upon seeing this photo, perhaps you recall the sweet simplicity of raisins and cinnamon baked into bread, and you miss it.

S’ok, cause I’m bringing it back. The whole-wheat addition makes it harder to see a defined “swirl,” which makes it just perfect for adults. Operation covert kid bread.

The bread is easy to make, but give yourself at least 3 hours to do so from start to finish. Plan to do other adult things while waiting for the dough to rise (twice). For example, I took two naps.

The original recipe is courtesy of a self-taught, DC-based baker dude named Pete. His blog is just full of amazing things and great photos. A must-see for aspiring bakers.

*Not true, at all. I don’t really get who/what Justin Bieber is, or why he is famous, and I would rather keep it that way.

Cinnamon raisin swirl bread (adapted from Pete Bakes)

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In order to survive the monthly forced trips to the shopping mall as a child, I simply made a beeline for the Auntie Anne’s pretzel stand, sat on my butt, and enjoyed the cinnamon sugar goodness, occasionally dipped in buttery goo.

These whole wheat pretzels are shall we say, a bit healthier, and still delicious. You can dip ’em in (a little bit of) butter or mustard, depending on your preference for sweet or salty.

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I would be lying if I told you that plantain bread is better than fried plantains. There is nothing quite like a fried plantain.

And I will spare you my photo of mashed plantains in a bowl. It does not look like something you would want to eat.

That said, the amount of oil typically used for frying plantains is neither healthy nor necessary. Plantains are also boiled, roasted, and grilled from the Caribbean to West Africa, so I thought, why not baked?

I wanted to make a loaf of sweet plantain bread. Then, I realized that my loaf pan was missing. And by missing, I mean I don’t have one. Some baker I am. So I decided to work with my limited supplies and simply use a round cake pan.

Plantains are not as sweet as bananas, but I opted for applesauce instead of a whole lot of sugar. The resulting flavor was a bit milder than I would have hoped, although perfect for sandwich bread. If you use a round pan, add a 1/2 cup more sugar, or simply plop some strawberry jam or light butter spread on top for a healthy breakfast or snack.

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