Breads

Chai-Spiced Breakfast Bread

March 16 2014 047 Edited Chai Spiced Breakfast Bread

In the spirit of holding on to this post because I had nothing (well, nothing all that valuable anyway) to say, I turned to my standby content generator and looked for quotes. When I think of chai, tea instantly comes to mind, so I started there.

I found a warm and fuzzy quote: “There is something in the nature of tea that leads us into a world of quiet contemplation of life.” – Lin Yutang

And a funny quote: “Hit me with your best pot.”

One for the drama queens: “We haven’t had any tea for a week…The bottom is out of the Universe.” – Rudyard Kipling

And my favorite quote that was not about tea at all: “I’m thinking. Please stand by.”

March 16 2014 053 Edited Chai Spiced Breakfast Bread

As luck would have it, I learned something too. All this time I was ordering a “chai tea” I was actually asking for a “tea tea” since “chai” is the Hindi word for tea. But because it is okay in the English language to bastardize whatever we possibly can, we use “chai” in reference to a style of spiced tea.

Just as we bastardized the language, I bastardized this recipe. I de-veganized it and baked it in the oven instead of the crock pot. I did not quite understand why I would put the bread in a bread pan only to bake it – so to speak – in a crock pot. I suppose this is a good option if you have an overwhelming urge to bake when your oven is broken, but other than that, I don’t see a lot of utility to it.

I’m all for making chai the next big thing. It’s warm and comforting and although I associate those feelings with tucking in for fall instead of waking up for spring, I’m willing to look ahead. Let’s call it fashion for foodies. So come fall, heck with the pumpkin, I want chai. Enjoy!

March 16 2014 038 Edited Chai Spiced Breakfast Bread

The tea quotes in this post (and more!) were found on this Twinings Tea pinterest board.

Chai-Spiced Breakfast Bread
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • Dry Ingredients
  • 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Chai Spices
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
  • Wet Ingredients
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  • ¾ cup milk
  • ½ cup double-strength brewed black tea (brew 1 tea bag in 4 ounces water)
  • 2 tablespoons applesauce
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and chai spices.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix the sugar and melted butter until well combined.
  3. Add the milk, tea, applesauce, and vanilla to the sugar and melted butter and mix it up again.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. The batter will be lumpy.
  5. Grease and flour a bread pan
  6. Bake at 350 degrees F for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the loaf comes out clean.
  7. The bread is best when served warm.
Notes
I glazed the bread with a simple mixture of powdered sugar plus milk and a dash of vanilla. Unfortunately, I no longer follow a recipe for such a thing, I just mix to a thick but pourable consistency. I poured the glaze over the top of the bread when still slightly warm but not hot so it would melt only slightly.

 

Butternut Squash Bread

January 13 1013 014 Edited Butternut Squash Bread

Week 11 of 12 Weeks of Winter Squash features ugly, but delicious, butternut squash bread. I am fairly certain I lament nearly every time I bake a quick bread that I really can not get the darn thing to come out of the pan right to save my hide. I wait too long and it sticks, or I don’t wait long enough and it falls apart, or something altogether different happens that results in weird-looking bread.

This time, I lost the bottom crust. To add insult to injury, I could not cut through the tough crust without destroying the tender crumb underneath. The silver lining to this ugly bread is that it is incredibly delicious. Perfectly spiced and packed with flavor.

January 13 1013 023 Edited Butternut Squash Bread

If you use canned butternut squash puree, it is a snap to whip up. If you are unable to find canned, pureed butternut squash at your grocery store (my grocery carries the Farmer’s Market brand alongside the Libby’s pumpkin puree), the recipe includes instructions for how to make your own at home. It’s as simple as roasting the squash until tender, then pureeing in a food processor.

Enjoy the bread on its own, or take a cue from the cookbook and serve it with a scoop of ice cream. Top it off with a dollop of butternut butter to really spice things up. Until our final week next week, enjoy!

January 13 1013 017 Edited Butternut Squash Bread

Butternut Squash Bread
 
Ingredients
  • 1⅔ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1½ cups granulated sugar
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup pureed butternut squash
  • 2 tablespoons water
Instructions
  1. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves. Set aside.
  2. Stir together the sugar, vegetable oil, eggs, butternut squash puree and water until well combined.
  3. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix together until well incorporated.
  4. Pour the batter into a greased 9 x 5-inch loaf pan and even out the top.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees F for 60-90 minutes. The top should be well browned, and a toothpick inserted into the center will come out clean.
  6. Allow to cool to room temperature before slicing.
Notes
To make a butternut squash puree, simply cut the squash in half lengthwise and remove the seeds and membranes. Place the squash cut-side down in a baking dish filled with ½ inch of water. Bake at 350 degrees F for 45-60 minutes or until tender. Remove the squash from the oven, turn cut-side up, and allow to cool until it is able to be handled without scorching your fingers. Scoop the flesh from the squash and process in a food processor until smooth. You may need to allow the puree to drain to remove excess water. Place the puree in a mesh strainer set over a bowl (to catch the liquid) and allow to drain for about an hour.

 


Pumpkin and Cornmeal Quick Bread

11300691736 927a95a56a z Pumpkin and Cornmeal Quick Bread

Pumpkin and cornmeal made for one of the more, shall we say, interesting quick breads I have  made. I was not sure that my taste buds, which are fully aligned with sweet, would be down with it.

Things were not looking too good until I sliced the loaf thin and used it as a hearty sandwich bread. Then I was on board.

Walnuts impart a nice crunch, and fresh flat-leaf parsley packs an unexpected punch of flavor. It is a perfect alternative to the standard cornbread muffin I enjoy with chili and would likely pair well with any soup or salad.

11300658925 fd7d1f636a z Pumpkin and Cornmeal Quick Bread

Still not sold? I hear ya. If I was not on a near-constant lookout for unusual recipes to try, I would have passed right over this in a heartbeat. But in addition to sounding unique, the ingredients were easy to procure. I had everything I needed, including the fresh parsley, on hand when I set out to make it. That almost never happens.

Not quite so lucky? Or maybe you are feeling adventurous? I would love to know how other nut and herb combos work for this bread. My first thought on the next go round is to use sunflower seeds and sage. Pepitas and rosemary also seem reasonable.

In the meantime, there are plenty more delicious dishes to experiment in the 12 Weeks of Winter Squash links below. Check them out!

11300691416 051db4bcc7 z Pumpkin and Cornmeal Quick Bread

Savory Pumpkin and Cornmeal Quick Bread
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
  • ¾ cup ground cornmeal, plus additional for sprinkling
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
Instructions
  1. In a skillet over medium heat, toast the walnuts until browned and fragrant.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together the toasted walnuts, cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt and pepper. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, beat together the pumpkin puree, eggs, parsley and oil.
  4. Fold the flour mixture into the pumpkin mixture until fully incorporated. Do not overmix.
  5. Grease a 9 x 5 – inch loaf pan with oil, line the bottom with parchment paper and sprinkle cornmeal along the sides until coated.
  6. Pour the bread batter into the prepared loaf pan.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees F for 40-45 minutes until the top is crusty and a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  8. Allow to cool in the pan for 20 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack to finish cooling or serve warm.