Sunday, September 12, 2010

Knead It, Gotta Have It

If you are reading this and are not interested in bread making whatsoever, first of all - sorry and second - scroll to the bottom and take a look at my precious cooking partner!
My handsome hubby and I have made it a point this summer to visit our local farmer's market on Saturday mornings.  We have a lovely routine that consists of going to the market, getting some goodies and then coming home to our wonderful backyard to eat what we just purchased.  It's a relaxing way to enjoy the few days my hubby has off of work.  I encourage everyone to take a quick trip to the farmer's market to find the treasures they have there.

Now, I know that it may seem a little exagerated to say "treasures" are to be found at the farmer's market. And no, I am not being paid to promote it...I truly do think that the market has some great stuff to offer any family.  Do you have to take it into your backyard to enjoy the food purchased?  Of course not! In fact, I have taken it into my very own kitchen.

On top of getting fruits and veggies from the market (the pluots are to die for, by the way), we just recently discovered a bread lady.  She has a whole variety of homemade breads ranging from sweet almond to spicy, jalapeno.  We have gotten a few of these loaves and oh my goodness are they good! However, these tasty treats are a little more pricy than the local grocery store.  So, with that in mind and my newly developed quest into becoming a fabulous homemaker, I decided to take on making my own bread.  With my hubby in full support and my little man watching from his bouncer, I have tried a couple different recipes and have a few more in mind that are on the list to try.  The two that have turned out the best were an Applesauce/Walnut bread and a Coconut bread.  While I lean more towards the sweeter breads, my hubby has made a request for plain ol' homemade wheat bread - good for sandwiches and yummy toast.
At the moment, I have a whole list of recipes to try that do not require a breadmaker (since I do not have one) but if this breakmaking turns out to be a success then I might just have to take the leap and purchase one. Who knows, maybe I will be the next bread lady out at the farmer's market! Then I would REALLY encourage you go there and buy my very own treasures!

Here are the recipes that were a success this last week.  Fair warning - these recipes are definitely not for those watching their carb intake (but who's really counting, anyway?)

Both recipes take about 15 min to prepare and (depending on your oven) about 50-60 min to cook.
Coconut Bread
1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups all-purpose flour (if you remember my previous post, I tend to substitute ingredients. Here I substituted whole wheat pastry flour)
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
3/4 cup flaked coconut
Additional sugar

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Beat in the egg and extracts. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk. Fold in coconut. Pour into a greased 9-in. x 5-in. x 3-in. loaf pan. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 350 degrees F for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack.

Applesauce/Walnut Bread:
1/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 1/4 cups applesauce
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (again, I substituted whole wheat pastry flour) 
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup raisins (I did not use any raisins and went heavy on the walnuts, it turned out very well!)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add the egg and applesauce; mix well. Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and cloves; gradually add to the creamed mixture just until combined. Fold in raisins and nuts. Pour into a greased 8-in. x 4-in. x 2-in. loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 60-65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack.

The best part of baking? Looking over and seeing this little guy. (With his new toy...a Teethe and Read!)

1 comment:

  1. Looks yummy!

    I just made peanut butter chocolate banana bread. I'm going to post some pictures soon. :)