October 2, 2012 at 7:53 am (Baking with Julia, Bread Baking, Dorie Greenspan, Holiday Baking, Tuesdays with Dorie)
Tags: Baking with Julia, cranberries, Dorie Greenspan, pumpkin, pumpkin bread, Tuesdays With Dorie, walnuts, yeast bread
I can’t tell you how excited I was about this week’s Tuesdays with Dorie – Baking with Julia recipe. After all, it features one of my favorite ingredients: pumpkin! To say I love pumpkin doesn’t really do justice to how I feel about this ingredient. Obsessed might be a better word.
Anyway, I was really looking forward to this bread. And it did not disappoint!
Now, this is not what you probably think of when you hear “pumpkin bread”. It’s a yeast bread, not a quick bread. And it’s not overly sweet. It’s more like raisin bread. Except with pumpkin. And walnuts. And whole cranberries.
Isn’t that beautiful? And you should have seen the bread!
Here are my observations:
- As mentioned, this isn’t a sweet bread. It’s actually a bit on the savory side, with the tangy cranberries, walnuts, and even the pumpkin, which is, after all, a squash.
- Speaking of the pumpkin, it adds a beautiful color to the dough, but not a distinct flavor. If you tasted it with your eyes closed, you probably wouldn’t guess that it had pumpkin in it.
- As I often do with pumpkin-based recipes, I switched out the spices called for in the recipe with five-spice powder.
- A number of bakers reported that their dough didn’t rise well. Mine rose fine, but when it came out of the fridge after an overnight rest, it was really sluggish. It’s a really rich dough, so I would probably recommend using SAF Gold yeast if you have any.
- I baked my loaf in one pan, and it took significantly longer than the recipe called for. The finished loaf was moist, somewhat dense, and delicious.
- This bread is great as toast with butter. But with Speculoos butter, it is sublime.
- This would be the perfect bread for making toast on Thanksgiving morning. It wouldn’t be too filling, but it would wake your mouth up to the flavors to come later in the day.
- I wonder how this bread would be as bread pudding? I don’t think the current loaf is going to last long enough to find out, but it would be worth making again for that purpose.
So, in summary, I loved this bread! And not just because it had pumpkin in it. Although, that certainly didn’t hurt.
November 26, 2009 at 12:04 am (Holiday Baking, Recipes, Salad)
Tags: Citrus, cranberries, Orange, quick bread, recipe, relish
Here’s a familiar story in my house: As the holiday cooking season nears, cranberries go on sale. When I see what a great price they are, I decide to stock up on them. I always use a couple bags to make my mom’s cranberry orange relish, but what to do with the rest? I usually wind up freezing them to use later.
But I can never figure out what to make with them, and before I get around to using any of them, they go on sale again. So I buy more. And take them home. And put them in the freezer for later. I estimate that it will be about two more years before I need another freezer.
In the meantime, I resolved to actually use some of the extra cranberries this year. And what better way to start than good, old-fashioned cranberry walnut bread?
Cranberry Walnut Bread
- 4 cups flour
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons salt
- grated peel from one orange
- 1/4 cup shortening
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 1/2 cups orange juice
- 1 12-ounce bag cranberries, chopped (see Note below)
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 9×5-inch loaf pans.
- In a large mixing bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Add orange peel, shortening, eggs, and orange juice and mix well with a dough whisk. Stir in cranberries and walnuts.
- Divide dough evenly between loaf pans. Bake for 55-60 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean and internal temperature reaches 185-190 degrees.
- Cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans and finish cooling on rack.
Note: It is easiest to chop cranberries in the food processor. If you try to chop them with a knife, you’ll end up with as many cranberries on the floor as on your cutting board. Be careful not to over-process, however. Four or five pulses should be sufficient.
So, there you have it. My first attempt to use up the world’s largest store of cranberries outside of Cape Cod. Oh, and in case you’re interested, my mom’s cranberry relish is really simple: for every bag of cranberries, use one whole orange (peel and all) and a scant cup of sugar. Chop the cranberries and orange in the food processor or food grinder. Add sugar to taste and stir until the sugar dissolves. This cranberry relish will keep in the fridge for a long time, so make lots of it.
Oh, and if all else fails, I found one more use for cranberries. Bailey loves them.
When life gives you cranberries, eat 'em.