Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The rise of the pumpkin bread

Big N's Pumpkin Patch at the end of September

We had a bunch of volunteer pumpkins in the garden this past summer. They began from the compost pile and with a little neglect and a lot of water, we had quite the pumpkin patch. We even had one pumpkin that could not decide if it preferred the inside or the outside of the garden and opted to grow right through the fence.

At the end of the summer, we had a mixture of jack-o-lanterns and sugar pumpkins. I set the sugar pumpkins aside with plans to bake. I finally roasted the pumpkins and froze the puree for later.

I came across a recipe for a yeast based pumpkin bread and I was intrigued. I immediately made grand plans to bake. With my typical schedule, this means it happened about 6 weeks later.

Last night I started the dough and it took 3 hours for the first rise to complete. I am blaming that on how cold our house gets. When I put the dough in the loaf pans, I opted to use an overnight proof and popped the two loaves into the fridge.

This morning, I baked the bread. It smells heavenly in the house. I am now planning on making pumpkin rolls for thanksgiving next year just so I can have this on hand for a leftover turkey sandwich.

Here is the wonderful recipe with my alterations.

Pumpkin yeast bread
1/2 cup warm water
2 packages (2 tablespoons) active dry yeast
2/3 cup warm milk
2 large eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups puréed pumpkin, either fresh or canned
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
6 1/2 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

In a bowl of a stand mixer fit with the mixing paddle, stir yeast into water to soften. Add warm milk, eggs, pumpkin, oil, 4 cups flour, brown sugar, salt, ginger and cardamom to yeast mixture. Mix vigorously for 2 minutes. Change the mixer paddle to the dough hook when needed.

Gradually add remaining flour, a little at a time, until you have a dough stiff enough to knead. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead, adding flour as necessary, until you have a smooth, elastic dough.

Put dough into an oiled bowl. Turn once to coat entire ball of dough with oil. Cover with a towel and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.

Turn dough out onto a lightly oiled work surface. Divide dough in half. Shape dough into loaves and place in well-greased 10 x 5-inch pans or, shape half into a loaf, and other half into 12 large dinner rolls. Cover with plastic rise and let rise in the refrigerator overnight.

Bake in a preheated 375°F oven. Loaves bake about 30 minutes, rolls about 20. Check the internal temperature of each with an instant-read thermometer; a reading of 190°F means bread or rolls are done.

Immediately remove bread or rolls from pans and cool on a wire rack to prevent crust from becoming soggy. For a shiny crust, brush tops of bread or rolls lightly with vegetable oil. Makes 2 large loaves, or 1 large loaf and 12 dinner rolls.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

White Chicken Chili and Cornbread

Crock-pot Chili and cornbread!

3 large chicken breasts
1/2 a large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, crushed and roughly chopped
1-2 Cups frozen white corn
2 Cans white beans, drained and rinsed
1 7oz can chopped green chilies
Juice from one lime
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
32 oz chicken broth
1-2 Tablespoons olive oil

Add chicken broth and cumin to a large stock pot. Roughly chop the chicken and bring to a boil. Cook for 15 minutes, or until the chicken is fork tender.

While the chicken is cooking, saute the onion in olive oil until translucent. Add the garlic and saute for a minute or so. Add the onion and garlic to the crock-pot. Add the rinsed beans and corn to the crock-pot.

Dice the cooked chicken and add to the crock-pot. Add the broth that the chicken was cooked in into the crock-pot. Add the lime juice, chilies and spices. Add water to bring the liquid level just to the top of the ingredients, but not covering.

Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6-8.

The last 30 minutes the chili is cooking, make the cornbread.

Corny cornbread

1 box of Jiffy cornbread mix
1 egg
1 can creamed corn

Mix everything together in a bowl. Bake in either a greased 8x8 pan or muffin pan (fill the muffins half full) for 15-20 minutes, until just brown.