Monday, February 27, 2012

Quick Breads

The Daring Bakers’ February 2012 host was – Lis! Lisa stepped in last minute and challenged us to create a quick bread we could call our own. She supplied us with a base recipe and shared some recipes she loves from various websites and encouraged us to build upon them and create new flavor profiles. 
I was really a bit excited about this.  Some of the recipes that we were provided with looked really good.  I planned to make several of them.  The third of the month, I decided I would try the cream cheese pumpkin loaf.  My loaf came out dense gummy.  WHY do I have such trouble recently with quick breads?!  I used to make them with no problems, so good.  I had to throw away two loaves of bread.  That one...a fail. 

For my birthday, I decided to make some banana bread to take to work...and apparently forgot to take a picture.  Oops! When I walked in with bread I was asked if I made it.  When I said yes, D gave me a look like "you shouldn't bake for other people on your birthday!"   Why?  I liked it.  ;-)  When I made this one, I just threw things together.  I forgot to put the egg in and didn't realize it until I was finished; it turned out fine.  The bread was gone by lunch time.  I call that one a success. 

The next one I tried was a ricotta cheese chocolate muffin (follow link for picture...again, forgot to take one! Bad blogger!)  I found the recipe a while back and thought D might like it.  I used cottage cheese and was trying to use baker's chocolate, but it re-solidified when I added it to the butter so had to add some cocoa.  I wasn't sure how they were but D said they were good heated...sometimes I wonder if he's just being nice!  ;-)

 The last one I tried was a bit different but I liked it.  This is a buttermilk quick bread which turns out to be a good bread for soup.  I've been telling D that I'm going to make sourdough bread, but that requires me to make a starter.  Unfortunately, I don't know if that will happen this month.  So, I thought I'd try something that might be a little close.  Well, it's not exactly sourdough bread, but it was good.  The texture is dense and almost....ALMOST...cornbread like but not grainy.  I do think that I overcooked it a tad.  I did my "I know what time I put it in the oven so I won't set a timer" thing.  Then I actually got distracted.....CLEANING!  All of a sudden I remembered the bread! 

The inside was still nice and soft and the edges were firm.  I enjoyed it as did D.  I'd make it again.  This was such a fun challenge. I really wish my pumpkin bread had worked.  Will probably try that recipe again sometime along with the lemon bread recipe.  REALLY wanted to try this one but didn't get to make bread this past weekend since I was out of town.  Thanks for a fun challenge, Lis!

Chocolate Chunk Ricotta Muffins
1 cup cottage cheese
 2 eggs 
1 1/3 cup milk
 1 T. vanilla extract
4 T. unsalted butter melted and cooled
 2 cups flour 
1 1/4 cup sugar
 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
 2 tsp. baking powder 
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup chocolate chunks or chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare muffin pan with cooking spray (love the one with flour in it). In a medium size mixing bowl whisk the ricotta cheese with eggs until well mixed. Add the butter.  Whisk in milk and vanilla and set aside. In a large mixing bowl sift all the dry ingredients together to get out any lumps. Stir together the dry ingredients so the cocoa powder is incorporated well.  Add the milk mixture to the dry ingredients and stir just until combined, do not over mix, then fold in chocolate chips.

  Fill the muffin cups 3/4 full because of the ricotta being heavier they will not rise as high as normal muffins would, so they need to be filled 3/4 full.  Bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. When the muffins come out of oven let cool in pan for 10 minutes then turn out onto cooling rack. Enjoy!
Makes: 9 large muffins or 16 regular size muffins.

Buttermilk Quick Bread from Cooking Light on My Recipes
9 ounces all-purpose flour (about 2 cups) 
2 tablespoons sugar
 1 teaspoon baking soda 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1 1/2 cups low-fat buttermilk 
1/4 cup butter (I used oil) 
large egg whites (I used 1/4 cup packaged egg whites)

Preheat oven to 350°. Measure flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl; make a well in center of mixture. Combine buttermilk, butter, and egg whites, stirring with a whisk. Add to flour mixture, stirring just until moist. Pour batter into an 8 x 4–inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Bake for 45 minutes to one hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.  Enjoy!


Erica said...

Quick breads are SO fabulous. Its nice to know you can have good, homemade bread in almost no time. I always end up baking for others on my birthdays/special occasions too!

Cate O'Malley said...

The bread looks delicious. I rarely bake my own savory bread, but think I totally need to work on that.