Saturday, October 22, 2016

Pumpkin Loaf with Pumpkin Seeds

This I believe is my second post of pumpkin-related baked goods that I made this month.  Everyone else is on to their 10th pumpkin posts, I'm still working my way up, lol.  It's just my schedule this month is preventing me to bake as frequently as I want to.  But no worries, I've a few posts to write before I've to make new stuff.

Anyway, this bread--yes, it's another bread post--caught my eyes and it came from the same blog that has the sweet bread loaf.  I decided that since I had all the ingredients why not make it.  The bread barely taste like pumpkin, it's unlike a pumpkin quick-bread; this has  a very subtle pumpkin flavor but it's moist throughout and was very good with a cream cheese spread.  I bet it'll make a great pumpkin French toast.  Too bad I didn't think about it until today.

Because I like to make my dough in a bread maker, I dump all the wet ingredients first then add the dry ingredients with yeast on top.  If making this on a mixer with a dough hook, you have to make sure that it's sufficiently kneaded, do a window-pane test, proof, and then proceed to the shaping part of the recipe.

Pumpkin Loaf with Pumpkin Seeds

350g bread flour
 ½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon instant yeast
140g milk 
130g pumpkin puree (steamed pumpkin and mashed with a fork)
2 tablespoon honey 
26g unsalted butter, softened

Beaten egg for egg wash
Raw, unsalted pumpkin seeds -- I used about 1/3 cup or so

Additional butter for brushing, optional 

In a mixer bowl, place bread flour and salt, give it a little stir.  Add yeast, milk, pumpkin puree, honey, and butter.  With a dough hook, knead the dough until smooth and elastic.  Do a window-pane test.  Grease another large bowl, dump the dough into it, cover with plastic wrap, and let it proof for about 1 hour.

If making with a bread maker, place all the wet ingredients first then add the dry ingredients with the yeast on the very top.  Select Dough cycle.

When the dough has doubled, place it on a well-floured surface, punch one time to release the gas.  Roll the dough into a ball and let it rest, covered with towel, for 20 minutes.

Grease a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan.  

Flatten the dough into a large rectangular shape.  Roll it up like making a swiss roll, starting from the short side. Place the dough into the pan, seam side down.  Let it proof again for another hour or until the dough has doubled in size.  Preheat oven to 350 degree F.

Brush the top with beaten egg, scatter pumpkin seeds and pat them down to make them stick.  Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes or until the bread is hollow when tap on the bottom.  Once it's done baking, brush the top with butter if desired; remove it from the pan and cool on a wire rack.

To keep the bread soft, store in plastic bag for 2-3 days at room temperature.

Source:  adapted from Cook Bake Love

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Banana-Coconut Cream Cheese Nut Bread

Banana bread is my go-to quick bread to make when I'm pressed in time but I really, really want to bake.  In this case, I want to finish an opened cream cheese package and there's some ripe bananas on the counter.  I've always had bananas in the house; they're eaten frequently and my family doesn't say no to banana bread.

I'm pretty sure I've made this banana bread before but I don't remember where I got the recipe.  Luckily, Pinterest came to my rescue.  Judging from the way the recipe is I can tell that this one is a keeper.  I traced it back to Southern Living magazine website and it was one of their most popular recipes to be made over and over again.  The original recipe had some cinnamon crisp topping but the recipe that I found from Pinterest eliminated that topping.  So I made my own modification which was to add shredded coconut on the top of the loaves.  It gives a nice texture to the bread and goes together with the flavor profile.  And I love that this recipe yields two loaves, one for me, none for you :D!

Banana-Coconut Cream Cheese Nut Bread

Yields 2 loaves

3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups mashed bananas (about 4 medium bananas)
1 cup roughly chopped pecans, toasted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
About 1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut

Preheat oven to 350 degree F.  Greased and floured two 8-x4-inch loaf pans.

Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy.  Gradually add sugar, beating until light and fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.

Combine flour and next 3 ingredients; gradually add to butter mixture, beating at low speed just until blended.  Stir in bananas, pecans, and vanilla.  Spoon batter into the loaf pans.  Sprinkle coconut equally on top of loaves, pad lightly so the coconut will adhere.

Bake for about an hour or until a wooden skewer inserted in center comes out clean and sides pull away from pan; shielding with aluminum foil the last 15 minutes to prevent browning, if necessary.  Cool bread in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes.  Remove from pans, and cool 30 minutes on wire racks before slicing.

Source:  adapted from Southern Living