Friday, August 31, 2007

Gold In Them Thar Loaves

I can see from the hole in the heel, I didn't get all the air bubbles out when I shaped the loaves for the bread pans. Not that it matters. I got two loaves of some wicked good bread ... and I'd better enjoy it because it might not happen again.

You know how that happens. You get to fooling around, tossing in so much of this and a little bit of that and maybe just a tinch of thus and so. Lo! It turns out most excellent and you're not at all sure you will ever be able to remember how you did it this time so how the hell can you count on doing it again next time?

It started with the remainder of the can of coconut milk that I had used for the Thai peanut sauce in yesterday's culinary adventure. There was almost a cup left and I sure didn't want to waste it so I thought, hmmm, wonder how it would be in bread?

Then I got to thinking about the squash I had cooked up. You know, the mystery squash I showed you a couple of weeks ago. I had cooked it in the oven, then sliced and diced it. Some of it went in a veggie soup and I scored a couple of bags for the freezer. There was about a cup of it left that I figured just might go well in the bread.

So I pulled out the pan for the bread machine and set to work. First I whisked an egg into the coconut milk and warmed it in the microwave, then dumped it in the pan. Then I tossed in, oh, say about half a cup of sun-dried tomato wedges. (translation: dried in my trusty dehydrator) Then 3 cups of all-purpose flour and 1 cup of whole wheat flour and 3 tablespoons of vital wheat gluten. That latter really does seem to make a huge difference in how well the dough rises when you use whole wheat flour.

I thought about it for a bit and decided to add something like 1/3 cup of sugar, figuring it would compliment the squash. I was looking for something in between sweet and savory. Then a tablespoon of kosher salt. Yes, a whole tablespoon. Trust me. I topped all that with the cubed squash and a tablespoon of yeast.

Dayum, I said to myself. That isn't going to be enough liquid for that much flour. There was a wine glass sitting on the counter so I grabbed it and filled it half full of warm water and tossed that in with everything else. Looked spiffy to me.

As you can see, everything was done seat-of-the-pants style. If you want to duplicate the adventure, I see no reason to get obsessive about measurements. Your version may well come out a whole lot better. For instance, I'm thinking now that using brown sugar instead of white would have been even better. Go for the gold!

And there is a lot of gold in this bread. The machine does such a good job of kneading that both the tomatoes and the squash were reduced to picturesque little flecks of red and gold throughout the dough. And the flavor. Oh bliss. I had some plain. I had some with blackberry jam. I smiled a lot. I'm awfully glad I made two loaves. This is going to go fast!


Wolfie said...

Aw, sheesh, Miz Dee! I hate when you do this seat of yer pants stuff, 'cause I know no matter how closely I follow your directions, I'll never get it right, and I'll end up with a big burnt blob of dough. :( Can I have a taste of yers?

Anonymous said...

Hellooooooo Dee! I hope you read this, because I missed you... couldn't find your blog... now I found you again.... just checking up on you... as always... your friend with the rum vanilla in the cute little jar.

John Bailey said...

Yum! Good for fried banana sandwiches?

bb said...

And here I thought I was putting you out with so much cooking when I visited. You really like to play in the kitchen. :-)

btw Blufr got me again!

Anonymous said...


Just yesterday a friend asked me for a recipe for my rice dressing. Recipe? I put in what looks right, what smells right and when it tastes right, I got it! You know how that is. The only thing is I am not as adventurous as you are about throwing odd ingredients. The reason? Because the man I live with, (and incidentally have been married to for 53+ years) does not like too many "variations" of his favorite foods. I don't want to rock the marital boat, ya know?

As for your breads. I just can't make em because then I would eat way too much of em. Big no-no since I have to watch my eating per the doc's orders.

What a drag.

Thanks for the interesting, entertaining and informative posts.


Denver doug said...

I would like to apply for the job of beta taster in your kitchen.

Mage said...

Well, kid, that shore is seat of the pants bread. LOL

Kate said...

Oh blackberry jam -- my hands down favorite! This is the most wonderfulest time of the year: the blackberries are ripe, and summer's lost it's punch & is sliding down into mellow autumn. Who could ask for anything more?