Posts Tagged ‘nom’
From practically the first moment I contemplated putting things in a hot oven and seeing what happens, mrslovey’s been up my butt to make her some cinnamon bread. Somehow, I’ve managed to avoid this request for nearly a decade now. At this point it’s a running joke between us. It’s not that I didn’t want to make it for her. Initially, I was simply terrified by yeast breads, and I didn’t want to risk messing up something she was so excited about. Eventually I became more confident in this area, but still never seemed to produce a loaf. Want to know why? I’ll tell you why – there are quite possibly one zillion recipes for cinnamon swirl bread out there, and no two are the same. How the heck was I supposed to know which one was the right one?
Once it was confirmed that this month was yeast bread month, I knew that there was no way I could possibly avoid this task any longer. Not wanting to be solely responsible (really, not wanting the overwhelming task of picking a single recipe), I sent mrslovey to the cookbookcase and told her to come back with the winner. All I heard from the kitchen for about 30 minutes was the turning of pages. Finally she emerged with an orange coil-bound book that I don’t recall ever seeing before. Midwestern church cookbook, 1975, hoo daddy. “This, this is the one you’ll make!” Ok, if you say so! I figure if it failed miserably, I can always blame Mrs. Magnusen.
The recipe is written as if you’re sitting at the kitchen table while she’s making the bread. A couple of the ingredients are kind of vague on how much, or else lacking quantities completely. When it gets to the loaf shaping part, she goes on a complete tangent. You could do it this way, or that way, or make some of this other thing and put this in it…it went on forever, swear. From start to finish the written recipe was almost two solid pages long. Now, I know that I can be chatty, but that was a little ridiculous. Plus, I’m lazy and don’t want to type all that out. So I present to you my interpretation, with far fewer words, and a couple of tweaks. And how did it turn out, you ask, this long-awaited loaf? I’m afraid the words I’d use to describe it could be considered sacrilegious, so in deference to Mrs. Magnusen, I won’t type them out here. Read the rest of this entry ?
Anadama bread is delicious. And it definitely originates in New England. Pretty much everyone agrees on these two things. What isn’t as clear, however, is the exact source of the name. Depending on who you talk to/what you read, it was either a farmer or a fisherman, exasperated with the constant diet of cornmeal and molasses his wife, Anna, was feeding him. Apparently, the farmer just cursed his wife. The fisherman craved bread, so he threw some yeast and flour into his daily mush, left it near the fire, and ate the resulting loaf. Whichever is true (if either is), it’s an amusing story that reflects on how these two ingredients were a staple in the early New Englander’s daily diet. I’ve been looking forward to making a loaf of anadama for several months, and finally got around to it today.
Holy cow, this is GOOD bread. Possibly the best loaf so far this year.
The loaf itself feels substantial in the hand, but the bread is not overly heavy. Does that make sense? It’s like the tip on how to pick ripe fruit – find one that feels heavy for its size. Anyway. The cornmeal added a delicious flavor and texture, and was a nice departure from all-wheat breads. I was worried that the molasses would be overwhelming, but it just lent a nice undertone. This bread has great depth of flavor. The crust is dark and chewy, with a sprinkling of cornmeal on top for added contrast. The crumb is moist, dense, and amazingly flavorful. It would lend itself well to toast or sandwiches. Our first taste was with just a smear of butter. For dessert, we spread a little jam. I’m sure I’ll be making this again and again and again. And again. Damn you, Anna. Read the rest of this entry ?
Tomorrow at work we’ve got a charity bake/candy/craft sale. Anyone who wants to can bring in items to donate, and then the entire floor can buy whatever piques their interest. All proceeds go to the American Heart Association. Yeah, I know, a little odd to promote cookies and candy to support healthy hearts, but I just viewed it as another opportunity to bake.
I pulled out my newest friend, Pillsbury Best of the Bake-Off Cookies & Bars, and began to browse. Almost immediately (pg. 14, to be exact), I found exactly what I was looking for – Salted Peanut Chews. Not too complicated, and hopefully a little different from the brownies and cookies that are bound to be there. These were easy to make, although it was a little messy spreading the peanut mixture on top of the hot marshmallows. When it all cooled, however, it looked perfect.
As part of my *ahem* ‘quality control program’ when making a recipe for the first time, I totally nabbed a piece to try. WOW. Completely amazing, don’t change a thing. It had some crispy crunchy, and some ooey gooey, some sweet and some salty. If a Payday bar and a Fluffernutter sandwich had an illegitimate love child, it would taste exactly like this. Yum.