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Mark Blatter
05-17-2019, 10:20 PM
I have been baking my own whole wheat bread for about 15 years. Grind my own wheat and mix it all up in a mixer (not a bread machine). Lately I have started trying to expand my horizons a bit. I started experimenting with savory breads, doing a Italian herbs/onion version and another one that is green olives/garlic. Both are mostly white bread with about 15% wheat flour. Both are pretty good hot out of the oven, but they shine when making toasted sandwiches.

I am now wanting to go a little different direction and do a sweet fruit bread. I am thinking of something like cranberry/pear or perhaps a blueberry/cherry. I am also thinking perhaps doing it a little different with the idea of a fruit/herb, so something like blueberry/sage or cranberry/basil. A last thought is a sweet/spicy combo like strawberry/chipotle, though not sure how it would work in a bread.

Would love to know if other make similar breads and if so, what works. Or if you have tried something in the past that was really good, what it was, what combo?

Mike Henderson
05-17-2019, 10:35 PM
I used to make a raisin nut bread with about 50% whole wheat flour. For nuts, I used almonds, pistachos, and a few others. I really liked it.

Mike

John K Jordan
05-17-2019, 11:29 PM
I am now wanting to go a little different direction and do a sweet fruit bread. I am thinking of something like cranberry/pear or perhaps a blueberry/cherry. I am also thinking perhaps doing it a little different with the idea of a fruit/herb, so something like blueberry/sage or cranberry/basil. A last thought is a sweet/spicy combo like strawberry/chipotle, though not sure how it would work in a bread.

Would love to know if other make similar breads and if so, what works. Or if you have tried something in the past that was really good, what it was, what combo?

Mark,

We bake banana nut bread and others in batches and freeze the excess for later. Last year we made apple bread which was so-so. But the pear bread, made from our own pears, was fantastic! I say was since it went quickly. The other breads are great but there's something about the pear. We also have asian pear trees and might try those this year as well.

We often have sweet zucchini bread and occasional pumpkin bread. However, better than either zucchini or pumpin is cushaw bread which we also grow. Cushaw squash/cushaw pumpkin is a fantastic and versatile fruit, more prolific, hardy, and durable than many other squashes. Some get to be HUGE! A cook for our church made 16 pies out of one big cushaw I gave her. Good for pie, cookies, soup, and more, will keep till Feb in a cool place.

410042

Tomorrow is strawberry bread day since we are getting an abundance of strawberries this year. Blueberries will be ripe before long here and blueberry bread is a favorite. I cultivate wild black raspberries which I want to try along with strawberry. The figs are growing well so I'm thinking fig bread a little later. I wonder if blueberry/fig sounds too strange.

As for combos, we usually don't although I love strawberry/peach and blueberry/peach pie so I'm imagining those together in bread. The problem is the strawberries and blueberries will be gone before our peaches are ripe. The cherries are in now so that's another one we might try. With all of these we add or omit various nuts, raisins craisins, herbs and spices, etc. as the mood strikes. We get honey from our bees which adds both moisture and flavor.

Note that we call all these "breads" but some might call them cakes in loaf form. I like to slice and eat cold or warmed, sometimes with a bit of butter. We eat like royalty.

I like your idea of putting basil in some of these. We usually grow too much so most just goes to waste. (Hey, did you ever try basil on pizza? Had that in Switzerland once and it was delicious!)

JKJ

Jim Koepke
05-18-2019, 2:42 AM
Zucchini bread is one of my favorite ways to use up extra zucchini squash from the garden.

Another of my favorites is to use brown sugar and whole wheat to make a darker loaf.

Chopping up dried fruit and adding it in to the recipe makes a wonderful loaf. Add some butter or cream cheese and it can make your whole day.


Zucchini Bread
Makes 2 loaves

3 eggs
1 cup oil
2 cups sugar (.86 Lbs)
2 cups grated zucchini
1 Tbs vanilla

Beat eggs until light, add sugar, oil, zucchini and vanilla, mix well.
Add the rest of the ingredients to batter and thoroughly mix.
3 cups flour (.86 Lbs)
1 cup wheat or oat bran (optional)
1 Tbs cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder

At this point any optional ingredients may be added.

optional extras
chopped dried apricots
chopped dried pears
chopped dates
chopped nuts
chopped dried apples
sunflower seeds (unsalted)

Prepare the loaf pans by rubbing oil or butter over the entire inside surface (a spray on oil can be used). Pour a small amount of flour into the pan and tilt the pan so the flour adheres to all the surfaces that have been coated with oil. Pour the flour into the next pan to be used, turn the pan upside down over the next pan, and lightly tap to remove the excess flour.
Pour the batter into two loaf pans (8 in. x 3-7/8 in. x 2-3/8 in. may need bigger, or more if you add a lot of extras). The loaves will rise about 3/4 inch. Bake 1 hour at 325° or until long tooth pick inserted into loaf does not have any residue when removed.

jtk

Jeff Bartley
05-18-2019, 8:25 AM
This is making me hungry......

Sourdough is the bread I've wanted to try my hand at making. I've read up on it but never taken the plunge of making the starter. Apparently the starter can be used for other doughs as well, like pizza dough.

roger wiegand
05-18-2019, 9:44 AM
My current quest is sourdough, either baguette or boule. Just discovered baking in a dutch oven which holds the steam in and produces a really superior crust. Yes, you have an opportunity to make something every time you feed your starter-- pizza, pancakes, breads, whatever!

410050

My long term passion has been pizza, which took a great leap forward with the construction of a proper wood-fired Pompeii brick oven.

410051

Had a good time pursuing a perfect hot cross bum for my British-Canadian wife this spring. Figured out how to make "mixed peel" way better than anything I could buy.

410052

I've made most of our regular sandwich bread forever, my favorite is cracked wheat. Using the 'baker's dried milk' from King Arthur makes a surprising improvement in the crumb compared to liquid milk.

410053

Next up is making a decent bagel. My attempts have been flat fails so far. Perhaps I need to get some water from Brooklyn.

Jeff Bartley
05-18-2019, 9:50 AM
Tell me where you live Roger and I'll tell ya what time I'll be over!

Pizza is also my focus on all things leavened and I'd love to incorporate sour dough.

This might stray from this thread so could I implore you to start another thread with pics and details of your oven? An outdoor oven has been on my list for years!

Jim Becker
05-18-2019, 12:42 PM
I'll be happy to be an official taster... LOL

'Not sure if it helps with your specific question, but a friend of mine down in Birmingham is a very talented bread-maker. (among other things, like being a good lawyer, painter (art) and a talented bonsai artist) While ago she recommended a book to a group we are mutually in. I haven't attacked it yet, but that book is: https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B007SGLZH6/ref=kinw_myk_ro_title It does get into the pizza angle that Jeff just mentioned for sure.

Adam Grund
05-18-2019, 1:41 PM
I’ll be happy to slightly derail it as well.
I’ve had a sourdough starter going for 3ish years, but I have yet to make an authentic sourdough. I use the starter combined with commercial yeast to make a ‘fake’ loaf. Still has a tangy taste, and a fantastic French toast bread.
I also really enjoy potato bread, a couple versions of Italian bread, and honey wheat. Just now starting to kind of dabble in pizza dough.

roger wiegand
05-18-2019, 1:59 PM
All the gory details of building my pizza oven (which is fully functional but not quite finished yet can be found at https://tinyurl.com/y8bx7hbd I ran out of warm weather for finishing the stonework last fall, and have been consumed with a pair of G&G end tables since it warmed up this spring. Should get it done shortly!

Building an oven is a great project with a huge payoff in results.

I'd be happy to host a pizza gathering for Creek'ers. Just give me a couple days notice, the dough needs to ferment at least 48 hours!

Mark Blatter
05-18-2019, 6:29 PM
Thanks all, some great ideas and comments. I have never even tried sourdough but may some day. I am really leaning towards trying a cherry/sage batch first. Might throw in some blueberries as well. Of course, living in the rocky mountains, we have not even thought about any fresh for this year. In fact the rule of thumb is to wait on planting anything until after Memorial Day to avoid the frosts. I took a chance and planted tomatoes about the 20th of April and just kept covering them any time it was getting below 35. I love tomatoes off my own plants and pretty much won't eat any of the cardboard ones sold in stores. I will use dried cherries for now.

My wife makes the normal banana / zucchini type breads and I enjoy, but you can only eat so much before you go into a diabetic coma. I make a cinnamon raisin whole wheat bread that is about a bad. I patterned it on cinnamon rolls my mother made when I was a kid. She used about two cups of whole cream and it made a gooey sauce that just oozed out.

Later today I am going to make a second batch of green olives / onion and perhaps add in some sun dried tomatoes. We'll see.

Jim Koepke
05-18-2019, 7:09 PM
Later today I am going to make a second batch of green olives / onion and perhaps add in some sun dried tomatoes. We'll see.

With the green olives and onions you might try garlic instead of onions. Another ingredient to toss in might be artichoke hearts. Sprinkle in an Italian cheese or two, maybe even three...

jtk

roger wiegand
05-18-2019, 8:31 PM
I've always wanted to try Paul Hollywood's olive breadstick recipe (https://www.bbc.com/food/recipes/olive_breadsticks_79125) , They look fantastic.

Pat Barry
05-18-2019, 9:32 PM
I’ll be happy to slightly derail it as well.
I’ve had a sourdough starter going for 3ish years, but I have yet to make an authentic sourdough. I use the starter combined with commercial yeast to make a ‘fake’ loaf. Still has a tangy taste, and a fantastic French toast bread.
I also really enjoy potato bread, a couple versions of Italian bread, and honey wheat. Just now starting to kind of dabble in pizza dough.

Curious why you haven't done sourdough with just your starter, without commercial yeast? You should to get the best local flavor from your bread. Mine turned out pretty well. I found that it just needed more time to rise without the extra boost of the commercial yeast. Best one was letting the dough sit overnight in the fridge, then baking the next morning.

Adam Grund
05-18-2019, 10:59 PM
Curious why you haven't done sourdough with just your starter, without commercial yeast? You should to get the best local flavor from your bread. Mine turned out pretty well. I found that it just needed more time to rise without the extra boost of the commercial yeast. Best one was letting the dough sit overnight in the fridge, then baking the next morning.
Long excuse short, I just haven’t found the time to dedicate to making true sourdough.
My ventures in to bread making all started from King Arthur flour recipe, and from there I tried one of their “sourdough” recipes that is baked in a regular loaf pan. I’ve been pleased enough with it that it has caused me not to get too excited to expand my sourdough adventure.

Perry Hilbert Jr
05-20-2019, 7:20 AM
Bread is my weakness. More than candy, etc. A bakery in Falls Church Va, made a strange looking pink bread with tomatoes and Italian herbs that was sooo very good. It was soft and moist like store bought white bread, but extremely tasty An Amish bakery over in Lancaster PA, makes a peach cinnamon streusel swirl bread that is more like a slice of pie than bread. There was a bakery in Hershey PA that made bread with capricola, black olives and provolone chunks in it. Loved that stuff. My local Aldi's gets a dark brown coconut sweet dinner roll that is like a Pumpernickel version of King's Hawaiian rolls. A bakery in Hyattsville, MD made a dark Russian Black bread with hints of molasses, orange and chocolate in it. I would try to get there just after it was taken out of the oven to get it fresh and sometimes I had eaten the entire loaf on the way home. A West Virginia woman, I knew years ago, made a bread with sausage, egg and cheese in it. She made it for when her family went deer hunting. Now that was so good toasted. At the farmer's market near Mannheim, PA, a stand sells giant soft pretzels that weigh about 1 pound each. We would slice them for sandwiches. (very similar dough to bagels)

John K Jordan
05-20-2019, 10:29 AM
Mark, we did make the strawberry bread on Saturday, and because of your comment on basil and my Lovely Bride's reminder of the Strawberry/Basil sauce we first had in a hilltop restaurant in the center of Italy, our bread was strawberry/basil and it is delicious, but not much left!

This also spurred panna cotta in the fridge and a fresh batch of strawberry/basil sauce to dribble over fruit on top. Ooo.
Just put 1 to 1-1/2 cup strawberries, a bit of confectionery sugar and a couple of basil leaves in the food processor.

JKJ

Jeff Bartley
05-24-2019, 8:34 AM
Bravo on your oven build Roger! If you're reading this and haven't checked out Roger build thread on his oven I'd highly recommend checking it out.

Question for you Roger: is the insulation important only for winter use? I've seen many ovens that are simply brick domes, is it safe to assume that those without insulation will work but will just lose heat faster?

Mark Blatter
05-24-2019, 12:29 PM
Mark, we did make the strawberry bread on Saturday, and because of your comment on basil and my Lovely Bride's reminder of the Strawberry/Basil sauce we first had in a hilltop restaurant in the center of Italy, our bread was strawberry/basil and it is delicious, but not much left!

This also spurred panna cotta in the fridge and a fresh batch of strawberry/basil sauce to dribble over fruit on top. Ooo.
Just put 1 to 1-1/2 cup strawberries, a bit of confectionery sugar and a couple of basil leaves in the food processor.

JKJ

I ended up making a sweet bread instead. I did pear/cranberry with a little basil. End result was it was pretty good, but could not taste the basil. I used some pear juice as part of the water, then added about a cup of pear sauce (you know like apple sauce but from pears) plus two pears diced up. Used a cup of diced dried cranberries. Normally my bread dough is easy to form into loaves. The sweet bread had too much liquid and I had to 'pour' it from the scale to the pan. I weigh my bread so them loaves are uniform in size. I gave some out to friends to get their thoughts. One guy and his wife are still annoyed with me because I have given them about six loaves in the past four weeks and both have gained 5 pounds. Another couple across the street called and said they had eaten four sliced toasted the night I gave it to them, and finished the loaf the next morning. Weight gain with breads is not optional.

What I will change for the next batch is to reverse the pear and cranberry, making a cranberry sauce to infuse the entire batch, with added diced cranberries, then add three pears diced. Infusing the bread with pears puts too much sweetness into it and using cranberries will make it seem less sweet. I will also need to double or triple the basil amount so it is stronger, but not over-powering. Using orange is an interesting idea, which I will have to incorporate with something else.


With summer coming I will try out using a number of fruits, strawberry, orange, perhaps mango and cherries too.