Category Archives: Bread

Cheddar, Chive and Stout Bread with Corned Beef and Roasted Cabbage Wedges

Yesterday I was reading a post  about cheddar chive beer bread on thekitchn and became inspired to make something for St. Paddy’s day. Then I thought- how can I make this into dinner? So I thought I would make an open faced corned beef sandwich.  After contemplating for approximately 3 minutes about making corned beef, I instead decided to go to our local market and buy some thinly sliced corned beef.

Here is the short rundown on corned beef, it’s salt cured and brined with spices- that’s what makes it what it is. You can get it in a can, which is the ground salted version- and is shockingly better than you might think- but not like fresh corned beef. Then there is the kind you can buy in the supermarket that is already packed in brine that comes with the seasoning packet. You can also make it from scratch following Alton’s instructions which will probably be fantastic but will take you days. It’s not so much hard, as it is time consuming. So if you are making this dish and you know of a good deli (Marczyk’s for me) maybe just buy it there.

So next, we are on to the bread. Oh my God, the bread. Is it possible that I have never had beer bread? Or was it just never this good? Either way, I am hooked. It was SO easy, and delicious! You mix everything in one bowl, and it comes together in minutes. From the first bite, all I could think of was ways to modify it. I love making bread with yeast so I have never really gotten on the quick bread train (at least not the savory kind) well- I’m here now. This bread is made with stout, white cheddar, and chives. The stout adds a light bitter flavor, which is delicious on its own and even better in the sandwich.

I have very fond memories of my dad making corned beef and cabbage growing up… I should really rephrase that and say, I have fond memories of the beef, the cabbage part, not so much. I remember it smelling a lot like farts and plugging my nose to eat the one piece I was required to choke down before I could leave the table.  Here is the thing about cabbage (and brussels sprouts and a number of other vegetables out there) they contain sulfur. When you over cook them- they smell like a fart. Now, they might not taste like it- but try explaining to your kids why they should eat something that smells like a fart- let me know how that works out.  I read about roasted wedges of cabbage on a few blogs awhile ago, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to try it. IT IS DELIGHTFUL! The outer edges get crispy, and the inside is buttery and tangy. It’s almost impossible to overcook it (to fart stage) because you just watch the outer leaves and when they turn brown it is perfect! I finished mine with a little lemon, and it was a perfect addition to the plate.

Last thing before the recipes- the sauce. My dad used to put a mixture of brown sugar and mustard on our corned beef. I’m not sure where this tradition came from, but it was one of my favorite parts. I loved the tangy sweet flavor it added to the meat. This is a common pairing with ham, but I’m here to tell you, it should be on corned beef too.

This isn’t just a meal for St. Paddy’s day people- I’m going to make this every Tuesday.

Cheddar and Chive Stout beer- originally from the kitchn

Ingredients:

2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 (12-ounce) bottle stout (I used St. Peter’s cream stout because I love it)
1 cup grated Irish cheddar cheese (I used Tillamook vintage white cheddar because it’s the best)
1/4 cup chopped chives
1/4 cup Irish butter, melted

Method:

Preheat oven to 375° F. Line 8 1/2- x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan with parchment paper, or coat with butter.

In a mixing bowl, thoroughly whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Pour in the beer and mix until the dry ingredients are evenly moistened. Fold in 3/4 cup of the cheese and the chives.

Transfer the batter to prepared pan. Pour the melted butter evenly over top of the dough. Bake about 30 minutes then scatter the remaining 1/4 cup of cheese over the top. Return the loaf to the oven and bake 15 to 20 minutes longer or until a tester inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes.

Turn out and serve warm, sliced.

Roasted Cabbage Wedges:

 Method:

Preheat oven to 425

Remove any wilted outer leaves. Cut the cabbage into 8 wedges.  Place on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle liberally with salt and freshly ground pepper, and squeeze lemon juice over each piece (about 1 lemon).

Bake for 30 minutes until the outer leaves and edges are browned. Dress with more lemon (if you love lemon like I do) and serve.

Brown sugar mustard sauce:

In a sauce pan combine ¼ cup dark brown sugar with 1 Tbs yellow mustard. Cook over medium until the brown sugar is dissolved. Taste and add more mustard if desired.

Sandwich building:

I made the bread first and let it cool. Then I roasted the cabbage. While the cabbage was roasting I cut the bread into ½” slices and put them on a baking sheet. I put them in the oven to toast lightly while the cabbage was finishing. Then I topped them with a few slices of corned beef, a drizzle of the sauce, and a few slices of Swiss cheese When the cabbage was done I turned on the broiler and broiled the sandwiches until the cheese was bubbly and just starting to brown.

A few notes:

Happy St. Paddy’s day everyone! Don’t drink the green beer, drink a stout instead, and then use any leftovers to make beer bread!

I mean it about the quick bread- you should expect to see more posts, and soon.
I am thinking fresh dill from the garden, or maybe buttermilk walnut bread? I’m getting pretty excited about it.

Is it St. Paddy’s or St. Patty’s? St. Patricks? I’m not going to lie- i put all of these in here to make this post searchable. Don’t judge.

-Sue

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Pumpkin Bread Pudding

I have a love/hate relationship with fall. Fall colors are beautiful; I love the smell of a crisp fall day (which is really not the same in Colorado as it is in Michigan), I love fall foods like roasted vegetables and chicken. What I do not love is the end of the summer; which marks the end of camping, biking, and patio eating and drinking.  I love eating outside, and drinking outside, and everything that you can’t do in the winter. Fine- winter in Colorado is still pretty badass, but I’m going to miss the summer.

Here is one thing I love about fall, fall flavored treats, specifically pumpkin.  I love everything from pumpkin pie to pumpkin cheesecake and everything in between. I love the savory side of pumpkin too, but my true love comes from the spices you normally associate with pumpkin: cinnamon and nutmeg.

My love for cinnamon is almost as deep as my love for soup. I keep two different kinds of cinnamon in my kitchen. That’s right, I have two kinds- don’t act surprised.

My favorite place to shop for spices is Savory Spice here in Denver. Their spices are freshly ground in the shop on a weekly basis and they have a fantastic selection. My absolute favorite kind of cinnamon (the kind I used in this recipe) comes from this shop.  It is Vietnamese Saigon cassia cinnamon.  If you imagine walking into a room where someone has just baked cinnamon rolls- this is exactly what this cinnamon smells like. I still remember the first time I smelled it, it was so pungent and intoxicating; my mind was reeling with recipes I could make with this delicious spice.

“True” cinnamon comes from bark, which comes from the cinnamon tree. True cinnamon is called Ceylon cinnamon (because it’s native of Ceylon, Sri Lanka).  In the United States what we known as cinnamon is actually the bark of the Cassia tree, which is native to both China and Saigon and a few other select regions.  The cinnamon that is in Chinese five spice is Cassia cinnamon, whereas the cinnamon that is commonly used in Mexican hot cocoa (and many Mexican dishes) is Ceylon.  For me, the main distinction is the pungency and the sweetness. I find Ceylon to taste more muted and with a slightly spicy undertone; whereas cassia has an intense “cinnamon” flavor and is spicy and almost sweet.  They both have their place in my kitchen, but Vietnamese Saigon Cassia Cinnamon is my go to baking cinnamon (and also one of my go to housewarming gifts).

About the nutmeg- for the love of all that is delicious just use fresh ground. Whole nutmeg isn’t expensive and the flavor is far superior to pre-ground.

On to the recipe (finally), pumpkin bread pudding.  This bread pudding is FANTASTIC. It has a bit of crunch, a lot of fall flavor, and a little sweetness from the caramel topping.

Ingredients:

2 packages of Kings Hawiian rolls*, cut into cubes and toasted

2 cups ½ and ½

1 cup dark brown sugar

2 cups pumpkin puree (NOT pie filling)

2 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. nutmeg

2 eggs

1 yolk

Pinch of salt

Caramel topping:

½ cup butter

1 ½ cups dark brown sugar

½ cup heavy cream

Heavy pinch of salt (to taste)

Method:

Preheat oven to 350.

Cut the rolls into 1 inch cubes and toast for 10 minutes in the oven.  Put the cubes into a 9X13 baking dish and let cool slightly while you make the custard.

Whisk together ½ and ½, pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, eggs and salt. Pour the mixture carefully over the bread cubes, trying to cover all area evenly. Cover and let rest for at least 15-20 minutes but up to overnight.  Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes or until the top is brown and crusty.

For the Caramel sauce:

In a heavy bottomed sauce pan combine the butter and brown sugar. Whisk together over medium high heat until the butter is melted and the sugar begins to bubble. It will go from looking a little like wet sand to starting to look like a smooth sauce; this will take about 2-3 minutes.

At this point whisk in the cream and cook for another minute until the caramel is smooth. Add the pinch of salt and whisk, serve warm, or re-warm before serving.

A few notes:

* I adore Kings Hawaiian rolls, they are delicious, and they used to be a favorite of my grandmother’s. However, you can use any kind of bread you want in bread pudding. I like the sweetness of these rolls in this recipe, but it is not required. I would recommend an egg bread of some type (such as challah). However, you can use leftover French baguette or sourdough, or really anything. The important things are that the bread is cubed (which means you need to use thick bread) and that it is slightly crusty(which you can either do by toasting it, or using day old bread). For this recipe you will need about 10 loosely packed cups of bread cubes.

I always buy dark brown sugar. More often than not, when I’m using brown sugar I am using it for the flavor. Dark brown sugar has a more rich molasses flavor to it, so for sake of flavor (and cupboard space) I just buy one type- and it’s always dark.

-Sue

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Filed under Baked Goods, Bread, Dessert, Recipes, Thanksgiving Sides

Cinnamon Roll Cake with Maple Drizzle

tastes like a cinnamon roll, but is far less annoying.

I love cinnamon rolls.  I LOVE THEM.  I think the only thing I love as much as cinnamon rolls is s’mores.  Recently, I  made the frozen kind in the tube, and forbade Dom from eating any.  (He doesn’t cook, he doesn’t get dibs, that’s my rule.)  I’m even territorial about the kind of gross, frozen, in-tube kind of cinnamon rolls.  You should see how nasty I get over homemade cinnamon rolls.

The thing about homemade cinnamon rolls is that they are a giant pain in the arse (arse is less offensive than a** because it’s British, you know).  There are two things in cooking that I hate: baking with yeast and deep frying at home, and the reasons are because I am impatient and because I hate a mess.  I made Alton Brown’s Cinnamon Rolls a long time ago, and while those were heavenly, they both required yeast AND made a big mess.  The good news is that cooking blogs are always coming up with ways for lazy bakers like me to eat cinnamon rolls without using yeast/waiting for dough to rise/waiting for it to rise again/rolling it out/waiting overnight.

Like this Cinnamon Roll Cake.  It’s basically a homemade version of the in-tube store bought cinnamon rolls, except cake batter instead of yeast.  It even has a sugar/butter mixture you spread on top and then swirl around.  It’s also REALLY easy and doesn’t make a ton of cake, which is probably best for everyone.

I timed myself, and this took 21 minutes, from measuring out the ingredients as I went, to melting the butter in the microwave, to softening the other butter in the microwave*, to spooning on the butter/sugar, to swirling it around with a knife to getting it in the oven.  21 minutes. Plus 5 minutes to make the icing.

*My A+ method for softening refrigerated butter to room temperature: take the stick, in the wrapper, and microwave it 5 seconds at a time, turning it after each 5 seconds, probably 4-5 times.  This method does require you have a reasonably deep understanding of your microwave’s cooking strength, but if you’re concerned, turn the power down to about half and I promise you this will work like a charm.  If your butter is frozen, instead of refrigerated, as mine often is, do the same thing, except use the defrost setting for the 5 second increments, and then after 6 or 7 of them, switch to full strength.  The method isn’t as foolproof for frozen butter as it is for refrigerated butter.

Cinnamon Roll Cake with Maple Drizzle, from Cooking for Seven

For the cake:

1 1/2 cups flour (I used 1 cup whole wheat, 1/2 cup all purpose)

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

3/4 cups milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 egg

1/4 cup (half a stick) butter, melted

For the topping:

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened to room temperature

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp flour

For the icing:

1/2 cup powdered sugar

3 tbsp maple syrup

Method:

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees, and spray Pam on an 8 inch cake pan.  In a large bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients for the cake, the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Into that bowl, mix the egg, milk and vanilla, and mix until just combined.  Then, slowly mix in the melted butter until combined.  Pour the batter into the cake pan and set aside.

Next, in a small bowl, mix together the topping ingredients: the brown sugar, butter and cinnamon, until well mixed.  Drop this in spoonfuls onto the cake batter, and then spread it out across the top of the cake.  Take a knife and swirl the topping into the cake batter, so it looks like this:

mmm, sugary butter.

Bake the cake for 28-32 minutes, until the top is set and a toothpick inserted into it comes out with only a few crumbs.

when it's done baking, it should look like this. firm to the touch, but with valleys from the melted butter.

While it’s baking, mix together the icing ingredients: maple syrup and powdered sugar, until it’s a drizzly texture.  When the cake comes out, let it cool until room temperature or just slightly warm, then drizzle the cake with the icing.  Serve warm or at room temperature, or hide it from whoever you live with and eat it on the sly.

– Cat

i probably should have baked 3 of them.

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Rhubarb Raspberry Yogurt Muffins

if you don't like these, you probably hate kittens and sunshine too.

Play by Play Baking Muffin Baking Analysis.

10:25am: Aloud, to self, “Rhubarb is weird.  It  looks like celery, but it smells like candy.”

10:28am: Aloud, to self, “Stupid Ina Garten with her stupid ‘spoon the flour into the measuring cup’.”

10:32am: Aloud, to self, “These raspberries kind of fell apart when I stirred them into the batter.  I hope they don’t turn into a raspberry colored swampy mess in there.”

10:33am: (standing on a chair, in a nightgown [yes I have nightgowns, because I am becoming my mother] digging in the baking cupboard) “*$#!@@#!  I swore I had cupcake papers in here.”

10:34am: (sounds of copious amounts of Pam being sprayed onto a nonstick muffin pan)

10:35am: Aloud, to self: “This is the most delicious muffin batter on planet earth.  Good thing I don’t believe in salmonella because there’s a raw egg in here, and I’m about to eat a bunch of the batter anyway.”

10:47am: Loudly, to self: “These are also the most beautiful muffins on planet earth.  I can’t believe how attractive these are.  I really hope they don’t stick to the pan and become a sloppy, mutilated berry juice stained failure.”

11:03am: Via Gchat, to Sue: “Dude I just made the greatest muffins on planet earth.  I’m going to sell the recipe to Starbucks and make a jillion dollars and then we can go on a world food tour.”

These muffins are light, airy and really fruity.  They’re not overly sweet, which makes that brown sugar topping extra important.  You could easily sweeten these up by making a powdered sugar glaze, but it would cover up the pretty berries and also I try not to eat a ton of sugar in the morning, and probably so should we all.  The most interesting thing about these muffins is that because the raspberries and rhubarb aren’t baked together into a mush (a la strawberry rhubarb pie) you can really taste the distinct fruit flavors.  Rhubarb is mostly tart, almost lemony, and the raspberries taste really, really sweet.  The yogurt helps the batter stand up to the heavy fruit, and complements it nicely instead of being overpowered by the berry flavor.  Also don’t skip tossing the fruit in the flour, if you do, it’ll likely sink to the bottom of the batter and make a gloppy mess.

Raspberry Rhubarb Yogurt Muffins

2 cups plus 2 tbsp flour (2tbsp are for sprinkling on the fruit so it doesn’t sink to the bottom of the muffins)

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup (half a stick) butter, room temperature

1/4 cup vegetable oil

3/4 cup white sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 egg

1 cup plain, nonfat yogurt

3/4 cup rhubarb, chopped (I cut the ends off mine, then cut it once lengthwise, then chopped it into about a half inch dice, see below)

1 cup raspberries (fresh is preferable, but if you use frozen, just keep them frozen until you put them in the batter)

1/4 cup brown sugar (for sprinkling on the tops)

like this. see? rhubarb is weird.

Method:

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees, and put cupcake papers in your muffin tin (if you have them, if you don’t, be liberal with the Pam and everything will turn out okay).  Put the raspberries and rhubarb in a small bowl with the 2 tsp of flour and toss them gently until the fruit is all covered.  In a large bowl, beat together the sugar, oil and butter until smooth.  Add in the egg, yogurt and vanilla and beat until combined.  In a separate bowl, mix together the 2 cups flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet about a third at a time until JUST combined.  Don’t overmix.  Very gently, fold in the fruit.  Put about 1/4 cup of batter into each muffin paper and sprinkle with a little brown sugar.

i wanted to show you how full to make them, but i forgot until after they were in the oven.

Bake for 12 minutes or until lightly browned on top.

If you wanted to make these and then take pictures of yours too, because they are so so pretty, I wouldn’t blame you.

– Cat

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Soft Pretzel Bites

I once took a memorable trip to Chicago with my family when I was 19 or 20.  I’ve been to Chicago many, many times, mostly to visit my Aunt Suzy, whom I adore for too many reasons to count, including that she ALWAYS has M&Ms in her fridge.  This trip was especially memorable though, because we (my parents, siblings and I, Aunt Suzy and Uncle Dan, Aunt Carol and Uncle John) played a game wherein we had to shock each other with facts nobody knew about us.  Hilarity ensued.

My fact was that I love mustard so much that if it were socially acceptable, I would eat it with a spoon.  Aunt Carol later made me prove it at dinner, which I did, happily and willingly.  She was making it socially acceptable!!!!  Hers was that she hadn’t read a book in 5 years.  All Monaghans present during the game nearly died of horror and disbelief.  She maintains to this day that it’s okay that she doesn’t read books because she reads many periodicals.  (She does, too.  I believe she reads the paper back to front, every single day.  Probably even the sports section.)

Soft pretzels are, to me, a vehicle for mustard.  A pillowy, tender, salty vehicle for mustard.  I usually buy the frozen kind that you heat up in the microwave for 1 minute and then dip in lots of salt and mustard.  Homemade pretzels were better than the frozen ones much like homemade dressings are better than bottled.  SO MUCH BETTER THAT BUYING THEM EVER AGAIN HAS BEEN RENDERED OBSOLETE.

This recipe makes a boatload of pretzel bites, I was nearly forcefeeding them to people and I still had lots leftover.  The good news is I reheated them in the toaster oven for a few minutes and they were fantastic again.  These seem like a lot of work, because there are a couple of stages, but make them anyway.  I promise, I swear on my love for French’s yellow mustard, that you will not be disappointed.  When I made these pretzels, for my shoot with Kelly of Capture Photography (whose talents I will not stop shilling, ever, she’s seriously talented and creative), I made my own mustard, too.  That post is coming later, but you can see how pretty my mustard is in the pictures of the pretzels.

Soft Pretzel Bites, from Tracey’s Culinary Adventures

1 1/2 cups warm water (about 110 degrees, it says, but I figured if it felt warm to my hand, it was good)

2 tbsp brown sugar

1 package instant, active dry yeast

6 tbsp butter, melted and cooled a bit

2 tsp salt

4 1/2-5 cups flour

3 quarts water

3/4 cup baking soda

1 egg, beaten in a small bowl with 1 tbsp cold water (this is what they call an egg wash)

kosher salt for sprinkling

Method:  In a large bowl, mix together the warm water, yeast, butter and sugar.  Let sit for 5 minutes, it should bubble and be weird.  Add the salt and 4 1/2 cups of flour and mix together on low speed with a hand mixer.  (I don’t have a standing mixer, but if you do, you can do this in it, just use your dough hook and keep the speed low.)  Keep mixing slowly until the dough comes together and pulls away from the sides of the bowl, about 3-4 minutes.  If the dough  is too wet, add flour a tablespoon at a time until it pulls away from the bowl and comes together.

Form the dough into a ball, spray another big bowl with oil, spray the dough a little with oil too and put the dough ball in the bowl.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and keep in a warmish place until the dough doubles in size, about an hour.

When you’re ready to make them, pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees.  Spray two baking sheets with vegetable oil.

Bring the 3 quarts of water to boil in a saucepan, then add the baking soda.

Remove the dough and reform it into a ball in your hands.  Gently karate chop the ball into two equal pieces, then those two pieces into halves, then each quarter into two, making 8 equal pieces of dough.

Roll each piece into a rope about 2 feet in length.

 

that's my real hands! you can tell from the way they're not cute.

Cut the ropes of dough into 1 inch pieces to make pretzel bites (you could make whole pretzels too, at this stage).

Drop the bites into the boiling water/baking soda solution for 10 seconds or so.

I did each rope one at a time, putting them all in, then fishing them out with a slotted spoon and placing them onto the baking sheets, making sure they weren’t touching.  This step is what produces the beautiful brown crust on the pretzels.

When you’ve filled two sheets with pretzel bites, brush each one with the egg wash.

Sprinkle liberally with salt and put into the oven for 15-18 minutes, until beautiful and golden brown.

Serve with mustard!  Kelly’s idea for shooting these was circus-ish, which is so adorable with the blue background and the soda.  Makes me want to go on the Tilt-o-Whirl.

– Cat

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Savory Gruyere & Scallion Quick Bread

is it wrong to put cheese on cheese bread?

Not to belabor the point, but I like snacks.  Here are some of my favorite snacks:

Cheddar Flavor Blasted Goldfish – At one point my mother was stashing bags of these under her pillow.  One of the primary ingredients is crack cocaine.  Ask anyone.

Salami, Cream Cheese & Dill Pickle Roll-ups – Smear cream cheese on a piece of salami, roll up around a dill pickle. Best snack ever.

Assorted Pickled Things – Pepperocinis, bread and butter pickles, olives, pickled beets, etc.

Pretzels and Spinach Dip – Regular deli kind.

Radishes, Butter and Salt on Bread – Try it, you will love it.  And also feel French.

Enter Gruyere & Scallion Quickbread.  Delicious at breakfast*, as a during-cooking-dinner snack, also as a post-cooking-dinner-watching-X-Files-Season-2-on TV snack.  And you know, with soup and stuff.  Also, extremely easy.  The time it takes between thinking “I should make some Cheesy Scallion Bread” and putting the pan in the oven is about 7 minutes, provided you  have the ingredients.  You could easily omit the scallions if you don’t have any, you could mix nuts into the batter, anything really.

* That reminds me of something I want to rant about.  Why are all breakfast pastries sweet, if they are not bagels?  The huge majority of muffins, breads, rolls and biscuits are sweet, and for god’s sake, sometimes I don’t want 30 lb of sugar first thing in the morning.  Besides which, I just started putting sweetened condensed milk in my coffee in the mornings, so another really sweet thing is overkill.  Have we learned nothing from the popularity of the Bloody Mary?  People like some savory breakfast options.  That is all.

Gruyere & Scallion Quick Bread

1 3/4 cup flour

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp ground pepper

3 eggs

1/3 cup milk (I used 1%)

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp dijon mustard

1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese (or cheddar, or parmesan, or any kind)

3 scallions, finely diced

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and Pam a loaf pan.  In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients and set aside.  In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, oil and mustard.  Fold the wet ingredients into the dry, taking care not to overmix.  Fold in the cheese and scallions, pour into the loaf pan and sort of flatten it into the pan.  Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the top is golden brown.

that's my pretty butter bell next to it. i love it.

– Cat

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Cinnamon Swirl Bread

cake for breakfast...always a good idea.

I realized, as I was making this just now, that it is very similar to my great-grandmother Mabel’s recipe for Dutch cake.  That’s Mabel of the burned boobs.  Dutch cake is a great Depression era recipe (no eggs, because eggs were too expensive), my mom used to make it every year for my birthday, and I would bring Dutch cake muffins in to school for my birthday treat.  Full disclosure: all I wanted was yellow cupcakes from a box with chocolate frosting from a jar, but I didn’t want to tell her.  Dutch cake has a far more sophisticated flavor than an 8 year old can appreciate, apparently, because I love it now.  Sorry, mom.  Also full disclosure:  I still REALLY love Funfetti cake, pink, with chocolate frosting from a jar.  I’m the child of both my parents, that is for sure.

This bread is a nice for the morning, but it’s pretty sweet, so calling it bread is kind of a lie.  It’s a coffee cake, really.  It would be fantastic as muffins, and it’s really attractive because of the swirl and the pale colored batter.  But it’s in bread form, so I think you can still put butter on it.  Also it would be DELICIOUS with pecans in or on it, but I didn’t have any, unfortunately.

Cinnamon Swirl Bread adapted from Mangio da Sola

For the swirl:

1/4 cup white sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

2 tsp cinnamon

For the bread:

1 cup white sugar

2 cups flour

1 tsp baking powder (Which, halfway through this recipe, I discovered I didn’t have.  The good news is, I had the stuff to make a substitute.  For 1 tsp of baking powder, substitute 1/4 tsp cream of tartar and 1/2 tsp baking soda.)

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup milk or buttermilk

1 egg

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 tsp vanilla

Method- Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees, and Pam a loaf pan.  Stir together the two sugars and the cinnamon for the swirl part in a small bowl and set aside.  In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, salt and baking soda.  In yet another bowl, whisk the egg, then add the milk, oil and vanilla to the egg.  Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until JUST combined.  The batter should be lumpy, but you shouldn’t see any flour, really.  If you overmix, the cake will be tough, so just don’t.

Pour half the batter into the loaf pan, spreading it out, or just banging the thing on the counter like I do.  Sprinkle half the sugar/cinnamon mixture on top of the batter, as evenly as you can.  Pour in the rest of the batter on top of the layer of cinnamon/sugar, using a silicone spatula to get it all out, and kind of spread it out if you can.  Then sprinkle the rest of the sugar mixture on top of that.  Using a butter knife, swirl it around the pan, back and forth, gently.  You’re not mixing the batter and sugar, you’re trying to draw lines between them so the layers will still be distinct, but will be evenly distributed.

swirly!

Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until the top is nicely browned.  Look out for the middle sinking- if it’s sunken, it’s probably not done yet, and needs another 5-10 minutes.  You don’t want a nice bread outside and uncooked batter inside.  It’s okay if the outer parts get pretty brown, that’s mostly just the sugar caramelizing, and it will taste delicious.

– Cat

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