I ran out of bread, so I made some

While listening to “Dark Shadows” (again, yay Netflix!) and fighting with the apple butter jar, I found I was on my last two peices of store-brand bread. I love my storebrand bread. It is squishy, soft, great for toasties of all kinds, and takes longer than others to mold (which is always a plus because sometimes I eat bread all the time and sometimes it takes two weeks to get through half a loaf).

Since I had already washed most of the dishes, I decided that I wanted to make bread. Being the kind of person that I am, and still highly irked that my chocolate bread did not turn out as awesome I had hoped, I decided to look for a Quick Bread recipe. I have an amazing Zucchini Quick Bread recipe (as well as the Amish Cinnamon Bread continue-er bread recipe, just not the starter right now) but I don’t like zucchini bread. I only have it because my mom loves zucchini bread and for a while we had a ton of zucchini and no idea what to do with it all besides make stir fry for weeks at a time.

So, I searched for a while and thought I had found a pretty decent recipe for a cinnamon quick bread, but found it needed sour cream. Ew. Sour cream is one of those weird things we don’t keep in the house. Another recipe called for vanilla pudding mix. Why vanilla pudding? That’s like looking for a recipe for a cake and the “made from scratch” recipe calls for cake mix. I don’t get it. I can see looking at recipes and they call for buttermilk, applesauce, sour cream, cream cheese, and be a bit weirded out but when the recipe calls for pudding mix, cake mix, or, my favorite, the frozen bread/premade dough (like the dinner rolls in a tube), I just question the sanity of these people.

Sure, taking a short cut is great. You’re not going to see me painstakingly spend hours working on making a puff pastry or phyllo dough from scratch. I’m buying those from the freezer section. But I’d rather make my own pie crust (pie crust is expensive). Sure, I’ll buy the tube roll of uncut croissant dough to make these awesome little spinach/romano swirly things, but that is one of those random little once a year things as a treat. But I still don’t get the pudding in the bread/cake/muffin/etc recipe. (yeah, it bugs me)

While surfing, I found a fun little yeast roll recipe I’d love to try soon, but I don’t have some of the ingredients I need.

During this time of job hunting, I’m finding myself making more things. This means I’m slowly running out of things. I’m almost completely out of white flour, almost out of rice flour (I got it on sale months ago), almost out of sugar, and  I’m out of milk, oil, powder sugar, butter, and some stuff for Jamie’s lunches. So I had to work with what I had (I had oil until I made the quickbread), which without milk or butter, it’s a bit hard. And challenging, so it’s an adventure! Woo!

I was able to find a recipe that I could work with and checked the comments (man I love allrecipes.com) and made a notation that I would need to add some water to my recipe.

The original ingredients list is as follows:

  • 12 cups all-purpose flour
  • 6 cups white sugar
  • 12 teaspoons baking powder
  • 6 teaspoons baking soda
  • 6 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs

This makes 60 servings. Ye gods that’s a lot. So I changed the information to make it to 15 servings, roughly 1/4 of the original. So I got

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 eggs

This I can work with.  Time to tweak the recipe to my own liking! Then I realized: my bread pan is being used for the turkeyloaf that I made the other day. I used to have 2 bread pans but I have no idea what happened to the other one, but this is not a problem. I can make due with my square cake pan. Sure the bread will come out short, but I’m mainly looking for taste.

So, tweaking!

I did 2 cups of rice flour and 1 cup of white flour, because I really wanted to use my rice flour. It’s supposed to make things light and airy. I used a whole egg for the recipe because 1/2 an egg is wasteful.

Mixed everything together and went about making this into what it’s supposed to be: an oozy mass that will turn into yummy awesomeness. The recipe states it is a “quick bread,” quick bread is supposed to be an oozy mass of stuff. This is not. Going by the ingredients, it turns into this sugar cookie dough looking mass. So I added 1/4 cup of water and mixed it together. This brought most of the excess dry ingredients into the semi-ball in the middle of the bowl.

It’s still not what I want. So I added 1/4 cup of oil and stirred. It’s still not the consistency that I’m looking for. By the time that I was able to get the consistency I wanted, I added approximately 1/2 cup of oil and 3/8 to 1/2 cup of water (I was adding everything 1/8 cup at a time so I didn’t over-do it). When I achieved the perfect consistency (cake or brownie batter looking), I added cinnamon. It was about maybe 1 teaspon, but I didn’t check. I sprinkled some in and stirred it until there were just little flakes throughout the batter.

Poured it into my 8×8 pan (greased with cooking spray) and sprinkled some cinnamon and white sugar over the top (cinnamon first, then sugar) because I wanted to and popped it in the oven. The comments mentioned that it should be baked lower than the 350-temperature that was in the original recipe, but I found that it just makes it take much longer.

I baked it at 325 for about 20 minutes and found only the edges were done and the center had basically collapsed. So I turned up the oven to 350 and let it bake for…a while. I really don’t know how long it was. It may have been another 30 minutes since it was a larger pan and therefore more batter (I could’ve easily used two bread pans for this one recipe). I just kept checking on it every few minutes with a toothpick to see if the center was done.

When it was done, I flipped it onto a plate and cut it. Nice golden brown crust, nice rise to the batter, and it’s a very light bread. It almost crumbles/melts in your mouth. When it’s warm, there’s a light hint of cinnamon, but when it’s completely cooled, it’s more cinnamon flavor. I put homemade apple butter on it that Jamie’s grandmother had made and it was awesome.

Sure, I’m not going to be able to get this into a toaster any time soon, but I’ll be able to toast it a little in a pan on the stove (I do thick cuts). The top crust came out nice and crispy due to the sugar. I cannot wait to have another peice of this bread.

So! To recap (because, holy crap this got long)

The recipe I found is: Quick Bread Mix

My tweaked version is:
3 c flour
1 1/2 c sugar
1 tbs baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt (or 1 tsp salt depending on preferences)
1 egg
1/2 to 3/4 c oil, as needed
1/2 c water, as needed

Mix the dry stuff and egg together. Add 1/8 c of oil, then 1/8 c water, and mix together. Continue adding the oil and water both 1/8 c at a time until you reach your desired consistency (go for a brownie or cake batter look). Add approximately 1 tsp to 1 1/2 tsp of cinnamon if you desire.

Pour into a greased bread pan or 8×8 pan (or even into greased/lined muffin tins!) and bake at 350 for about 30 minutes. Pull out at about the 20 minute mark and check with butter knife or toothpick and if it comes out clean, awesome. Time to pull it out and let it cool, if not, put it back and wait a few more minutes.

The recipe itself is a base. You can add all kinds of stuff to it to make it however you want. I really wanted cinnamon bread, so I added cinnamon and a dash of extra sugar. If you want to add fruits, make sure you put your fruit into the dry mix before you add your eggs and mix those, otherwise the bread will come out all weird. And if you want to use wheat or soy flour: use 1 cup wheat and 2 cups white; 1 to 1 1/2 c soy and 2 or 1 1/2 c white, otherwise it’ll either turn to mush (soy) or taste funky (wheat)

—-Edit: (9.08 am)

Ok, lesson learned. When the toothpick comes back clean, and you’re using an 8×8 pan, toss it back into the oven and bake for about 5 more minutes. I just found a small layer at the top of the bread that didn’t bake.

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