Post Fair Roundup

15 09 2010

Fresh baked ribbons

I submitted six different breads to the LA County Fair this year, most if not all of which I’ve posted previously on my blog. I’d heard from someone who works for my parents that I’d gotten two third place ribbons and one second place ribbon, and my ribbons arrived in the mail today so I can confirm the results. The Whole Wheat Panmarino and Pain de Campagne both received third place ribbons while my Cinnamon Swirl Walnut and Raisin bread received a second place ribbon. I did better than I expected, but not as well as I’d hoped of course! I’ll have to go back next year and come home with at least one first place. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to make it to the fair while the breads were still up to see my competition, so I’ll just have to guess. So, as said I think I’ve posted these before but here they are again celebration of the results at the fair!
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Sourdough Banana Walnut Bread with Caramelized Banana Slices

21 07 2010

Banana Walnut Sourdough


I’ve made strawberry banana bread before (and actually have a new modification on that I need to finish testing and post!) but this time I was looking for something that provided more of a hybrid between yummy sourdough breads, and great quick breads. So this time I went for just bananas as a source of hydration in the dough (the riper the better!), walnut butter for the richness of color and flavor it adds, and the real secret to what makes this the best banana bread I’ve ever had: caramelized banana slices. Most banana bread has good banana flavor throughout the bread, but this one has that PLUS delicious little slices of banana heaven scattered throughout the bread. I’ve made this as freestanding loaves every time, but it would probably work fairly well in loaf pans as well.
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Cherry Pecan Bread

9 02 2010
Cherry Pecan Sourdough

Cherry and Pecan Bread

Well, I never got around to updating this post with everything else last week as I still wasn’t feeling well. Still not 100% back to normal, but no fever finally. But definitely feeling better than last week. One thing I found while making this bread, pecan halves don’t distribute that well in dough, just like sliced almonds. So I’ve changed it to chopped pecans in the recipe. Of course, almonds would also be a good substitute in this recipe, as they go pretty well with cherries too. You can use any kind of cherry you want, different kinds will give a different overall feel to it (sweeter or richer). With the cherries being somewhat large pieces, this one tends more towards the Satsuma bread than the Pear bread. You get less frequent, but stronger hits of the fruit.

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Multigrain Pain au Levain

20 01 2010
Multigrain Pain au Levain

Multigrain Pain au Levain

Funny story with this loaf… It was intended to be a loaf made of almost completely spelt flour. This was a great intention, until I went to the flour freezer and noticed the bag was mostly empty. Well, that wasn’t going to work. So I switched tracks and decided to throw in a whole bunch of flour types! I didn’t have much direction in exactly how much of any flour I added, I just went by feel … and how much was left in the bag! So even though it was a rather random assortment of flours, it turned out really yummy. Some sweetness, and a lot of nuttiness in the flavor profile.

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Almond and Satsuma Bread

6 01 2010
Satsuma and Almond Bread

Almond and Satsuma Bread

In my continuing quest to stick any fruit I can into a loaf of bread, I wanted to try adding some type of citrus to a loaf of bread. Pears, strawberries, and bananas worked, so why not right? I figured that if I left individual sections whole and was very gentle when handling the dough, they wouldn’t add too much excess moisture. That meant I needed to use a rather small citrus, and since I happened to have satsumas around they got the nod. I made from zest from them to put in the dough too, and used an orange olive oil so the bread itself would also carry a bit of the citrus flavor. Almonds seem to pair the best with citrus to me, so I used some slices almonds in the loaves. In the future I don’t think I’ll use sliced almonds, they don’t distribute quite as evenly in the dough, live and learn!
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Sandwich on Pear and Walnut Bread

6 01 2010
Turkey, Cheddar, and Caramelized Pear Sandwich

Tasty Sandwich!

I used some of my pear and walnut bread to make a really tasty sandwich the other night. Some toasted slices of the bread with roasted turkey breast, Beecher’s Flagship cheese, and caramelized pears. (recipe here)

Really yummy combination! And then I followed it up with some caramelized pears by themselves as dessert…

Caramelized Pear

Caramelized Pears

Holiday Bread, In Search of a Name

10 12 2009
Sourdough Holiday Bread

Nameless Holiday Bread

With the call for holiday breads from YeastSpotting last week, I set out to come up with a recipe of my own. I was looking for something that wasn’t just an enriched bread with dried fruits and nuts, as so many holiday breads seem to be. But, racking my brain, nothing lacking the fruits and nuts seemed holidayish enough! So, back to the drawing board. I decided to mull the dried fruit I used in a brandy and orange juice mixture with plenty of spices. The fruits absorbed a lot of the liquid, and most of the rest cooked off. What little was left I used to do a quick sort of glaze on the walnuts included in the dough. I also tried to come up with sort of a Christmas tree shape for the loaf… that didn’t work so well! Read the rest of this entry »