Thursday, March 25, 2010

Thinking Spring

After weeks of record snowfall and the biggest rainstorm to hit the area in 25 years, the weather is finally beginning to cooperate with my mood. Sunshine and 60 degrees? Yes, please! The crocuses are just beginning to pop up, and I have finally packed away my winter coats. I spent almost the entire day outside yesterday, no jacket needed. The only time I spent inside was baking the latest assignment for HBin5: Carrot Bread, pages 157-159 of Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day: 100 New Recipes Featuring Whole Grains, Fruits, Vegetables, and Gluten-Free Ingredients. Somehow Michelle knew we'd all be ready for spring, so this bread, made with the ingredients of a carrot cake, is meant to celebrate spring flavors, and just in time for Easter.

After my experiences with the Pumpkin Pie Brioche and Chocolate Espresso Bread, I had a feeling this dough was not going to be very sweet. I loved both of those breads, but have noticed that I always need to increase whatever seasoning or spice is included in these recipes. For this dough I used Kretschmer Honey Crunch Wheatgerm (thanks to my BFF Jenny who turned me on to that years ago) in place of the plain wheat germ and increased the cinnamon by half. I added a few tablespoons of honey and 2 tablespoons of chopped crystallized ginger (one of my very favorite things!), too. In the end this bread was delicious. It made great toast and would make amazing muffins if you increase the sugar a bit. E ate some with hummus, which kind of makes me want to gag, but at least he ate it! The only thing I'd do differently next time is double the carrots! I used the required amount, but it just looks stingy and I'd like the bread to be more orange.

Other than bread and muffins, I'm at a loss for what else to do with this dough! It isn't the most versatile of recipes. I suppose I could make some rolls for Easter, but my family is so obsessed with the old school snowflake rolls that I could never replace them with carrot. That would be like forgetting the relish tray, a sin punishable by banishment (well, banishment to the kids' table, that is).

The bread braid isn't up yet for this bread (What? Am I early for once? Do I get a cookie?) but you can still visit Michelle's Blog until then to find her Carrot Cake Jam recipe.

12 comments:

Michelle said...

I won't give you a cookie but I would make you a whole box full if you'd like! ;)

I made my carrot cake some time ago, but now I wished I would have made some cinnamon rolls with what was left of my dough! Oh heck, I might just make them anyhow!

Cathy (breadexperience) said...

That's interesting that you would add more carrots. I would add more coconut. I liked this bread but you're right it wasn't very sweet.

Bonnie said...

I think I'd add more coconut and some sugar. Definitely more spice and I love that you added ginger. I think I might remake this with some changes. So much inspiration!

Mama Peck said...

Love the candied ginger idea! Its so fun to read about the different ingredients people have used in this dough. That's one of my favorite things about this group- such creativity! Your bread looks and sounds delish!

Aparna said...

Your bread looks good. I am yet to make the carrot bread (fell behind the rest of the group!).

You could make this into rolls, I guess. Or maybe use the bread for French Toast or bread pudding?

Aparna said...

Your bread looks good. I am yet to make the carrot bread (fell behind the rest of the group!).

You could make this into rolls, I guess. Or maybe use the bread for French Toast or bread pudding?

Petra said...

ginger in any form is one of the perfect spices there is. Love it ground in tea, in my food, nibble, chrystalized or sugared. it's great in any form.

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

I topped mine with crystallized ginger and it was great! I agree about needing to ramp up the spices.

Cristie said...

My bread turned out really tasty because of the extra addtions, but when I make a new batch I'm going to add ginger to the mix as well as some of that coconut syrup both ideas come from fellow HBin5 groupies.

Daphne said...

I didn't even think about adding ginger. Brilliant! I added more sugar and spices to the dough and I loved it. It's one of my favorites that we have baked so far.

Elwood said...

I love crystallized ginger and it didn't even occur to me to add it to this dough, what a great idea to punch up the flavor.

Ezzie said...

I concur with many others...the addition of ginger is a great idea! I'll have to remember that next time! Glad to hear you are drying out a bit there. come on sunshine!