Thursday, January 6, 2011

We have a winner!

Hey guys!
I skipped yesterday's eats on the blog so I wanted to show you guys; plus, I have found a WINNER bread recipe!
But breakfast first; I had a pumpkin double chocolate muffin from the freezer and half a huge honey crisp apple.
Obviously, the muffin was the star of the show..
This is one of my favorite muffins; it uses pumpkin instead of oil and tastes just like a cakey brownie.
Pumpkin Chocolate Muffins
adapted from All Recipes
 Makes 12 muffins
1 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
6 tablespoons ground flaxseeds
1/2 cup wheat germ or wheat bran
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup low fat buttermilk
1 cup pumpkin puree
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
raw turbinado sugar (for topping)
  1. Preheat an oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease 12 muffin cups, or line with paper muffin liners and lightly spray liners with cooking spray.
  2. Combine flour, flax seed, wheat germ (or bran), baking soda, baking powder, salt, cocoa powder, cinnamon, and chocolate chips in a large bowl. In another bowl, beat the buttermilk, pumpkin puree, brown sugar, egg, and vanilla until smooth. Gently stir the wet ingredients into the dry, mixing just until combined. Spoon equal amounts of batter into muffin cups. 
  3. Sprinkle each muffin with around a teaspoon of raw sugar.
  4. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 20 to 30 minutes.
If you click the All Recipes link you'll actually see my muffins as the picture :P
Here is a picture I took when I first made them.
If you're looking for a muffin with a lot of pumpkin flavor, you're not going to want this one. This one has just a faint pumpkin flavor but mostly the pumpkin is just there for moistness. Now if you're looking for a super chocolaty muffin that has an amazing crunchy topping, then this is the one for you :D As I said, this is definitely one of my favorite muffins, and I've made a lot of muffins.
For lunch I went out with my best friend, Nikki. I had a buy one get one free coupon for Thundercloud's Subs so we each only had to pay around $2.50 for our lunch!
I got the California on wheat with turkey, bacon, provolone cheese, lettuce, tomato, mustard, and guacamole.
Plus unsweetened iced tea.
holy guacamole!
No matter how hard I try, I can never make my subs as good as theirs!
After school I went to the gym and I thought I might share my workout with you. Since I run at a slow and steady pace when I run outdoors, I always like to get some faster running practice in when I'm on the treadmill. Today I did a interval sprint/walk on the treadmill then about 30 minutes on weights and then about 16 minutes on the elliptical with an incline and resistance on 8.
Treadmill interval work out:
Time               Incline             Speed
0-4                      2                           4
4-7                      1                           7
7-9                      2                           4
9-12                    1                          7.5
12-15                  2                           4
15-18                  .5                          8
18-21                  2                           4
21-23                  1.5                        6

Numbers are kind of random but that's how I like to do the routine. Basically its walking then sprinting and at the end a warm down jog for two minutes. This was 2.1 miles.

Before I left for the gym I put some dough in the bread machine (just on the dough cycle). My mom told me she wanted to make soup for dinner so I figured bread would be a great companion, plus I had a bunch of bread recipes I wanted to test out. My dad had to help out by taking the dough out and shaping it to let it go through it's second rise because I was still at the gym. Its all about teamwork :D

Once I got home from the gym I put the pizza stone in the oven and preheated it to 450 degrees. I checked up on the loaf to see how my dad did-
Not to bad! And wow that dough was puffy! All good signs when you're a whole grain baker. My dad may have put too much flour on the dough because the crust tasted a little floury when we ate it, but that was only minor. I followed the directions from my "Healthy Bread in 5 Minutes a Day" recipe book for cooking bread loaves because I had no other reference. In hindsight I would definitely use a different temperature because my bread was rather dark on the outside.
First I brushed it with water...
And then slashed it with a serrated knife.

Gave it a jiggle to make sure it would slide off the cutting board and we were good to go!
Into the oven at 450 for around 25 minutes. The bread is done when the inside registers around 200 degrees.
The bread registered perfectly at 200 degrees! I was a little worried because of such a dark crust but didn't want to take it out early because the inside would still be uncooked.
After it cooled for around 30 minutes and my mom had finished making the soup, dinner was ready!
My mom made whole wheat tortellini soup that had spinach,carrots,onion,zucchini, bell pepper, and pesto in it.
Perrrfect because I was cold..
My portion:
The moment of truth was when I cut into the loaf. I had no idea what to expect and was worried it was going to be messed up...
Okay this bread was AMAZING! It is the best whole grain yeast bread I have EVER made. It was so unbelievably fluffy!!
Look how light that is!
I was getting tired of all my loaves turning out so dense but this one was just unbelievable. I may never make any other bread again :D
Do you want to know the secret? Applesauce and an egg. I found this particular recipe interesting because it called for no oil, contained applesauce, and had an egg in it which is usually found in enriched doughs for things like brioche. I have had tremendous success before with adding applesauce to my yeast breads so I figured this had to be good. Here's the link! Thanks me later :D

Also, I want to try substituing more whole wheat flour for half of the bread flour in this recipes next time I make this (which will be very soon). And if you don't have 7 grain cereal, that's completely fine. Just use any combination of seeds or grains like quinoa or oats that you have laying around, you really can't mess this one up.
One change that I did make, however, was I increased the yeast from 1 teaspoon to 1 1/2 teaspoons which I would recommend doing.
Make this. Now.
Four people demolished a good 3/4 of this loaf. I probably had 4 or more times my first portion!
Don't you love when you finally find the perfect recipe?

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