Thursday, February 24, 2011

Why not...

make jalapeno cheese bread with whole wheat flour? It seems like there's such a variety of healthified bread recipes out there but I never see this particular combo. To make sure, I did an extensive search on the internet for a whole wheat jalapeno bread and came up with nothing...nothing! I found one that had a smidge of whole wheat flour, but that was about it.

However, during my extensive search, I was able to compile ideas and approximate measures of the essential ingredients so I decided I would just make my own.
...That was just a quick sneak-peak to encourage you to keep reading ;)

I used my favorite whole wheat bread recipe as a base. I wanted to have a Mexican flare, so I added some cumin and fresh cilantro. We had a huge jar of pickled jalapenos, so that's what I used, but fresh jalapenos would probably be better.

Whole Wheat Jalapeno Cheese Bread
1 1/3 cups lukewarm water
2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
4 cups white whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tablespoons vital wheat gluten

3 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
2 1/2 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup roughly chopped pickled jalapeno slices
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro (packed)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup shredded cheese (I used lower fat Mexican blend)
1/4 cup (packed) pickled jalapeno slices + more for topping
egg wash

1) Place oil in a small skillet. Add garlic slices and heat on medium-low until garlic is golden (but not burnt) about 5-10 minutes. Set aside and let cool.
2) Place all ingredients (including oil/garlic mixture) in order of the ingredient list into your bread maker except the cheese and 1/4 cup sliced jalapenos. Set on dough cycle.
3) Remove dough and separate into two balls. Roll each dough ball into a rectangle and sprinkle with 1/2 cup of cheese each. Evenly spread out 2 tablespoons of the jalapeno slices onto each rectangle. Roll the rectangle up (from the long end) and tuck the open ends underneath the roll. Pinch all seams closed.
4) Place rolls onto a baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal, cover with plastic wrap sprayed with cooking spray, and let rise for about 45 minutes.
5) After it looks good and ready, brush with an egg wash and garnish with a couple jalapeno slices. Sprinkle a little bit more cheese on and bake at 400 until it starts looking golden. Lower the heat to 350 and bake until the internal temperature reaches above 200 degrees. Mine took 30 minutes total in the oven.
Makes two small loaves.   
Ready to see some pictures?!
don't you love the tan spots?
 Dinner was ready right as these loaves were coming out, so the loaf we ate didn't get much time to cool before we sliced into it. I was worried there might be a cheese explosion since it was still quite hot, but luckily I didn't add too much cheese for that. I also used low fat cheese (because that's what we had on hand) so it doesn't melt as well as full fat.
We had the bread along side grilled pork chops and steamed snap peas.
Look at that lovely swirl! :D
The garlic basically disappeared inside this bread but contributed great roasted flavor alongside the other herbs and spices like the cumin, black pepper, and cilantro. This had a GREAT heat but wasn't too spicy; just perfect!
I seriously could not stop thinking about this bread...
A couple notes:
-This can most definitely be made with any cheese you have laying around, but do not use non fat.
-If you use fresh jalapenos, keep in mind that the proportions might be completely different and you may have to reference a different recipe to get your measurements.
-If you want to make this easier, just add 1 cup cubed (not shredded) cheese into the bread machine along with the 1/4 cup sliced jalapenos and don't roll it out. Just shape it into a loaf and continue on with the rest of the directions.

PLEASE try this out and tell me what you think! Its really not as complicated as it looks.

In other news, I've been experimenting using pureed beans in desserts lately. You've already seen the magnificent dessert hummus that tastes like cookie dough, but I've also been trying the bean thing out in brownies!
First, I attempted to make black bean brownies. I've heard of black bean brownies all over the web, and have even made some before (with spinach, it was eh) but after I saw these brownies over at Happy Herbivore, I knew I had to try making some again.
I was feeling adventurous so I wanted to change up the recipe a bit...

 Black Bean Brownies
15 ounces black beans, drained and rinsed
2 whole bananas (I used 1 1/2 and added one egg)
cup agave nectar (I used a mixture of maple syrup and brown rice syrup)
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
¼ cup raw sugar (optional) (I ended up adding just one tablespoon)
¼ cup instant oats (added 2 tablespoons whole wheat pastry flour instead)

Okay, so I know that is a lot of random changes but here is my reasoning why. Some people said the banana flavor was too prominent and I usually see eggs in brownie recipes so I decided to swap half a banana for one. The reason why I did flour instead of whole oats is because I didn't want chunks of chewy oats in a smooth brownie. I used less flour because I used an egg so I figured I could use less. Seeing as I do not know how to make recipes, these swaps were probably not a good idea, but I love to experiment!

Here's the directions-
Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease an 8x8" pan and set aside. Combine all ingredients, except oats, in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth, scrapping sides as needed. Stir in the oats and pour batter into the pan. Bake approximately 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool before slicing.
I love how fast these come together!
Oh, and I also added some cookie dough hummus dip to the batter when it was in the pan and swirled it around with a knife. After they were completely cooled, I frosted it with the leftover vegan chocolate frosting from my valentines cake.
That light chunk in the brownie is the cookie dough dip!
Okay so the verdict? 
Hm. I don't know. I made a lot of changes so I obviously can't say anything about the original recipe but I can say that the banana flavor was still a little to prominent. The cinnamon only accentuated the banana flavor even more so I probably wouldn't add any next time and instead add some instant coffee. These were pretty fudgy, which they're supposed to be, but it could probably use some more flour.
Other than that, I really enjoyed these brownies. They won't replace my go-to brownie recipe, but I think I will make these again with my changes. 
My dad and I liked them, but my sister and my mom thought they were a little "weird".

The other bean related dessert I made? White bean blondies! Hey, I figured if I did brownies, I got to do blondies :D
I followed this recipe that I found over at No Meat Athlete that looked quite promising.  
Since the black bean brownies turned out pretty fudgy, I wanted to make a recipe that used some more flour to give it more structure. Here's Christine's recipe:
Vegan White Bean Blondies-
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 15 oz can or 2 cups cooked white beans
1 cup or about 10 large chopped dates
1/4 cup dark rum, such as Myers's
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 cup water
1 cup chopped macadamia nuts
1/2 cup cacao nibs

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Combine the flour, salt, baking powder, and brown sugar; set aside.
Rinse and drain the can of beans.  Process in a food processor with the chopped dates and rum.  Add the water and vinegar and process until a smooth puree forms.
Fold the bean puree into the dry ingredients.  Stir in the macadamia nuts and cacao nibs.
Grease a 9×13 baking dish with baking spray and spread the batter evenly into the pan.  Bake for about 25-30 minutes, turning the pan around in the oven halfway through.  A knife stuck in the center should come out clean.  Mine took 28 minutes to get nice and  brown along the edges and golden on top.
Let cool, then slice into 24 squares.

I followed this recipe exactly, even down to the rum! In fact, I was scouring the web, trying to find a sub for rum, but it turns out we actually had some that I used for tiramisu a while back..score! This way I could get the exact flavor she was aiming for.
However, when I tried one, the rum flavor was WAY too strong, and they were kind of too fudgy and flat compared to Christine's pictures. After trouble shooting with her, I figured out that it was probably because I didn't add enough flour. I weighed my flour but she scooped hers, so that was probably where the difference lied. They still taste good! Just too rummy..
I am SO making these again, though! I really want to get them right because they are seriously such a promising recipe that I know will turn out awesome with a little less rum and more flour. I might not use cocoa nibs next time, though, and use chocolate chips instead. They seemed to get kind of lost and I couldn't taste them.
I also love how this recipe uses whole wheat flour, pureed dates instead of some of the sugar, beans instead of butter/oil, and vegan to boot! (not if I use chocolate chips though)
I can tell these need more flour just by comparing them to the pictures on the recipe's page.

I would really suggest going over to No Meat Athlete and checking out this recipe, y'all..just don't weigh your flour!! I swear, this is a good one. I need to make these again really soon to redeem myself :P

I sure hope my parents don't mind even more bean desserts:D I already have my eye on a delicious look black bean brownie recipe that looks like the brownie came straight from a bakery...

Whats you're favorite "hidden" healthy dessert?


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