Recipe – Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

dsc_1828

I’ve had this recipe tagged as “experimental” in my recipe file for months but it’s time to post it. I get consistently raving feedback whenever I make it for parties and gatherings. I hope you enjoy it as well if you try making it.

Like most quick breads, this works best if you have one bowl for dry stuff and a separate bowl for wet stuff. Freshly milled whole wheat gives my bread a really nice texture but any wheat or white flour should give good results.

Preheat oven to 325F

Yield: 2 loaves (8-9″ pans) or 1 8×8 or 9×9 pan.

Dry Stuff

  • 3 cups whole wheat flour (if grinding from fresh wheat berries like I do, it’s 450g of berries and you want a relatively fine grind).
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg (if old, use 1/2 tsp as nutmeg loses potency quickly)
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
Wet Stuff
  • 1/2 cup honey or sugar
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) melted butter or neutral-flavor oil
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups “pumpkin” puree (butternut, buttercup, and other winter squash often have more flavor than pie pumpkins)
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
Add-In
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (my favorite are Guittard Extra Dark 63% Cocoa, pricey but well worth it in my book)
  1. Whisk dry stuff together
  2. Whisk wet stuff together
  3. Add dry to wet, whisk until just combined.
  4. Add chocolate chips and gently mix or fold with a spatula to thoroughly combine.
  5. Grease pans and scoop batter into them.
  6. Bake at 325 for about an hour for loaves. Check for doneness with a cake tester of choice, it should remove cleanly. Allow to cool on wire racks for 15 before trying to remove from loaf pans.

If there’s anything unclear, please ask in the comments. Enjoy!


Recipe – Cherry Galette

IMAG0774

Next time I make one I’ll try and remember to take a picture with the better camera.

After trying a number of pie crust recipes, I’ve admitted to myself I just hate making pies. What I do enjoy, however, is a very similar dessert called a galette. Basically a rustic pie, the pastry is easy to handle and you’re not looking for the delicate flakiness of a traditional pie. You actually want a little heft to it, because you eat galette slices like a piece of pizza, not with a fork.

We buy tart cherries from a local orchard that’s a bit over an hour away. It’s a little hike but we’ve never had better cherries. Their picking season for fresh cherries is very short, about 10 days, but they typically have frozen cherries available year round. I recently bought 7 gallon bags when we ran out. We especially like their Balaton cherries, which is a Morello-type (dark) tart cherry from Hungary, as apposed to the bright red Montmorency-types. Montmorency cherries are a bit astringent for fresh eating, even for us, but we’ve come to love the Morello-types for their balance of sweet and tart. I think they have much more flavor than the Bing cherries available in the store, though no one grows sweet cherries commercially here, so I don’t know if truly fresh sweet cherries would change my mind about them.

Alpha eats them straight out of the freezer for a snack, I’m turning some into dried cherries in the Excalibur as I write this, and I’ve been making this delicious dessert on a weekly basis. Like most of my desserts, it’s not super sweet, so it can double as breakfast as well. I’m going¬†to grab a piece with my morning coffee after I finish this post ūüėČ

Crust

  • 3/4cup white flour
  • 1/2cup whole wheat flour
  • 2¬†teaspoons sugar
  • 1/4 tsp¬†salt
  • 1/2¬†teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2¬†cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1/3 to 1/2cups ice water
  1. Pulse the butter, flours, sugar, salt, and cinnamon together in a food processor until the butter is in pea-sized chunks.
  2. Slowly pulse water into the dough until it comes together. Avoid adding water too fast, as a wet dough is very hard to roll out.
  3. Place a piece of parchment paper or pastry cloth down on your work surface and flour it well. I bake galettes in a 14″ greased pizza pan, rolling the dough out to roughly the width of the pan, then carefully transferring it to the pan.
  4. Put the pan in the fridge until the filling is ready.

Filling

  • 4-5 cups of pitted Morello-type (dark red) pie cherries, frozen or fresh
  • 1/2 cup sugar. If using Montmorency-type cherries, you may want to increase sugar slightly.
  • 3 tbsp arrowroot flour or corn starch. Note:¬†If using other binders, you may need to experiment a little to find the right consistency. Use your favorite cherry pie recipe as a guideline.
  1. Cook cherries in a medium pot, covered, on medium until they start to release juice.
  2. Uncover, reduce heat to medium-low, add sugar and starch. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the mixture starts to gel. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly as the oven preheats.

Assembly

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Transfer filling to the center of the crust. Carefully fold the edges over. If you break the pastry and some juice leaks, it’s not the end of the world, it happens nearly every time to me. It will burn a little in the pan but the galette will still taste great.
  3. Bake for 50 minutes or until crust is lightly golden brown.
  4. Best served after chilling in the fridge for at least one hour.

If you make the recipe, share your thoughts in the comments. Enjoy!