May 15, 2013

TROPICAL QUICK BREADS

Spiced Pumpkin Bread
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One of the great things about living in Hawaii is the availability of fresh tropical fruit year-round. Apple bananas, pineapple, coconut, papaya, and pumpkin, are always in season, making mango, lilikoi, starfruit, strawberries, surinam cherries, meyer lemons, and pomelo even more desirable when they are in season. One of my favorite ways to use fresh fruit is in tropical quick breads. Quick breads are leavened with baking powder or baking soda, as compared to yeast breads that require long rising times before baking. They are easy to make, and I love to have a slice with coffee in the morning.

Quick Bread Recipes:
Banana-Pineapple Bread
Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup mashed banana
1/2 cup crushed pineapple
2 cups sifted flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup chopped macadamia nuts

Procedure:
Cream butter and sugars thoroughly. Blend in fruit. In separate bowl, sift remaining dry ingredients into flour. In a 3rd bowl, combine eggs, milk and vanilla. Add dry ingredients alternately with liquid to creamed mixture. Fold in nuts. Pour into 2 small well-greased loaf pans. Bake at 350˚F for 50 minutes to an hour. Makes 2 loaf pans or 16 servings.

Papaya-Mango Bread
Ingredients:
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1 cup all-purpose, unbleached flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour, I use Bob’s Red Mill
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup papaya puree (place chopped papaya in food processor and puree)
3/4 cup minced mango, dried on a paper towel
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup non-fat Greek yogurt
2 eggs
1 teaspoon coconut extract
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Procedure:
Preheat oven to 425ºF. Place coconut on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for about 5 minutes. Be sure to watch it carefully. It can burn very quickly. Turn down the oven to 350ºF. Coat an 8 x 4″ loaf pan with baking spray. In a large bowl, mix together all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, brown sugar, sugar/stevia mix, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and coconut. Reserve 2 tablespoons of flour. In a small bowl, mix together papaya puree, yogurt, eggs and coconut extract. In a small plastic bag, mix together mango and reserved flour. Mix in wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Fold in the mango until just combined. Pour into a loaf pan and even out the top. Bake for about 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Take bread out of the pan and place on a wire rack to cook completely. Makes 1 loaf or 8 servings. Note: Mix together 4 ounces of cream cheese with 1/4 cup minced papaya to make a delicious spread for the bread slices.

Spiced Pumpkin Bread
Ingredients:
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 cup canola oil
4 eggs
2/3 cup water
1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree, or just under two cups
5 teaspoons ground ginger
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground allspice
2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons ground cloves
whipping cream

Procedure:
Preheat oven to 350˚F. Lightly grease two 9x5 inch loaf pans. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Mix together with a fork; set aside. In a large mixing bowl, combine sugar, oil and eggs; beat until smooth. Add water and beat until well blended. Stir in pumpkin, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and cloves. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture, stir until blended with no lumps. Pour into prepared pans. Bake in preheated oven for about 1 1/2 hours, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cake cool 1/2 hour before removing from loaf pans, if you can. Makes 2 loaves.

Meyer Lemon Bread
Ingredients:
1 cup butter, softened
2 cup sugar
4 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup buttermilk
1 meyer lemon rind, grated
1 cup chopped pecans
juice of 3 meyer lemons
1 cup sugar

Procedure:
Preheat oven to 325˚F. Cream butter and 2 cups of sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Sift together salt, soda and flour. Add to sugar mixture alternating with buttermilk. Stir in lemon rind and pecans. Pour into 2 greased and floured loaf pans. Bake for 1 hour. While bread bakes, mix lemon juice and sugar. Stir until sugar is dissolved, making a glaze. After bread has baked, turn onto waxed paper and spoon glaze over top while bread is still warm. Makes 2 loaves or 16 servings.

Coconut-Banana Bread with Rum
Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana (about 3 bananas)
1/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt
3 tablespoons dark rum
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup flaked sweetened coconut
cooking spray
1 tablespoon flaked sweetened coconut
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime or lemon juice

Procedure:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt, stirring with a whisk. Place granulated sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add banana, yogurt, rum, and vanilla; beat until blended. Add flour mixture; beat at low speed just until moist. Stir in 1/2 cup coconut. Spoon batter into a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray; sprinkle with 1 tablespoon coconut. Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pan. Combine powdered sugar and juice, stirring with a whisk; drizzle over warm bread. Cool completely on wire rack. Makes 1 loaf or 8 servings.

Guava Bread
Ingredients:
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 egg
1 cup peeled and mashed fresh guava

Procedure:
Preheat oven to 350˚F. Whisk together all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl, then add the egg and guava, mix well with a wooden spoon. Scrape batter into a greased 9x5 loaf pan. Bake for 45 minutes or until a skewer plunged into the center comes out clean. Makes 1 loaf or 8 servings.

Honey Bread
Ingredients:
2 1/4 cups white whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons of butter), at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup honey
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk

Procedure:
Preheat oven to 350˚F. Butter and flour the loaf pan. Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together in a small bowl and set aside. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, whip the butter, sugar and honey on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the vanilla extract. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for about one minute after each addition. Scrape down the bowl as needed. Add the dry mixture and buttermilk in three additions, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Stop the mixer and scrape the bottom of the bowl with a spatula to make sure everything is evenly incorporated. Transfer the batter to the prepared pans. Smooth the top down and bake the cake for about hour and the muffins for about 20 to 25 minutes. The cake will be a lovely golden brown and a thin knife inserted into the center of the cake will come out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan for 20 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Makes 1 loaf, or 8 servings.

Pumpkin Walnut Bread
Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
2 cups light brown sugar, packed
1/3 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree, or just under two cups
1 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup water
1 cup chopped walnuts

Procedure:
Preheat oven to 350˚F. Place a rack in the center of the oven. Grease and flour two loaf pans and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together flours, sugars, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices. In a medium bowl, carefully whisk together pumpkin puree, oil, maple syrup and water. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and use a spatula to fold all of the ingredients together. Make sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl well, finding any stray flour bits to mix in. Fold in most of the chopped walnuts, reserving some to sprinkle on top of the batter once in the pan. Divide the dough between the two greased pans and sprinkle with a few walnut pieces. Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven. Let rest in the pans for 20 minutes, then invert onto a cooling rack. Serve warm. Makes 2 loaves, or 16 servings.

Persimmon Bread
Ingredients:
3½ cups sifted flour (I used half all purpose flour and half white whole wheat flour)
1½ teaspoons salt
2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 to 2½ cups sugar
1 cup melted unsalted butter and cooled to room temperature
4 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
2/3 cup cognac, bourbon or whiskey
2 cups persimmon puree (from about 4 squishy-soft Hachiya persimmons)
2 cups walnuts or pecans, toasted and chopped
2 cups raisins, or diced dried fruits (such as apricots, cranberries, or dates)

Procedure:
Butter 2 loaf pans. Line the bottoms with a piece of parchment paper or dust with flour and tap out any excess. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Sift the first 5 dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the center then stir in the butter, eggs, liquor, persimmon puree then the nuts and raisins. Bake 1 hour or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Makes 2 loaves, or 16 servings.

Maui Strawberry-Almond Bread
Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
2 eggs
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 cup crushed fresh strawberries, raspberries, or blueberries
1/3 cup toasted slivered almonds

Procedure:
Preheat oven to 325˚F. Spray or grease a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream the butter, sugar and almond extract until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in the flour and sour cream. Fold in the crushed fruit and almond slivers. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Bake in the center of the oven for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool the bread in the pan for 20 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack, turn right side up and cool completely.
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