The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Improvising your own loaves

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spsq's picture
spsq

Improvising your own loaves

Even as I sit here, I am enjoying a fruit and nut bread that I created just for the sake of using up some ingredients.  I bet lots of you do this kind of stuff - like adding spinach to a herb bread for more colour, or adding garlic to a cheese bread (duh!).  Let's dedicate a thread to some of our own best ideas.  Fortunately, I find improvisation doesn't require weighing, percentages, exact timing - so my "recipes" will be quick to type.  If your impros require the aforementioned, include them! 

 I had two great successes:

 Last night, I found some aging dried mangos.  I chopped them up, added some leftover currents and a small complimentary package of dried cranberries.  Ended up with about a cup.  Poured in enough water to cover them.

In the morning, I found a recipe for a fruit bread that suited my timetable and the other ingredients I had on hand (Glazed Raisin Bread from Bernard Clayton, I'm sure any recipe would do).  I generally followed the technique, if not the recipe - I have to add whole wheat, (I have a great fear of completely white bread, unless it's a proper baguette, but I digress), and added 1/2 c chickpea flour that I bought and don't seem to be using quickly enough- it's kinda sweet.  Oh, and I had about 1/2 c of loosely chopped almonds from some crepe desserts we had eaten earlier in the week, and I threw those in as well.  It's WONDERFUL.  (Runs for another piece)

 (Licks off fingers)  I'm back.  My other selfmade favourite was a carrot/curry bread I created a few months back.  I was trying to use up the last of my garden carrots - naturally bread came to mind - but I wanted a little punch.  I looked in my pantry, and found about a tablespoon of spice mixture I had leftover from a fried curry banana experiment.  I had a double batch of WW straun prepped from Peter Reinhart's latest, so to one of the loaves, I added about 1 1/2 c of grated carrots and the spice mixture.  WOWEE!    I had made a cumin loaf a while before, but despite loving cumin, the bread didn't have enough complexity.  This was deep, warm, slightly sweet, spicy, and delicious!  Unfortunately, I had not been that impressed with the curried bananas, and had returned the recipe book to the library.  To make a long story short, the library had misplaced it, and it took me months to get it back.  Here's the mixture, if you're interested:  1 tsp ginger, 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/4 tsp chili powder, 1/2 tsp tumeric, 1/2 tsp garam marsala.

 There's mine!  I'd love to here about yours!

 Failures would be interesting too, but I suppose that's another topic....

tattooedtonka's picture
tattooedtonka

A bunch of my blogs are originals, from my Coffee bread to my Mocha Java Breads, to my recent pizzas.  I love creating my own stuff.  And most of the time, if I fail, what have I lost.  .50 cents worth of flour, yeast, and salt?  I think folks should play with their bread recipes more often.  Someone had to create all the great recipes in books. Why not you.

Great idea spsq,

TT

spsq's picture
spsq

I'm not worthy, I'm not worthy.....

 Great creations!   For some reason, I can only go back two pages, and nether your Coffee or mocha breads were there.  Am I blind, or doing something wrong?

tattooedtonka's picture
tattooedtonka

My coffee bread writeup was not on my blogs but a post. Here is the link to it.

The Mocha Java is here

Anyways, thanks for the compliment.  Like a bunch of us here, I still got a long way to go, but the fun is in the journey.

TT

 

GrapevineTXoldaccount's picture
GrapevineTXolda...

Crushed anise seeds, orange zest and a tablespoon of honey and butter to a regular loaf of sourdough makes for a lovely loaf.   Thanks for sharing your thoughts.  I can't wait to see folks ideas.  The possiblities are endless.

staff of life's picture
staff of life

Take a standard SD formula, substitute your favorite beer for the water (in the dough, not the the SD culture), add lots of chunks of cheddar, and next time I make this I think I might add some scallions too. My sons drool when I make this. The toast is heavenly!

spsq's picture
spsq

ooooh!  I love beer in bread (and I dislike beer)!  Especially  in rye breads. 

staff of life's picture
staff of life

I've never actually tried drinking beer, but I do love it in bread too!

bakercyclist's picture
bakercyclist

I start with a basic white bread recipe and add in different stuff depending on my mood...I always add in pumpkin puree and about 1/2 cup whole wheat flour but what I vary is the other stuff like sometimes I add in chopped apples, or raisins or both...and lately I've added in a tablespoon of flax seed just to make it extra hearty. Needless to say every morning is different!

browndog's picture
browndog

I've mentioned before to TatooedTonka that an empty bowl is like a blank canvas. A favorite loaf of mine is to dress an anadama with sauteed onion and red peppers.

I used to take biscuit dough, roll it out and sread it with refried beans, chopped onions, peppers, and olives, sprinkle it with garlic and cheese, and roll it up like a jelly roll. Haven't done it in ages, and never tried it with yeast dough--maybe it's time.

 Count me in the ranks of those who would never drink a bottle of beer but will cheerfully ingest it by the loaf.

And I love the idea of adding a little exotic sweetness to a sourdough loaf, Grapevine. 

staff of life's picture
staff of life

I had a pizza crust leftover tonight and being all out of our normal toppings, I brushed the top lightly with olive oil, crumbled blue cheese over the top and added chopped walnuts and scallions.  I let it rest about 20 mins before putting it in a hot oven.  Very good!  The outer crust is lovely and puffy, and the combination of scallions, blue cheese and walnuts is very good.  I'm going to make this again.

SOL