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....