Nothing in the world can beat freshly baked bread. The aroma alone makes many people want to drool, and thankfully, national homemade bread day is right around the corner on November 17. Today, we will be sharing fun facts about bread and providing some recipes to help you celebrate this national day.
We know that bread was present 22,000 years ago in the Middle Eastern region of the world. At an excavation site in Israel in 2004, scientists discovered barley grains stuck in a grinding stone. Most likely, their bread was unleavened, but it is still remarkable how long civilizations have used grains to make bread. Of course, there is no way to know for sure who “invented” bread, but we can all agree that this staff of life sure does taste good.
The term quick bread is quite fitting since you don’t have to wait for the dough to rise, and thus it takes less time to produce a quick bread recipe from start to finish. A loaf of quick bread uses chemical leavening agents such as baking soda or baking powder and does not include yeast. We have all had some form of quick bread before. The most well-known ones include banana bread, muffins, biscuits, or scones. It wasn’t until the late 1700s when the U.S. began making quick bread, but these baked goods haven’t lost their popularity to this day.
Components found in quick bread recipes include flour, sugar, eggs, salt, butter or oil, and some sort of leavening agent (baking soda or powder in most cases). It is easy to make your own quick bread; all you have to do is whisk the dry ingredients in a bowl, then stir in all the wet ingredients to create a batter. When it comes to batters for banana or zucchini bread, these are often interchangeably used as muffins or cooked in a small bread loaf. A helpful tip is to line your pans with parchment paper before cooking your quick bread, making it a cinch to take out of the pan once it cools. This method also makes cleanup a breeze. When it comes to making biscuits, a helpful tool to use is a pastry blender. Biscuits often call for cold butter, so by using a pastry blender, you can cut up the butter and incorporate it into the dough easier than you could by hand.
Since it’s November, we thought we’d share a pumpkin bread recipe with you. This pumpkin bread uses an entire can of pumpkin puree, so you won’t have to worry about leftovers sitting in your fridge.
2 cups of all-purpose flour
1 cup of granulated sugar
2 tsp of baking powder
½ tsp of salt
1 tsp of ground cinnamon
½ tsp of ground nutmeg
½ tsp of cardamom
½ tsp of ground ginger
¼ tsp of ground clove
½ cup of canola oil
2 large eggs at room temperature
2 tsp of vanilla extract
6 Tbsp of milk
2 Tbsp of orange zest
1 – 15 ounce can of pumpkin puree
2 cups of toasted pecans or walnuts (optional, may also substitute for chocolate chips)
1 cup of powdered sugar
¼ tsp of cardamom
¼ tsp of orange zest
2 – 4 Tbsp of fresh orange juice
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Measure the milk and take the eggs from the fridge to let them come to room temperature. Line a 9” X 5” loaf pan with parchment paper. Whisk all the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Stir the wet ingredients into a separate bowl and pour them into the dry ingredients. Incorporate everything with a rubber spatula. Be careful not to overmix; it should take less than a minute for the batter to be ready. Fold the pecans or walnuts into the pumpkin bread batter, then pour your mixture into the prepared loaf pan.
Use an offset spatula to spread the top evenly, then cook your pumpkin bread for 1 hour and 10 minutes until it turns golden brown. You can check for doneness by inserting a toothpick in the middle of the bread. If it comes out clean, it is ready to eat. Let the bread cool in the pan for 10 minutes and transfer it to a cooling rack. Allow it to cool for another 20 minutes before slicing so that the bread can solidify. While you’re waiting, whisk the ingredients for the glaze and drizzle it on top once the pumpkin bread is cooled. Store the pumpkin bread at room temperature covered loosely with plastic wrap for up to 3 days.
As a side note, the orange zest is optional in this recipe, but it brightens the flavor of the pumpkin bread. Feel free to eat the pumpkin bread plain if you don’t want the added sugar of the glaze on top. This pumpkin bread is moist and bursting with flavor.
Here’s a recipe for bread machine wheat rolls for those of you who want to make homemade rolls for dinner.
1 ¼ cups of warm water
4 Tbsp of butter cut into small chunks
2 ⅛ cups of whole wheat flour
2 cups of bread flour
½ cup of granulated sugar
1 tsp of salt
2 Tbsp of dry milk powder
2 tsp of yeast
Add all of the ingredients in the order listed above and start your bread machine on the dough cycle. Lightly flour a cutting board and divide the dough into 16 portions. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and form the dough into balls for your rolls. Lightly grease a sheet pan and set your rolls covered with a towel in a warm spot for 45 minutes to let them rise.
Brush each roll with egg wash and cook them immediately for 18 to 20 minutes. Serve them warm with butter and enjoy. If you want to make a double batch, you can store them on a pie plate and freeze them. They will keep for up to 6 weeks in the freezer if covered. Allow them to thaw and rise at room temperature before baking.
From all of us at The Lintonian, we hope you enjoy national homemade bread day on November 17th.