Sunday, October 18, 2009

Guinea pigs

The cast, crew and staff of Light Opera Works' production of C'est la vie went the extra mile this week and taste-tested two different versions of carrot bread for me, including my first ever attempt at changing key ingredients in a baked goods recipe. You may have noticed that you don't see a lot of baked goods on here; I'm not much of a baker. All that sciencey-stuff. You kind of have to know what you're doing.

But I took a chance at a pumpkin-carrot bread (remember all that pumpkin and carrot in the larder?) made with honey instead of sugar. The verdict seems to be that this Carrot Pear Bread was the winner, but the adapted recipe was also pretty good. (Don't tell them, but I brought them the smaller, drier loaf. What can I say.)

Apparently, I have now spoiled them, as they are asking what I'm bringing next week. This is why I never bake (although I did find a recipe for pumpkin-chocolate swirl brownies...)

Pumpkin-carrot bread

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 T cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoon allspice
2 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups honey
1 cup homemade or 1 can of pumpkin puree
4 large eggs
3/4 cup nut or vegetable oil
1 cup shredded carrots
1 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 325° F. Grease and flour two 9 x 5-inch loaf pans.

Put raisins in a microwaveable container, just cover with water, and microwave on high for 1 minute (this will plump them).

Combine flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Set aside.

Combine sugar, pumpkin, eggs, oil in large mixer bowl; beat until just blended. Add pumpkin mixture to flour mixture; stir just until moistened. Fold in carrot and raisins. Spoon batter into prepared loaf pans.

Bake for 50 minutes, test with an inserted wooden pick (should come out clean). If not done, bake another 6 to 10 minutes and retest. Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Makes 2 loaves

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