Sunday, December 2, 2007

ARF / 5-A-Day: Sweet and Salty Loaf o' Veg!

Ah, the joys of my kitchen! I had leftover pumpkin from my brownies hanging around yesterday, and I wasn't entirely sure what to do with it. I knew I wanted to make bread, but I had so many recipes for muffins and cookies floating around in my brain that I wanted to make too that I was having trouble deciding just what to do! A quick snoop through my pantry (and the fortunate discovery of some yeast) helped me decide on the base for what would become quite possibly the yummiest-smelling loaf to come into this house to date. The best part about this bread was that not only did I get to use up my leftover pumpkin, but I got to add in some leftover (not to mention overcooked) veggies, remains of flours I had lying around, and the last bits of butter that I had been hoarding before mother dearest took a spoon to the carefully-wrapped-and-measured block :(. For a pre-baking glaze I used some of my sister's flat Sprite (I wrote simple syrup in the ingredients list because, really, who just has Sprite lying around unless you're her) over the braid, and then sprinkled with kosher salt for an almost pretzelly appeal.

This beautifully braided loaf is not by any means sweet - it would make a great dipper into tomato soup or chili, or as a side with a pasta dish. If you let it get stale (not likely with this particular one of mine) it would be fantastic as a stuffing for Christmas turkey!

And since nobody ever said that yumminess had to equal junk food, this bread is full of antioxidant goodness (particularly Vitamin A) from the veggies, fibre from the flour, and calcium from the milk! Hmm... Sweetnick's ARF / 5-A-Day event is always a tasty go-around, so this snack should fit right in!

Loaf O' Veggies
Serves 24
2 1/2 tsp dry active yeast
3/4 cup warm whole milk
1/2 cup pureed pumpkin or winter squash
1/3 cup pureed vegetable mix (carrots, cauliflower, potatoes, zucchini, etc)
2 tbsp brown sugar
3 tbsp cultured butter
1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup buckwheat flour
Simple syrup
Kosher salt
  1. Dissolve the yeast in the warm milk, let stand 10 minutes.
  2. Mix in pumpkin, pureed vegetables, brown sugar, and butter.
  3. Mix in the flour until a kneadable dough forms.
  4. Knead on a lightly-floured board for 10-15 minutes.
  5. Let rise, covered, in an oiled bowl for about 1 hour.
  6. Punch down.
  7. Divide the dough in three, braid strands and tuck ends under.
  8. Place on a greased, cornmeal-dusted cookie sheet.
  9. Cover and let rise 1 hour.
  10. Heat oven to 350F.
  11. Brush bread with simple syrup and sprinkle with kosher salt.
  12. Bake 30 minutes, and cool completely on rack
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 79.3
Total Fat: 2.0 g
Cholesterol: 4.7 mg
Sodium: 7.5 mg
Total Carbs: 13.6 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.7 g
Protein: 2.4 g