Sunday, December 28, 2008

No Such Thing as Leftovers

I'm sure that pretty much everyone at this time of year falls victim to one of the pitfalls of kitchen creativity: leftovers! Even if you didn't play host to hordes of guests, preferring to be a member of the visiting mob, chances are that you had something or other pawned off on you. Whether it's an act of charity or (seemingly benign) malice by the donor, one thing is for certain. That, my friends, is that leftovers get boring!

Given that I can't eat our family's original Christmas meal, let alone leftovers, it may seem a little out of place that I mention them here. Well, the fact that I can't be a garbage pit for my own creations means that I often wind up with more than my fair share of the extras from my baking and cooking exploits, meaning I have to find new and interesting ways of pawning them off onto others without them realizing it! One such glut I had this year was that of leftover mincemeat. Even after the Christmas pies and tarts as well as today's treat (which I've made twice to date), I still have some left over which may have to find it's way back into my freezer for the time being. For now, though, I'm giving myself a pat on the back for thinking up at least one more way of using up this sweet, spicy fruit filling!

I actually got this idea after seeing these gooey, delicious-looking morsels on Meg Kat's site. Though I still have every intention of making the rolls as written, when I saw the dough recipe I thought "I have canned pumpkin... and I bet that mincemeat would taste good in that too! But rolls are messy and dry out... would a loaf work?".

So began my experiment. I figured that the loaf would essentially be like a series of the rolls squished together into one, so I took the base recipe and just changed the baking instructions to fit my case. I also added a touch of whole wheat flour for nutrition and flavour, mixed with gluten flour for texture, and I used lowfat milk instead of water to give some softness to the dough. The recipe was wonderfully easy to work with and lifted beautifully on both the first and second rises. The smell from the oven was beyond anything I would have imagined... think pumpkin pie, apple cake and cinnamon buns all baking at once. As I sliced the fresh loaf (the next day, since it finished baking at 9PM) all I could imagine was how good this would be for French toast (or screw the French part and just have toast!) and whether or not it would be overkill to make them into the scroll-like buns and dollop cream-cheese glaze on top.

Actually, thinking about it again, I'm tempted to try this bread not only with a vegan, soy milk and silken tofu (instead of milk and egg) enriched dough, but also Challah-style, rolling the filling in each strand of dough before braiding them into a moist, fruity loaf of goodness. Once the glut of Christmas food runs down I'll have to let you know if that works!

Mincemeat Swirled Pumpkin Bread
Serves 14
1 packet of active yeast
1/2 cup of warm, 1% milk
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
2 cups flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp vital wheat gluten (optional, for a higher rise)
1/2 cup prepared mincemeat
  1. Mix yeast and warmed milk in a large bowl, allow to proof 10 minutes.
  2. Add in the rest of the dough ingredients and thoroughly combine to a dough. Add no more than 1/4 cup more flour!
  3. Knead for 7-10 minutes.
  4. Place in a greased bowl, turning to coat.
  5. Cover and allow to rise 1 hour, until doubled.
  6. Roll dough out into a large rectangle (about 1/4" thick).
  7. Spread the mincemeat evenly over the dough, then roll up tightly from the short end.
  8. Place into a greased loaf pan, cover and allow to rise 45 minutes.
  9. Preheat oven to 350F.
  10. Bake loaf 45 minutes, turn out of pan immediately and cool completely on a rack before slicing.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 129.8
Total Fat: 0.8 g
Cholesterol: 15.6 mg
Sodium: 12.1 mg
Total Carbs: 26.9 g
Dietary Fiber: 2.0 g
Protein: 4.2 g

I have some buckwheat pie dough left from the tarts too, but it's been used in a different (and savoury!) endeavour. What could that be, you ask?? Well, you'll have to check back a little later to see!

2 comments :

Kevin said...

Baking bread are one of my favorite aromas. Nice way to use up some extra ingredients. Happy holidays!

meg.kat.art said...

thanks for linking back to my blog - i'm glad you enjoyed the recipe and got creative with it! :)