Dad’s Mango Bread

mangobreadgifMango bread…does that sound strange and exotic to you? I was pondering it while sharing mine with friends and I heard them say it. For my own family, mango bread was a standard, normal thing to have in the house, though I do realize that this may not be the case in most American households. For a time we always had a loaf on hand, and three in the freezer. My dad would make big batches of the stuff to make breakfast during the week a little better. I never made it myself, but got to experience the different adjustments with every few rounds of baking. In honor of Father’s Day, and mostly because I was reminded of this bread when prompted at work to share our fathers’ recipes, I decided to have a go myself. Disclaimer: neither name spelling nor ingredients are 100% accurate in that article. In any case, it was a great opportunity for me to buy some mangoes and fire up the oven for a better-than-banana quick bread of champions.

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Fresh mangoes are the best mangoes! Also ripe, but sometimes you just can’t wait.

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You’ll need some for puréeing and some for chunking.

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Immersion blenders are fun, but occasionally messy. If you have the right bowl, you’ll be in good shape.

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Not-so-secret ingredient:coconut

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An important step here is combining the baking soda with the mango purée. Read below for more info…

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Dad’s Mango Bread
Makes one large loaf

1 large mango, puréed (about 1 1/4 cup purée)
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons water1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 sweetened shredded coconut
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup chopped mango
1/2 cup yogurt
Place the mango purée in a large bowl. Separately, combine the baking soda and water, then mix into the mango purée. Let sit for 5 minutes*. In the meantime, combine the sugar, eggs, oil, and coconut in a new bowl until well incorporated. Mix this into the mango purée. Stir in the flour and baking powder, one third at a time. Add in the chopped mango and yogurt last, then place in a bread pan lined with parchment paper. Bake in the oven at 350° for 60-70 minutes, until the top is plenty browned and looks like it might burn (ie – more brown than mine, so the top doesn’t collapse). Take out and let cool. Best served slightly warm!

*u wot? You want me to add the baking soda to the mango? This is so that the mango acidity slows its roll so your bread doesn’t come out too strong or sour, but instead mellow and rich 😀

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Enjoy, and happy Father’s Day!

The Dish on Toast

This time last year, I was opting out of $4 toast from The Mill in San Francisco. Since then, the toast craze has exploded nationwide, and people are making ridiculous, delicious, or both, pieces of art on a slice of bread. Granted, the toast at the Mill is mostly $4 for the bread itself (Josey Baker), as the toppings consisted of Nutella and cinnamon sugar. But Bon Appétit made the toast trend their cover story in January. Truly, what’s better than adding a fun combo of foods you’d eat alone onto a crispy slice of toast? Especially when you’ve made the bread yourself! If you didn’t though, that’s cool. Read on for party-starting, trendingly on fleek toast.

Little spin on what seems to be a classic: ricotta and honey, plus some lemon zest for fun.
Everything is better with lemon zest.
Another classic: lox/smoked salmon and cream cheese.
Sprinkle some form of dill for a good time.
Inspired by Bon Appétit: smushed avocado, thinly sliced cucumber (peeler!)
with lemon zest, and red pepper flake. And salt, somewhere!

Lemon Zucchini Bread

     On Tuesday, I made some zucchini bread, and there’s half a slice left on the kitchen counter.

     I know zucchinis are not in season, but I really wanted to try out a classic recipe on my own and see what happened. The first time I heard about zucchini bread, I was very skeptical. VERY skeptical. I was unaware of the concept of a vegetable being used to make a sweet bread. But boy, am I glad I gave it a try! If you’re having your doubts about such a beast because of your past dread of sliced squishy, oily zucchini on your dinner plate, prepare to have your mind blown with this incredible loaf of dense, flavorful, and extremely moist quick bread! Plain old zucchini bread would have been great, but there’s nothing like a good old kick of lemon to make your life a little happier. Trust me – you’ll want to stay with the portion size on this one (two loaves!).

It’s such an easy thing to make! Wet ingredients, sugar, dry ingredients, zucchini, oven.

See for yourself when the first turns to the second in an hour.


Lemon Zucchini Bread
Adapted from Sunset Breads
Makes two loaves
Ingredients
3 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil or melted butter
2 eggs
Zest of one lemon
Two large zucchinis (about 1 pound)

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Mix together sugar, oil, eggs, and lemon zest in a large bowl until combined. Gradually add the flour, salt, and baking powder. When well incorporated, grate the zucchinis into the bowl and mix occasionally until all the zucchini has been added.

Pour the batter into two greased and floured 4×8 inch loaf pans. Bake loaves for about an hour, or until a skewer comes out clean. Let cool in pans, then carefully flip onto cooling racks to let cool completely.
Look at that texture.
The zucchini just does something wonderful where it distributes all
of its magical zu-juice throughout the bread to make it superbly moist.
No chocolate necessary for this thing!

Christmas Bread

Happy holidays! We’re reaching the end of the year already? I’ve finished school, which hopefully means I will be living in the kitchen, learning all sorts of exciting things, and documenting them. Stay tuned for new developments with this new time on my hands. In the meantime, enjoy the first steps: my first EVER solo bread loaf! It came out pretty great! Just in time for New Years; dig out your scale and flour and try your hand at some yourself.
Randomly selected ingredients/add-ins from the local co-op:
Dried apricots, dried cranberries, golden raisins and walnuts!
This picture was an accident, but I thought it looked better than what I was going for.

Essentials: Water & yeast, flour, and Ratio by Michael Ruhlman:
how to make anything from bread to sausage to soup with a simple ratio for each,
just add nuts/pepper/cheese etc.

No dough hooks or paddles necessary! Just add the water, 
grab a wooden spoon and mix until you’ve got a dough.
Heyy check out my mom’s photography skills! Apparently you’re supposed to knead for 10 minutes; you can add your particulars halfway through this. I’m still working on the kneading thing…my
dough was kinda dense but that also may have been the pastry flour I was using…oops.

  Woot feast your eyes on the jam-packed super-bread. Only four ingredients,
apart from the fruit and nuts. If you think you’ve added too much and bits
are falling out, fret not! It will all be okay.
Voilà! Despite the different lighting, it did not take too long to make this bread,
just some waiting. All worth it! Now we have a yummy bread chock-full of
nutritious things! It still looked kinda foldy before I threw it in the oven so it was dense but
IT’S COOL, still tasted great.

This is what the dining room table looked like by Christmas morning. Turkey? Nah,
cookies. And bread. Stay tuned for cookie recipes shortly! In the meantime, enjoy the leftovers of the holidays before your resolutions kick in.

Dried Fruit and Nut Bread
Adapted from Ratio by Michael Ruhlman
20 oz bread flour
12 oz warm water
1 packet or teaspoon active yeast
2 teaspoons salt
2 cups of your choice of dried fruit and nuts
1 cup water and cast-iron skillet for steam

Put your mixing bowl on the scale, zero it out, and measure out the flour. If you have a stand mixer, you add the rest of the ingredients, zeroing as necessary. With no mixer, get a second bowl and measure out the water using the same process, and add the yeast and salt. Add this to the flour and combine with a wooden spoon.

Once you get a homogenous mixture, take out the dough and knead it on a floured surface for 10 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Halfway through, gradually fold in your fruit and nuts. After kneading, place the dough back in the bowl, greased and/or floured, and let sit until double in size (an hourish).

Take the dough out and knead again to get rid of excess gas, or punch it down, then let it sit again for 10-15 minutes. You can then shape the dough into a boule by rolling it on the counter until it is a round ball. Place it on a ceramic surface or pan and let sit one more time for an hour. You can also refrigerate the dough at this time for up to a day, allowing it to come to room temperature for 2 hours before baking. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees, and put a cast-iron skillet on a rack to heat up for steam during baking.

Take the boule and cute an x, pound sign or any other pattern you want at the top to allow the dough to expand in the oven. Pour the cup of water into the skillet to create steam in the oven. This process helps to create a thick, crisp bread crust. Do it: it’s important and impressive! Bake the dough at 450 degrees for 10 minutes, and then at 375 degrees for another 45 minutes or so. When the bread is done, it will sound hollow when you tap the bottom. Cut and enjoy naked or with anything on top!

Shout out to my mom for helping with the lighting 😀