11 Nov 2010

Today's bread

I've been so busy cooking with yesterday's bread there's none leftover for today, and not being one to relish an empty bread bin I decided to rustle up a loaf, though I'm not entirely sure that this strictly qualifies as bread - what else you'd call it beats me, mind you. 'Cake' comes with a whole load of other connotations that really don't do much to tantalize the taste buds in this instance. It has the texture of steamed bread (think Chinese steamed buns) - it's moister (the mix is surprisingly wet), denser, more chewy (starchier?) than regular bread and doesn't brown at all, despite the fact that it had 25 minutes in the oven, but it is good so think somewhere between a banana bread and Cake Salé - the savory French 'cakes of salt' and you'll get some idea of where this is at. Whatever, it works a treat with a big bowl of onion soup and it's dead easy to make - no yeast, no kneading, no proving, so it's done and in the oven in 15 minutes or so. 

Pumpkin & Corn Bread
Makes a 15×5×5 cm pound cake's tin-worth

70g pumpkin 
2 tbsp sweet corn
150ml soy milk
2 tbsp vegetable oil (I used grapeseed, but anything will do)
2 tbsp syrup (2:1 sugar and water, dissolved over heat)
120g plain flour
20g wholewheat flour
1/2 tsp salt (or half a vegetable stock cube, crumbled)
1 tsp baking powder

Cut the pumpkin into 1cm pieces, rub in a little salt and either steam or nuke to soften. Place all the dry ingredients in a bowl and stir to mix. Place the soy milk, vegetable oil and syrup into a separate bowl and add the dry ingredients. Mix well until all the ingredients are thoroughly combined. Add the pumpkin and the corn (reserving a little of the corn for decoration). Pour the mixture into a lined pound cake tin, sprinkle over the remaining corn and bake at 170 degrees Centigrade for approximately 25 minutes (the bread will rise, but doesn't brown). 
Bish-bosh, done!
Slice it thick and serve it warm with a hearty bowl of soup. 

I've just bought a book about 'Japanese bread' - that's bread that's made with the flour used to make udon noodles, and there are some divine looking things in there. I'm itching to experiment, but feel I really should eat my way through what I've already baked first; I'm in danger of turning into a dough ball...  

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