Monday, November 28, 2005

pumpkin bread part 2

The aforementioned pumpkin bread spent nearly two hours in the oven. The recipe called for it to cook for an hour and fifteen minutes. I checked it at an hour and ten minutes. It wasn't even close, though the top was doming and browning beautifully. I continued to check it every ten minutes or so until the tester finally came out clean.
I pulled the bread and set it on the counter to cool and turned the oven off. I gave it a few minutes then ran a knife around the inside of the pan. I pulled the sides of the bread from the pan, turned it over and eased the bread out.
It left a nice size part of itself on the bottom of the pan, and through the hole I looked into the bread and decided it needed to cook a bit more. So I turned the oven back one and replaced the bread.
I let it cook as long as I could justify. I finally decided it was either done or it could go to hell, because it was coming out of the oven regardless. I allowed it a few more minutes to cool before the old invert/remove. After a few more minutes cooling sans pan, I cut into it.
The top is very very crusty, in a very good way. It's difficult to cut through neatly but oh so crispy! However, rather than a nice crumb it's just entirely too moist. I'm guessing the pumpkin itself was too moist, and perhaps that's why it took so long to cook and has such a gummyish consistency. It does have a great flavor, and may dry a little as it cools. I might also should have left it in the pan a bit longer.
Oh well, there's always next time.
For what it's worth, the recipe is Alton Brown's from the Food Network website.

today's coffee

My first cup was bone cold when I finally rolled out of bed. Momma made us both coffee on her way to work. I was happy to finally finish it and make my second cup, expecting the cold weather we didn't seem to get. It's t-shirt weather out there today.
We use a French press and are a little snobbish about coffee. It's one of those things where once I finally tasted truly good coffee, I couldn't go back. Now I'm further ruined by the press. We used it on occasion before, when we had a normal drip maker. Something in the lid of the carafe for the drip maker decided not to work, so we just started using the press all the time.
My first cup, cold, we've been there already. My second cup, I didn't set a timer and completely forgot about it. My coffee, which should have steeped for about six minutes sat waiting my return for about twenty.
That's my typical coffee story. Some days, every single cup is great. Some days, I manage to skirt quality coffee at every chance. But then I remember how good my bad coffee is compared to what most people call coffee.

pumpkin bread is in the oven

We bought two pumpkins, intending them both to be jack o'lanterns. One did while the other sat on the kitchen counter, not entirely in the way.
Momma finally cooked it so that she could make a pie for Thanksgiving, which she made with a shortbread crust. Big brother helped throughout the process. He also helped with the bread that is now in the oven.
He did a great job helping. I however didn't read through the whole recipe. I trusted to my experience with baking to get the ingredients and techniques in line. How different could it be?
So we combined our dry ingredients. We put them to the side and combined the wet ingredients. Then I looked at the actual instructions. We should have saved the sugar to mix with the wet ingredients. We should have saved the pumpkin to mix into the combined wet and dry ingredients. I mixed the wet ingredients directly into the pumpkin, already having included the sugar with the dry.
Knowing some little bit about baking, especially with quick and/or batter breads, I made this recipe as I expected it to play out. I'm sure that all my missteps will not ruin the end product. We have just over an hour before we find out.