Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Made Some Bread

A few weeks ago I was all set to make a set of mini-loaves of one my new fave recipes - Joy of Cooking's Pumpkin Bread - to give as gifts. I had borrowed my sister's set of loaf crocks she had magically found for $1 each at Michaels a couple years ago. I had the ingredients. I had the the time on a Sunday morning. And then I got my new issue of Martha Stewart Living in the mail.

The last page detailed a recipe for Blueberry Lemon Tea Bread. How apropos for the summer season, I can't say I would equate my pumpkin bread with mid-June and 80 degree heat. I switched gears quickly and picked up a handful of lemons and a pint of blueberries. Everything else was easily on hand, don't you love those kind of recipes?
Now here's the tricky part. We do not have a microwave at our temporary home, so how to melt the butter enough to be able to mix it in with the sugar and egg? Why not set it on the stovetop as the oven heats up to 350? I also needed to make sure it was malleable enough to mix by hand - the KitchenAid Stand Mixer and even my electric hand mixer are staying packed up.
Time to fold in those blueberries.
Divided up into 6 individual crocks, I fit them all on a cookie sheet for stability and threw them in the oven. Half an hour later they came out with golden edges.
A new staple? Clear plastic gift bags from Michaels (or any craft store I'm sure). Wrapping the breads tightly in saran wrap helps them stay fresh, but the bag adds a little extra flair to the gift-giving process. Tie some ribbon around it with a homemade tag - future idea: add a link to the recipe right to the tag!
This photo spread was actually the second batch I have made this month - had to take advantage of a supermarket sale on blueberries: 2 pints for $6! I brought these guys up to a family vacation in Wisconsin Dells to enjoy in the hotel suite for early breakfasts and they did not dissapoint.

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