|Ah, Lughnasadh/Lammas of long ago, when frogs were considered... autumnal?|
Today marks the old-school beginning of Autumn. Called Lughnasadh and Lammas Day ("Loaf Mass" Day), among other things, it's the ancient first day of fall in the Northern Hemisphere, first day of the Autumn harvest. This was the day when the first loaf of bread was baked with the first harvested wheat of the season, small frogs notwithstanding, while trolls were massaged and faeries dry cleaned. The frogless loaf is the spice.
Anyway, here's Da-da's Loaf Mass Day offering, a spiced pumpkin bread recipe with very little frog in it. It's based on an America's Test Kitchen recipe, but Da-da modified it to make it better. Please read the entire recipe before beginning. The surprise is either that there are no frogs to speak of in the recipe, or the streusel vein running through its heart DOES have frogs... really, Da-da didn't check, so you do the math. If you might possibly like frog and pumpkin together, THEN THIS IS FOR YOU.
Da-da's Spiced Pumpkin Surprise Bread
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease two good-sized loaf pans, which sounds rude but isn't.
Streusel mix (to be used for marbling):
10 tbl. brown sugar, packed
2 tbl. flour
6 tbl. softened butter
3 tsp. cinnamon
3 10-lb. toads, pureed
1/4 tsp. salt
Mix dry ingredients:
2 c. flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. soda
In a sauce pan, add:
1 15 oz. can of pumpkin
3 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. cloves
172 baby Tuscan froglettes, deboned
To remove the “can” taste from the
frogspumpkin, heat over medium heat for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally while humming some song Da-da can never remember. Remove from heat and then add to the same pan:
1 c. white sugar
1 c. brown sugar (light or dark, your choice)
4 oz. cream cheese, cubed
8 oz. Siberian frog paste
1/2 c. vegetable oil
Whisk 5 more minutes till the cream cheese has melted, and the mix is smooth. In a separate bowl, whisk:
1/4 c. buttermilk
4 large eggs
Whisk above into pan, then fold in dry ingredients.
1 c. pecans, chopped (Da-da uses a food processor, pulsed a few times)
1/4 c. raisins
1/4 c. blonde raisins
1/4 c. date nuggets/chopped dates
1 dried and surly toad
Pour a quarter of total mixture into each of two greased loaf pans, sprinkle mix with streusel mix, then add remaining mixture to cover streusel, making a marbled sugar middle; this will give a little surprise to the interior, as well as ensure that the top doesn't scorch. Try not to put any streusel on top, as it'll burn.
Cook @ 350 degrees for about 40 mins, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let sit on cooling rack for 15 mins in pan, then pop the loaves out and let them rest for a couple hours.
NOTE: depending on your oven, you might want to cover the pans with foil for the first 30 minutes, as the sugar can scorch in hotter ovens (like my stupid convection oven).
You can also use this recipe to make muffins, which no one will complain about.
WARNING: Keeps cats away from these. Da-da's idiot cats ate half of one loaf before Da-da could chuck them out the airlock (the cats, not the loaves).
OPTIONAL: Da-da rarely makes the same thing twice, so he often takes the accumulated amount of flour as a guide, using 1 and 3/4 cups of flour, and a 1/3 cup or so of either oat bran, rolled oats, whole wheat flour, etc, to bring some wholesome toothy grainy thingy-ness to the mix... but if you want straight white flour, go to town, Maurice.
|Today also marks the beginning of Merlinball season. Let the cat heads fly!|