I love cooking and baking on rainy days. Maybe it's because I don't have to feel guilty about not being outside, or perhaps it's because good food on a "bad" day is so pleasing to the soul. So, amidst the steady rain last night, I cranked up the oven and chose:
11. Dutch Apple Bread, pg. 81
At first glance, I knew this recipe could be made a tad spunkier with little effort. First off, I tend to shrink away from using 100% white flour for products which aren't meant to be desserts. So, I split the flour between white pastry flour and a blend of coarse and finely ground whole wheat flours. I used sour unsweetened soy milk (man, was it sour!!! almost an egg-white consistency...but it still worked fine!), though orange juice would certainly give it zest. I used slivered almonds instead of walnuts, which turned out fine, and am pretty confident that using pecans would also give a great taste. Again, here's a place where personal taste matters more than the recipe. Instead of raw cranberries as the "option" listed, I used craisins, which were a nice kick in the taste buds. Once I put the dough in the pan, I dusted a mixture of ground cinnamon and raw unrefined sugar on top.
While I'm not usually a big fan of sweet breads or muffins, I liked this one because of the variety of textures (chewy, crunchy, etc.) and flavours (fruit, whole wheat, cinnamon, etc.). I was a bit surprised how simply dusting the top with cinnamon/raw sugar gave the bread a boost of character.
Overall: 3.95 out of 5
In the world of quick breads and muffins, it's pretty darn good.