Monday, March 8, 2010


I made some quick breads the other morning before a double show day of La Bayadere. It amazes me how completely exhausted I can be and still have the worst time in the world falling asleep. I came home after waking up at 6:30 for a student matinee show followed by a night show on Friday night and climbed in bed and absolutely could not get comfortable. Then of course woke up in the morning at 6:50 wide awake with no chance of going back to sleep... "GREAT. I guess i'll bake." That's always the answer.

I made 3 mini loaves (pumpkin chocolate chip-walnut, blueberry walnut, and pumpkin walnut) and two large loaves (plain pumpkin, and a large blueberry walnut)

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Walnut Bread

Pumpkin Walnut Bread

Blueberry Walnut Cornmeal Quick Bread:

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup white whole wheat flour (if you don’t have whole wheat flour, just use all-purpose flour)

1 cup medium or fine ground cornmeal

1/2 cup sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted

1/2 cup honey (or pure maple syrup if you have it on hand)

1 1/4 cup buttermilk

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup chopped walnuts (reserving a few whole walnut halves for decorating the top)

1 heaping cup to 1 1/2 cups blueberries

Arrange a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour one 9×5x3-inch loaf pan, or two slightly smaller loaf pans. I think mine are 8×4x3-inches and I made two smaller loaves. Set aside the greased and floured loaf pans.

In a large bowl, whisk together both flours, cornmeal, sugar, salt and baking powder.

In a smaller bowl whisk together honey, eggs, buttermilk, melted butter and vanilla extract.

Add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture and stir just until blended.

Fold in the blueberries and walnuts.

Divide batter between two smaller loaf pans or into one large loaf pan. Spread evenly. Add the whole walnut halves and place in preheated oven. For smaller loaves bake for 40-50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center of the loaf comes of clean. For the larger loaf, bake for 60-70 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.

Cool loaves in pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Invert onto a plate or board. Serve warm with butter or wrap and freeze for future you.

Vegan Pumpkin Bread:

Everyone is so turned off by the phrase "VEGAN". But in reality for baking quick breads I would say 99% of the time it comes out tasting so much better! And it MUCH MUCH more moist.

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour ( or whole wheat flour… or just use only all-purpose flour)

2 cups light brown sugar, packed

1/3 cups granulated sugar

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon allspice

1/2 teaspoon cloves

1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree, or just under two cups

1 cup vegetable oil

1/3 cup maple syrup

1/3 cup water

1 cup chopped walnuts, or chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place a rack in the center of the oven. Grease and flour two loaf pans (mine are 8×4x2) and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together flours, sugars, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices.

In a medium bowl, carefully whisk together pumpkin puree, oil, maple syrup and water.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and use a spatula to fold all of the ingredients together. Make sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl well, finding any stray flour bits to mix in. Fold in most of the chopped walnuts, reserving some to sprinkle on top of the batter once in the pan.

Divide the dough between the two greased pans and sprinkle with a few walnut pieces. Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven. Let rest in the pans for 20 minutes, then invert onto a cooling rack.

Serve warm.

Make your own variations: add chocolate chunks, forget the walnuts, add raisins??? :)

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