Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Spiced Yam Bread

For Christmas, I made a batch of yam bread to bring to a potluck. Its a lot like pumpkin bread, but with an ingredient that is easier to find year-round. Also, I just like yams.

I came up with the original recipe some months ago, and thought it was very holiday appropriate. That particular recipe turned out a bit better then this batch did, as I wasn't very precise about scaling up the ingredients here to make two loaves instead of one big loaf.

But I am going to post the recipe anyway, because it tasted really good, even though the bread was a bit too moist, and the loaves were flat. I think it needed more flour and more baking powder.

Anyway, here is the recipe I used this time, despite it being slightly flawed. If I was going to try this particular iteration again, I would use 4 tsp baking powder, and 1.25 or 1.5 cups of each type of flour.

Wet ingredients:
3 eggs
2/3 cup brown sugar (I know that sugar isn't a "wet" ingredient, but it incorporates better at this stage)
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 cups mashed yams
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 stick of butter, melted
1/3 cup vegetable oil

Dry ingredients:
1 cup white flour
1 cup wheat flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ginger
3 tsp baking powder
2/3 cup craisins

Start by baking halved yams in a glass pan at 375 until the yams are cooked, about 45 minutes.

Cover pan with foil and let sit for 15 to 20 minutes. This helps loosen the skin.

Remove the yam skins like so:

And mash the yams. I preferred this bread with roasted yams, as demonstrated here with sweet potatoes, but simply baking works well too.

Mix together all of the wet ingredients in a medium-sized bowl, and set aside.

Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl, and make a well in the center. Add the wet ingredients and mix together until just blended.

Pour into two loaf pans, and bake at 350 F until and inserted fork or toothpick comes out clean, this was about 50 minutes.

So the loaves were a bit flat as you can see.

The bread was really tasty, so despite its flaws, people enjoyed it.

Monday, December 27, 2010

I'm back! With Cranberries!

I'm back, with some holiday-type recipes! Things have finally slowed down in the Free!Radicals household, as during the Christmas week, the Man and I spent every day doing at least one thing with each other's families. That's fun, but exhausting.

So, have a quick tutorial on how to make cranberry sauce! I have learned that a lot of people are attached to the jellied stuff from a can, but I think it is kind of gross.

Cranberry sauce:

Pick out the bad cranberries from a 16-ounce bag of cranberries. Usually there are only a few, but I had to take out a lot this time. Put them in a saucepan.

Add 2-3 cups of water, and 1 1/4 cups of sugar. You might want to add more sugar if you like your cranberries really sweet, but I do not.

Heat over medium-high, and after a few minutes the cranberries will start popping and turning syrupy.

Though the cranberries pop, you still need to mash the berries.

And you have cranberry sauce!

Normally I add some lemon zest, but i had no lemons. So it is just as simple as water, cranberries, and sugar.

Happy belated holidays!