Monday, December 3, 2007

Pumpkin bread with maple syrup spread

Yogurt cheese has been my favorite "miracle" diet food for the last couple of months. I mix it half-and-half with things like peanut butter and mayo. I like my lighter spreads better than the original product--they are creamier and less oily. Yogurt cheese is also great as a potato topping, a spread on rye crackers, and an ingredient in creamy salad dressings.

Yogurt cheese is simple to make--just dump a carton of plain, nonfat yogurt into a colander lined with a coffee filter or a couple of paper towels. Let it sit in the fridge for 8 to 24 hours. The yogurt cheese will be about the texture of whipped cream cheese with a tangy flavor more like sour cream. The whey that ends up in the bowl can be used in place of water in bread or soup.

Yogurt cheese allowed me to transform a treat that I used to eat this time of year: pumpkin bagels topped with cinnamon-brown sugar cream cheese. This fall, I'm making pumpkin bread with maple syrup spread. Maple syrup spread is simply maple syrup whisked into yogurt cheese. My recipe for pumpkin bread is below.

Joy's Pumpkin Bread for the Bread Machine
makes 2lb loaf

2/3 cup warm water
1 1/2 Tbl canola oil
2 Tbl molasses
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup pumpkin
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup bread flour
1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 Tbl brown sugar
2 Tbl vital wheat gluten
1/8 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp dry yeast

Stir the wet ingredients and salt together. Stir the dry ingredients together. Pour the wet ingredients into the bread pan. Spoon the dry ingredients on top of the wet. Add the yeast to the bread pan.

Set the bread machine for Fruit and Nut bread (or whatever gives the longest rise time) and 2 lb loaf.

Check partway through the first kneading cycle to see if the dough is too wet (add flour by tablespoons) or too dry (add water by teaspoons).

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