Sunday, March 14, 2010

HBinFive: Pesto Pine Nut Bread

This time for our breads, we were given the assignments of Avocado-Guacamole Bread and Pesto Pine Nut Bread.

When I first got the book, the avocado-guacamole bread caught my eye right away. I love avocado and wanted to give this bread a try. It was the first or second bread I made from Healthy Breads in Five. I'm just going to work from memory on this one because I didn't make the dough again for the group. I thought the bread was pretty tasty myself and liked the chunks of tomato that you could see when you sliced into the bread. The kids didn't like this bread, and Paul was pretty lukewarm about it as I recall. I tried freezing part of the dough to make a loaf another time from it, but I think the veggies didn't appreciate being frozen. It turned very weepy when I defrosted it and made a very flat, unappetizing loaf. I know some of the doughs say that you can freeze them and use later and this didn't happen to be one of the recipes that said that, so I should have paid more attention there. I suppose I would have been better off baking the dough and freezing the loaf. A whole batch of this dough was more than our family could really get through.

Our family loves the flavors in pesto, so I decided to make a whole batch of the pesto pine nut bread. When Ivy saw the jar of pesto, she wanted to know when we were having pesto and was disappointed that I was using it for bread. And the pine nuts barely made it to the bread since someone who will remain unnamed decided to snarf down a good deal of the bag without asking permission. (His name starts with P...) So I was working with slightly less than 1/2 a cup of pine nuts, but I figured it wouldn't be a huge difference. I also used more wheat flour than the recipe called for and less all purpose flour. I had the spelt flour from the beet rolls and used it and about 3.5 cups of fresh-milled wheat flour and about 1.5 cups of a.p. flour. I mixed the dough this afternoon and decided I would make a loaf from the unrefrigerated dough since it seems to give a better rise for me most of the time. It was pretty sticky to work with and when I shaped the first loaf, I decided we'd probably need two loaves, so I made another one, too. The house smelled delicious while they baked.

I wanted to serve the bread with fresh mozzarella and turkey burgers. I still don't know where I went wrong with the mozzarella, but it didn't come together like it should have. I wasn't paying attention when I started the mozzarella and was working from a different recipe than I normally use. It was more like a ricotta texture when I was done, and I couldn't stretch it at all like mozzarella is supposed to because it just was a gloppy mess. I still scooped a bit of the cheese onto my burger and popped it under the broiler. It didn't taste bad, just not what was expected. I was a bit annoyed to waste a gallon of milk on that. I know that the expression "Don't cry over spilled milk" originated with reference to someone who did their own milking because it's just more disappointing to waste the milk when you actually put in the labor to get it!

Despite the disappointing turnout of the cheese, we had the bread for dinner with turkey burgers still. Paul and Ivy both said the bread was good. As they didn't really care for the veggie side I made with dinner, I guess the bread was the best part of the meal. Didn't garner any raves this time around like the olive oil bread did. I'm going to use the leftover bread to make pizza, I think. Although this was a tasty bread, I think I would probably just go for a plain loaf and put the pesto on the pasta next time. Plus pine nuts are a little pricey to do very often. (As a side note, when I make pesto, I've found that walnuts are a very tasty and much less costly substitute for pine nuts.)

You can see what others did with this dough by visiting the HBin5 Bread Braid hosted at Big Black Dog.


Michelle March 14, 2010 at 11:17 PM  

I have to hide nuts too because someone keeps eating them if I have an open bag sitting on the counter! I know what you mean about the cost of Pine Nuts, just so high now and I love them, especially in rice!

Glad the Avocado Bread worked out for you, I loved working with the dough but I wish I would have added a bit more tomato!

Bonnie March 15, 2010 at 12:30 AM  

Jenny, I wish I had read your post before I froze the avocado dough. Oh well! I made focaccia out of my dough and we loved it with turkey sandwiches. The Pesto pine nut bread is definitely one of our favorites too.

Cristie March 15, 2010 at 12:39 AM  

I enjoyed reading your post. I did put a one pound bag of the pesto bread in the freezer and hope it will come out without too much damage.

brokenteepee March 15, 2010 at 1:47 PM  

Both breads sound yummy.
I have found relatively cheap pine nuts in the bulk food sections at my local Good Food Store. Kind of like whole foods. They freeze beautifully so I usually buy a boat load and keep them in the freezer.

My mozzarella always comes out like caulk no matter what I do so I have officially given up. I stick to chevre and hard cheeses. Oh, and ricotta.

It's a lot of effort for caulk.

Avocados are, I think, 90% water so that is why they didn't freeze well. Tomatoes more so. So once that hit the freezer and then thawed you would have a weepy mess.

I just LOVE these posts.

Raelyn March 15, 2010 at 2:16 PM  

I have a problem freezing dough too. So I have started baking it and freezing the loaves instead. Seems to work better. Also love that you make your own cheese - now that seems like a big challenge.

Femalechef March 15, 2010 at 4:41 PM  

Your bread looks great!!!

Joy March 15, 2010 at 9:49 PM  

Your bread is beautiful! I'm so impressed with a meal with homemade bread and cheese! It still sounds great even if it wasn't how you'd hoped!

Ezzie March 15, 2010 at 9:57 PM  

I loved your post and sorry to hear your mozzarella didn't come out. I have the ingredients to make it but just haven't done so yet! I better get at it right after Passover! Thanks!

SavoringTime in the Kitchen March 15, 2010 at 10:45 PM  

Too bad about the pine nut theft. I've had similar thieves in my kitchen! I hadn't tried freezing dough yet so I think I'll par-bake instead.

chow and chatter March 16, 2010 at 12:23 PM  

oh your bread looks wonderful sorry your kiddies didn't like it its my hubby who isn't so keen on the breads sob sob

Leasmom March 18, 2010 at 11:28 AM  

Another great recipe!

Elwood March 18, 2010 at 11:56 AM  

We loved the pesto bread too. Great looking bread.

Cathy (Bread Experience) March 18, 2010 at 2:30 PM  

We loved the pesto and pine nut bread! Yours looks great!

Unknown March 18, 2010 at 4:13 PM  

bummer about the cheese but at least the bread was good! I think you'll like the pesto dough as a pizza (although the pine nuts get in the way when rolling it out hahaha). I always buy my pine nuts at Costco...they're sooo much cheaper then the supermarkets

About This Blogger

I am a thirty-something mother of two girls and a boy ranging from preschool to middle school. My husband and I keep working and reworking on our goal of raising our family healthier. Our house is a constant work under construction--adding on and remodeling. We're happy to have bought our property a few years ago, but as any homeowners know, owning a home just adds to your list of projects and chores because there's always improvements to be made and maintenance to be done. On our burgeoning homestead, we have chickens, guineas, a few goats, and our most recent additions-rabbits.
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I picked the name Petalz and Finz a couple years ago when I decided to try Etsy out. I wanted to custom make some baby related items and have things for girls and boys. I felt the name incorporated both my kids (at the time) into it--petalz for Ivy and finz for Finn.

I haven't had time to do much of anything with my Etsy for a while, but it's still my in my long term goals. In the mean time, I'm having fun with this blog thing. I've found some creative inspiration through my own posting, but also through many other wonderful blogs out there.
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