Sunday, 14 April 2013

Carrot Bread

Now that the school year has ended and I can devote my entire weekend to baking, I decided to try making bread with the stand mixer. I like carrot cake, but wanted to make bread, so I tried to make a sweet bread with carrots. It doesn't taste exactly like carrot cake, but it is reminiscent of it and tasty in its own way. I can never find pumpkin spice powder, and it's not really the season for it anyway, so I just used some five spice powder, which is always abundant in my house. Over the past few days, I've found out that it tastes good with some extra icing sugar dusted on top, or a drizzle of honey. It's also delicious to make peanut butter sandwich with, and even better if I make french toast with it. 

I have a question for you though. I've always thought of carrot cake as an autumn recipe, because of the dense, hearty quality of the cake and the pumpkin spice usually used. But I recently saw a local bakery's display promoting carrot cakes for the spring season. What do you think: Is carrot cake seasonal? If so, which season? 

The Recipe:
  • 3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup gluten flour
  • 2 tbsp pea fibre
  • 1 tsp five spice powder
  • 1 can semi-skimmed evaporated milk (~1 1/2 cup)
  • 3/4 cup carrot puree
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 package instant yeast
  • 1/2 tsp salt
Combine dry ingredients (except yeast) in a bowl and stir to mix. In the mixing bowl, place all wet ingredients, except the oil and eggs, and add the yeast. Start to stir with the dough hook attachment at low speed and gradually add the dry ingredients. Add about 3/4 of the dry ingredients and let the dough knead for 5 minutes at medium speed. Scrape the sides of the mixing bowl to make sure all ingredients added are incorporated into the dough. Take dough out of mixing bowl and into a large oiled bowl. Cover bowl loosely with a damp tea towel or plastic wrap, and let rise for at least an hour. Then, return dough to mixing bowl, and while kneading at low speed, add eggs and oil, and the rest of the dry ingredients. Let the dough knead for another 6-8 minutes or so at medium speed. Dough should be smooth, soft, and slightly tacky. Place dough in its baking tin. I used a 9" bundt pan. Cover and let rise as before for at least another hour. Place in an oven preheated to 350ºF (~175ºC) oven and bake for 45 minutes. Check if it's done by tapping the crust. It should sound airy and hollow if it is done. If it sounds and feels dull and dense when tapped, return to oven for another 5 to 10 minutes before checking again. 

Carrot puree

Risen bread

Baked carrot bread (very orange from the eggs and carrots)
Texture inside

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