Friday, May 11, 2012

Whole Wheat Bread Machine Loaf - and Grilled Plums

There are times when I cooking a fun project for me - so it doesn't matter how long it takes. Other days, I want something good, but I don't have a lot of extra time to spend.

These recipes are good for those busy days.

Whole Wheat Bread

I won't say that I rely on a bread machine, but sometimes it really comes in handy - like when it's evening and I decide I want a loaf of bread in the morning. Or noonish. I can toss everything into the bread machine and have a loaf done before I go to bed, and I don't have to think too hard about it, or babysit the rising and shaping.

A loaf of bread from the bread machine is never going to be as pretty as a loaf that I've formed by hand. The top might be a little haphazard or lumpy or uneven, depending on how it lands when the kneading is done. But that's okay. Once you slice it, the slices look just fine. No stranger than a loaf that was slashed before baking.

In this case I wanted a loaf with some whole wheat and amped up with the flavor of Greek-style yogurt. Because I started this loaf too late in the evening, I used the quick baking option, which meant it was done in just under 2 hours. The longer option, which allows more resting time for the bread - takes 4 hours.

Of course, the settings on you bread machine might be different, so follow the manufacturer's guidelines for the order you add ingredients and for the baking settings. And like any bread recipe, you can knead this by hand or use a stand mixer or food processor. Or use the bread machine to do the kneading and finish the loaf by hand.

Whole Wheat Bread Machine Loaf

1 teaspoon yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
2 cups (9 ounces) bread flour
1 cup (4 1/2 ounces) whole wheat flour
1 cup Greek-style yogurt
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup water

Add all the ingredients to your bread machine in the order recommended by your manufacturer. The differences I've seen are the recommended placement of yeast, flour and water.

I baked this on the fast mode, medium loaf, and light crust.

Remove the loaf from the machine as soon as it is done, remove it from the pan, and let it cool completely on a rack before storing or baking.

Grilled Plums

Fruit is a nice, light dessert - that perfect little sweet bite to end a meal when you don't want something more substantial.This is a perfect everyday dessert, but it's also nice enough for company. It's also a great way of dealing with fruit that isn't quite ripe enough. Grilling it makes it softer and sweeter and adds a little more interesting flavor.

I used plums for this dessert, but you can use any stone fruit - peaches, apricots, or nectarines would all be great.

For a petite dessert or very large fruit, you can serve each person 1/2 piece of fruit. If you've got very small plums or apricots, 2-3 pieces might make more sense.

Grilled Plums

Per person:
1 plum
2 tablespoons marscapone
Drizzle of honey

Cut the plums in half and remove the pit. If the pit is being difficult, a melon baller can help. Heat a grill pan on medium heat - or if the barbecue grill it lit, you can use that.

Grill the plum halves, cut side down, until you have grill marks. Turn the plums about 45 degrees on  the grill to get crosshatch grill marks - just like you'd do for a steak.

Serve the plums cut-side up, then top each half with a tablespoon (or to taste) of the marscapone. Drizzle the honey over the plum and onto the plate.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

Note: if you're serving these at room temperature, let the plums cool off a bit before you add the marscapone.

This has been submitted to Yeastspotting

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