Saturday, January 05, 2008

Oops, I Killed the Yeast: Quick Bread to the Rescue

Savory Zucchini BreadThe savory zucchini bread that saved the day.

Thursday was cold in New York, as WNYC kept reminding me: "It's currently 20 degrees but FEELS LIKE 100 below." Perfect weather for bread baking. Over Christmas, I sampled my increasingly domesticated sister's fantastic sourdough and was determined to put the oven to work when I returned to New York. Unable to take some of her starter with me on the plane, I opted for a plain loaf of milk bread from Joy of Cooking. This recipe requires you to heat the milk to 110 degrees before adding it to the dough. Of course, I wasn't paying attention and heated it well beyond the 110 degrees. Instead of allowing it to cool, I unthinkingly dumped it directly into the yeast-filled bowl. As I felt the metal bowl heating up below me, I knew I'd made a stupid mistake. Any temperature over 120 degrees kills the yeast and prevents the bread from rising. I persevered with the recipe, hoping a few hearty yeasties survived, but it rose nary a millimeter and baked into a rock hard mess.

Making Milk BreadSniff. After the yeast died.
Fortunately, my bread-making afternoon was not a waste. Throughout the fall school semester, I've sneaked a glance or two at fellow foodblogs, bookmarking recipes for some later date. The savory onion zucchini bread at What Geek's Eat has had me drooling for months, and it more than made up for the yeast bread failure. Chock full of shredded zucchini, onion and parmesan cheese, I ate about 1/2 a loaf within the first few hours it was out of the oven. No kneading, no rising time, no chance you'll kill the zucchini. Pure savory bread-making bliss.


KT said...

And it has zucchini so it's totally healthy!

Way better than the other bread.

Happy New Year!

ann said...

You got to bake two loaves of bread, that's double the heat! And, boy did we need it last weekend! Thanks for pointing out that recipe, it looks awesome.