Saturday, January 22, 2011

No Dimethylopolysiloxane: Pumpkin Walnut Focaccia Bread

I read in a recent Consumer Reports, that McDonald's Chicken McNuggets are prepared using a preservative called TBHQ. Apparently, TBHQ is derived from petroleum.

I'm not entirely sure what the problem is. I mean, if it's good enough for my car, it's good enough for me, right? Just don't get my mother started about the antifreeze that the "bakers" put in the pound cakes, at Sam's. But again, I say... if it's good enough for my car...

A bit more disturbing though?

I also read that chicken nuggets (you know, that yummy ground up chicken paste that constitutes a meat) are mixed with Dimethylpolysiloxane (say that, ten times), an anti-foaming agent used in hair conditioner.

Why the heck do chickens need hair condition? They barely have any hair.

Anyway.  Make some Pumpkin Walnut Focaccia Bread. Nothing weird or hard to pronounce. Just yummy goodness, while you try to live into your new year resolutions! (This recipe is from the Cooking Light Magazine, and each slice... you get eight out of each loaf... will only set you back 169 calories.  Not bad, considering you can eat an over-processed "thin bagel" for 110 calories and feel utterly unsatisfied, exactly four minutes after you finish it.  Or is that just me?)

What you'll need:

3/4 Cup warm water (100*-110*)
1/3 Cup packed brown sugar
1 Package dry yeast (which for most jars, ends up being somewhere around 2-2 1/2 teaspoons)
3 1/2 Cups bread flour
3 Tablespoons melted butter
1 Cup pumpkin puree
1 Teaspoon salt
1/4 Teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 Cup grated Gruyere cheese
Cornmeal for sprinkling
Walnuts, coarsely chopped

Combine water, sugar, and yeast in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Add 1 cup flour and butter to yeast mixture; stir just until combined. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts and mean Republicans, for 30 minutes.

Add pumpkin, salt, and nutmeg to flour mixture; stir until well combined. Add 2 1/4 cups flour and half of cheese; stir until a soft dough forms. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 8 minutes); add enough of remaining 1/4 cup flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands (dough will feel tacky, but that's probably just the powder blue leisure suit in it's closet).

Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray or olive oil, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 1 hour or until doubled in size. (Press two fingers into dough. If indentation remains, dough has risen enough.) Punch dough down; cover and let rest 5 minutes. Divide dough in half; shape each half into an 8-inch circle. Place dough circles on a baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal. Sprinkle remaining cheese and nuts evenly over dough circles; press lightly to adhere. Lightly coat dough circles with cooking spray; cover and let rise 20 minutes (dough will not double in size).

Preheat oven to 400°.

Uncover dough; bake at 400° for 30 minutes or until loaves are browned on the bottom and cheese melts (shield loaves with foil to prevent overbrowning, if necessary). Cool on a wire rack.

Very yummy, free of motor oil or windshield wiper fluid, and quite filling!  Enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. Yum. I might just take that recipe for a test drive. Hardy har har.... - M