Most people familiar with my work usually come around for “healthy” recipe ideas. But the truth is, comfort food is important and nice to have around once in a while. So be forewarned, if you are looking for a healthy recipe, this is NOT it!!! And it’s not a yeast bread, this is a straight up sweet bread, which is slightly less sweet and moist than a cake, but definitely not an english muffin! 😀
Few things are more delightful than taking a bite of a fresh loaf of bread out of the oven…of any kind. I admit, I like bread. I don’t eat it all the time, in fact very rarely, but I do partake in one of my favorite guilty pleasures once in a while and baking bread to share has been one of my favorite past times ever since I started baking with my grandma as a wee child. One of my favorite memories with her in the kitchen was making cream puffs! She made everything from scratch! I regret not knowing to write her recipe down in my youth. However some of her magic did rub off on me because my cooking always more resembled hers then the basic meat and potato diet I grew up with.
She was diagnosed with Dubin Johnson Disease so she had a pretty clean diet as compared to todays standards. I’m sure growing up on a farm that was later taken by eminent domain to build a school that exists in Salt Lake City helped in her desire to eat clean. She warned me as a child about chemicals, food colorings and flavorings so I was always skeptical of things I couldn’t pronounce. While I did give in to societies normalities at times in my life, I credit her with instilling better food values in me and my ability and desire to take risks and go bold with certain flavor combinations.
For those who don’t know, I’ve been baking bread for a long time! Here is a link to a review of a restaurant I opened at 23 and pregnant, CJ Taylor’s Deli Cafe in Salt Lake City.
By the way, I do not recommend opening a restaurant while single and pregnant. lol In fact I don’t even recommend opening a restaurant alone. 🙂 I also had a baking business in San Diego called CJ Taylor’s Illegally Delicious, where I provided baked goods to coffee shops, stands, colleges, even FBI and homeland security offices, city admins, schools, etc… so I pretty much raised my children off my kitchen creations.
If you’re curious about the name CJ Taylor, it was my stage name in some old acting and modeling stuff I used to do. I Was always drawn to the name Taylor, so much so that I knew I was going to name my daughter “Something” Taylor. And the CJ was my nickname growing up in sports at times where I ended up on teams with 3 or more Christies. lol Although I have never asked anyone to call me that name, I always answered to it and still to this day for people who know me from back in my baking or softball days. 🙂
Enough of that, we want bread, right? I’ve been asked by several since posting those photos on my Instagram feed that I decided I should just share it because as mentioned earlier, we sometimes need comfort food! And while this is not a healthy variation, I do still get raw sugar cane, organic unbleached flour, I use local farm fresh eggs, sea salt and the best of the best organic ingredients available. Yes, it’s still sugar and fat if you’re afraid of those kinds of things. I do have a “healthy sweet and EASY recipe” here if you would like.
Moderation in all things. Truth be told, cooking is one of my gifts. I put my love into every ingredient I touch and bind by blending, mixing, whipping, etc… This is why 2 people can make the same recipe and it will come out tasting like 2 different dishes. That, and procedure. I have always believed the magic ingredient is love. If you are not trying to nourish your body with love, why are you in the kitchen trying to provide meals for yourself and loved ones in the first place. Everything can be medicine and everything is magic. Purposeful action and intent in the kitchen in everything. Working in a kitchen in disarray or disorder cannot bring forth prosperous fruit. Remember, food is something that is essential and necessary for survival. It DOES matter what you put in your body and HOW you do it. Always give thanks for every item of food you come across, whether clean or unclean and be grateful for the opportunity to nourish yourself and others.
Okay, enough with the preaching! I want to give you a basic bread recipe here with several variations of how I make it. I don’t really measure everything exact and haven’t looked at a recipe for decades. This is the best I can remember it. I always go with my gut when measuring and I encourage you to do the same. 🙂
My Magical ButterNut Sweet Potato Ginger Bread.
My recipes are large because I always make more so I can bless people with my extras. 🙂 Feel free to reduce if you are making it just for yourself. Or better yet, if you have no one to give it to, wrap well and put in the freezer so when someone does come by, you have a nice gift to share. 🙂
Start with a Kitchenaid or hand blender, if they still make those…lol
- 8 eggs
- 2 ish cups of brown sugar
- 2 ish cups of white sugar
- 3 ish cups of peanut oil
- couple tsps of real vanilla
- Then add about 2-3 cups of baked and mashed butternut squash and about 2 cups of baked and squished sweet potatoes.
- Add 6 cups of flour slowly while mixing and scraping the sides as well as:
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp baking soda
- tsp ish baking powder
- 2-3 tblsp cinnamon
- 2-3 tsp nutmeg
- tsp ish allspice
- tsp ish ground ginger
At this point I usually take off the whisk on the mixer and finish with a rubber spatula.
I added at least 3 cups of toasted pecans ( I really love the extra nutty sweetness tasting nuts brings out in my recipes. 🙂 )
And about 2 fingers of peeled and grated ginger. (use a spoon to peel)
Then mixed well….
Buttered and floured my pans and poured, leaving about an inch from the top of the pan to allow for rising. 🙂
Okay, so…….minus the sweet potato, butternut, ginger and pecan, it would be my BASIC SWEET BREAD RECIPE. Meaning from here you can interchange those ingredients and the spices with anything you like.
Some combinations I frequently use are:
- Banana toasted walnut and I sometimes add dates. I have also added pineapple and other fruits. 🙂
- Zucchini, cinnamon or carmelized apples and/or dates and toasted walnuts or pecans
- Pumpkin cranberry pecan with a hint of orange zest
- Banana Blueberry, I sometimes add peanut butter, almond flavoring
- Apple Craisin Date and Nuts (whatever you want, always toasted)
- Cranberry, Peach, Banana, Ginger
- Banana, Pineapple Coconut (macadamia nuts, toasted cashews or almonds)
- Peanut butter and Jelly Banana Bread! OMG!!!!! Bananas, peanut butter and some delicious mashed up fruit, whether it’s jelly or mushed berries. I don’t mix thoroughly in the last step to leave swirls in the baked bread.)
There are so many combinations I use, but I would like to invite you to use your imagination based on what’s available to you. 🙂
Another delicious treat that has been a hit in every restaurant I have cooked in is turning this bread into french toast, french toast sandwiches with peanut butter, bacon and egg or just peanut butter, or…?
And turning it into a bread pudding! Or…as a dessert turned into french toast with ice cream and berries, nuts and whipped cream! 🙂
I always use heavy cream when making anything that require dairy by the way. however when I’m being good and not consuming dairy, nothing beats homemade cashew cream!!! 🙂
As for substitutions if you don’t want to go all the way, you can use applesauce, avocado, black beans, nut butters, nut milks or water if you don’t want to use eggs or oil.
You can also use nut flour, flaxseed, coconut or tapioca flour if you don’t want wheat. Again, I use only unbleached organic, but you can make it as healthy or not as you want. 🙂 You can also use coconut oil if you like. I like nut oils because olive oil is too pungent, although I did have to make a carrot cake with it once and it was delicious, and I don’t use vegetable oils, canola or anything that is fake like crisco.
Let me know how it works out for you and if you would like to hear about more of my comfort food recipes!
Blessings and Love in all you do!