Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Taco Bread and Other Quick Breads (Homemade and Corn-free)

I have a quick bread recipe that I make a lot (with subtle variations to suit the kind of bread needed). Using this quickbread, I am basically making Mexican Cornbread without the corn. I mix up the quickbread and layer taco meat, onions, peppers and grated cheese in the middle. We like to call it:

Taco Bread

Ingredients:
1 lb. taco meat*
2 small onions (diced)
1 red bell pepper (diced)
3 jalapeno peppers (diced) optional - substitute peppers of your choice or omit
1 block Kerrygold cheddar cheese (grated)
1 batch of quick bread batter (see below)
1/2 stick butter


Put a half stick butter in a 9x13 pan in a 375F oven to melt.

Chop onions and peppers. Grate one block of Kerrygold cheddar cheese (8 oz., I think). Prepare one pound of taco meat* and mix up one batch of quick bread batter.

Place 1/3 of bread batter into pan. Spread meat mixture, onions, peppers, cheese all across the top of the batter evenly. Pour the remaining bread batter over filling and put in oven to bake. Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown on top and bread is done in center.


We eat this all the time because we have no uncorny flour tortillas available here and this is much faster than making tortillas. I have a great from-scratch recipe for red sauce so I may have to break down and make homemade flour tortillas for enchiladas one day.

*browned ground beef seasoned with paprika, cumin, garlic, onion, sea salt and ground cayenne pepper and/or ground chipotle pepper, add a touch of sugar if desired.

Quickbread:

3 c. flour (I use Naturally Preferred Organic Unbleached)
1 tbsp. baking powder (homemade)
1 tsp. salt
1 c. sour cream (Daisy full fat)
~1-2 c. water (enough to make a good batter)

Mix all ingredients until a thick batter is formed. It should be much thicker than pancake batter, but not quite dry enough to be dough.

 I use that basic bread recipe for pizza crust, too. I can't buy red star yeast packets here so we never have yeast bread. I would like to perfect sourdough bread from scratch one day, but don't have time for it now.

That basic bread recipe is biscuits if you cut in half a stick of butter before you add the sour cream/water and mix it into a dough instead of a batter (be careful not to overwork it - that makes biscuits tough). I pour the dough into a buttered pan and score it into biscuit size pieces instead of rolling out and cutting biscuits. They taste exactly the same and it is much quicker. The same dough is waffles if I cut in virgin coconut oil instead of butter (virgin coconut oil is my shortening substitute) and add eggs and ground vanilla beans. It's pizza dough or bread sticks if I use extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) and all water with no sour cream. You can make the batch as big as you need. I just figure about 1 tsp. baking powder per cup of flour. I never measure anything except the flour. I made two baking sheet size pizzas using a 4 c. flour pizza crust variation. Bake it for 10 minutes before topping it with homemade pizza sauce (tomato paste, basil, garlic powder, salt, sugar, water) and then bake for another 10-15 minutes with toppings. You can mix sausage seasonings into ground beef as easy as ground pork for sausage topping, you can hardly taste the difference.

The bread recipe is a variation of a basic choux pastry. If I rolled out a batter with cold butter cut in. and kept doubling it over itself, it would be a choux pastry. It goes without saying that you can vary the type of flour, add seasonings or herbs (breadsticks are great with diced onion and garlic and herbs of your choice). Just experiment with it and vary the liquid and pan sizes to see how it cooks with each variation. It is a life saver because quickbreads do not require precision like yeast breads do. Have you ever tried a waffle variation as a substitute for sandwich bread? It is pretty easy to do. I am thinking about a cinnamon roll variation using brown sugar and cinnamon......

4 comments:

  1. Do you happen to know if Daisy sour cream is GMO free? Enjoy reading your blog!

    Michelle
    www.blackhillslocavore.blogspot.com

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  2. I suspect that Daisy sour cream is not completely GMO-free in the sense that the cows producing the milk for it are fed GMO corn. That being said, I know there are none added to it - at least in the form of GMO corn or I would be able to tell. So far it is the only dairy product in my local Kroger that does not have some form of GMO added to the finished product. I am in Jackson, MS so there may be organic sour creams in other places that are completely GMO free but none here.

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  3. Is Kerrygold cheddar cheese safe for a corn allergy person?

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  4. Anonymous, Kerrygold (all varieties) and Organic Valley cheeses are the only truly corn-free cheeses that are available in my area. Between the two brands we are able to find safe cheddar, swiss, monterey jack, mozzarella, and pepper jack cheese. We are very thankful they are available, but wish they were a little less expensive.

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