by Kate Heyhoe
"Today's Southwest style of baking takes lots of poetic license with local ingredients," says bread expert Beth Hensperger, "but the techniques remain essentially pure. It is simple and rustic, yet sophisticated at the same time."
Besides the region's traditional breads, Breads of the Southwest: Recipes in the Native American, Spanish, and Mexican Traditions (Chronicle Books), by Beth Hensperger offers this particularly unique and refreshing selection: Mango Bread. Look for the book in stores now and try her recipes for Oatmeal Pumpkin Bread, Indian Fry Bread, Feast Day Anise Egg Bread, Multi-Grain Tortillas and more.
Mangoes from Mexico hit the market during the summer months and this bread is an unusual way to use them. They should be ripe but not too tender so that the flesh holds its shape during baking. Since the pit is stubbornly clingstone, cut the fruit into three sections, leaving the pit in one section and slip a paring knife under the skin to peel it off. This loaf can be dressed up with fresh Lime Glaze for special occasions.
Makes two 7- by 3-inch loaves
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup dried cherries or raisins,
plumped in hot water for 10 minutes and drained
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2-1/2 cups chopped firm-ripe mangoes (about 3-1/2 pounds)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon or lime juice
1) Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease two 7-by-3 inch loaf pans (I use disposable aluminum).
2) In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Add the dried cherries and stir until evenly distributed. In another bowl, with a whisk or an electric mixer, beat together the sugar, eggs, and oil until fluffy and light colored, about 3 minutes. Add the vanilla. Add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture and beat just until smooth. Do not overmix. With a large spatula, fold in the mangoes and lemon juice. Scrape the batter into the pans.
3) Bake in the center of the oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the top is firm, the loaf pulls away from the sides of the pans, and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from the pans to a wire rack to cool conmpletely. When cooled, wrap in plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature until serving.
Fresh Lime Glaze
Drizzle over plain or nut-filled breads or rolls.
1 cup sifted powdered sugar
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
Grated zest of 1 lime
2 or 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
In a small bowl, combine the ingredients and whisk until smooth. Adjust the consistency by adding a few more drops at a time.
Breads of the Southwest
Recipes in the Native American, Spanish, and Mexican Traditions
by Beth Hensperger
Chronicle Books, $22.95
March 3, 1997
Reprinted by permission
Visit the Global Gourmet's Mexico section.
This page originally published as a Global Gourmet Today column in 1998.
Copyright © 2007, Kate Heyhoe. All rights reserved.
This page modified January 2007
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