Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Alive and well...

It's official: I am a college girl. Better yet, I'm a soulful college girl. Culinary memoirs are hard to come by during your first week of college. However, as I'm sure you are so curious, here's the low-down on my current "adventures" in food.

Depending on whether it's a Monday/Wednesday (MW) or Tuesday/Thursday (TR), I wake up at either 8 or 8:30, as my Calculus 2 class starts at 9 and 9:30 on MW and TR, respectively. Having woken up at 6 for the past four years, this is absolutely awesome. I find that a solid hour is enough to get ready for class, get dressed, check Facebook and email, etc. I'm looking forward to Friday, though, when my first (and only) class isn't until noon.

As for food, I have so far been grabbing an apple and crackers or a granola bar. I'll eat the granola bar on the way to class (or during it) and save the apple for after. I'm usually a pretty light breakfast eater anyway, but I must have some sort of fuel to get me through Calc. As far as caffeinated beverages go, I successfully set up the coffee maker today and brewed my first pot. Those who know my coffee-drinking habits can testify that I actually prefer coffee that's been sitting around for a while (up to a day, really), so it had that fresh-brewed taste that's not exactly my fave. But you have to start with something, right?

After my Calculus class is over (either 10 or 11), I enjoy my apple. Today I went back to my dorm and ate it there, but yesterday I enjoyed it on the way to and back from the bookstore to buy textbooks.

Lunch so far has been at around the 12 and 1 o'clock hours, which is very early for me, as I've been a lady who lunches around 4 for the past few months. I'm sure everyone is dying to know how the dining hall food is. My answer: I haven't really been straying too far from the salad and sandwich stations.

Georgia Tech actually has very healthy options in its dining halls and food courts. There's ample fruits and vegetables and the salad bar is always set up. They also have two soups daily that I've been meaning to try but haven't (It's just so hot here!). Mostly I've been making a tomato sandwich and a salad, supplemented with a piece of fruit. The fruits can be either hit or miss. Today, there were lots of peaches and nectarines (not exactly ripe, but I didn't mind), some kiwis, plums, pluots, and starfruit. I think I might have been the only person in the whole dining hall who knew that they had starfruits there. ("What a strange-looking garnish," they must have thought.) The pluot I had yesterday was excellent, but, again, I bet I was the only person who knew what the hybrid fruit was.

Of course, there are other options available at the dining hall, too. One of the stations rotates between a nacho and burrito bar, where you can pick and choose your toppings or fillings. There is a Southern-type cuisine station, which has actually featured a wide array of dishes. There have been sweet potato fries, fried okra, steamed broccoli, buffalo chicken legs, and pasta bakes, but I've yet to sample any of the offerings.

Another station is a pasta bar, where you can also select the sauce and add-ins that you want in your pasta, and the cook prepares it right in front of you. My friends have tried it and really liked it, so I think I may go that route eventually.

Finally, the "encore" bar has some special dish. Today it was meatball subs, but there have been hot dogs and hamburgers before, too. I've steered clear of it so far. The cereals are also always open. They have dozens of different kinds, so the possibilities are truly endless. I haven't yet been in the mood for cereal at lunch or dinner, but many have said that it's necessary to switch things up or else you get bored with the food. Somehow I don't think this should be a problem since I've been known to eat oatmeal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner in the past.

And there are tons (tons!) of drink options, everything from sodas and sweet tea (which I heard was awful, but I don't care for it anyway) to milk, coffee, and slushees. There are also fruit smoothies every day and those are really popular.

The desserts are always enticing, but I've only satisfied my sweet tooth once, when they had the most gorgeous little cupcakes the first day the dining hall was open. The red velvet was delicious, although I would have preferred cream cheese frosting over the buttercream. (I was at a loss to describe the flavor of red velvet cupcakes to one of my friends sitting at the table: "It tastes... I don't know... red?" How does one accurately describe the flavor of red velvet? Saying it tastes like a vanilla cupcake is a little off-base, but it certainly does not have cocoa notes (ahem, mom).) The desserts rotate on a daily basis as well, from cakes and pies to cookies and other pastry goodies.

But I think one of the most popular features of the dining hall is the soft-serve station. Everyone loves a good sugar cone, and there is even a freezer case full of ice cream novelty treats like cookie cones and ice cream sandwiches.

Like I said, though, I've mostly been keeping to my salad/sandwich/fruit combo. The sandwich offerings are really diverse. They have many types of bread, a few cold cut options, lettuce, tomato, pasta/chicken/tuna salad, and some sort of vegetable salad (today it was a marinated cucumber and red onion salad that was really tasty and not "whoa, onion!" at all). The salad bar is also stocked with various toppings (shredded carrots, garbanzo beans, cucumbers, even diced tofu), but I stick to cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and broccoli for the most part. I top it with some salsa for a bit of heat.

The other day I was happy to discover that there is an entirely different sandwich station that is more breakfast-focused. There are bagels and cinnamon swirl bread, plus cream cheese, peanut butter and jelly, honey, butter, and what I assume is margarine. Of course, there are no labels, so it's nearly impossible to distinguish the butter from the margarine, but I saw one guy take a taste today, which is definitely more efficient than just guessing.

One thing I definitely cannot leave out about the dining hall is likely its most appealing characteristic: the all-you-can-eat feature. Both guys and girls seem to be utilizing it equally, but then again the girls usually take smaller beginning plates while the guys will start with two hamburgers and french fries and later go back for seconds, a bowl of cereal, and a slushee.

I've only had dinner at the dining hall once, but I think the offerings are pretty much the same. I'm looking forward to heading to the Student Center for dinner tonight, where they have retail options like Einstein's Bagels, among others (Taco Bell, Chick-fil-A, and cafes featuring cuisines as far-ranging as Mexican, Indian, and American Southern).

My dinner so far has been very diverse. Last night I met up with Katie's friends and had dinner with them (a very tasty meal of grilled chicken, salad with plums and balsamic vinaigrette, and garlic bread). Other nights I had dinner at fraternity houses or not at all. One dinner consisted of the very diverse spread of lime jello, lemonade, apple, peanut butter crackers, and almonds. Ah, the life of a college student.

Hopefully as I get more settled into life here at Tech I will be able to actually cook more, but the beauty of this blog is that the memoirs are anything food-related. My dorm has a respectably-equipped kitchen, and the PLs (peer leaders, or the GT version of an RA) on my floor have encouraged us to bake or cook if we please. All that late-night studying can really get you hungry.

The one thing I haven't eaten yet? Ramen or boxed macaroni and cheese. But I'm not making any promises, because I have an unexplainable weakness for Velveeta shells....

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Strawberry Basil Frozen Yogurt with Lemon Nut Biscotti

Okay, I admit it. I spend way too much time online. Like, I should be packing (for college, you know) or doing laundry or researching the books I need for class or doing any number of more productive things than refreshing Facebook and ogling Photograzing and Tastespotting.

Haven't heard of these websites (hopefully you've heard of Facebook, if not then, well...)? Photograzing and Tastespotting are the best thing that ever happened to the Internet.

Since that's not a very great description of the service that these sites offer, let me paint you a little picture. Imagine all the best photographers in one place. Now imagine these photographers are also bloggers. Then imagine that they are food bloggers, not to mention really great cooks. And these really great photographers who are also really great cooks take lots of photos of the delicious things they make and then post the pictures for you to see, with links to their blogs where you can gawk at more yummy meals they've made. Essentially, this is Photograzing and Tastespotting. While Tastespotting is larger than Photograzing (an entity of Serious Eats), they both showcase fabulous food that is appealing to the eyes and, more importantly, the taste buds.

And that is where I found both of these recipes. For my sister's final meal before moving clear across the country, I had to come up with something seriously delicious for dessert. Enter Strawberry Basil Frozen Yogurt and Lemon Biscotti.

Both of these recipes were wonderful. The frozen yogurt has a strong (but not overwhelming) basil flavor that is complemented perfectly by the sweet berries. And the yogurt adds a nice tang to balance out the flavors. My favorite part about the recipe was the ease of its preparation. I'm a huge fan of Philadelphia-style ice creams and frozen yogurts that don't require that fussiness of a French-style custard ice cream.

As for the biscotti, this may be my new favorite biscotti recipe. It was the first biscotti dough I'd ever tried that did not include butter but only eggs. Traditional Italian recipes actually don't include butter at all, and I may begin to do the same. These biscotti are minimalist, save for some lemon zest and chopped nuts, but they have a wonderful sweetness to them with hints of vanilla, citrus, and almond. Alongside the tart yogurt, these are a perfect match and a fun, dressed-up version of cookies and ice cream.

Strawberry Basil Frozen Yogurt
From Dishing Up Delights

This recipe has balsamic vinegar in it, but to be honest I could not detect any sort of balsamic flavor in the final product. However, I love the taste of balsamic with strawberries and basil. I might try a balsamic syrup to pour over the yogurt the next time I make this by combining 2 parts balsamic vinegar and 1 part sugar in a saucepan til it gets nice and drizzly and syrupy. Yum.

Yield: about 1 quart

1 1/2 cups nonfat Greek yogurt
6 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
8 ounces strawberries, washed and roughly chopped
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves

In a large bowl, mix the Greek yogurt, sugar, vanilla, and balsamic vinegar until well combined.

In a food processor, pulse the strawberries until pureed. Add the basil and pulse until the basil is chopped but not entirely pureed. You should still see bits of green in the mixture. Add the strawberries to the yogurt mixture and refrigerate for at least an hour until chilled.

Transfer the mixture to the ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions. Transfer to a container and freeze for another 2 to 4 hours. Before serving, remove the frozen yogurt from the freezer and let it sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes or until it is scoopable.

Lemon Nut Biscotti
Adapted from The Ivory Hut

The original recipe used orange instead of lemon, but I thought the lemon flavor would work better with the strawberries and basil than the orange. Nevertheless, this is an extremely adaptable biscotti recipe. You could easily switch up the zest flavor and nut combination. Dried fruits like cranberries or cherries could also be added; other mix-ins like chocolate chips or crystallized ginger would also be delicious. Be creative! On a more technical note, this dough is very sticky. It will inevitably stick to your hands. I baked these on a Silpat baking mat and I suggest you do the same (or invest in some because they are awesome). The original recipe also called for a "scant" cup of sugar. While I really dislike measurements like that ("heaping" is another pet peeve), I ended up using probably what amounted to 1 cup minus 2 tablespoons, or 7/8 of a cup.

Yield: about 24 to 30 cookies, depending on how thickly you slice them.
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Zest of 1 lemon (about 3 to 4 teaspoons)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 scant cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup combined almonds and pecans, toasted and chopped

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Line a half-sheet pan with a silicone baking mat (or with greased parchment paper).

In a small bowl, mix the eggs, vanilla, and lemon zest. In a larger bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Stir the wet mixture into the dry, using a spoon first and then using your hands. The dough will be very sticky and tacky. Stir in the nuts.
Transfer half of the dough to the baking sheet and shape into a log approximately 12 inches by 4 inches. Repeat with the other half of the dough, spacing the two logs about 4 inches apart (the logs will spread as they bake so make sure they have room to do so).

Bake for about 50 minutes, until golden brown. Transfer the logs (still on the silicone mat or parchment paper) to a cooling rack and cool for about 5 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 275 degrees.

Transfer the logs back to the baking sheet. Use a serrated knife to slice the logs into about 1-inch thick slices. Turn the slices onto their side (cut-side down) and bake for another 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and (carefully) flip over the biscotti onto their other side. Bake for another 12 to 15 minutes. The biscotti will be crisp and golden brown when they are done.

Let the biscotti cool to room temperature. Store in an airtight container.

Friday, August 13, 2010

The Perfect Cheesecake, Part I

There are people in life who are in search of happiness, truth, knowledge, inner peace, the ideal pair of shoes. You know, all perfectly worthy things to be looking for. I, however, am in search of the perfect cheesecake.
You may be thinking that this cheesecake looks slightly deformed. My mom took a sliver from the center before I had the chance to take these pictures.

I would like to call myself somewhat of a cheesecake aficionado. Again, some people rationally discuss the particular merits of wine and cheese ("buttery," "ashy," "oaky," "Asian pear-y"). I, however, am devoting an entire blog post to the specific merits of my ultimate cheesecake.

Of course, I must admit that I have not found my ultimate homemade cheesecake (stay tuned for the latest details on that front). Nevertheless, my search for the perfect commercial cheesecake has come to a successful, delicious, creamy close. Hailing from Carnegie Deli in New York City, this thing is a real looker.

How crazy delicious does this look? Admit it: you want a slice now.

But to really understand how this slice stands up to years of cheesecake scrutiny and wins my award for the best I've ever eaten, it's necessary to dissect its components. This cheesecake is a prime example of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts.

First up, the crust. Even though this slice is definitely in the New York-style (that is, dense and creamy with a bronzed top), it forgoes the typical pastry crust and uses a cookie dough base. For me, the crust must extend at least halfway up the side of the cake (none of that bottom-only nonsense, or, worse, crustless variations) and actually complement the cheesecake. I love the cookie dough crust here, but my actual favorite is a gingersnap base. The subtle spiciness of gingersnaps balances the creaminess of the filling without overwhelming it. Traditional graham crackers aren't far behind, while chocolate cookie crusts are just alright (likely because of my biased distaste for Oreos). And let's not even go there with pastry crusts, because you know how I feel about pie dough.
This scrumptious cookie dough crust extends all the way up the cheesecake. As a more neutral crust, it is the perfect complement to the decadence of this dense filling.

Second, the filling. As the main affair in the cheesecake, it must be no less than ethereally smooth (ricotta cheesecakes are another story for another day). Texturally, I tend to favor denser cheesecakes, but I also appreciate lighter cakes. I think it all depends on the flavor. For a plain cheesecake like this lovely specimen, a denser texture is more palatable, not to mention appropriate because of its New York roots. However, a pumpkin or chocolate cheesecake simply cannot boast the same density as plain cheesecakes. Can you imagine such a confection? It would be like tasting a whole slice's worth of pure pumpkin flesh or working your way through three inches of ganache. Better in small doses, I say.

I am also a firm believer in a variation of textures. That is, I like a natural but subtle transition from creamy bliss at the cake's center to a more cake-like, drier texture at the perimeter. This gradation not only adds interest to the slice but it also cuts through the thick cream cheesiness that dominates the cake's center.
This aerial view shows the nutty brown crown of this cheesecake wonderfully. Beneath the lovely golden top is an intensely dense filling. Even when sliced, this cake shows almost no aeration. That is because it is pure awesome.

Finally, flavor. I love the toasty, light-brown top that many cheesecakes exhibit as a result of their baking. An initial blast of high heat (again, a New York tradition) followed by low and slow oven heat makes for a nutty brown surface that I've come to regard as a fine attribute in a cheesecake. I'm actually quite open to cheesecake flavors, though, whether they be seasonal (pumpkin cheesecake with a spiced gingersnap crust is a Thanksgiving favorite, as is a cranberry swirl cheesecake), indulgent (chocolate Kahlua, anybody?), or bare-bones minimalist (this cake, obviously). One of my favorite things about cheesecake is the blank canvas that it provides. Anything is possible with a cheesecake, and I'm pretty much open to anything.

That said, there are a few major downfalls of cheesecake. A few that immediately come to mind are gloppy "strawberry" pie filling used as a topping, unincorporated cream cheese that suspends in the filling (room temperature ingredients, people!), and insufficient crusts (only four graham crackers? Why even bother? Also, crusts must be baked prior to adding the filling.).

Now, you may also be thinking, What about humongous cracks that look as if an earthquake has wreaked havoc on your dessert? Well, I have mixed feelings about this. The folks at America's Test Kitchen swear that cracked cheesecakes are a sure sign of overbaking, and I do believe them. They also say that you can forgo a bain marie (water bath) so long as you check the temperature of your cheesecake with an instant-read thermometer and promptly whisk it out of the oven once it reaches 160 degrees. This scientific approach makes perfect sense, so I tried their water bath-less method, and the cheesecake still cracked. It had nothing to do with my falling asleep on the couch as the cake sat in the oven (oops), because the cake cracked within the first 30 minutes of its baking. So now I only bake cheesecakes in water baths. Always, even if the recipe doesn't say so. It's too easy not to, and my cheesecakes come out so much prettier. Still, I think a cracked cheesecake is still a cheesecake, which is to say that it's still awesome.
Notice the thickness of this crust. It is pretty much uniform throughout, about a quarter-inch. Also observe the cheesecake's stature, about three inches. A short cheesecake is a sad cheesecake, and a too-tall cheesecake never gets eaten in one sitting.

Of course, I realize that I sound like an ultimate cheesecake snob. I hope some of you are still reading this lengthy digression. Anyone? Okay, well, as I said before, this ultimate cheesecake is truly greater than the sum of its parts. Yes, the filling is incredibly lush and the crust is sweet and wonderfully chewy (like cookie dough...) and the top is just brown enough, but this cheesecake fills me with so much joy. I get so happy thinking about this cheesecake, talking about this cheesecake, ordering this cheesecake, looking at this cheesecake, and taking 11 pictures of this cheesecake that eating it is somewhat of an afterthought. Sure, it's my favorite thing on this wonderful Earth and I don't think I'll ever make one as tasty as this, but I believe the thought of this cheesecake is enough to satisfy my appetite for it....

...You didn't really believe that, did you? I ate it last night, every last bit.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Summer Salad with Stone Fruits and Tomato Vinaigrette

One of my favorite things about summer (besides being able to wake up at 10 every morning) is stone fruits. And while this isn't a post about the wonderful sweet things I've done with the 49 cents-a-pound peaches we got this weekend (five whole pounds of them... and I thought we had a problem with zucchini), it is a post about my favorite way to enjoy them. (Actually, my favorite way to enjoy them is sliced plain, but that would make for a rather uneventful post.)

My mom and I both love salad and fruit. The combination of green leaves and sweet/tart fruit is a winning one. In the fall I like to add apples or sauteed pears, in the winter oranges are a great addition, and spring means strawberries. But come summer, the options are so much greater (and so much tastier). This particular rendition utilizes chopped peaches, plums, and nectarines. The peaches add sweetness, the plums contribute a slight tartness, and the nectarines manage to balance between the two extremes. Of course, I also love the variety that each brings to the salad.

But no salad would be complete or memorable without a truly delicious dressing. While I am the first to admit that I'm not too crazy about salad dressing (I'd just as soon eat a salad plain or with a drizzle of vinegar than make a dressing), this is my absolute favorite. My mom just sort of made it up one day, and I immediately began singing its (and her) praises. It is refreshingly tart, blending white wine vinegar with the natural acidity of tomatoes, and has a variation in texture because of the actual tomatoes and bounty of herbs it contains. But I think my favorite thing about this vinaigrette is the rosy hue that the tomato lends to it.

Truthfully, I could make a full meal out of a salad like this, and I often do, but it's perfect as a side to a lighter dinner or lunch, not to mention a fantastic antidote to the grueling summer heat.

Summer Salad with Stone Fruits and Tomato Vinaigrette

This vinaigrette recipe makes about a cup and a half of dressing. I prefer salad lightly dressed, so there is always leftover vinaigrette. It keeps very well in the refrigerator, covered, for about a week.

Yield: 4 servings

2 heads of Romaine lettuce, washed, dried, and torn into bite-size pieces
1 plum, roughly chopped
1 nectarine, roughly chopped
1 peach, roughly chopped
1 beefsteak tomato (or about 2 Roma tomatoes)
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
6 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons mayonnaise
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/4 cup mixed leafy herbs (such as basil, parsley, marjoram, chives, and mint), minced
Pinch of garlic powder (or 1 clove of minced garlic)
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste

Combine lettuce and stone fruits in a large bowl. Halve the tomato. Roughly chop one half and add to the bowl with the lettuce. Finely chop the other tomato and transfer to a jar (or other container), with juice. To jar, add olive oil, vinegar, mayonnaise, mustard, herbs, garlic powder, and salt and pepper. Seal jar and shake to incorporate the ingredients. Just before serving, pour dressing over lettuce and toss to combine.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Healthy Zucchini Bread

I’ve long nagged my mom about planting different vegetables and fruits in our backyard to harvest. Imagine the wealth of tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, and squash that we could get! And a fig tree? Don’t even get me started.

When my mom told me that we could harvest some vegetables from her friend’s own garden, I was elated. Although there were no fig trees to be found, we ended up with a wonderful variety of homegrown summer produce. A few peppers, some cucumbers, and a couple of cute cherry tomatoes, not to mention an assortment of delicious herbs. Oh, and a zucchini.

It was a pretty sizable bounty. And when I say sizable, I mean it. Our lone zucchini tipped the scales at over three and a half pounds. Yes, you read that correctly: three and a half pounds. About 60 ounces of pure vegetation. The problem with a three and a half-pound zucchini? Only about two and a half of those pounds are usable. Unlike average sized zucchini, this humongous squash had the most developed seed structure I’ve ever seen in a summer squash. It was more like a winter squash, and anyone who has ever prepped a butternut or acorn squash (or even scooped out a pumpkin for Halloween) knows that there’s a whole mess of seed webbing to work through and that the outer flesh is the only usable part.
But when life gives you a three and a half-pound zucchini, what does one do? Ah, one makes zucchini bread. My mom pulled out an “heirloom” recipe for zucchini bread. I call it heirloom because of its odd combination of ingredients. (“Baking powder and baking soda? Sure, why not, even though there’s nothing for the baking soda to react with, it just sounds right. While we’re at it, let’s list all the ingredients and an oven temperature and just leave it at that. No further directions are required. After all, we’re only dealing with kitchen alchemy and the like.”) So I had a few reservations about how this would turn out, especially when my mom began substituting and adjusting ingredients left and right. But you know what? It came out really well. Aside from the loaves’ squatness (I’ve elected to call them tea cakes, instead), our own little kitchen experiment has a happy—and delicious—ending. Although it’s hard for me to detect any zucchini flavor (it’s a rather mild-tasting vegetable to begin with), a dose of cinnamon lends it a taste that reminds me of banana bread (it provides a wonderful scent, too). Chopped pecans add a great contrast of texture. Speaking of texture, I think the texture of the bread improves with age. The crumb gets denser and more toothsome.

This bread is also just about the healthiest quick bread recipe you may ever find. My mom swapped in applesauce for all the oil and cut back on the sugar by a third. (Apparently we have similar opinions about using vegetable oil and shortening.) Final verdict: an excellent use for our mammoth zucchini and perfect for breakfast in the morning or for a more healthful midnight snack.

Healthy Zucchini Bread
Adapted from an old family recipe

Shred the zucchini on the large holes of a box grater. Admittedly, we totally omitted the vanilla by accident, but the bread was just as tasty anyway. Include it if you like, but know that you can omit it also. I'd reason that the vanilla accents the other ingredients (much like salt - don't leave that out!) and also adds a floral note to the bread. This bread really improves with age and tastes delicious cold, as the crumb becomes especially tooth-sinking and dense. The loaves can be stored, wrapped in plastic and stored in the refrigerator, for up to one week.

Yield: 2 (shortish) loaves

3 large eggs

1 cup unsweetened applesauce

1 cup granulated sugar
2 cups shredded zucchini
1 tablespoon vanilla
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup of chopped pecans

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 9 by 5-inch loaf pans.

Combine eggs, applesauce, sugar, zucchini, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Whisk until combined.
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon until well-combined. Meanwhile, toast the pecans in a dry skillet over medium heat until fragrant and lightly browned. Set aside.
Fold dry ingredients into wet ingredients until just-combined. Don't overmix; there should be no large streaks of white flour remaining, but lumps are fine. Stir in the pecans.
Divide the batter evenly among the loaf pans and bake for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick or wooden skewer inserted into the loaves comes out clean. Cool in the pans on a wire rack until the loaves reach room temperature.