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Cooking with Coan: Give us this day our daily bread

FRANKLIN LIVING— Whether for a hearty breakfast, a mouthwatering snack or dessert or a sweet treat to give as a gift, Cindy Coan and her culinary students have a bread for any occasion.

These tried-and-true recipes begin in Coan’s home kitchen before she introduced them to her food students at Russellville High School. With each recipe requiring only a few steps, and two of them incorporating pre-made dough, she said these are great starter recipes for even the most novice of bakers – and yet produce tasty treats that will wow any recipient’s taste buds.

“For my students it gives them an opportunity to see how you can take one product and turn it into something else, as well as make quick breads from scratch,” Coan explained. “And these breads make great gifts; it’s something a little more personal.”

These bread recipes include both sweet and savory options to sate any craving and fit the menu for any time of day. Coan said the orange bread is tops warm from the oven for breakfast, while the banana nut bread is suitable for breakfast or a nice snack. “It says so moist, and we can make it ahead of time and put it in the freezer,” Coan said. The banana nut loaf is one of her favorites to keep on hand to serve at a last-minute meeting.

The bacon pull-apart bread, on the other hand, is great as an appetizer or party food. “It’s really savory. It’s less breakfast than you would think,” said Coan, who recommended the biscuit-based dish for a tailgate. The sausage and cheese bread is another savory option, similar to the popular sausage ball but with richer flavors. “It’s really good as a breakfast bread or muffin.”

Pumpkin bread, with a rich cream cheese frosting is “one of my go-to favorites,” Coan added. “It makes two good loaves of bread plus some muffins.”

For each recipe, Coan said a few keys will help ensure a delicious final product:

  1. Mix liquids first, and then mix dry ingredients, and then add the two together.
  2. Don’t overmix. “It causes quick breads to not rise up high, so it’s very important that you never overmix quick breads.
  3. Use good quality pans. For loaf pans, consider investing in parchment paper, since cooking spray doesn’t always work well. For Bundt pans, be sure to turn the bread out when it is fresh from the oven to help avoid sticking.

Coan emphasized quick breads, while delicious, are also an excellent way to add nutrition, with ingredients like bananas, nuts, green peppers and pumpkin bringing a range of nutrients to the table. Each of these recipes can also be used to make muffins and will freeze well.

PULL APART BACON BREAD

1 lb. bacon

1 T. reserved bacon drippings

3/4 cup onion, finely chopped

3/4 cup green pepper, finely chopped

1/2 cup melted butter

3 (7.5 oz.) cans buttermilk biscuits

1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese

  1. Cook bacon until crisp, reserving one tablespoon of drippings. Crumble bacon and set aside.
  2. Heat bacon drippings over medium heat. Add green pepper and onion and sauté until tender.
  3. Cut biscuits into fourths and place in a large mixing bowl. Add vegetables, crumbled bacon, butter and cheese and toss thoroughly.
  4. Place in a Bundt pan or a 10-inch tube pan coated well with cooking spray.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Immediately invert onto serving plate.

ORANGE BREAD

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1 T. grated orange rind

2 (12 oz.) cans refrigerated flaky buttermilk biscuits

1 (3 oz.) package cream cheese, cut into 20 squares

1/2 cup margarine, melted

1/2 cup sifted powdered sugar

2 T. orange juice

  1. Mix first three ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.
  2. Separate biscuits; gently separate the layers of individual biscuits in half.
  3. Place a cream cheese square between two halves, pinching sides to seal.
  4. Dip in butter and dredge in reserved sugar mixture.
  5. Stand biscuits on edge in a lightly greased 12-cup Bundt pan, spacing evenly.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes until golden brown. Immediately invert on to a serving plate.
  7. Combine powdered sugar and orange juice; drizzle over warm bread. Serve immediately.

PUMPKIN BREAD

4 eggs

3 cups sugar

2 cups pumpkin pie filling

1 cup salad oil

3 1/2 cups plain flour

1/2 tsp. baking powder

2 tsp. baking soda

1 1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. nutmeg

1 cup water

  1. Beat eggs; add remaining ingredients.
  2. Bake in greased loaf pans at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 10 minutes.
  3. This recipe makes three or four loaves of bread.
  4. If desired, make into muffins and top with cream cheese frosting.

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

1 lb. cream cheese, softened
2 sticks butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla extract
4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
Chopped pecans, for garnish

  1. In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla together until smooth.
  2. Add the sugar and on low speed, beat until incorporated.
  3. Increase the speed to high and mix until very light and fluffy.
  4. Garnish with chopped pecans if desired.

CREAM CHEESE BANANA NUT BREAD

3/4 cup butter, softened

1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened

2 cups sugar

2 large eggs

3 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1 1/2 cups mashed bananas (1.5 pounds unpeeled bananas, about four medium)

1 cup chopped pecans

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

  1. Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy.
  2. Gradually add sugar, beating until light and fluffy.
  3. Add eggs, one at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.
  4. Combine flour and next three ingredients; gradually add to butter mixture, beating at low speed just until blended.
  5. Stir in bananas, pecans and vanilla.
  6. Spoon batter into two greased and floured 8×4-inch loaf pans lined with parchment paper.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour or until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, shielding with aluminum foil during the last 15 minutes to prevent over browning, if necessary.
  8. Cool bread in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Remove from pans and cool 30 minutes on wire racks before slicing.

SAUSAGE AND CHEESE BREAD

1 lb. pork sausage
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 egg
1/2 tsp. Texas Pete hot sauce
1 1/2 tsp. salt
Dash of red pepper flakes
2 cups baking mix (Bisquick)
2/3 cup milk
1/4 cup mayonnaise

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Coat a 9×5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray or use parchment paper.
  3. Crumble sausage into a large skillet and cook along with onion until brown. Drain on paper towels and cool.
  4. In a large bowl, combine egg, cheeses, hot sauce, salt and pepper. Mix well.
  5. Add baking mix, milk and mayonnaise. Stir.
  6. To the mixture, add sausage and onions. Mix until just blended.
  7. Pour into loaf pan and bake for 45-50 minutes.
  8. Let rest in pan for 10 minutes. Turn out to plate to serve.

Russellville High School students who helped prepare food for the March/April edition of Taste of Franklin include:

Yaneli Garcia-Bahena

David Baltazar

Tristen Bickerstaff

Matthew Darracott

Jennifer Diaz Ramos

Jasmine Figueroa

Keslee Fisher

Molly Fuentes

Devan Guzman

Amanda Herring

Gracie Hill

Silvia Jimenez-Salgado

Niasia Nobles

Silvia Pascual-Francisco

Eduardo Perez-Luna

Anahi Serna

Ashton Shipley

Sydney Smith

Ismael Zavala-Marquez

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