Sarah Pinneo’s Julia’s Child & Muffet Bread Visit my Vermont Kitchen

February 29th, 2012 / Comments 1

I’ve invited Sarah Pinneo to share her thoughts and a recipe. Sarah is a friend, food writer, cook book author, and a novelist. This month, she celebrates the publication of her book Julia’s Child (Plume / Penguin U.S.A. 2012).

Her cookbook The Ski House Cookbook is on my bookshelf and I use it whether or not there is snow on the ground. Her new book, Julia’s Child,  is a delectable comedy for every woman who’s ever wondered if buying that six-dollar box of organic crackers makes her a hero or a sucker.

Here’s Sarah…..

Julias Child SMALL Sarah Pinneos Julias Child & Muffet Bread Visit my Vermont Kitchen I wrote Julia’s Child because I was fascinated by the new culture of “mompreneurs,” these fabulous women who, when they can’t find something they need for their children, start a company to manufacture it. In the book, mom Julia Bailey struggles to decide whether she has the grit and patience—or the financing—to see it through.

When I visit with book clubs who have read Julia’s Child together, I enjoy relating some of the stories that real-life foodie entrepreneurs told me. I spoke to over a dozen moms (and dads!) who started food companies in their basements, while pregnant, and without adequate funding. Some of these companies are still small, and some of them have gone national. Their misadventures fueled the drama—and the comedy—in my novel. It was a fun story to research and to write.

When I finished the text, I realized that it would be great fun to include some of Julia’s recipes. Since I’m a food writer and a recipe developer, I assumed that would be, as they say, a piece of cake.

The trouble was that Julia’s (fictional!) successes were for tasty baked goods called “muffets.” In the book, Julia is very proud of the fact that muffets contain very little added sugar. But when it came time to write the recipes for the book, it was harder than I thought to create low sugar recipes that I actually wanted to eat.

Sugar, which is a big ingredient in most quick breads, acts as a moistening agent as well as a sweetener. When you leave it out, you risk a bland, dry result. After quite a few flops, I finally succeeded with Squash Carrot Raisin Bread. So to pull off this recipe, I compromised by adding a half cup of honey. That’s about a third as much added sweetener as most quick breads have, but it still tastes delicious. The raisins also contribute to the natural sweetness. The result is a naturally sweet, moist cake-like snack bread. Enjoy!

NOTE: a gremlin got into my computer and changed all of the measurements in the earlier version of this recipe. The recipe below is the corrected one. Sorry for any kitchen disasters.

Squash, Carrot Raisin Muffet Bread
Recipe type: Quick Bread
Author: Sarah Pinneo
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 35 mins
Total time: 45 mins
Serves: 9 pieces
  • 7/8 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • Pinch ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 stick butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup raisins, chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup yellow summer squash or zucchini, finely grated
  • 1/4 cup carrot, finely grated
  • 1/3 cup sunflower seeds
  1. Grease and flour a 9 × 9 square baking pan. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. Combine the flours, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, salt, and baking soda in a bowl.
  3. Cream butter and honey together until well combined.
  4. Add the oil and raisins, and stir until the raisins are well distributed.
  5. Add the eggs and vanilla, and mix until combined.
  6. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry, and then stir in the squash, carrots, and sunflower seeds.
  7. Bake for 35–40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Muffet bread will be a beautiful golden color on top.

Cool for ten minutes in the pan, and then turn out the loaf onto a rack and cool completely, or cut squares from the pan.

Sarah lives in Hanover, New Hampshire. Contact her for book club events at sarah [at] sarahpinneo [dot] com.

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