I'm sure you have heard that dandelion leaves are edible. Maybe you've heard the words "dandelion wine" thrown around somewhere. You might have even seen today's recipe, as it has been mentioned several times on this wonderful blog. But maybe, like me, you weren't aware that every part of the plant is edible, and that our little commonplace roadside weed in fact packs a burst of vitamins and medicinal properties. Besides that, when we're talking about foraging around our neighborhoods for free pick-your-own snackies, no plant is easier to find and identify as safe. Even the false dandelions are completely edible. Just be sure to choose spots that are free of herbicides and far enough away from roads to not be absorbing oil runoff. More complete instructions on picking dandies can be found here.
This recipe is another off my to-do list, and I'm glad I got to it in time. Those ubiquitous yellow puffs have been staring at me every time I drive around for weeks now, but I just haven't had the chance to get up early enough for the flowers to still be closed. Apparently you have to sneak up on the little guys. Luckily I was able to recruit my skeptical but happy-to-help sister to get her hands all yellow with me at the crack of dawn today, and I finally got this recipe tested.
The bread is less sweet than I would have imagined. It is moist and chewy, with an almost buttery taste from the petals, and it has a really nice flavor overall. Just perfect with a cup of soup on the side. The sunshine-y color of it doesn't hurt it's appeal either! We will definitely be baking this again, especially as my toddler gets bigger and finds as much silly joy as I do in baking with common flowers.
2 cups unbleached flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup dandelion petals, any greenery discarded
1/4 cup canola oil
4 tbsp honey
scant 1 1/2 cups milk
Combine dry ingredients in large bowl, including petals, and mix. Make sure to separate clumps of petals. In separate bowl mix together wet ingredients. Add liquid ingredients to dry and stir. Batter should be fairly wet and lumpy. Pour into buttered loaf pan. Bake at 400°F. Bread will take 25-40 or more minutes. At 25 minutes, check doneness of bread with a toothpick. If still too moist inside, lower oven temperature and continue to bake, checking every five minutes. It should be a nice golden brown on the outside when done.
This sunny bread would go beautifully with a sunny soup, like say, this one.