Today I am not baking, but participating in Dewey’s 24 hour readathon. I may pop on here to let folks know where I am in my Day with Jane Austen, but I will definitely be all over Twitter and Facebook with it. Enjoy your Saturday and don’t forget to read!
My sister and I decided to get together for a little tea party and viewing of the series finale of Downton Abbey. (I will miss that show.) I thought this would be a good opportunity to use my mom’s bread machine to make a quick bread, and a spread. (Her machine has both of those settings.)
The Welsh Bara Brith is very similar to what we in America think of as a fruitcake, however, the dried fruit is soaked in Earl Grey Tea instead of liquor. I deviated from the recipe a bit, I will mark deviations with parentheses.
The night before I was going to make the bread, I boiled 1 1/4 cups of water and poured that into a 4 cup glass measuring cup. To the water, I added 2 Earl Grey tea bags and let that steep for 10 minutes. I then removed the tea bags, squeezing them to release all the tea. To the tea, I added 4 oz of chopped dried apricots, 2 oz of dried cranberries and 2 oz of chopped dried figs. I allowed that to come to room temperature, and then put it in the refrigerator overnight. (The recipe called for 8 oz of chopped dried fruit, so I used what I had on hand. The recipe also says to let the fruit soak for 1 to 4 hours.)
In the morning, I added the following to the bread machine pan:
The tea-soaked fruit, with liquid
1 large egg
1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon of unsalted butter, melted (the recipe says that the butter can be melted, or at room temperature)
3 tablespoons of apricot preserves (The recipe calls for your choice of apricot preserves, orange marmalade or ginger marmalade)
1 cup light brown sugar
2 3/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 cup dark raisins (recipe says dark or golden)
1/2 cup candied cherries (Here was a big deviation, the recipe said candied orange peel, I used what I had on hand)
2 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons apple pie spice
3/4 teaspoon salt
The recipe says to used the Quick Bread/Cake cycle on the machine and then, when the timer goes off, use the bake only cycle for another 20 minutes, or until the top is firm to the touch, it shrinks slightly from the sides of the pan, and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. (20 extra minutes was no where near long enough, I kept adding time, in 20 minute increments until the loaf was done. All total, I think I may have added another hour or more.)
Once the loaf was done, I removed it, still in the pan, to a rack to cook for 1o minutes. After that, I removed it, right side up, to the rack to cool completely, then I sliced it and stored the slices in the refrigerator until teatime.
After cleaning the pan, I started my Pumpkin Apple Butter. According to the cookbook, this recipe is adapted for the bread machine from a Libby’s recipe.
Into the bread machine pan, I placed:
15 oz of pumpkin puree
1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and grated
1/2 cup unsweetened, unfiltered apple juice
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
I set the machine for the Jam cycle and let it go. When the cycle completed, I removed the pan and stirred in 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter. I waited until the mixture was cool before transferring it to small containers to freeze. You can also store this in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.
The bread was dense, moist, and totally delicious. Not being a fan of fruitcake, I was a little worried that I would not like this, but the tea made all the difference.
The pumpkin apple butter was great also, but not really needed with the bread. It was better with plain English Muffins or over biscuits. The cookbook recommends serving the bread spread with butter, and I think that may be the best way to appreciate all the great flavors in it. Since I can’t eat a lot of dried fruit, I sent the leftovers with Becky and she took them to work to get more opinions. I also gave her the leftover Apricot Preserves, so she offered that with it as well.
Here is what our taste testers at Steamboat Animal Hospital had to say,
“Favorite so far”
“I love the tea soaked fruit.You can really taste the tea. I tried it w/marmalade and without. . . both ways are delicious. I love the consistency of the bread and the mix of flavors are each distinct, but go together very well. Two thumbs up.”
“So Good! Would have never thought of soaking the fruit in tea for baking – genius! How can I get my hands on a whole loaf?”
“Dank” (I totally had to use the urban dictionary online to define that one. . . an expression frequently used by stoners and hippies for something of high quality.) LOL
All in all, this one is a keeper, and will possibly show up again around the holidays.
Not sure if this would be good enough to serve the Grantham Family upstairs, but I am sure the staff downstairs would approve. (Well, maybe not Mr. Carson.)
I’ve been on a bread-baking hiatus for the past several months, so I am coming back with what sounds like a simple, tasty bread from the “Daily Breads” chapter of Ms. Hensperger’s book. The dairy element in this recipe is evaporated goat’s milk. It is mentioned that evaporated cow’s milk can be substituted, but that this is more “authentically” Greek. The author also warns against substituting regular milk for evaporated because you will miss out on the sweetness. This recipe uses a little bit of whole wheat flour, but I doubt it is enough to cause me difficulties, so I will be keeping this one for myself.
First into the bread machine pan goes 1 cup of evaporated goat’s milk. (This didn’t use the whole can, so anyone out there how a suggestion for using a small amount of EGM, I am all ears.) Next comes 1/3 cup water, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt. Flour for this loaf is 2 1/2 cups of bread flour and 1/4 cup whole wheat flour. (According to the recipe, you can substitute 1/4 cup whole grain spelt flour for the whole wheat flour.) Then I add 1 1/4 tablespoons of sesame seeds, 1 tablespoon of gluten, 2 teaspoons sugar and 2 teaspoons SAF yeast. This loaf uses the “Basic” and “Medium” settings on my machine.
I forgot how great baking makes my house smell; this loaf is rising beautifully and shows no signs of the dreaded “crater loaf.”
My plan for dinner tonight is homemade chicken noodle soup, and I think this bread ought to be great served alongside it.
The machine finished its cycle and I put the bread on a rack to cool while making my soup. It is a really pretty loaf of bread. It has perfect air pockets and the taste reminds me a little of a sourdough, owing to the goat’s milk, I’m sure.
The soup’s pretty good, too. I used a recipe titled “The Ultimate Chicken Noodle Soup” by Gina Nistico from the February/March 2016 issue of Taste of Home Magazine. It makes a huge pot of soup, so my freezer will be full for a good long while.
It is definitely starting to feel like Autumn around here. With that on my mind, I decided to make some stew for dinner and decided to bake myself another loaf of bread to go along with it. This is another bread that will contain Lactaid cottage cheese (which I am loving.) The author says that this bread is great for sandwiches, or even toasted and topped with more cottage cheese, applesauce, jam or olives. It is also noted in the cookbook that this bread keeps fresh for 3 days.
Since the ingredients should be at room temperature before starting, I measured out my cottage cheese and let it sit, covered, on the counter for 20 minutes.
Into the pan go: 3/4 cup water, 3/4 cup cottage cheese, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 3 cups bread flour, 2 tablespoons sugar, 1 tablespoon gluten and 2 teaspoons SAF yeast. I am using the medium crust and basic bread cycle for this loaf of bread.
This one wasn’t really fragrant while baking, but it rose nicely and has a lovely golden brown crust. The crispy, flaky crust surrounds a moist, tender and chewy loaf. There is a slight tang from the cottage cheese. It made a great accompaniment to my stew. I am looking forward to sandwiches with this bread in the next few days.
It has been a while since I made a whole wheat loaf and I will be giving this to a local artist, Karen Brownlee as a thank you. During this year’s Peninsula Clay Artists Show and Sale she lead a ceramics workshop I participated in. Unfortunately, the totem I made in class didn’t turn out and she graciously offered to have me come into her studio and try again.
In looking at the ingredients for this loaf, I noted the combination of buttermilk and maple syrup. I think that sounds delightful, so I hope she and her family enjoy the bread.
I added my ingredients in the following order: 1 1/8 cups water, 2 tablespoons canola oil, 2 tablespoons maple syrup, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour, 1 1/2 cups bread flour, 4 1/2 tablespoons dry buttermilk powder, 1 tablespoon plus one teaspoon gluten and 2 teaspoons SAF yeast. The recipe calls for use of the medium crust cycle and allows the baker to choose between the basic and whole wheat settings, I used whole wheat.
This smelled great as it was baking, the tang of the buttermilk was certainly evident. It rose to a nice height and baked up without a crater, I call that a win. I didn’t think to get a photo of this one though.
It was still warm when I was ready to deliver it, so I did a little research online and learned that the best way to transport bread that is still warm is in an open paper bag. Wrapping a warm loaf in plastic or foil will trap too much moisture.
I hope Karen and her family enjoy it.
I spoke with Karen today. She and her husband enjoyed it; but it was “too healthy” for her kids.
Baking another sourdough loaf before I put my starter back into hibernation. This is another one I can’t eat, so I will be gifting it to either Oceanside Animal Hospital or the staff at Bay Avenue Gallery in Ocean Park.
Last time I went to Trader Joe’s in Olympia, Washington, they had orange flavored dried cranberries, and I immediately thought of this recipe. I really can’t wait to find out how this tastes.
I started putting 1/2 cup active sourdough starter into the bread machine pan. I then added 3/4 cup orange juice, 2 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces, 1 teaspoon salt, 3 1/4 cups bread flour, 3 tablespoons sugar, and 1 3/4 teaspoons SAF yeast. I set the Basic and medium cycles for my machine. After the machine beeped between kneads 1 and 2, I added 1/2 cup dried cranberries, 1/3 cup golden raisins and 1/3 cup chopped pecans. The dough looked a little dry, so I added a few more drops of orange juice.
The author does note in this recipe that you can add the fruit and nuts at the beginning if you don’t wish to wait.
As this is another sourdough, I have set myself an alarm to check the rise before baking begins.This one required another 90 minutes of rise time before I was comfortable enough to start baking it.
I stopped by today to pick up my plate and the comment sheet, but they couldn’t find the sheet. Not a problem, of course, the receptionist told me everyone loved it, especially the cranberry/raisin combo. I’m going to call this one a win. After all, 100% of the polled respondents (all 1 of them) told me how great it was.