Dutch Sugar Loaf, page 434, December 21, 2017

This recipe sounds interesting. Crushed sugar cubes baked into a loaf of bread?  We shall see.

The first step in preparing this loaf is to place 2/3 cups of sugar cubes in a heavy clear plastic freezer bag and, using the smooth side of a meat mallet, crack the cubes. You want them still to be chunky (no smaller than 1/4 cube).  Add 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon and a small pinch of ground cloves to the bag and toss to coat.  Set aside.

The following ingredients go into the bread machine pan:

1 1/8 cups fat free milk

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1 1/4 teaspoons salt

3 cups bread flour

1 tablespoon gluten

2 teaspoons SAF yeast

This loaf uses the “Sweet Bread” and “Medium Crust” settings.  Five minutes into the kneading segment, I sprinkled half the sugar and spice mixture over the dough.  Three minutes later, I added the rest.

This smelled great while it was baking, the cinnamon scent permeated the house.  It baked up well rounded with a dark crust.

dutch sugar]The blend of cinnamon and sugar flavor here is amazing.  Throughout the loaf there are these moist, sugary pockets and the whole loaf tastes like cinnamon toast.  This is another loaf that I think would make wonderful French toast.

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Not a loaf, just a lesson to be shared

I was thinking about how many times I have ended up with “crater loaves.”  True, I can sometimes find some error to attribute it to, but to have it continue just seems wrong.  In the cookbook, Ms. Hensperger states that you need to follow the instructions for your bread machine as to the order of ingredients that go into the pan.  The instruction manual for my machine reads:

—FIRST, liquid ingredients
—SECOND, dry ingredients
—LAST, yeast

That is what I have been doing, but I really wanted to see if there was something the manual DOESN’T say.  Sure enough, I found it.  Thank goodness for Google and the King Arthur Flour websites.

Salt is a natural yeast inhibitor and if it mixes too soon with the yeast in your bread, it can negatively affect your rise. I also read that creating a “well” for the yeast in the top of the flour will keep it better separated from the salt.

I will be making a loaf of Beer Cheese bread later today and shall see if I have any better results by adding the salt before the flour and the yeast into a well, after.