Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Challah With Dried Cranberries and Orange Zest

This is my first contribution to the Healthy Bread in Five Group, led by Michelle. I ran out of time in November to make the first Bread Braid. This braid seemed right up my alley - the dried cranberries and orange zest just seemed to sing out "holidays" to me! I mixed up half a batch of the dough, using King Arthur White Whole Wheat and King Arthur All Purpose flour. I did use the wheat germ (although mine was toasted), and I accidentally added the full amount of orange zest from the basic recipe. I allowed the dough to refrigerate for three days before heading back to my braid. I made two small braids from the batch, and sprinkled each loaf with raw sugar before baking. Since I was trying to save myself time, I baked both loaves in the oven, but it took a little longer to finish up the baking, so I baked them for about 40-45 minutes. Even with the added orange zest, I found that the flavor did not really come through (perhaps because I used dried zest reconstituted with orange juice...). The bread was delicious! I think the next time I make this, I will make it into mini-loaves for sharing with others, and I think it would also make a good sandwich bread for leftover turkey... :) Thanks Jeff for a great recipe! I can't wait to see what everyone made, and to start the book in January!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

100% Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread

I have joined the Healthy Bread in 5 group, and this is my first post related to that! The group actually doesn't start baking from the book until January, but I have already made the basic boule recipe once and this recipe twice. I got myself a 13" Pullman pan (from King Arthur's catalog), because I wanted to make "sandwich" bread. My three year old wouldn't really eat sandwich bread if it wasn't shaped like a sandwich bread from those plastic bags! I followed the directions for the batch from the book, then after the first rise, took about 3/4 of the dough and placed it into the greased Pullman pan. I allowed it to rise again, then baked it for 45 minutes. As a note, when I did this two weeks ago, I was using cold dough from a 24 rest in the fridge - even with a 90 minute warm up time in my kitchen, it still took over an hour for the dough to cook to 190 degrees - I really didn't want a gummy loaf! I will definitely try this again with a cold dough, and maybe allow it more time to "warm up" - this is such a winner of a recipe that I haven't branched out to other recipes from the book!