MyKitchenInHalfCups

Once Upon a time: Cooking … Baking … Traveling … Laughing …


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BBB Champagne Baba ~ Bread Baking Babe’s Bundt Babas

Our indomitable Lien is Kitchen of the Month and she brought us a wonderful not to sweet festive holiday bread.  Thank you a BBBBB times over!

BBBBB … Yes, that would be Bread Baking Babe’s Bundt Babas! And these are simple (just go step by step), fun (when is it not fun to poke, poke and poke your food) and visually festive!

Why did these take me so long to actually get to baking?  A pan, what pan could I find to bake them in? Yes, I know a loaf pan would have served perfectly well but that’s not really special.

I think most of the Babes like these best small and I would love to try little small ones but who knows where my pans might be packed. Small ones just couldn’t happen this time for me.
I think these are great for the holidays. I baked them twice today and they made welcome little gifts especially as small bundts!

Lots of ways to change these around flavor, fruit jam wise and liquid wise.  They are so worth it.

Champagne Baba

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sponge:
100 grams water
1 teaspoon instant dry yeast
1 tablespoon sugar, omitted
100 grams bread flour
dough:
180 grams bread flour
½ teaspoon fine salt
¼ teaspoon instant dry yeast
1,5 teaspoon vanilla sugar, teaspoon vanilla
3 large eggs
90 grams melted butter
soaking syrup:
150 grams sugar
177 grams water
120 grams champagne (or Asti Spumante or fruit juice)
200 grams apricot jam (or use a sugar glaze)

Directions:

1. Mix all the ingredients for the sponge together in a large bowl (the one you’ll be kneading the dough in). Now sprinkle 180 g bread flour over the sponge, so it is covered and leave to rest for about 1 hour.

2. Now add the salt, ¼ tsp dry yeast, vanilla sugar and eggs. Start to mix this. If using a stand mixer, use the paddle attachment. When it comes together after a few minutes, add the melted (and slightly cooled) butter and keep working it. The dough is a bit batter like, but be sure to get some gluten developed.

3. Place it in the moulds. You can use a loaf tin or a round baking form (I used 3 mini bundt pans), filled about half way up. Cover with plastic and leave to rise until 2-3 cm under the rim of the mould. Mine took about 90 minutes in warm spot.

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4. Don’t forget to preheat the oven to 180ºC (350-360ºF).

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5. Heat and stir the champagne/Spumante until the sugar dissolves and thickens slightly.

6. Bake for about 45-55 minutes, until golden brown on top. If the bread gets too dark too soon, protect the top with a sheet of tin foil. Check the temperature in the bread with a thermometer, it should be about 93ºC.
Take out of the oven and the tin and place on a deep dish. Poke the bread with a long wooden skewer from top to bottom. Brush the syrup all over it, and get as much as possible inside the bread, so take your time. Collect the syrup from the plate and keep pouring and brushing it, until all in absorbed in the bread.
Now heat the apricot jam in a small pan and let it boil, add a little water if it is too thick. Brush or pour it over the top. You can also opt for a simple sugar glaze. This topping keeps the moisture in.

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And no doubt you wonder why my apricot “jam” is so thick … because it’s not jam, I couldn’t go running 20 miles to the nearest store in a foot of snow and ice so I made a “jam” out of the Asti Spumante and dried apricots. Oh, yes it was tasty.
7. The baba is best eaten on the day that it’s baked. But if not, keep in the fridge.

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They’re not difficult to make, so have a go and bake these for Christmas or as a delicious in-between for new years eve. Become our Bread Baking Buddy, mix, bake, post and enjoy this recipe and let us know how they turned out. Send you details to Lien (notitievanlien (at) gmail (dot) com) and Lien will send you the Bread Baking Buddy Badge for your efforts to place with our post, if you like. Please have your entries send in before the end of the year.
BBBuddies are not very active lately, but if there are any of course she’ll make a round up. Happy Baking…. and remember you only need a little champagne for this, so you can party with what’s left in the bottle. Happy baking and Happy holidays! 🎄🎄🎄
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BBB ~ English Muffins

Holidays … a full house … chaos … something special … make ahead … fun … hassle free … simple but brilliant … food … wait did you say food, as in feed this full house with chaos full strength and make it special.  And you expect to make it ahead, have it be fun, hassle free and brilliant. 
You are living in an alternate universe and not in this one.
No, truly, our Kitchen of the Month, Pat – Feeding My Enthusiasms, at least has a part of breakfast for us.  Even if you don’t have a crowd you can so two small batches over 2 days and have fresh homemade English muffins to be extravagant with honey, butter, maple syrup and jam … maybe even a peanut butter and cream cheese in the afternoon.
You may ask, why corn meal?  Over the years I’ve seen English muffins with corn meal on the bottoms and I’ve seen semolina.  Is one better than the other or more authentic?  A quick internet search I did this morning, didn’t turn up a consensus.  The function of either is to prevent sticking to the pan, griddle or spatula and lend a crispness to the crust and bottom.  I can’t help thinking it may also be to pull some moisture out of the dough while they rise, seems logical that would result.  In different locations corn meal may be more readily available and cheaper than semolina and would so be more likely to be used.  Either will serve the same function and work well.
The only tricky part of these is getting them reasonably done without burning the bottom.  Elizabeth solved that for me because my copy of Rose Levy Beranbaum, Quick Breads, Little Quick Breads, Little Yeast Breads, and Batter Breads, The Bread Bible, p170 is still packed away and I wasn’t bright enough on my own to consider sticking my thermometer  into the center of one of these to see were it was.  Try for 190°.  Elizabeth finished her’s in the oven which I think I’ll try when I finish my remaining six this afternoon but it maybe just turning the griddle down and cooking longer would work as well.

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Recipe from: Pat “Feeding My Enthusiasms”  From:  SeriousEats

English Muffins
Yield: 12 – I got 11

245 grams bread flour
40 grams rye flour (originally this 40 grams was bread flour)
140 grams whole wheat flour
11  grams table salt or (11 grams kosher or 2 3/4 teaspoons)
4 grams instant dry yeast 1 1/4 teaspoons
340 grams ounces cold milk
100 grams honey, I used only 55 grams
1 large egg white, cold
fine cornmeal to cover muffins on two sheet pans with space around them – Elle), don’t skip this
bacon or butter or oil, for griddling

Make the Dough and Let Rise: 
In a large bowl, mix bread flour, whole wheat flour, kosher salt, and yeast together until well combined.
Add milk, honey, and egg white, stirring until smooth, about 5 minutes.
Cover with plastic and set aside until spongy, light, and more than doubled, 4 to 5 hours at 70°F.

For the Second Rise:  Thickly cover a rimmed aluminum baking sheet with an even layer of cornmeal.
With a large spoon, dollop out twelve 2 2/3-ounce (75g) portions of dough I only got 11 muffins none weighed more than 78 grams or less than 72 grams; it’s perfectly fine to do this by eye.
If you’d like, pinch the irregular blobs here and there to tidy their shape.  My dough was to sticky to do much shaping, I went with what fell on the pan.  They all came out looking like … English muffins
Sprinkle with additional cornmeal, cover with plastic, and refrigerate at least 12 and up to 42 hours.

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Rising on the griddle! Oolala!

To Griddle and Serve:  Preheat an electric griddle to 325°F or warm a 12-inch cast iron skillet or griddle over medium-low heat. When sizzling-hot, add half the butter and melt; griddle muffins until their bottoms are golden brown, about 8 minutes. Flip with a square-end spatula and griddle as before. Transfer to a wire rack until cool enough to handle, then split the muffins by working your thumbs around the edges to pull them open a little at a time. Toast before serving and store leftovers in an airtight container up to 1 week at room temperature (or 1 month in the fridge).

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Special Equipment:  Flexible spatula,  rimmed baking sheet, griddle (electric or cast iron) or 12-inch cast iron skillet, square-end spatula, wire rack

Seriously easy.  Oh and that photo reminds me: homemade slow cooker apple butter is an absolute winner on these too!

Go for it why don’t you. Bake with us. Check out Pat, FeedingMyEnthusiasms for all the scoop and be a Bread Baking Buddy.  Don’t forget all the other Babes, we all had different experiences.


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BBB ~ Pumpkin Cornmeal Bread

Judy from Gross Eats is our Kitchen of the Month for October.  This was a most interesting bake!

I was excited to try this one because 1.) I have baked many of Beth Hensperger’s recipes from this book and her other books and always enjoyed them, 2.) the seasonal timing appealed and 3.) because of the ingredient combo.
I was delighted to try something pumpkin right now and I really liked the rye and cornmeal combo.
Of course I added that little bit of flax. I also had a large bag of pepitas on the counter and they seemed super appropriate. Of course pumpkin just pretty much begged for cinnamon in my book. I used a combo of flours replacing the original bread or all purpose flour.

The dough was silky and lovely to knead.
If I weren’t already in the process of perfecting another recipe (for a rye) bread, I would take this one on because it has so much promise but ultimately both Gorn & I were slightly disappointed with this bake.  We enjoyed the texture and the crust on this loaf but even using terrific flavor ingredients (strong molasses, great flour, cinnamon, pumpkin) we both of us failed to get much flavor from a slice.  We both agreed a slice has a lovely pumpkin aroma.  We just didn’t get it on the tongue.
I would recommend using more pumpkin (reduce or even entirely replace the water) and going with more cinnamon and/or pumpkin pie spice.

I did half the recipe and baked in a smaller pullman pan without the lid.

Recipe From  Judy(Gross Eats)  adapted from Bread for All Seasons by Beth Hensperger

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Pumpkin Cornmeal Bread

HALF RECIPE what I baked
1 ½ teaspoons active dry yeast
123 grams warm water (105˚ to 115˚)
124 grams warm buttermilk (105˚ to 115˚)
40 grams melted butter or oil
50 grams light molasses
1/4 cup pumpkin purée (either canned or homemade)
1 teaspoon salt
100 grams fine- or medium-grind yellow cornmeal
130 grams medium rye flour
124 grams Hovis flour, because I had it
130 grams sprouted wheat flour
140 grams white whole wheat flour
20 grams flax meal

1. In a large bowl, combine yeast, ground flax, salt, cornmeal, and rye flour.   Whisk to mix well.

Add warm water, buttermilk, melted butter/oil, molasses, and pumpkin purée. Beat until smooth (1 to 2 minutes) using either a whisk or the paddle attachment on a mixer.

Add the unbleached all-purpose flour or bread flour, ½ cup at a time, until it becomes a soft dough. Knead until smooth and slightly tacky, either by hand or with a dough hook.

2. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to coat the top; cover with plastic wrap. Let rise at room temperature until double, about 1 ½ to 2 hours, depending on how warm it is.

3. Turn onto work surface and divide the dough into 2 or 3 equal round portions. Place on parchment-lined baking pan, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and let rise at room temperature until doubled, about 45 minutes.

4. To make dinner rolls, divide the dough into 24 equal portions and shape as desired.

Place on parchment-lined baking pan, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and let rise at room temperature until doubled, about 20 minutes, or place in refrigerator for 2 hours to overnight.

Twenty minutes before baking, heat the oven to 375˚, using a baking stone, if you wish. While the oven is heating, brush the tops with melted butter.

Bake in the center of the preheated oven until golden brown: 40-45 minutes for loaves or 15 to 18 minutes for rolls. Remove from oven, let cool on rack until completely cool.

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Since this was all whole grain, I baked this at 370° F (convection) for 50 minutes at which point it registered 199°F internal temperature.  It was baked through and not raw as can easily happen with all whole grains when I don’t check temperature of the bread.

Here’s hoping you’re all in the mood for some fall baking, and you give this delicious bread a try.  If you do decide to be a Buddy, please send your baking story and photos to Judy at jahunt22 dot gmail dot com by October 29th, and they will be included in the Buddy Roundup.

PS: Well now we’ve enjoyed this as our afternoon treat with apple butter!  Somehow that brings out the pumpkin in the bread for me.

 


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Swiss Rye Ring/Brasciadela/Kantonsbrot Graubünden ~ BBB

Cathy, Bread Experience, is our Kitchen of the Month and she has brought us a wonderful rye bread!

Cathy was super lucky to attend a conference and take a workshop with Stanley Ginsberg  http://theryebaker.com/swiss-rye-ring/#more-335  !  I’ve had his book, the Rye Baker, for quite some time and just drool over the cover.  Westphalian Pumpernickel.  I think I’ve had this or something very close in Austria once and was instantly in love.  What stops me from making this one … my stand mixer packed away in some box unidentifiable for the last 5 years.  Basically I refuse to unpack anything more for the kitchen until I have cabinets.  Cabinets maybe in the making this winter and would go in in the early Spring next year IF my latest cabinet maker comes through for me soon.  The clutter now is just too much, anything more would put me over the edge.

I’ve had plenty of success mixing by hand with recipes that “require” the stand mixer but none required kneading after pouring boiling water over flour. Sometimes I toy with getting some large rubber gloves and putting them on over 2 or 3 pairs of cotton gloves but so far I haven’t made that jump.

Straight off I’ll tell you Gorn & I are both Rye lovers. Here, I am always on the look out for the dark dense rye’s. When we’ve traveled in Europe, I always seek out the darkest ryes that I can find. Always flavorful and able to stand up to flavorful meats and cheeses, the tight crumb of rye breads makes them perfect for just about anything you can put between two slices.

This Swiss Rye Ring is a tight crumb with a mild flavor that we’re going through very quickly. This recipe bakes into a glorious loaf that even without the traditional caraway seeds, shines with the true spicy rye flavor. The first ring loaf was gone in a day and a half. The second ring loaf I fear will be gone today. The only thing wrong that I found with this bread was I was unable to find any smoked salmon to serve with it. I feel cheated while enjoying every bite of this wonderful rye. Thanks for this one Cathy.

Swiss Rye Ring/Brasciadela/Kantonsbrot Graubünden
Recipe From: Cathy (breadexperience) and adapted from Stanley Ginsberg
Yield: 2 rings 1 1/4 lb. each (575 grams)
Rye Sponge:
300 grams Medium rye flour (used pumpernickel)
200  grams Warm (105°F/41°C) water
20 grams Rye sour culture (see below)
Wheat Poolish:
200 grams First clear flour (used half whole wheal + half bread flour)
200 grams Cold water
8 grams Instant yeast
Final Dough:
520 grams Rye sponge
408 grams Wheat poolish
110 Medium rye flour (used pumpernickel)
210 grams White rye flour (used rye flour)
82 grams First clear flour (used half whole wheal + half bread flour)
170 grams Warm (105°F/41°C) water
20 grams Salt
Rye Starter/Culture ~ Day One
70 grams Organic whole grain Rye Flour
70  grams Warm water
Day Two – Seven
70 grams Culture from preceding day
70  grams Organic whole grain Rye Flour
70 grams Warm Water

1. Rye Sponge Combine the sponge ingredients by hand into a stiff dough, cover and ferment at room temperature (70°F/21°C) until doubled in volume 10-12 hours or overnight.
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2. Wheat Poolish Mix the poolish ingredients by hand, cover and refrigerate 10-12 hours or overnight.

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3. Final Dough In the mixer, combine the final dough ingredients and use the dough hook at low (KA2) speed to mix into a stiff, slightly sticky dough that leaves the sides of the bowl and gathers around the hook, 6-8 minutes. This is one of those recipes that says use a stand mixer and I did not.  I think it worked perfectly without the mixer by hand.

Cover the dough and bulk ferment at room temperature until doubled in volume, 60-75 minutes.
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4. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and divide it into two pieces weighing about 26 oz./750 g each. Form each piece into an oblong about 18 inches/45 cm long and 2 inches/5 cm in diameter. Shape each into a ring, wetting the ends to seal, and place on a well-floured peel, if using a baking stone, or parchment-lined sheet pan.

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5. Cover and proof at room temperature until the breads have visibly expanded and surface shows cracks or broken bubbles.

6. Preheat the oven to 480°F/250°C with the baking surface in the middle and a steam pan on a lower shelf. Dock the surface of each loaf thoroughly and evenly to a depth of at least ¼”/0.6 cm. with a fork, chopstick or docking wheel.

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7. Bake with steam 15 minutes, then remove the steam pan, reduce the temperature to 410°F/210°C and bake until the loaves thump when tapped with a finger and the internal temperature is at least 198°F/92°C, about 30 minutes. Transfer to a rack and cool thoroughly before slicing.

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8. RYE STARTER Mix the equal amounts (by weight) of organic rye flour and water.
Cover.
Allow to stand 24 hours at room temperature.
Dad Two – Seven:
Keep 70 grams of previous day’s culture and mix with equal amounts (by weight) of organic rye flour and water.

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Cathy is the host kitchen this month.  We’d love for you to join us. All you need to do is bake this bread and send an email to breadexperience at gmaildotcom and Cathy send you a Buddy badge.  If you don’t have a blog, no worries, just take a photo and post it to the BBBs Facebook group.  We look forward to seeing your lovely breads.

It is a very memorable delicious rye bread!


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BBB ~ Velvety Bean Bread

I don’t know about you but every once in a while I get smug and think “I’ve really baked a lot of breads.  No ALL breads but maybe I’m getting where I’m really comfortable I’ve got really good exposure to most things bread … but then there’s always another month and another Babe coming up with something just a little different.  This month it’sKelly (Hobby Baker) from A Messy Kitchen.

Always bake the original recipe before changing any thing … right?  And when have I ever done that …
So, I created an over nite soaker.
I considered the pros and cons of replacing bean liquid for water. In the end I tasted the bean water and rejected adding it because it had too strong a bean flavor.  Nothing wrong with bean flavor but it seemed wrong for bread.
Always I added flax.
I used all of the yeast because I only used whole grains.
My major failing was knowing this was whole grain and not having a thermometer.  In my Dad’s old house, I’m working with an oven that is over 45 years old, badly mistreated and scheduled for replacement on our next visit.  Between the oven and no thermometer, I way underbred these two small loaves.  The rye flavor was awesome but we could only enjoy a slice toasted so that it finished cooking. 
If you can forgive my excuses, this is a treat of a bread with the rye flour.  While the taste of this bread does not make one think “health food mediocre”, I have to think this is a super nutritious bread using the beans! 

Kelly (Hobby Baker) from A Messy Kitchen found this recipe in Home Baking: The Artful Mix of Flour and Tradition around the World
Yield: 2 small loaves

OVER NITE SOAKER
330 grams water (1.5 cup)
120 grams sprouted spelt flour
DOUGH
all of the soaker
2 cups drained cooked navy beans, room temp.
30 grams flax meal
120 grams sprouted rye flour
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons caraway
130 grams white whole wheat flour
130  grams bread flour

1.  Mix water and flour in soaker and cover several hours or overnight.

2.  Process beans until smooth, transfer to a large bowl or stand mixer.

Add the sprouted flour and yeast and stir for one minute, in one direction, to develop the dough.
Add the oil, salt, and seasoning herb or spice, if using and stir them in.
Add 1 cup of the white whole wheat flour and stir in.
Add the remaining flour and knead in with a dough hook, or work in and knead by hand for about 5 minutes, until smooth.

3.  Place dough in a bowl, cover, and let rise for 3 hours, until almost doubled in volume. (There should be about 2.5 pounds of dough.)

4.  Turn out dough and divide in half. Butter two 8×4″ pans.
Form each portion of dough into a loaf and place seam side down in the pans.
Rolled each loaf in caraway seeds.
The directions say to let rise for 2½ hours. That was too long for my kitchen. The above loaf was baked after 1 hour 45 minutes. You’ll have to watch the dough for proper rise. Check at 1 hour and continue to proof if needed.

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5.  Preheat oven to 400ºF, have a spray bottle or small cup of water ready for steam. Slash each loaf lengthwise , place in oven and bake for 5 minutes, adding steam every couple minutes with the sprayer or cup.

Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 375ºF and bake for 25 minutes until rich brown with a matte finish.

Turn the loaves out and check for doneness. Finish cooling on a wire rack before slicing.

Here’s a great little article on the different white beans:
4 Types of White Beans: What’s the Difference?

The side note on this experience, very generic as it is and will be true of all dough I mix/knead in future: I bought a pastry non-stick mat.  If you want to save money or spend nothing more on kitchen/baking, skip this nest two paragraphs.  What you may ask is a non-stick pastry mat and why would I lay out any $$ for that.  Even though it’s very recently something prompted me to look these up, now I don’t remember what it was.  The first couple I found were super $$$ and I was losing interest rapidly.  Then I found one I think for under $30 and read the reviews.  It was the reviews that really sold me. 

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Now my review might sell you so you get a 2nd chance to stop reading here if you don’t want to get interested.  Always when I knead, mix or roll out anything on my counter, I clean it … and then I have to clean it again when finished.  Sometimes dough really leaves a funky residue to clean off and it can get tedious.  NOTHING sticks to the pastry mat AND it doesn’t slide.  Clean up is super simple.  When I roll it out, I know I left it clean!  The mat comes marked clearly with all sorts of measurements all over – along the edges and all those circles for rolling pie crust in the center.  Dream come true.  Yep, you want one now.
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I won’t say you have to or that you knead to run out and get a pastry non-stick mat but I would encourage you to bake the Velvety Bean Bread and make it with rye … assuming you enjoy rye.  I’m sure you have a better oven than I and you’re in your own kitchen with a thermometer. 

Join the Bread Baking Babes and bake up a unique little loaf that is high in protein but a little lower in gluten than normal.  This is a lovely little bread and we would love for you to bake along with us!  Just bake your version of this bread by July 30th and send Kelly a note with your results and a picture or link to your post at eleyana(AT)aol(DOT)com with Buddy Bread in the subject line and she will include you in our buddy round up at the beginning of next month and send you a Buddy badge graphic to keep and/or add to your post.  You don’t have to have a blog to participate, a picture is fine!


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BBB ~ Cinnamon Raisin Struan Bread, the Babes will Swirl with this one!

Sing Praises here to Pat “Feeding My Enthusiasms”, who went on a year end cookbook clean out of her book cases and found our bread this month in Sacramental Magic in a Small-Town Cafe by Br Peter Reinhart.  Somehow bread just doesn’t go out of date.

Cinnamon Raisin Bread, you think you’ve enjoyed cinnamon raisin bread but this recipe has now taken top honors in our house.  I’ve baked hundreds of cinnamon raisin bread loaves.  When we sailed the Atlantic, I baked two loaves every other day.  Two loaves of Oatmeal Bread from James Beard on Bread.   One was a plain loaf and one was Cinnamon Raisin loaf.  It was terrific bread but this recipe is terrific bread and is filled with whole grain health goodness.  

In the past I’ve always made my Cinnamon Raisin Bread with the raisins in the swirl.  Gorn and I both like this with the raisins mixed into the dough much better.

This makes three full sized loaves. You may think you shouldn’t make the full recipe … you’d be wrong if you think you wouldn’t be able to use all the bread … I don’t think you’ll be able to stop eating this bread.  When I make this again I will try using 4 cups white whole wheat and 3 cups bread flour.

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Rising …

Cinnamon Raisin Struan Bread

4 cups high-gluten bread flour

3 cups whole wheat bread flour

1/2 cup uncooked polenta (coarse ground cornmeal)

1/2 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup wheat bran, used wheat germ

4 teaspoons salt

40 grams ground flax seed

3 tablespoons yeast

1/2 cup cooked brown rice

1/4 cup honey

3/4 cup buttermilk

3 cups water, should have stopped at 2 cups 2/3 had to use extra flour

3 cups raisins

SWIRL

1/2 cup cinnamon sugar (1 part cinnamon to 2 parts brown sugar)

4 tablespoons butter, softened

1. In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients, including the salt and yeast (unless you are using active dry yeast, which should be activated in warm water and added with the wet ingredients.)

2. Add the cooked rice, honey, and buttermilk and mix together. Then add 1 cup of water, reserving the rest to add as needed. With your hands, squeeze the ingredient together until they make a ball. Sprinkle some flour on the counter and turn the ball out of the bowl and begin kneading. Add small quantities of water as needed. *****Adding the full 1 1/2 cup of water was no where near enough. I added another full cup … and then another half.  See 5.

3. Because Struan has so many whole grains, it takes longer to knead than most breads. Allow at least 15 minutes, but be prepared to knead for 20. The dough will change before your eyes, lightening in color, becoming gradually more elastic and evenly grained. The finished dough should be tacky, not sticky, lightly golden, stretchy and elastic, rather than porridge-like. When you push the heels of your hands into the dough it should give way but not tear. If it flakes or crumbles, add a little more water.

4. When the dough seems ready, add the raisins and knead for 2 more minutes, until the raisins are evenly distributed.

5. **** I added too much water too fast and had a VERY wet dough, too heavy and wet to kneed.  So, after trying to kneed adding extra flour, I either pretended to be an expert bread maker or made an executive decision – I’ll let you decide – I switched to a lift and fold technique.  I did a lift and fold  four times.

6. Wash out the mixing bowl and dry it thoroughly. Put in the dough and cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap, or place the bowl inside a plastic bag. Allow the dough to rise in a warm place for about 1 hour, until it has roughly doubled in size.

7. Cut the dough into 3 equal pieces (or more if you want to make smaller loaves). With a rolling pin, roll out each piece into a rectangle. Sprinkle about 1 tablespoon of cinnamon sugar over the surface, spreading it evenly. ******I used about 3 tablespoons cinnamon sugar. I have used brown sugar to make cinnamon sugar for forever now because we both just like the extra caramel flavor.

From the bottom of the long side, roll up the dough into tight loaves, tucking and pinching the seams into one line on the bottom. Put the loaves, seam side down, in greased bread pans (for full-sized loaves your pan should be around 9 x 4 1/3 x 3 inches). Cover and allow the loaves to rise until doubled in size.

8. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. When the loaves have risen, cresting over the tops of the pans, place on the center shelf and bake for about 45 minutes. The loaves should be nicely domed and dark gold. The bottom and sides should be a uniform light gold and there should be an audible, hollow  thwack when you tap the bottom of the loaf. If the loaves are not ready, remove them from the pans and place them back in the oven until done. They will bake quickly when removed from the pans.

9. When done, brush a little butter over the tops, then sprinkle with the remaining cinnamon sugar, coating each loaf with a layer of cinnamon crust.

***** I forgot the cinnamon sugar topping but would like to have done that.

Allow the breads to cool on wire racks for at least 40 minutes before slicing. This bread makes exceptional breakfast toast and French toast!

Bake.  Bake Cinnamon Raisin Straun Bread.  Tell the Kitchen of the Month, Pat at FeedingMyEnthusiasms!  You’ll be thanking her for years to come.  You know you want to Swirl.


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Jachnun ~ BBB ~ Questions of BREAD ~ 12 hours baking

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What makes it bread?  Is it one or more ingredient? Is it how we use/eat it?  Is there any one thing about bread that makes it bread?  The Babes have danced around this question in various ways from time to time.  Coffee cake? Does it qualify as bread because it uses yeast … because we eat it like bread … or because we eat it drinking coffee for breakfast?  Does a quick bread using no yeast but baking soda qualify because it’s named bread?  What qualifies bread to be bread?

Lien  brought us to the kitchen table with this introduction and question and her answer to the question:  This recipe was stuck in my head for a while. I guess the 12 hour baking time did that. Then I wondered is this a bread? No yeast, but baking powder?! No yeast can still make real bread, think flatbread, wraps and so on. But baking powder is linked to pastry in my brain. Things like banana bread (with baking powder/soda) is called a bread in English, but for me that’s a loaf cake and absolutely not a bread. So I let it sink in for a while to decide if it was bread worthy or not. It is not sweet, not eaten with sweet things, even if it is a breakfast item. And it’s function is a bread… I can see it like that, and so it is, and that’s what we’re baking. … It feels like an adventure…

What makes bread BREAD?  Not sure I have the answer but this is bread by any qualifying test I can come up with.  What do you think?

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Jachnun ~ BBB

Serving: 9-12

500 g bread flour, 100 grams of the 500 white whole wheat
45 g date syrup, recipe called for 20 of honey
pinch of baking powder, generous
12 g fine salt
300 ml water to make spongy dough
60 grams butter, melted

*Zhug
1 teaspoon chili flakes, or 1 red fresh chili pepper (or 1 tsp chili flakes)
1 teaspoon black pepper, ground
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
½ teaspoon coriander, ground
4 medium garlic cloves
Pinch of cardamom, ground
Pinch of cloves, ground
½ teaspoon salt
30 g coriander leaves (or parsley if you dislike coriander)
Olive oil, enough to make a sauce-like consistency

Place all ingredients in a bowl and crush it to a sauce in a blender or with a stick blender.
Place the Zhug in a clean jar and refrigerate.
(Fridge shelf life about 2 weeks)
Serve with:
8 eggs, poached
1 large tomato (or 2 smaller ones)

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1. DOUGH
Mix the flour, date syrup, baking powder, salt and water together to form a sticky wet  dough and knead for a few minutes. Let it rest for 10 minutes to let the gluten relax.  Next time: use at least half white whole wheat flour.  I think using the bread flour probably gave this the gluten needed to give this dough needed stretch so I’ll stick with bread flour for at least 50%.

To develop gluten you now start to knead the dough for 5 minutes. Place it in a lightly greased bowl and give it a stretch and fold like this: Lift up the side of the dough and fold it over, turn the bowl and repeat this for about 7 or 8 times.
Cover with plastic and leave to rest at room temperature for 1 hour. Or leave your dough until evening.

2. PAN & OVEN
You can use a (ovenproof) cooking pan or springform (about 20 cm in diameter). Given an ill equipped kitchen, I used a skillet with lid.

Fold a long piece of parchment paper lengthwise and place it in the pan, so the ends hang over the rim of the pot.
Preheat the oven to 105ºC/225ºF and place a rack in the lowest position in your oven.  I might try one notch up from the lowest position to see if it would reduce toughness on the bottom of the rolls OR I wonder if lining the bottom of the pan with bread would influence that.

I mixed my dough early in the morning and didn’t shape it until 6 in the evening.

3. SHAPING

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Divide the dough in 6 more or less equal pieces, shape them into a ball and leave to rest 10 minutes before the stretching begins. I divided the dough into 6 pieces and rolled three that size. But the last 3 pieces I divided in half which gave me 6 smaller jachnun.  I liked the smaller size best.  Next time I will divide the dough to make 12 rolls.
To shape these rolls you have to stretch them using butter, oil or margarine.  Butter, flavor … I used butter.
Grease your work surface, place one piece of dough on it, grease the top and start working to make it the thinnest possible, while greasing it constantly. It is best to do this by hand, other methods (rolling pin) do not give the thinness.
When the dough is very thin (preferably like fillo or strudel dough) fold 1/3 of one side over onto the dough, repeat with the other side (like a business letter). You now have a long strip, keep buttering/greasing the top, while you roll – starting at the narrow edge- the dough in a tight cylinder.

This video will show you how: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oygxy4i3u30

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When I shaped the first roll, the video rolled in my head and I found myself patting the dough flat and lifting around the edges, stretching it out.  I didn’t get the nearly perfect rectangle that she did in the video but the defects pretty much didn’t bother the final outcome.

4. Prepare for the oven
I placed my rolls in a single layer which allowed them all to color evenly and dark golden brown.  NOTE: Would a layer of bread on the bottom of the pan prevent the hardness on the bottom of the rolls?  Would just moving the oven rack from the very bottom rack up one would solve that issue?
Traditionally eggs are cooked in the pan with the rolls, I skipped that part but I did have one of the rolls warmed with a poached egg the second morning.  It’s perfect breakfast.
Take a double layer of aluminum foil, cover the pot, securing the edges of the pan. Use a lid or a sheet pan to place on top of the foil. (or use a lid if available to keep it tight).
Place it on the rack in the oven and bake for 12 hours.

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5. You should understand you have to plan the timing of this… or get up in the middle of the night.
Mixing the dough in the early morning, leaving it out on the counter during the day, shaping the rolls and putting them into the oven at about the same hour in the evening that you want to take them out in the morning worked beautifully for me.  A twelve hour bake at 225 F worked perfectly.

The next morning you take out the pan, place the jachnuns on a plate and serve it with eggs around them. Serve with grated tomato and Zhug (a spicy and hot dipping sauce) for breakfast.  Reheat well.

I’ve marked this a laminated bread because of all the butter plastered on the dough and stretching it thin and folding and rolling AND because the aroma when I took this warm from the oven reminded me of croissants.

The book “Breaking breads” has a slightly different recipe for Jachnun.  It calls for all purpose flour.  My feeling is you’ll get better gluten development and crumb using bread flour but I did not try all purpose.  Experience/intuition tells we this would traditionally have been bake using whole wheat flour and butter.   I might try this with all white whole wheat just to see what it does, it would be better for me health wise but I wouldn’t want to lose the gluten the bread flour seems to add.

Cafe Liz has  interesting points on Jachnun and is worth checking out as well.

And Zhug … don’t miss it. WOW glorious. Too strong for you, reduce the hot stuff and/or miss in a little goat cheese.
Lien I will forever be grateful for this “bread”.

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You can see the crumb here is very bread like … no yeast can be bread?  Now go dip that in a poached egg will you?  Well, it’s my idea of a little roll of heaven and it’s bread.  So, yeast does not define BREAD.  What defines bread as BREAD?  I’ll keep baking…

Bake with us … help define BREAD … be a Bread Baking Buddy.   It is an adventure bake. Wanna give it a go, be Brave and become our Bread Baking Buddy. Shape, bake, sleep, taste, take a picture, tell us about it and sent it to the Kitchen of the month (that’s me this time: notitievanlien(at)gmail(dot)com) subject: BBBread february. And I’ll send you the Bread Baking Buddy Badge in return, to add to your post if you like ánd I’ll add you to the BBB Round-up, which will be on around March first. Deadline 29th of this month. Have fun baking!

By the way, this is Gorn’s latest love.