Sunday, September 15, 2019

Cinnamon Swirl Bread

This is a lovely bread, with yellow raisins throughout the loaf, and swirls of cinnamon-sugar filling. The swirl is made using the Russian braid style, where the filled rolled dough is cut into two halves lengthwise, gently stretch into 14-inch lengths, and then braided  together with the cut sides up. Press the seams to close and pop them into the prepared greased loaf pan to rise, then bake.



It smells amazing while the bread is baking! 



I made the bread the night before, and sliced it for breakfast the next morning. Lovely bread, with soft crumb. Because of the exposed cinnamon-sugar filling on the top, the crust is slightly sticky, sweet and delicious. It is good on its own with a mug of hot black coffee.


Cinnamon Swirl Bread
(Breads Illustrated, America's Test Kitchen)
makes 2 loaves
dough
8 tablespoons (4 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 32 pieces
3-3/4 cups (20-2/3 ounces) bread flour
3/4 cup (2-1/4 ounces) non-fat dry milk powder
1 tablespoon instant or rapid-rise yeast
1-1/2 cups (12 ounces) water, room temperature
1/3 cup (12 ounces) granulated sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
1-1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups (7-1/2 ounces) golden raisins

filling
1 cup (4 ounces) confectioners' sugar
3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt

1 large egg, lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon water and pinch of salt

  1. For the dough : Toss butter with 1 tablespoon flour in bowl and set aside to soften. Whisk remaining flour, milk powder, and yeast together in bowl of stand mixer. Whisk water, sugar, and egg in 4-cup liquid measuring cup until sugar has dissovled. Using dough hook on low speed, slowly add water mixture to flour mixture and mix until cohesive dough starts to form and no dry flour remains, about 2 minutes, scraping down bowl as needed. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let dough rest for 20 minutes.
  2. Add salt to dough and knead on medium-low speed until dough is smooth and elastic and clears sides of bowl, about 8 minutes. With mixer running, add butter, a few pieces at a time, and knead until butter is fully incorporated, about 4 minutes. Continue to knead until dough is smooth and elastic and clears sides of bowl, 3 to 5 minutes. Reduce speed to low, slowly add raisins, and mix until incorporated, about 1 minute.
  3. Transfer dough to lightly greased large bowl or container. Using greased bowl scraper (or your fingertips), fold dough over itself by gently lifting and folding edge of dough toward middle. turn bowl 45 degrees and fold dough again; repeat turning bowl and folding dough 6 more times (total of 8 folds). Cover tightly with plastic and let dough rise for 45 minutes. Repeat folding, then cover bowl tightly with plastic and let dough rise until nearly doubled in size, 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  4. Press down on dough to deflate. Transfer dough to lightly floured counter, divide in half, and cover loosely with greased plastic. Working with 1 piece of dough at a time (keep remaining piece covered), press and roll into 11 by 6-inch rectangle, with short side parallel to counter edge. Stretch and fold dough lengthwise into thirds to form ball, keeping roll taut by tucking it under itself as you go. Cover balls loosely with greased plastic.
  5. For the filling : Whisk all together in bowl until well combined. Coat 1 dough ball lightly with flour and place on lightly floured counter. With seam side down, flatten ball with rolling pin into 18 by 7-inch rectangle, with short side parallel to counter edge. Mist surface of dough with water. Sprinkle half of sugar mixture over dough, leaving 1/4-inch border on sides and 3/4-inch border on top and bottom, and press lightly to adhere. Mist filling with water until entire surface is speckled.
  6. Roll dough away from you into firm cylinder, keeping roll taut by tucking it under itself as you go. Pinch seam and ends closed. Dust cylinder lightly on all sides with flour, cover loosely with greased plastic, and let rest for 10 minutes. Repeat with the remaining dough ball and filling.
  7. Grease two 8-1/2 by 4-1/2 inch loaf pans. Using bench scraper, cut 1 cylinder in half lengthwise. Turn halves cut side up and gently stretch into 14-inch lengths. Arrange strips side by side, perpendicular to counter edge, and pinch far ends together. Take left strip of dough and lay over right strip of dough. Repeat, keeping cut sides up, until pieces of dough are tightly twisted. Pinch remaining ends together. Transfer loaf cut sides up to prepared pan. Press dough gently into corners of pans and push any exposed raisins into seams of braid. Repeat with second loaf. Cover loosely with greased plastic and let rise until loaves reach 1 inch above lip of pans and dough springs back minimally when poked gently with your knuckle, 1-1/2 to 2 hours.
  8. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Gently brush loaves with egg mixture and bake until crust is well browned, about 25 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees, tent loaves with aluminium foil, and continue to bake until loaves register 200 to 205 degrees, 15 to 25 minutes. Let loaves cool in pan for 5 minutes. Remove loaves from pans and let cool completely on wire rack, about 3 hours, before serving.

This post is linked with Cookbook Countdown #45


Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Salt & Balsamic Vinegar Sauteed Potatoes

It is the monthly cuisine spotlight week at I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC),  and the spotlight is on ITALIAN ! There are 19 IHCC featured chefs' recipes to choose from, and I've made Tessa Kiros's, Salt & Balsamic Vinegar Sauteed Potatoes, recipe from her book, Recipes and Dreams From An Italian Life.



An easy potato dish which is cooked on the stove top. If you like balsamic vinegar, then you would love this. I've added a few more extra garlic, because we love garlic. A delicious plate of potatoes, Yum!


Salt & Balsamic Vinegar Sauteed Potatoes
(Recipes and Dreams From An Italian Life, Tessa Kiros)
serves 6
some coarse salt
2-1/4 pounds potatoes
5 tablespoons olive oil
2 whole medium clove garlic, peeled
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
2 sprigs rosemary, plus extra, to serve (optional)
freshly ground black pepper

In a mortar, crush some coarse salt with a pestle to break it down a bit, but still leave some texture. Peel the potatoes, rinse them, halve lengthwise and cut into gondolas. Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet that has a lid. Add the potatoes and garlic and saute over a fairly high heat, turning through and tossing until they have a bit of colour and are starting to stick. Season with some of the crushed salt and a little pepper. Add half the vinegar and turn through. Sit the rosemary sprigs on top, cover with a lid and lower the heat.
Simmer for about 15 minutes or so, until the potatoes are tender and much of the vinegar seems to have been absorbed. Add the rest of the vinegar, stir and cook, uncovered now, for 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender and crisping up just a bit and most of the liquid has reduced. Sprinkle with a little extra salt and serve hot with a couple of extra rosemary sprigs on top if you like. These are also surprisingly good at room temperature.


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Monday, August 26, 2019

Lemon and Poppy Seed Bread

I do not use my bread machine often enough, preferring always to mix the bread dough in the stand mixer. But on those days when I do use the bread machine, it is only to mix the dough, the final shaping is done in a standard loaf pan, and the baking is done in the oven. I do not like the shape of my bread machine pan, it is sort of a large square, yet not quite a square, nor a rectangle, rather an odd shape to me. So the baking is always done in the oven instead.



As with almost all bread machine recipes, it is very straightforward and easy. I did add about 1/2 cup of bread flour as the dough was rather sticky.  I reduced the salt slightly to a scant 1/2 teaspoon as this is a small loaf. After the first rise, I remove the dough, pat it out to a rectangle and roll in up to the length of the loaf pan. Place the dough in the greased loaf pan, cover with greased cling wrap and leave to rise until amost doubled in size. Remove the cling wrap and bake in the preheated oven at 180F for about 35 to 40 minutes, or until golden brown, taking care to tent the top with foil if it is browning too quickly.

The bread is soft with nice lemony crumb and a light crunch from the poppy seed. Just like a lemon and poppy seed cake, but in bread form. Especially good when toasted and spread with salted butter and jam. Lovely bread indeed!

The recipes comes with measurements for a 1-pound, 1-1/2-pounds and 2 pounds loaf. I've made the 1-pound loaf as per the recipe below.

Lemon and Poppy Seed Bread
(The No-Fuss Bread Machine Cookbook by Michelle Anderson)
makes 1 pound/8 slices
1/2 cup water, at 80F to 90F
1 egg, at room temperature
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, at room temperature
2 tablespoons melted butter, cooled
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons lemon zest
3/4 teaspoon salt (scant 1/2 teaspoon)
2 cups white bread flour (I added an additional 1/2 cup bread flour, as the dough was sticky)
1-1/2 tbsps poppy seeds
1 teaspoon bread machine or instant yeast

  1. Place the ingredients in your bread machine as recommended by the manufacturer.
  2. Program the machine for Basic/White bread, select light or medium crust, and press Start.
  3. When the loaf is done, remove the bucket from the machine.
  4. Let the loaf cool for 5 minutes.
  5. Gently shake the bucket to remove the loaf, and turn it out onto a rack to cool.
kitchen flavours notes :
Select the Basic Dough setting, and at the end of the cycle ; when the dough has risen once, remove the dough, pat it gently to a rectangle, then roll it up swiss roll style, pressing the seams to seal. Place the dough in a greased 8-1/2 by 4-1/2 inch loaf pan. Cover loosely with greased cling wrap, and leave to rise until almost double in size. Remove the cling wrap and bake in a preheated oven at 180C for 35 to 40 minutes until golden brown. 


This post is linked to Cookbook Countdown #44