Thursday, May 22, 2008
It's a bread-baking day....
It's been gray, drizzly, windy and cool so I dubbed today
Bread-Baking Day. (It might also have something to do with the fact that there's no more bread in the freezer.) Today I cached 4 plain half-wheat loaves, 2 sugar breads, and one French loaf.
I just couldn't wait until morning, I had to sample the Sugar Bread.
A Dutch friend told me this is one of her husband's favorite foods. When in Holland he'd say, "Lekker Beppe, suiker bole!" (Yummy Grandma, sugar bread!) I have this little phrase jotted right on my recipe.
4 2/3 c. flour
2 c. warm water
2 T. yeast
1 t. granulated sugar
1 1/2 T butter
1 t. salt
1/3 c. sugar pearls (or crushed sugar cubes)
1/2 c. sugar pearls (or crushed sugar cubes)
1/2 c. vanilla sugar or granulated sugar
2 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. ground ginger
1 pinch each: cloves, cardamom, ginger, nutmeg
1/2 pinch white pepper
egg white, whisked (for brushing loaves)
In a large bowl, combine the water and yeast and the teaspoon of sugar. Allow it to stand for 5 minutes. If it's frothy, it means the yeast is working. Add butter, salt, and flour and mix until well combined. Add sugar pearls lastly. Now turn dough onto a floured cupboard and knead about 5 minutes, adding more flour, a bit at a time, to keep it from sticking to counters and hands. Knead with a light hand; it should be a soft dough that almost sticks but doesn't. When it is springy and stays in a ball, roll in a buttered bowl, cover with a cloth and let is raise about an hour or until double in size. Combine filling ingredients, reserving 2 T. of the sugar pearls for later. Punch down dough, let rest 5 minutes and then split dough into two equal parts. On floured cupboard, roll one ball into a long rectangle. Sprinkle half of filling over it evenly. Roll up from the short end. Pinch the bottom seam and turn and pinch two sides under so the filling does not come out. Place seam side down in a greased bread pan. Repeat for other half of dough. Allow bread to raise until double in size, about 1 hour. Brush some of the whisked egg white onto the tops of the loaves and sprinkle with reserved sugar pearls. Bake in a preheated 375* oven for 25-35 minutes or until golden brown. Tip loaves out onto a wire rack to cool.
You may adjust the spices to your liking. I do not add the cardamom.
Delicious warm with butter or sliced and toasted in the morning with coffee.