Saturday, August 22, 2009

ohhh, look at that swirly-goodness

So I came back a few hours ago from seeing Julie & Julia with my mom. Wow, what a great movie!! Anyone who lives to eat should see this movie. And it definitely made me reevaluate my career goals. Hmmm, culinary school after grad school, anyone?? ;) To create my own culinary nutrition degree? To be a....personal chef?? Hmmm, you never know. :)

So the next bread I tackled from the Epic Sandwich Cookbook? Cranberry Currant Bread! Now, I really don't know what kind of sandwich this would work well with. It seems to me that it's best as a dessert-like thang that you heat up in the micro or toaster oven.

The cool thing about this bread is the realllly good cranberry-currant-cream cheese filling that gives it that classic jelly roll-look. After that mixture was made on the stove top, it got smeared over the rolled out whole wheat bread dough.

And drizzled over the bread dough before the cream cheese? Maple syrup. And in my case, real maple syrup that my mom had bought when we were in the UP this July. Ohhhh yeah. It doesn't get much better than that, huh?

Oohhhh, Giada-shot.....aka picture with low-cut shirt. ;)

Rolling up this puppy was definitely an adventure. I almost feared that the cream cheese filling was going to explode out since there was so much of it.

But fear not! The bread came out marvelously. However, since I made this bread for Mike, I never got a taste of it would be just slightly rude to give a loaf a bread with a slice already cut from it. ;) I did get pictures of it, though, thanks to Mike's mom. These last two pictures are hers....she's not too shabby with the camera, huh?

Cranberry, Currants, & Cream Cheese Bread
From "Beautiful Breads & Fabulous Fillings"

1 tbsp. butter
1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
1 1/2 cups dried currants (I pretty sure this is a fancy word for raisins....)
16 oz. cream cheese
1/4 cup plus 3 tbsp, maple syrup
1 egg
2 tbsp. water

Basic Whole Wheat Bread - WARNING: These measurements make 4 LOAVES. I halved it and used one portion for this recipe and the other for a plain whole wheat loaf.
2 tbsp. yeast
5 cups warm water
2 cups warm milk
2 cups warm half-and-half
3/4 cups brown sugar
2 sticks butter, melted
3/4 cup honey
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
18 vups whole wheat flour
3 1/2 tbsp. salt
1 egg
2 tbsp. water

Prepare Basic Whole Wheat Bread: Generously grease a large bowl and set aside.

In a very large bowl, dissolve the yeast in the water, milk, and half-and-half. Let stand for 5 minutes, or until the yeast is foamy. Add the brown sugar, butter, honey, and vanilla to the yeast mixture and mix well.

In another very large bowl (or stand mixer), combine the whole wheat flour and salt. Slowly add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and mix well. If you're using a stand mixer, knead for 3 to 4 minutes. If you're kneading by hand, turn the dough onto a floured countertop or board, and knead for 4 to 7 minutes. Keep the dough moist for a soft, tender bread.

Place the kneaded dough in the prepared bowl. Place the bowl in a warm, dry place and let the dough rise for 60 minutes.

Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the cranberries, currants, cream cheese, and 1/2 cup of the maple syrup. Mix well and cover. Let simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently.

Generously butter 1 9-inch loaf pan. Roll out a softball-size piece of the dough from the Whole Wheat Bread recipe (one-quarter of the batch) into a 9x11-inch rectangle so that the long side is perpendicular to your body.

Spread the remaining maple syrup over the dough. Then spread the mixture in the skillet evenly over the dough.

Tightly roll the dough into a loaf, rolling away from your body. To hold in the filling, fold the outer edges of the dough as you roll.

Place the dough into the prepared loaf pan seam side down. Place the pan in a warm, dry place and allow the dough to rise for 60 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Beat together the egg and water to make an egg wash. Brush the egg wash over the dough. Make three diagonal slits - deep enough to see the filling - across the top of the loaf.

Bake for about 1 hour. Remove the loaf from the pan and tap the bottom of the loaf. If it sounds hollow, it's done. If not, continue to bake, checking every few minutes. When the loaf is done, return it to the pan, remove from the oven, and cool for 30 minutes. Remove the loaf from the pan and transfer it to a wire rack. Cool for another 30 minutes before slicing.

Yield: 1 loaf

1 comment:

Andrew's Mom said...

I have that book and that bread looks absolutely fantastic. OMG!