PSA: Mother’s Day is May 9, 2010
From time to time, the consequences of living alone will abruptly strike my consciousness. For instance, about ten minutes ago I was sitting in my studio. A night in, oh how nice. Nine minutes ago, I was sitting in my studio, and I realized I was sitting under the light of two soft-glow lamps, a scented candle, and listening to the music of The Reverend Al Green. It’s a good thing I had a big dinner, or else an empty bottle of wine would be hanging out with me tonight, too.
Have I turned into my mom? My mom actually makes the world go ‘round when she’s at home, so, no, I’m not even close to turning into her. Other than an undeniable predilection for adult soft rock, the behavioral patterns my mom has passed down to me have little to do with my trespasses while in isolation.
Thankfully, before I left the nest, she was able to imbue in me the importance of making myself useful in the kitchen. Any ability to make things that are both edible and photograph-able comes from that woman. Within, and beyond, that lesson, she showed me that patience and tenacity bear great things in life. She’s right, so please keep that in mind when you see the recipe for this scrumptious loaf of bread.
Cinnamon Swirl Currant Bread
recipe adapted from Rose Levy Beranbaum’s the bread bible
Yield: One 8″x4″x4.5″ loaf
Time: Dough Starter: 1hr to 24hrs; Minimum rising time: about 3.5hrs; Baking time: 50 minutes
Dough Starter Ingredients:
6 oz. or 1⅛ cup plus 1¼ tbsp whole wheat bread flour
7.15 oz. or ¾cup of warm water
.75 oz. or 1 tbsp plus .5 tsp honey
2.4 grams or ¾ tsp active dry yeast
5.5 oz. or 1 cup plus 1.5 tbsp unbleached all purpose flour
.75 oz. or ⅛ cup dry milk, preferably non-fat
2.25 oz. or 4.5 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp salt
Cinnamon Swirl Filling Ingredients:
1.3 oz. sugar or ⅛ cup raw brown sugar
.15 oz. or 2 tsp cinnamon
about .5 oz. or 1 tbsp beaten egg
1. In a large bowl, proof the yeast for about 10 minutes over the honey and water mixture that has been heated to about (about 105°). Add the whole wheat flour and whisk it until smooth and some air is incorporated, about 5 minutes. This is the dough starter.
2. In another bowl, whisk all of the Dough Ingredients except for the salt and butter. Sprinkle all of the dry dough ingredients over the dough starter, and cover it with plastic wrap, leaving it at room temperature to ferment between 1 to 4 hours. The dough starter will rise and push the dry dough ingredients around — success.
3. Add the butter and salt to the bowl, and mix with a wooden spoon until the dough starts to come together. Throw the mess onto a tabletop, and knead it for 5 minutes. The dough will stick everywhere. After 5 minutes, it should develop a stronger structure because of the gluten development. Resist any temptation to add more flour. Using a bench scraper, scrape the dough into a single roundish mass, and cover it with the now empty large mixing bowl for 20 minutes. It’s going to rest now, and so should you.
4. Knead the dough for another 5 minutes, and resist any temptation to add more flour. It’s going to be sticky, and you’re not going to feel good about it. Put the dough back into the bowl, cover it with plastic wrap, and let it rest for 10 minutes. Add a half cup of raisins/currants/sultanas, if you so desire, and mix it throughout the dough.
5. Let the dough double in a covered oiled container at room temperature (75° to 80°), 1½ to 2 hours. Gently lay the dough out onto a floured counter, in a rectangular shape. Fold it like a business letter, and put it back into the container to let chill in the fridge for an hour.
6. On a floured counter, roll out the piece of dough so it’s about 7½”x14″ and about ¼” thick. Gently press on the dough with your fingertips to deflate any large air bubbles. Brush the beaten egg over the surface of the dough, then spread the cinnamon sugar mix over it, leaving about a ¾” space at the edges. Starting from the short side of the rectangle, roll the dough toward the other end. Seal up the long seam of this dough log, as well as the spiral side seams.
7. Place in the loaf pan, and cover it loosely with an oiled plastic wrap. Let it rise until it is about 1½” over the top of the pan, about 1 to 2 hours.
8. Bake in an oven that has been pre-heated to 350° for 50 minutes, or until the internal temperature is about 211°. Turn the pan around halfway through baking.
9. Glaze the top of the bread with melted butted, and let it cool for an hour before slicing it. If you still have any remaining hours left in your day, you should try a slice — it’s very good.Tagged with: bread • cinnamon • sweet
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