Showing posts with label raisins. Show all posts
Showing posts with label raisins. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

In the Winter Chill

My shoes crunched their way up the stairs to my front door tonight. Not because of dried leaves or snow but because a strange layer of whiteness has covered the land. It is not snow and it's not hail or sleet. Just fine shavings of ice that are unable to melt in the winter chill.

This very chill kept the temperature in the 20s today and called off all classes.

What better way to embrace winter weather at its truest, than making use of the oven, reading on a couch, and gazing outside through steamy windows at trees branches haloed by their icy encasement? And this is exactly what I did for the better part of the day.

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This bread was an adaptation of an old standard. The only thing I did differently was to roll it out before shaping it into a loaf, then I rubbed it with a thin layer of butter and sprinkled cinnamon, cocoa, sugar, and raisins evenly across the top. I just rolled it up and tucked it into its loaf pan for one final rise from there. Delicious.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Tuesdays with Dorie and Wishing My French Blood Ran Stronger (again)

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Usually yeast and I get along quite well. I enjoy the interaction of releasing its sweet, fermenting flecks into a big bowl of warm water or whisked flour and letting it do its thing over the next couple hours. There's always an element of risk, an intrigue of the unknown, and I can get excited about this because rarely do I dislike the final result. It's harder than some think to kill yeast and so, even if my loaf isn't as tight as it could be or as flavorful, I generally get a good rise. Like I said, yeast and I usually get along.

But something went wrong with the Kugelhopf I started on Sunday evening and eventually baked at eight o'clock Monday night. The directions I was following only addressed the use of a dough hook, not the manual method I was using, so maybe I didn't "knead" the dough long enough with my large spatula. I don't know exactly. It rose happily until I put it in the fridge overnight and then it never came back to life very much. Or maybe I was just too ambitious, placing it in a large bundt pan (large as in average size, I believe) and hoping it would climb all the way up the sides when it really only doubled in size and sat stubbornly at a level several inches from the top.

So, presentation was lacking and likely delicacy in the crumb as well, but from the slice I had at breakfast this morning to the one I nibbled on pre-dinner, this cake grew on me quite a bit. Per Dorie's instructions, I stuck my last slice in the toaster and smeared on some marmalade because it had already started to dry out. But it was still delicious.

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Three things would encourage me to make this again...

1) It was my first experience with anything resembling brioche (something I've been wanting to try), and I think I like it even better because it's slightly less rich.

2) I boiled my raisins with rum and then let them sit for an hour, and anything that is compatible with rum soaked raisins makes me happy.

3) The yeast got the better of me in this recipe, and I will not be beat. (This is one of only a few areas where my competitive side comes out.)

So, if you're still confused about what on earth a Kugelhopf is anyway, here's a little bit of history.

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A big thanks to Yolanda over at The All-purpose Girl for selecting Kugelhopf out of Dorie Greenspan's Baking: From My Home to Yours. I'm always glad to try something new in the culinary realm. And thank you as well to the ladies who keep Tuesdays with Dorie running.

You'll find the recipe here:
Kugelhopf