Monday, June 14, 2010

bread! and pictures!

behold some delicious food pr0n!

Hopefully next time I'll remember to take a picture before the food is nearly gone. This is the remaining third of some super awesome delicious fruit and nut bread I made yesterday.  I started with a basic Challah recipe, and got creative from there. You can roll just about anything you like into this stuff, just make sure it's chopped up small (my walnut peices were way too big) and that you don't have more than 1/3 cup or so of filling. You might not be able to tell from the picture, but I had way too much filling, and I didn't flatten my dough out enough before rolling. But it was still darn tasty!!  As will yours be, even if you nut chunks are too big, your filling too much, and your dough not rolled out enough.

Super Easy Fruit and Nut Stuffed Bread

makes one good sized loaf of bread
1 packet yeast
1/2 cup very warm water (warmer than body temp, but not "hot")
1 tsp honey + about 2 tbsp honey
1 egg
2 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp salt
2-3 cups flour (have 3 cups ready, you might not use it all)
1/4 cup dried cranberries (or dried fruit of your choice, chopped if big peices)
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped (or other nuts of your choice)

dissolve the yeast in the very warm water with 1 tsp of honey. leave for 5-10 minutes so the yeast can start to froth.

In a large bowl, beat the egg, then add 2 tbsp honey, the oil, salt and mix well. now add the frothy yeast mixture, and mix again. Slowly add flour until you have a soft dough. With well floured hands, knead the dough for about 12 minutes or until it is soft and elastic. pour a little bit of oil in the bowl, turn the dough ball to coat, cover loosely, and let rise in a warm place for about 2 hours.

When you are ready to shape the dough, soak the dried cranberries in hot water for about 5 minutes. This plumps them up, helps to break up the sticky blobs of dried fruit, and rehydrates them a little. All good things! Drain the fruit well, it's OK if it's damp, but you don't want it to be wet when you put it in the bread.

Punch down the dough, and roll or stretch it out into a rectangle-ish shape that's about 10" by 20". Mine was not a perfect rectangle, nor was it exactly those measurements. Spread the nuts and dried fruit on top of the dough, leaving 2" or so on the edges. Starting at one of the long ends, roll it up as tight as you can. If your dough is especailly thin, try to be careful not to tear it. But if it tears, that's Ok! Really! it will still taste wonderful! However, if the outside is torn, and there is fruit or nuts right on the outside, you will want to pick them off because they will burn in the oven. Pinch the ends closed and fold them underneath.

Let rise on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet for another hour. Bake in a preheated 425 degree oven for about 30 minutes, or until browned on the outside.

Let cool, and enjoy!!

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