Friday, January 09, 2009

Slow Buns and Fruit Bread with a Twist

The other night Sweetie wanted to make hamburbers. I’m not a huge fan of hamburgers, although I enjoy one now and then, but I was willing. He makes really, really good burgers!

Then he mentions that he didn’t buy any hamburger rolls, *Hint**Hint*, so could I please make some? This was at about 3 in the afternoon. I told him that it would mean eating later in the evening than he had planned. Fine with him.

I needed to feed my sourdough starter, anyway, so I got the starter out of the fridge and let it warm up. Then I mixed up a nice oatmeal bread dough and set the dough to rise. The house was on the cool side…not too surprising since it was overcast and chilly outside and our only source of heat is a woodstove. Sweetie made a fire in the woodstove, which helped. Then the rolls had to be shaped and the rolls had to rise.

I decided to only make four and use the rest of the dough for something different. About a half hour before we were to eat, I preheated the oven. The rolls were still not very puffy. The house was still cool. I had been letting them rise in the kitchen where I had a nice hot pot of soup to throw off some heat. Sweetie stoked up the fire and I let them rise a bit more by the fire as the oven preheated. How on earth did women manage all of this when there was no central heat and homes were even cooler? Guess that was why there was the baker with his big ovens.

Anyhoo, the rolls went into the preheated oven and stayed sort of flat, although they puffed up some. They barely had time to cook by the time the burgers were done…another 10 minutes would have helped, but it was already over an hour past the usual dinner time and Sweetie was hungry for that burger. I must admit, they tasted wonderful. The rolls had a nice crust and great flavor. I sure learned that yeast doesn’t do ‘hurry’ very well.

The bread I made with the remaining dough was absolutely wonderful! I spread it out in a rectangle, sprinkled on some cinnamon, a bit of nutmeg and a dash of allspice. These were kneaded into the dough. Then I spread it out into a rectangle, sprinkled on a mix of finely diced dried fruits that were a gift from the Third Sister Down,

plus some dried cranberries. These were kneaded in. It didn’t look like enough, so I repeated the process, adding more dried fruits. Then I rolled the dough into a log, sliced it in two, and twisted those two strands around each other, tucking the ends under. Since there was no hurry for this bread, I let it rise as long as it needed, until double in bulk. Into a preheated oven it went and it was baked until lightly golden brown. The shape ended up being almost like a baguette. The bread was just a little spicy and the fruits were like jewels.

It tasted a bit like raisin bread, but better. Toasted and spread with butter…sublime!

The oatmeal bread recipe is the same one I used for Oatmeal Bread in a previous posta little over a month ago. For the rolls, I spread a little milk over the tops and sprinkled on some rolled oats, but otherwise only changed the shape.

It’s been a busy week…I know they all are…but fun, too. More bread making and sweets baking is scheduled for this weekend, plus I’m taking a friend to tea in Benicia on Sunday. Just might have some fun things to post soon.

4 comments :

TadMack said...

(Sigh.
Sorry we missed you -- spent most of my time in the U.S. with some kind of creeping crud of a 'flu. Hopefully we'll see you in May/June. For more of those good ice cream coffee drinks in Seb.)

The one thing I missed this holiday was stollen -- your bread looks a lot like that, and now I really want to go home and make some!!

Peabody said...

It looks like little gemstones peaking out everywhere!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

You are really getting great bread with your starter. I'm totally impressed.
I often have to pause considering how women managed even 100 years ago. We have so much to simplify our chores.
There is simply nothing as rewarding to me as baking bread. Simple ingredients come out of the oven in a beautiful aroma cloud and you get to eat it.

Elle said...

TadMack, I'm sorry we didn't get to see y'all, too. Seems like there was a lot of illnesss going round over the holidays...I had some, too, and lay low. Absolutely in May/June! This was a little like stollen, but a bit firmer.Hope you bake up a storm when you get home!

Peabody, Yes, it's really pretty bread,

Tanna, that really is part of the appeal...you get to smell your bread and eat it, too :)