I can’t think of anything more therapeutic to do as you recover from root canal surgery (as I was this past weekend) than making a loaf of bread which took over 24 hours. No, seriously. I mean it. When you’re kind of out of it and feel like you are pushing your way through cotton wool, making a loaf of bread that forces you to SLOW down is actually a pretty good way to get back in the swing of things. This Tuesdays with Dorie recipe – Cranberry Pumpkin Walnut Loaf (p 108) is not a quick bread as I initially thought but a yeasted fruit loaf that turned out to be like a denser version of the raisin bread I so love. But 24 hours – seriously?
Yes, seriously. I started baking this bread late afternoon Saturday and it was only ready around 5pm on Sunday. Not difficult at all, just an exercise in patience. You start out with butter and sugar, beating until smooth. Then you add egg, pumpkin purée and finally the yeast and dry ingredients. It’s supposed to act like brioche dough though the last time I made brioche was a long time ago and I couldn’t remember what it was like at all. Then this dough rests for a couple of hours at room temperature. During which mine did not rise. Like not even a bit. Not. At. All. Oh well, I didn’t bother punching it down before I stuck it in the fridge overnight and then when I woke the next day, it still had done nothing. I took it out of the fridge and wrapped the bowl in a blanket and stuck the digital thermometer inside, waiting the nearly 4 hours it took to reach 64˚F. Then I shaped the still not risen loaf into a wrong-sized loaf tin (I halved the recipe which was to make three smaller loaves. I made one mid-sized loaf) and let it rise for 2 more hours. Still hardly any movement. Oh well. I put it in to bake and was very surprised to see how gorgeous it looked after 35 minutes in the oven. So pretty and orange. It felt a little heavy but I let it cool enough to slice it. Even Mr Neil who dubiously accepted the slice I proffered thickly buttered was impressed. It tasted “like real fruit loaf”. Yes it did. Not sure why the rising never happened but the end result was pleasant. Look, good things really do come to those who wait!
This week’s Tuesdays with Dorie, Baking with Julia was hosted by hosted by Rebecca at This Bountiful Backyard and you can find the recipe posted on her blog. Tuesdays with Dorie participants do not publish the recipes on our blogs except if we happen to be the host for the week, rather, we prefer if you purchase Baking with Julia for yourselves which you can do here on Amazon or Amazon Canada. Or for free worldwide shipping, buy from The Book Depository. Then join us, baking along at Tuesdays with Dorie. Go on, you know you want to.
I’m submitting this to the Kitchen Bootcamp over at My Kitchen Addiction. This month’s theme is yeast breads and I think this fits the bill, non?
Other goodies on the go right now…
* Want to win a trip for two to Montreal to dine with ME during restaurant week in November? It’s easy – enter the Dine with a Blogger contest here! (US/Canadians only, sorry international friends!)
** Check out my Sobeys’ Better Food Blog “brunch smackdown” entry. If you like my mini croissant bread puddings (sweet and savoury versions), and you’re in Canada, you have the chance to win gift cards from Sobeys AND help me donate gift cards to Out of the Cold this coming holiday season.