Saturday, October 22, 2011

Variations on a theme

I promised some variations on THE bread. That's the biggest hurdle right now: naming the bread. Mama called it "my bread", my sister called it "her bread", my brother called it "Mother's bread" and I called it "Mama's Bread". Any way ya cut it, and it better be cut evenly, it is a  "genius recipe". Remember, it's a no knead bread. That doesn't mean it can't be messed with or punched or prodded.  It means there's just no need to! But that's not the genius part of it, the real genius part is the flavor. Then there's the texture...
Oh, you know I could go on and on but let's get bakin'!
THE BREAD with variations:
Follow the basic recipe above.You can substitute a cup of whole wheat flour for the white flour if you want. It makes 2 loaves. After the first rise (45 minutes) add in (fold in) to 1/2 of the dough: 1 tablespoon dry toasted caraway seeds.To dry toast seeds, place them in a small pan and place over medium high heat until you smell them or they pop a few times. Keep the seeds moving for a few seconds.You can add 2 tablespoons butter to them if you want a richer bread. After folding in the seeds, form the loaf into the shape you want, placing it into a buttered or olive oiled pan, stone or mold that has been sprinkled with corn meal. It adds a great crunch, interesting flavor and the loaf won't stick to the pan either.Brush the top with a little melted butter or olive oil. Let it rise for nother 45 minutes. Now take the other half of the dough and fold in the following: 4 tablespoons melted butter, 1/2 cup brown sugar and 4 tablespoons golden raisins and 2 teaspoons Vietnamese cinnamon. It's the sweetest and most intense cinnamon on earth! Look for it in the spice section. Sometimes it's called Siagon cinnamon. Now spread the dough out flat and sprinkle sugar mixture over it, then fold it over a couple times to seal in the mixture. Form the loaf and place in the pan or mold. Brush melted butter over the top and cover lightly and let rise for 45 more minutes. Place both pans in a 425 degree oven for 10 minutes, then reduce temperature to 375 for 20 more minutes. Set a timer! You don't want to be disappointed at this point. If you follow the directions and don't do somthing wierd like put it in a bread machine, God forbid!,you will have a most wonderful bread that you can call YOUR OWN.

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