Monday, December 21, 2015

Alpha Bakers - Raisin Walnut Christmas Bread

Tucked in between the corners of this weekend, which included a joyful and tearful run-in with Tevye and Co. in the searing and sweet Broadway revival of Fiddler on the Roof, teatime with kids and LEGOs, and a few hours of Sunday overtime, were a few little Christmas activities. Most notably, the baking of Rose's Cranberry Walnut Christmas Bread. This bread sounded so festive that I was imagining something of a quick bread with sharp pops of fresh cranberry and chunks of ginger, maybe even white chocolate. When I realized that I was looking at a simple yeast bread, I had to reboot and revise a bit, using all AP flour instead of the WW flour called for, and adding raisins instead of the dried cranberries I had not bought.

Everything else went smoothly, though. I appreciate the step of incorporating the fruit soaking liquid (to which I added a shot of Campari to acidify those sweet raisins) into the dough--bread dough is always my catchall for whatever bits of liquid (sour milk, ginger beer, beer, mushroom broth) are lying around waiting for a purpose, and this recipe has that tendency built in.
Rose recommends a 3-day preferment to enhance the flavor. I didn't have time for that, nor did I throw in a little sourdough, which would in retrospect have been a good idea, but I did give the dough a second rise in the refrigerator overnight, which helped some with development. The final loaf had a nice crust and crumb, and good spring. It wasn't my favorite bread ever (breads with lots of nuts in always taste a little peanut-buttery to me), but it made for a sturdy lunch with some good butter on.


Vicki said...

I was envisioning the same type of Christmas tea bread! Probably from reading the Mr. Cranberry with the yellow bowl book too many times. Your bread looks and sounds delicious, sans cranberries. I like how you take everything in stride, pull up your bootstraps and just get on with it! Admirable quality.

Unknown said...

Your bread looks so good. Your kitchen must have a lot of interesting things waiting to be useful.