Thursday, February 28, 2008

Village Baker's Holiday Cranberry Orange Bread

Damn it! I hate, hate, hate it when I do something totally stupid, and mess up a recipe. I forgot to add the butter. Not just a little butter, but an entire stick and a half of butter. Butter is almost always an integral part in baked goods so how I missed it in this recipe is beyond me. I didn't even catch the mistake until I was typing the recipe into the blog -- that's how thoroughly I missed it.

I suppose if you're going to leave the butter out of a recipe though, a multi-rise yeast bread is the place to do it since the bread gets a lot of its flavor from the rising process, and not from the added fats. I am sure that the bread would taste much better with the butter included, but it's actually not bad at all the way it is. Most people probably wouldn't even realize the butter was missing unless I told them.

A yeasted bread dotted with cranberries and (I know JB will hate this part) chocolate chips. I thought about subbing walnuts for chocolate chips, but I decided to just make it the way the recipe wanted it. Tart cranberries, a sweet yeast dough and chocolate chips makes this bread a winner. I'm sure the missing butter would have made it fantastic.

My only real complaint for the recipe is that it takes much longer to bake than first indicated. I took the bread out of the oven after 45 minutes, and because I wanted to get the pictures taken and the blog posted so I could finish getting ready for work, I took off the springform pan and snapped a few shots. Then I sliced off a piece to taste it and realized it wasn't done. There were many down-right doughy portions left all over the top of the bread, but getting the springform pan back on it was out of the question. Luckily, it was done enough to retain its shape for it's repeat trips to the oven -- and there were a lot of repeat trips.

After the first two 5 minute trips I covered the top with foil to try to keep it from over browning... two more 5 minute trips later and I was starting to get a little frustrated with it. Fortunately it seemed to be okay with it's extended time in the oven because it went in for at least 30 more minutes than the recipe calls for which is a bit annoying. I did bump the heat down to 325 after the first 10 minutes because I was afraid to burn the whole thing -- and after having it actually turn out okay even without the butter, I really, really didn't want to do that.

1/3 cup warm water
5 tsps rapid rise yeast
4 to 5 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup warm milk
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 large egg
3 egg yolks
1 tsp salt
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp orange oil or orange extract
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped fresh or frozen cranberries
3/4 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips

Finishing Touches:
1 large egg
pinch of white sugar and salt
white sugar for dusting

Generously spray a 9-inch springfrom pan with nonstick cooking spray. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place pan on it.

In a mixer bowl, hand whisk water and yeast together and then add warm milk, butter, egg, egg yolks, salt, sugar, vanilla, orange oil, and most of rest of flour. Mix ingredients and then, using dough hook, knead on low speed to make a soft dough, 8 to 10 minutes, adding more flour as required.

Remove dough hook, spray dough with nonstick cooking spray, and place a large clear plastic bag over entire mixer and bowl. Let dough rise 30 to 45 minutes, or until almost doubled.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and gently deflate. Press dough down into a flattened round and press cranberries and chocolate chips into dough, folding and incorporating as best you can -- the shape doesn't matter at this stage.

Let dough rest 15 minutes and then cut into 12 portions. Shape each into a ball and arrange on one level in prepared pan. Whisk egg and pinch each of sugar and salt. Brush dough with egg wash and dust with white sugar. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise until puffy and almost doubled, about 45 to 60 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350. Bake bread until nicely browned, about 40 to 50 minutes.

Let cool and serve warm or at room temp.


Anonymous said...

it's pretty, though. cranberry & walnut sound good... ;)

Mira said...

this is very pretty! i got to try a little bit of it cuz russ swiped some on his way home (i left work early today). a little too chocolatey for me (though how this was chocolatey and your chocolate cream cake wasn't is beyond me!).

but it looks so pretty whole! :)