Showing posts with label Bread. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bread. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Apples, Walnuts, Currants: Bread

Hi Smoochy,

(If you are not familiar with Haley's various nicknames, they include the likes of Mooch, Moocho Babe, Achoomy Baab, Smoochy, Haley Bailey, and, not to be forgotten, Baby Baluga.)

Here I am, substituting in a computers class, trying to fill the hours until three o'clock. Basically I circulate through the room and ask the kids (teenagers) how their projects are progressing, they grunt, I lean in, look at their screens and murmur words of encouragement and approval, really having little to no idea what the numbers and lines indicate. Excel: one of the reasons I never took computer class.

It's warm. The computers are buzzing. One boy continues to giggle in a hicuppy sort of way.

So I thought I'd send you a little happiness in the form of an apple-walnut bread recipe.

This recipe is based on the one I made at your house exactly one-year ago, when I was similarly sporadically employed. (As a substitute teacher I find myself with a lot of spare time in September. In October the permanent staff start dropping like flies and I invariably get some work and some colds. Handling sick people's pens and pencils is a quick way to a chest infection).

The impetus for this recipe came from one of Beth Henspberger's books; I switched up the ingredients and the technique. Mine is quite a different beast, but a delicious beast.

Apple Walnut Bread

1 Tbsp yeast

2 Tbsp oil

1/4 cup milk (110 degrees - warm)

3/4 cups water (110 degrees)

1 cup oats
1 and 1/4 cups bran
1 Tbsp salt

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp all spice

3 cups peeled, coarsely chopped apple

1/2 cup currants

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

3 plus 1/4 cups flour

Combine the oil, milk, water, yeast, and one cup all-purpose flour in a bowl. Mix well and then let it stand for one hour. It will be very bubbly and active after an hours rest.

Add all the remaining ingredients except for the flour. Mix. Add the flour 1/2 a cup at a time, stirring after each addition. Give the dough a good final stir. It should be sticky but it should come together in a big wet ball. Like this:

Now, cover it with a tea towel and let it rise until about double, one hour to one and a half hours.

After the dough has risen prepare your counter by either coating it with oil or flour. The dough will not stick to either surface. Use a spatula to pour the dough onto the counter. Prepare two round casserole dishes or pots, or two loaf pans by coating the vessels in oil.

Use a knife or bench scraper to divide the dough in two. Wet your hands (which prevents the dough from sticking to you) and shape the dough into two rounds or into two loafs. Put the dough into your pans of choice and let it rise for another hour.

Before the dough has finished rising, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and bake the loaves for about 45minutes, or until nicely browned and hollow sounding when tapped.