Thursday, June 5, 2008

Cranberry and Currant Bread

With the increase in petrol price, it will be a matter of time when we will see a rise in price in everything else. This is a clear indication of an on-coming austerity drive for many of us. What we can save, we save. What we can recycle, we should. If we could eat in, why eat out. What we wanted to throw away, we have to consider whether we are able to salvage. And that was precisely what happened yesterday.

I was reaching into the kitchen cabinet for a can of tuna when I saw this can of Cranberries which upon checking, was due to expire in June. Could not quite see the date but it was definitely June 2008. Normally, I would have seriously considered throwing it out but with an afterthought, put it aside and went to check my trusty bread bible "One Hundred Bread Machine Recipes" - Vicki Smallwood (this could have been a pressie from JW) to see what I could do with this soon-to-be expired (or already expired??) can of cranberries.

Found 2 recipes actually but decided on the simpler one. I do believe the recipe asked for dried cranberries but don't matter. I will not feed my test bunnies expired or expiring foodstuff. So, I will be the only one eating up this bread.

I followed the recipe and instructions to the letter but was not sure about the end result. I did not see the dough raising in the proportion that it was supposed to. In fact, it rose only very little. I am not sure what actually happened. I have reproduced the recipe below. Could it have been the yeast (I used instant yeast)? Could it have been the cool night temperature? Or the bread only can work with dried cranberries? I seriously don't know why the dough did not rise up twice the original size. The bread turned out edible, but it did not have the cottony effect (or rather was it meant to be like that?).

Since the dough did not inflate like it should, I didn't even bother to plait it. Just rolled them up and baked them. Had some for breakfast this morning. Will finish the rest within the next few days.


1 cup water, tepid
3 tbsp honey
2 tbsp butter, melted
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups white bread flour
1 cup wholemeal bread flour
1 tsp yeast

To finish
75g (3oz) dried cranberries
75g (3oz) currants
beaten egg for brushing over

  1. Place the first seven ingredients in the baking pan. Set the program to "DOUGH"
  2. When the dough is ready, transfer it to a floured surface. Knead in the cranberries and currants int ht dough until they are evenly dispersed.
  3. Divide the dough into 3 equal sized pieces and then roll each piece into a long sausage measuring approximately 30.5cm (12in) in length.
  4. Loosely plait together the three lengths of dough, pinching the ends together to seal them.
  5. Place plait on a greased baking sheet, cover it with a piece of oiled cling film and leave it to prove in a warm place.
  6. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/GM6.
  7. When the dough has almost doubled in size, remove the cling film and lightly brush the plait with some beaten egg.
  8. Bake the plait in the oven for 20 to 25mins or until golden.
  9. Transfer plait to a wire rack and leave to cool before serving.

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