Friday, 10 September 2010
Yesterday was a gorgeous day. It was warm enough to wear flip-flops, there was the smell of fall in the air, I finally got some work done (thank you Mr Sun for making me happy enough to work and not mind!) and my swimming times moved from 'too embarrassing to talk about' to 'ok...I can work with this'. So what more could I want you ask :) well.....
In order to celebrate my friend Sandra moving I had made a cinnamon-nut loaf which was waiting for me when I got back from the pool. Believe me, very few things have hit the spot that well in a while on the post-workout front. I had thought I hit the jackpot with a tofu and tinned peach concoction but this was in a completely different league. And when I took half the loaf over to Sandra's in the evening it tasted just as good :)
I got the idea from Ree Drummond's post a couple of weeks ago but then decided to use a dough more similar to the Challah dough in Kim Boyce's Good to the Grain.
The second 'rise' happens in the fridge so start the night before and you'll get a fabulous mid-morning treat.
So here we go:
250ml Milk or milk substitute (I used 150ml rice milk and 100ml soy cream), lukewarm
42g Fresh yeast
1 tbsp Agave syrup
250g Kamut flour
150g Spelt flour
50g Corn meal
2 tsp Salt
2 Eggs (at room temperature)
150g + 3 tbsp Butter + some for the tin (also at room temperature)
1 tbsp Cinnamon
75g Chopped nuts (e.g. walnuts or hazelnuts or pecans)
Make a sponge using the milk, yeast, syrup and a couple of tablespoons of the flour. Give the sponge around 30 minutes then mix it with the rest of the flour, salt, eggs and 150g of the butter.
Knead the dough forever. Nah, just kidding but give it 10 minutes (your arms will thank you). If the dough is still sticky add some more flour (add small amounts at a time) until it's still very buttery and slightly sticky (but not the kinda sticky that sticks to your hands and not to itself). A lot of people make the dough and add the butter at the end but I can never be bothered to wait for that. It does help but if you're doing the kneading by hand that adds at least another 5 minutes to your ordeal so for me the laziness wins :)
Put the dough into a bowl, cover it and allow it to rise until it's doubled in size (that normally takes 2 hrs).
When you come back knock back the dough, put it back into the bowl, cover it and stick it into the fridge overnight.
The next morning, get your bowl, knead the dough for a couple of minutes (cursing because your hands feel like they're freezing off - this is an essential part of making this loaf :) ) and then roll it out into a rectangle (Ree suggests putting your baking tin in front of you so you know what maximum width to aim for). Aim for the dough to be definitely less than a cm thick.
Now you get to relive all those childhood memories, mix the 3 tbsp butter with the sugar and cinnamon and spread the mix over the rectangle (you might not need all of it, just see how it goes). Sprinkle the nuts on top and then roll everything into a sausage (you'll want to roll it tightly, and just to be sure, roll it up so you end up with a roll the width of your baking tin, not the other way around).
Butter the tin and stick the dough roll in. Now you get to wait again (I know! But it's gonna be worth it!). Cover the tin and let the dough rise for another 2 hours or so (it should double in size again, though I always find that hard to judge when you're looking a a dough roll).
Heat your oven to 180 degrees, brush the top of the loaf with some milk or some egg-wash and bake it for 40-50 minutes.
Allow the loaf to cool slightly before you take it out of the tin.
Let it cool completely before you enjoy it with some coffee or a glass of milk.
Oh, and it's especially tasty if you have it in Sandra's new room after helping her move her stuff :)