Friday, October 9, 2009

Cranberry Walnut Celebration Bread

Although I don't do it often, I love making bread. I find it very therapeutic to incorporate all of that flour into a dough, then knead it until it is silky and elastic. It's amazing how even the raggediest ball of dough can come together into something quite wonderful.

It's been a while since I made bread, and in the interim, I acquired Peter Reinhart's The Bread Baking Apprentice. I did toy with joining the BBA Challenge, but then remembered how I sometimes find it a stretch to keep up with the two groups I am already in and decided to forge my own path as an occasional bread baker.

The first bread that I have chosen to make from The Bread Bakers Apprentice is the Cranberry Walnut Celebration Loaf. However, in my case, it should more accurately be called the Cranberry Apricot Raisin Almond Celebration Loaf. Also, I am not sure if "loaf" is the right word for the amoeba-shaped object at the top of this post. Methinks my braiding skills need some work; it would also help if I didn't decide that I absolutely had to go shopping for a dress that I had spied the day before at precisely the time when the dough's rising period was officially over.

Despite the odd shape, this bread was rather delicious. I battled to include all of the fruit and nuts recommended, but somehow managed to incorporate them, and for lovers of fruit bread, this loaf is a treat.

If you are keen to try this bread yourself, you can buy Peter's book (a little pricey but worth it!!), or the recipe for this particular loaf can be found online here.

Now for some pics. Here is the kneaded dough pre-fruit'n'nuts, just like an adorable bald baby's head and almost as kissable:

This is the dough after incorporation of a whopping quantity of fruit and nuts:

It is hot here in Brissie, so the dough rose a treat:

Here are my braids pre-baking (and up to this stage, my bread looks normal):

Umm ... and here is my bread after the yeast was allowed to party for an hour longer than the recipe said because of my urge to buy a dress (and a very lovely
Cue dress it is):

And here is the loaf cut to show all the fruity and nutty goodness inside:

This produced a dense, fruity, nutty loaf that was good spread with butter, and would have been perfect toasted. I didn't like it just plain, but then again, I am not a bread eater, so if you love bread, you may have liked this plain.

Stay tuned for my next bread baking adventure!


Anonymous said...

I think it looks nice, and cranberry almond raisin apricot sounds great!

I'm sure the dress was worth making the bread wait a little bit longer!

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

I love freshly baked fruity, nutty breads especially slathered with lots of butter :)

Emily said...

Look how bountiful that bread is! It's GORGEOUS! Bravo.

Happy cook said...

I made this bread and we just loved here too.
This is one yummy bread.

The Blonde Duck said...

I love thick nutty bread with lots of butter!

And I just got your pay it forward package! Thank you so much for the gorgeous tea towel and the delicious butterscotch toffees! It was so sweet of you! Remind me--do I send something back to you or someone else?

Jennifer said...

That bread truly looks like a celebration! BRAVO!

Y said...

Ah, so that's the secret to delicious bread.. go shopping in the interim! :D

Brenda said...

Mmmm yum! Don't worry about your braiding I think it looks great!!!

Cakelaw said...

Thanks Jill - absolutely!

Hi Lorraine, I tend to like my bread toasted with lots of butter melting into it.

Thanks Em.

Hi Happy Cook, agreed.

Hi Duckie, so do I! For Pay It Forward, you send something to someone else out in cyberland, so the love gets shared around.

Thanks Jennifer.

LOL Y, yes, that it my top secret tip. And if the bread doesn't work out, at least you have some lovely things ;)

Thanks Brenda.

Anonymous said...

Your loaf looks fantastic. great job!