Sunday, February 28, 2010

BEET Bread.. Really?

Yep, Red Beet Buns to be exact.
These were our assignment for Feb 15.  I loved making these!  First off, it was a great excuse to use my brand new Cuisanart food processor to grate the fresh beets (worked like a charm!) and second, the dough  was so pretty.  The beet juice dyed it this lovely pink color- perfect for Valentines Day!   Beets are one of my favorite vegetables so I wasn't as leery of this recipe as a lot of my fellow bakers were.  As it turned out, beets were not the dominant flavor at all.  Instead they had a slightly  onion-ey taste. Delicious!  The day I made them, my newlywed daughter and her husband came over for dinner.  I had the table all set with my red dishes and pink crocheted tablecloth.. it was nearly Valentine's Day, after all.  :)
My son-in-law is not a real adventuresome eater, so I was a little nervous about what he would think of red bread.  But, he bravely took one then kind of hung back to see what everyone else's reaction would be.  Hubby and daughter had no such reservations.  They took one bite and both declared them a winner.  They loved them!  THEN I told her what was in them.  She started laughing and said it was a  good thing I didn't tell her beforehand because she HATES beets. hmmm.. didn't remember that.  By this time sil gave them a try and decided he liked them too. Hooray!  HBin 5 pulls through again. This one will definitely be on my 'make again' list!  Would love to share this recipe but can't due to copyright issues.  But, I heartily recommend the book- Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day.  The recipe is on page 180.  If you'd like to see what the other great cooks did with this dough you can check it out  here.  A big thanks to our noble leader, Michelle, for picking this fun recipe!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Nothing Daunted...

The next recipe we were assigned was Whole Grain Challah With Cranberries and Orange Zest.  Can I just say YUM???  What is not to like about the combination of cranberries and orange?  This one is definitely going on my 'make again' list!  One of the funnest things about this bread was getting to learn how to braid a Challah loaf.  Who knew you started in the middle?? Youtube has several excellent videos but, for some reason, I can't seem to open any of them today.  Anyway, I had such fun learning to braid that I simply made 2 Challah loaves and didn't do anything else with this dough.  I served it one night when we had company for dinner and it was a hit all around.  We gave the other loaf to our newlywed daughter & hubby.  They sliced it and made French Toast.. which "was to die for".  I think we can definitely give this one 5 stars.

Not An Auspicious Beginning

First off, I should say I LOVE whole wheat bread.  So I was really excited back in November when I heard about a new book coming out with a revolutionary way to make it.  (I Read about it at Kalyn's Kitchen) Of course, I immediately began surfing the web for more information and came upon a bread group that was just being organized based on the book.  It is sponsored by Michelle at Big Black Dog.  I've never done anything like this so I was, and am, very excited about it.  This is the way Michelle described the group:
   "The mission of HBinFive is to bake our way though Jeff and Zoe's new book, "Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day" which will be available for sale October 27, 2009. "Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day" is basically the same technique as in their first book but takes the method one step further and incorporates whole grains and healthy ingredients and of course there's all new exciting recipes as well. I know baking every recipe in a book sounds like a daunting task, but as a group, one recipe at a time and the support of other HB5ers, it will be fun!" 
I immediately ordered the book!  In the meantime, Jeff and Zoe kindly gave Michelle a preview recipe for "Pumpkin Pie Brioche" (how yummy does that sound??)to get us started.  I could hardly wait!
     It turned out, our kids were coming into town for the week before Thanksgiving and that seemed like the perfect time to begin this adventure.  So, I eagerly mixed up my first batch of this new bread the 1st evening they were here. Unfortunately, I must have gotten a little distracted by my adorable grandchildren as they prepared for bed (goodnight kisses are never discouraged by this grandma!) because I left out a little minor ingredient..  Totally unaware, I let it raise for the 2 hours and tucked it into the fridge.  The next morning I pulled it out and began to form my dough.  First I made 2 small loaves.

Then, I did a version of the ever popular 'monkey bread' by rolling small balls of dough, dipping them in melted butter and then a cinnamon sugar mix.  I put them in my mini bundt pans. 

They both baked up so pretty. I was feeling pretty good about this new bread.

Well, these looked so good that I decided to use the last of my dough to make a filled bread for dinner.  I put together a sausage/apple/onion filling and  rolled out a rectangle of dough.  The filling went into the middle.  Then I cut the sides every inch and braided them over the filling.  It ended up looking like this:

I baked it up and proudly served it to hubby.  T'was then we discovered which little ingredient I had forgotten the night before. The ...saltOops.  He gamely struggled thru his piece by opening it up and generously salting the filling.  But, needless to say, the rest of my beautiful bread went into the garbage.  Lesson learned?  Never, ever, EVER forget the salt!