Sonntag, 9. Dezember 2012

Plumbread baking to fight the weather

Today the weather was really ugly and I had zero interest in leaving my warm and cosy home. But I had to. First I cleared 20 m pavement covered by snow up to 15 cm high. I had to, if some old lady would break her leg while walking aside our house caused by slipping in the snow, this would have terrible expensive consequences. And we have lots of old folks living around. Meanwhile husband stayed in bed fighting a cold (I don't know who was the lucky one at least).

Inner garden, forgot to put the chairs inside..and it didn't get any lighter today

But that was that, afterwards it started to rain and it was getting even uglier and I had to sprinkle the pavement with some slipping inhibitor granulate. Time to keep my oven running.
Since I did not make it to the bakery today, who wants to walk on ice covered streets, I decided to bake my own bread. Plumbread: A yeast dough (brioche dough) with lots of dried plums and sultanas, best to be eaten slightly warm with a bit of butter and jam but cheese goes well too:

raspberry jam - yummy

For the dough:

200 g spelt flour
250 g flour
4 tablespoons brown sugar
120 g butter, soft
2 eggs (large)
15 g instant yeast
180 ml milk, lukewarm
60 ml sherry, medium dry
250 soft damaszene plums, pitted
1 handful yellow sultanas
1 handful dark sultanas (currants would be even nicer)
1 teaspoon 4-Spice
1 bag vanilla sugar
1 very good pinch of salt

Roughly chop the the dried fruits. Fill in a bowl and soak in a little sherry (or apple juice) for 1 hour. Cover and put it in the microwave for 2 minutes. This will plump up the fruits much quicker.
Get the yeast started by mixing it with some warm milk with a little sugar, let sit until desolved.
Sieve flour in the mixing bowl, add sugars, eggs, soft butter, salt, warm milk and yeast milk and let the engine run about 10 minutes on medium speed. The dough should be very glossy and elastic - Put the dough on a baking board, stretch it and fold in 1/3 of the dried fruits - without the soaking liquid, fold again and place the next batch, fold and use the next batch.  Fold and stretch the dough until the fruits are well incorporated (if it is too sticky use a little flour). Form a roll and place the dough in a loaf baking tin (I always use duration baking foil to prevent the bread from sticking to the tin, but parchment paper or a good covering with butter and flour is also convenient).
Let the dough rise about 1 1/2-2 hours covered by a floured cloth, rising time depends on the surrounding temperature. Make a shallow cut lengthwise in the middle of the loaf, brush the surface with egg yolk and bake the bread at 175 degree Celsius about 1 hour. When the surface gets dark too soon cover with aluminium foil. Just make a wooden toothpick test after 50 minutes, if there are sticky crumbs at the toothpick give it 10 more minutes baking time.

the bread


Hiroyuki hat gesagt…

This morning, I had to spend thirty minutes to clear away the snow in front of the house and elsewhere so that my wife could drive my son to the station.

As always, I'm amazed at your baking skills (and your willingness to make bread after all those hassles with snow and rain)!

Fräulein Trude hat gesagt…

Weather forecast shows plenty of snow and ice until christmas (white christmas this year). Shoveling the snow may be healthy, but I don't like this kind of early morning sports activity that much. No helping, it is my job.
Besides: Baking is just a common houswife skill in Germany (many men do the cooking too but they don't want to bake that much - makes me wonder), we like bread and cakes very much :-)

Sissi hat gesagt…

I like the idea of putting plums into a sweet yeast bread. I must try it one day too, maybe with prunes... It looks delicious and so perfect at this time of the year.
Luckily it doesn't snow much in my city because as much as snow is beautiful in the country, it's a nightmare in the city centre: traffic jams, destroyed shoes, risk of breaking a leg...