Thursday, December 26, 2013

happy holidays!

Happy Holiday,
Happy Holiday,
While the Merry Bells Keep Ringing,
May Your Ev’ry Wish Come True

Monday, December 23, 2013

cranberry wild rice yeast bread

Amidst all the Christmas baking, I decided to give this bread recipe a try. There are several variations of wild rice bread on the internet, and this is my adapted version. I elected to soften the dried cranberries in orange juice - a good decision! Wild rice was very expensive at my local grocery, so I found a wild rice mix of wild rice and brown rice. Now that I know how good this bread is, I will spring for the pricy Minnesota wild rice!

Sweetened only with a bit of molasses and tangy cranberries, this bread is moist and wonderful. I can't wait to try it with grilled cheese and as French toast. Instructions are for rolls or loaf.

Cranberry Wild Rice Bread
2-1/2 cups unbleached flour
1/2 cup white whole wheat or rye flour
2-1/4 teaspoons dry yeast
2 teaspoons salt
1-1/4 cups water, room temperature
2 tablespoons molasses
1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 cup wild rice, cooked and cooled
1/2 cup dried cranberries
Orange juice
Extra unbleached flour, if needed

Soak cranberries in orange juice 30 minutes; drain, and set aside. Mix water, molasses, and olive oil. Set aside.

Whisk together flours, yeast, and salt. Switch to dough hook; add water mixture. Mix on low speed until dough forms; increase speed to medium and knead until dough is smooth and elastic, about 7-8 minutes. Turn speed back to low; add cranberries and wild rice; Add another 2 tablespoons to 1/4 cup flour if dough seems excessively moist. Knead until evenly distributed throughout dough. Transfer dough to lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap; let rise about 1-1/2 hours, or until doubled in size.

Line baking sheet with parchment paper for rolls or spray 9x5 loaf pan with baking spray and line bottom with parchment paper. Lightly deflate dough and turn out onto generously floured surface. Handling dough lightly and using floured hands, either shape into 12 rolls and place on baking sheet, or shape into loaf and place in loaf pan. Cover rolls or loaf with oiled piece of plastic wrap. Let rolls rise until almost doubled. Let loaf rise until about an inch above pan.

Meanwhile preheat oven to 400 degrees for rolls, 375 degrees for loaf. Bake until golden brown as follows: rolls - 15-20 minutes; loaf - 30-40 minutes. After removing from oven brush tops of rolls or loaf with melted salted butter. Place rolls on wire rack to cool. Cool loaf in pan 10 minutes before removing to wire rack.