Monday, May 16

Craisin & Pumpkin Seed Breads

The weather was pretty bleh this weekend, which I see as the perfect opportunity to do some baking. And because... 


And really, who doesn't? Pasta? Delicious. Egg everything bagels? Delicious. Margharita pizza? Delicious. Wegman's Whole Wheat Pita? Delicious. Rice? Eh, ok we can't all be perfect... jazz it up a bit, delicious. Cinnamon Life Cereal? Also, delicious. Aaaaaand so on and so forth.

This post features 2 loaves of bread:

Feta Cheese and Brown Sugar? Besties!

I read in a cookbook once that the best thing about sweet breads (breads that are actually sweet, not the kind where you think you are going to eat delicious bread, but you really get animal guts! Oooohhh English, how essential that space is!) is that the enjoyment is twofold. First, you get that right-out-of-the-oven, warm and soft treat that is fresh bread. But, sweet breads also make for an interesting piece of toast. This little tidbit was found above a recipe for a cinnamon raisin bread with a brown sugar swirl. I adapted this idea for these two loaves. The first, a craisin and pumpkin seed loaf with a brown sugar swirl. And, because I like my cinnamon raisin toast with a schmear of cream cheese (I also like to say schmear), the same loaf with a  feta swirl rather than brown sugar.

I can't actually decide which is my favorite, so I would recommend making them both. The feta loaf has an interesting balance of sweet and salty, between the tang of the cheese and of the craisins. The nuttiness of the pumpkin seeds add a great dimension as well. The brown sugar loaf is delectably sweet without being over the top. It's a great breakfast loaf.

Soundtrack: Bonobo - Black Sands

Recipe is as follows:

Craisin & Pumpkin Seed Breads

1/4 c. warm water
2 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast
1 c. milk
3/4 c. brown sugar, divided
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 c. melted butter, divided
2 c. all purpose flour
1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. craisins
1/2 c. raw pumpkin seeds
1/2 c. feta cheese, crumbled

In a small bowl, whisk together water and yeast. Let stand until a small froth forms at the top (about 5 minutes). Meanwhile, in a large bowl mix together milk, 1/4 c. brown sugar, salt, vanilla, 3 tbsp. butter, 1 c. whole wheat flour and 1 c. white flour. Stir well and mix in the yeast. Add in 1/2 c. wheat flour and 1/2 c. white flour and stir. Dough will begin to clean the walls of the bowl and form a ball. Remove dough from the bowl and place on a floured surface. Knead the dough until it is slightly elastic and still a bit sticky. Some flour will need to be added while kneading (up to 1/2 c.) to get a smooth dough. Add in the crasins and pumpkin seeds and work into the dough.

Oil a shallow bowl and place dough in the bowl, turning until coated. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the oven (off) to rise for 1 1/2 hours. 

After dough has risen, remove from the bowl and return to the floured surface. Flatten the dough to create a flat rectangle (about 10X14). Cut into halves lengthwise (or, if you are in kindergarten or wish you were, hot dog style). Brush one half with remaining butter (you might not need all of it) and press remaining brown sugar to coat. Coat other halve with feta cheese. Take a small end of each halve and roll tightly to form a loaf. Places each loaf in a loaf pan and cover in plastic wrap, again allowing to rise in the oven (off) for 45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 F (make sure your bread is no longer in there!!). Bake loaves for 25-30 minutes.


Batter, before adding the 2nd round of flours!

Because really, who can resist just one more round?

Dump the seeds and craisins next to the dough,
 so they're easier to add

Fold 'em into the dough, like so!

Dough ball!

Ready to rise!

Food porn.. work it!

Just two little loaves!
PS The healthy recipes are coming, I swear! (I had an ice cream sundae for dinner on Saturday night, so I could use some) :)

1 comment:

  1. show the finished loaves- the results of your hard work! sharon