Monday, June 05, 2006

New Year's Resolution: Redux

Hey! Didn't you vow on January 1st to bake more bread? And when's the last time you made bread or blogged about it, huh?

Ok, ok, back off! I've done it, and I'm about to tell you about it. My dear friend, June (of the cherry pie obsession as previously revealed), was kind enough to share a special recipe from her husband's family. They call it Z Bread, though I have no clue why. I'll make a point to check on that and report back. In any case, I produced two lovely loaves of the Z Bread last night, and the recipe worked so well that I wanted to pass it on. Of course, as is my way, I had to mess with it a bit. Part was willful, as I omitted those wrinkled little abominations that people call raisins by choice. But two substitutions were because I was out of things. I had to swap out honey for the sugar, as I told you that I ran out over the weekend. But I do believe that I would make the same switch in the future, because it was yummy with the honey. (That sounds like a rap song, doesn't it? I think I'd like to hear Kanye do it!) And then I found that I was also out of walnuts, so I replaced them with roasted sunflower seeds. Delish! But I will do June and hubby, Tom, and their extended family the honor of reprinting the heirloom recipe in its original form. If someone makes it by the book, please drop me an e-mail and let me know how it turns out. I'm sure it will be great! Thanks, June!

Followup: Z is for Zoran, June's father-in-law (and it would have been her daughter's name had she been a boy!). See? ;-)

Z Bread

1/2 cup water (I used warm water)
2 tablespoons yeast (I used instant)
2 cups warm milk (I used whole)
1/4 cup sugar (I used honey instead)

Mix the ingredients above and let sit until foamy, about 20 minutes. Then to the yeast mixture, add:

1 tablespoon salt
1/3 cup oil (I used vegetable oil)
3 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup walnuts (I used sunflower seeds instead)
1 cup raisins (I omitted these as I find them vile)
3 cups white flour

Knead the dough for eight minutes (I did this with a dough hook in my Kitchen Aid, and I didn't add the nuts/seeds until the very end of the kneading process). Let the dough rise for one hour (I transferred the dough to an oiled bowl first and covered it with plastic wrap). Punch down and repeat. After the second rise, divide the dough, shape into two loaves, and let rise for another hour (I pressed the two halves of the dough into two large loaf pans before the final rise and glazed the tops with an egg wash before baking them). Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, then turn it down to 350 and bake the loaves for 45 minutes.

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