Thursday, November 9, 2017

Harvest Bread

I'm posting another bread recipe.  There is nothing as delicious and comforting as home made bread.

This loaf was a little less healthy than my prior bread loaves because it isn't 100 % whole wheat.  It only has a cup of whole wheat flour.

It does has sweet potato and raisins, which adds some nutrition though.  Probably smothering it with apple butter or jam and cheese probably didn't help its nutritional value though.

What do you know about yeast?  Yeast is a single cell microorganism.  It is a fungus, which sounds appetizing.

When yeast ferments, it converts carbohydrates or sugars to carbon dioxide and alcohol.  This process has been used for thousands of years in baking and to make alcohol.

The carbon dioxide from yeast causes air pockets to form in bread dough.   The yeast dies when the bread is baked, but the air pockets remain.  

It is believed that ancient Egypt was the first civilization to use yeast to make bread.  

This harvest bread recipe came from King Arthur Flour.  I omitted vital wheat gluten.

The ingredients are 1/2 cup cooked and mashed sweet potato, 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 cup whole wheat flour, 2 teaspoons yeast, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 1/4 cup butter, 1/4 cup milk, 3/4 cup water, 3 tablespoons honey, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon ginger, 1/2 cup raisins, and 1/2 cup chopped pecans.  

I made sure the water was luke warm.  I added the yeast and let it bloom for a few minutes.

I added the cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and honey into a mixing bowl with a dough hook.  

I added the yeast and water mixture, mashed sweet potatoes, milk, and melted butter.

I added the whole wheat flour and a cup of the all-purpose flour.  I started to mix the dough together.  I gradually added the remaining all-purpose flour.  Once the dough started coming off the sides of the bowl, I stopped adding flour.  I kneaded the dough with the bread hook for about seven minutes.

I mixed in the pecans and raisins.  I removed the dough to a greased bowl and let it raise for about an hour.  It doubled in sized.  I punched the dough down and formed it into a loaf.  I put loaf into a greased loaf pan and let it rise again.  It took about an hour.  It rose about an inch above the loaf pan.

I baked the bread for 40 minutes at 350 degrees.  I let it cool a little in the pan.

I then removed the bread from the pan and let it cool on a rack.  I let it cool for a few minutes before cutting a couple of slices.

This bread was packed with yummy morsels.

It had ample raisins and pecans.  The raisins were plump, sweet, and chewy.  The pecans added crunch and great nutty flavor.

I think the sweet potato made the texture softer and kept the bread fresh even after a few days.

The texture was spot on.  It was tender and airy.  It was hearty and filling too.

It has warm, inviting fall spices.  The spices were decreeable but subtle.  I wouldn't want them to be to overpowering.  

I ate this scrumptious bread with apple butter or jam and cheese.  

I would make this tempting and delectable bread again.  

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