I've got the house all to myself for the next two weeks. Which means no one to help me eat all the food I need to make. We sent the boys off to Wyoming with their grandparents the day Coralie was born and then Breanne left on Thursday with the girls to Seattle for two and a half weeks. I still have tons of things I need to make though so I'll probably have to invite people over more to eat it all. Want to come over?
I'm back on the bread subject today. What's the most difficult thing about baking bread for you? Are you afraid of using yeast? Or just afraid of the whole process? One of the parts I hear most about is people are afraid of proofing the yeast. It's the process where you mix the yeast with warm water and a bit of sugar to get it going before adding the rest of the ingredients. Mess that part up and you may end up with a brick instead of a nice loaf of bread.
Well, fortunately there are some great bread recipes that don't require you to go through the proofing process, especially if you're using instant yeast. You just mix the yeast in with the other dry ingredients, add your warm liquids and knead it. It takes a lot of the stress out of the process and it's pretty hard to kill instant yeast, unless you're really trying.
This cardamom bread recipe from Red Star Yeast is so different than almost anything I've ever made. It's sweet but not as much as a sweet bread and the cardamom flavor just slightly permeates throughout the entire loaf. It reminds me of the donuts I make with a cardamom, cinnamon and sugar topping. Cardamom is one of my favorite spices but I really don't get to use it that often. Most American baking is done with white cardamom but it also comes in a green and black varieties. It's very fragrant, especially when you grind it fresh, cracking open the white pods and crushing the black seeds within them.
Red Star Yeast
2 1/4 teaspoons Red Star Quick Rise yeast
3 cups bread flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
3/4 cup milk
1 1/2 tablespoons water
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1 egg, room temperature
Combine yeast, 1 cup flour, and other dry ingredients. Combine water and milk; heat to 120º to 130º F.
Combine dry mixture, liquid ingredients, and butter in mixing bowl with paddle or beaters for 4 minutes on medium speed. Add egg; beat 1 minute. Gradually add remaining flour and knead with dough hook 5 to 7 minutes until smooth and elastic.
Place dough in lightly oiled bowl and turn to grease top. Cover; let rise until dough tests ripe. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface; punch down to remove air bubbles. Divide dough into 3 parts. Roll each piece into a 16-inch rope; line up ropes one inch apart on a greased cookie sheet. Braid loosely; pinch ends together and tuck under.
Cover; let rise until indentation remains when touched. Brush with milk and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sugar. Bake in preheated 375º F oven 20 to 25 minutes.
This bread recipe is also in this months Bake Your Own Bread link-up here.