Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Sugar Crusted Viennese Nut Bread - Outdoor Wednesday
A footpath leading through the Vienna Woods to the banks of the Danube River.
A romantic bend in the pastoral Salzach River in Salzburg.
From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...This lovely sweet bread was the inspiration for what I had planned to be a walking tour of old Vienna. I just couldn't bring myself to edit the assortment of monuments and landmark buildings I'd collected to share with you. So, the walk, instead, will be a simple stroll through the Vienna Woods and along the banks of the Danube, which coincidentally, may sometimes actually appear to be blue. This nut bread is typical of the barely sweet confections of Austria and Germany. It's simple to prepare and ages well. It has a lovely butterscotch flavor and the crisp sugar crust sets it apart from other breads of this sort. It's a modernized version of Viennese sweet breads leavened, before the advent of baking powder, with sourdough or stiffly beaten eggs. Chemically leavened quick breads originated in America towards the end of the 18th century, when it was discovered that pearlash, a byproduct of woodash, produced carbon dioxide gas in dough. I have no idea why someone would take hearth or kiln ash and put it into food, but I'm guessing it was an accident that caused the pot to boil over when ashes inadvertently fell into it. Baking powder, as we know it today, was not developed until after the American Civil War. Breads made with it are called "quick breads" because baking powder releases carbon dioxide at a faster rate than yeast fermentation. I love the simplicity of this bread. Like all nut breads, it's flavor improves with aging. I love a deep, rich butterscotch flavor, so I use dark brown sugar to make the bread. I've made this with golden brown sugar as well, so I leave the choice of sugar to you. Here's the recipe.
Sugar Crusted Viennese Nut Bread...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite
3 tablespoons, buuer melted
2 large eggs
2 cups brown sugar
4 cups flour
1-3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups buttermilk
2 cups toasted pecans, chopped
1/4 cup ground toasted pecans
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two 9 x 5 x 3-inch loaf pans. Set aside.
2) Place eggs in large bowl of an electric stand mixer. Beat until frothy. Gradually add brown sugar, beating at low speed just until blended. Blend in melted butter.
3) In another large bowl, place flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; whisk to combine.
4) Add flour mixture, alternately with buttermilk, to egg mixture. Mix just until blended after each addition. Fold in chopped pecans. Pour into prepared loaf pans.
5) To make topping, mix ground pecans, sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon in a small bowl. Sprinkle over each loaf.
6) Bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until cake tester inserted into center of loaf comes out clean. Remove from oven. Let sit for 15 minutes. Remove from pans and finish cooking on a rack. Yield: 2 loaves.
Other quick breads can be found at these sites:
Cookie Madness - Carrot Pecan Bread
Recipe Girl - Mom's Banana Nut Bread
Peanut Butter & Julie - Toasted Coconut Macadamia Bread
This is being linked to:
Outdoor Wednesday - A Southern Daydreamer