Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Horner's Corner Plum Bread
From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Oven duty began early this morning. There's been a death in a neighbor's family and I wanted to get a loaf of their favorite plum bread to them while it was still warm and fragrant. When I make this kind of visit, I'm confounded by the way we mark the measure of a man and his passing. A life, a good life of 80 years, is over and can't be summarized in the seven lines of his obituary. Those who mark his passing will take those lines and, from them, weave the history that is his life and share it with each other. He was not a religious man, so, most likely, this story will be told at the table as they break bread together. Friends and neighbors will assure that none who gather to tell that story will go hungry. Food has become an important part of all our rituals. This bread is but one of many offerings that will be shared as his story is re-told.
Plum Bread...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite
1 cup pitted dried plums, coarsely chopped
3 cups all-purpose flour + flour for kneading
1 cup whole wheat flour
4-1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup mashed sweet potatoes
1 cup warm milk
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon honey, divided use
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1) Toss plums with 1 tablespoon flour. Set aside. Combine 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, yeast and salt in bowl of an electric stand mixer. Add sweet potatoes, milk, 1/4 cup honey and oil. Beat with a paddle attachment until smooth, about 2 minutes. Stir in reserved 1-1/2 cups flour and mix to form a soft dough.
2) Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Knead plums into dough. Place dough into a bowl coated with vegetable oil or cooking spray. Turn to coat top. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm spot until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
3) Punch down and turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Divide into 3 potions. Roll each portion into a rope about 15-inches long. Braid ropes, pinching ends to seal. Place braid on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Cover and let rise until double in bulk, about 30 minutes.
4) Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake bread for 40 minutes, or until loaf sounds hollow when tapped. Remove pan from oven and place on a cooling rack. Mix reserved 1 tablespoon honey with orange juice and brush over exposed surfaces of bread. Yield: 1 large loaf.
You might also enjoy these recipes:
Lemon and Blueberry Sweet Bread - One Perfect Bite
Lemon Poppyseed Bread - One Perfect Bite
(Almost) Irish Soda Bread - One Perfect Bite
This post is being linked to:
Wild Yeast - Yeast Spotting