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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


Ingredients:
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

Directions:

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

37 comments :

Lauren (Healthy Delicious) said...

a dried plum is a prune, right? This bread sounds good! My grandmother used to make plum cake that was really bready... I haven't had it in years

Laurie said...

I am sorry for loss and I know they'll feel love through your bread. Bread seems to make people smile. I just copied it to try this week. I make my own bread also but have yet to try with plums. I like the sweet potato also. Thanks for sharing!
DomesticProductions15.com

Allie and Pattie said...

Oh, my. I, too have been cooking like crazy- there were 3 deaths this week and my Dad is facing his mortality- a difficult time. I would like to try this...maybe for our own house I'm so sorry for your friends' loss, Mary
xoxo Pattie

♥ Kathy said...

The bread looks delicious Mary..I'm so sorry for your neighbors loss.

Kristen said...

This sounds like a wonderful bread. The sweet potatoes and plums must make it moist and tasty. Thank you for sharing it with us, especially at at time that you are so busy.

A Year on the Grill said...

a very well written post

Dajana said...

So sorry for the loss of your neighbor, and so kind of you to some baking for them. The bread looks beautiful and I'm sure is really tasty and moist

Arlette said...

My condolences to you and your family.
Seems the symbol of breaking bread is used in most communities.
The custom in Lebanon, when a death happens, they arrange a memorial service at church. (for the week, forty days and one year) the family will bring to church a special sweet bread packaged individually in small bags, either made at home or from a local bakery, cut with a round cookie cutter with cross designs representing the church they belong (either Catholic or Orthodox) the bread will be given to the priest to bless, before it is given at the door of the church, they break the bread and pay their condolences to the family.

your bread look delicious... never had a prune bread. though i love plums never thought of using them in bread.

Janice said...

That looks nice.

Angie's Recipes said...

This is a bread that soothes the heart and stomach.
If I brought my neighbour the home baked bread to show the condolence, they would probably think I am a strange Chinese.

Mary at Deep South Dish said...

What a beautiful bread.

Sorry to hear of the loss for your neighbor. Food is a definite part of the funeral ritual Down South for sure and in fact the after gathering is very important. It's where everyone gathers together, eats and speaks of memories of the one who has passed on.

Debbi Smith said...

The bread looks delicious. Too bad it couldn't have been made under happier circumstances.

Rachana Kothari said...

A very delicious bread...I love plums:)

Kim said...

Sorry to hear of your neighbor's loss. I know your fresh bread will convey a loving message and warm your neighbor's heart!

Federica said...

mi dispiace per la perdita di una persona cara...credo che questo pane sia buonissimo..morbido e delicato!
un abbraccio! ciao!

msmeanie said...

What a beautiful healthy bread. Dried plums sound like a great addition!

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

So sorry to hear about the loss of a neighbor's family member, Mary. It is very thoughtful of you to make this wonderful looking bread for them,


PS I just wanted to tell you to check out the Metropolitan Opera web site -- many operas are now transmitted on radio and in movie theaters --more details on their web site. You may be able to listen to or watch your favorites that way!

Bob said...

Sorry to hear of your loss, but it's very sweet of you to bring them their favorite bread.

Kathleen said...

I'm sorry for your loss. I think this bread would be the perfect comfort.

oneordinaryday said...

I'm sorry about the loss of your friend. I agree that giving and sharing food in time of need is something that helps soothe a hurting soul.
I've never baked with plums or prunes before. This bread looks lovely.

MaryMoh said...

So sorry to hear of the loss. Your bread looks perfect....soft and delicious and lovely colour too.

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

Death is hard to take, no matter what the age.
So good of you to bake for them.
We are definitely food and drink mourners. Must be the Irish.

Claudia said...

Yes, I too find food very useful as we break bread and mourn and tell stories of those we have lost. The loss saddens me - but your bread and the generosity of spirit involved in it lifts me.

Ana Powell said...

This sounds absolutely delicious x

lostpastremembered said...

Gosh MAry, sweet potato and prunes sound like heaven together... So good of you to bring it to a grieving family... when my parents died last year neighbors were so kind. I know they appreciate the kind gesture.

The Blonde Duck said...

I'm in bread heaven over here....

Rambling Tart said...

I'm so glad your friends having a loving someone like you to comfort and sustain them like this. Big hug to you, Mary.

Krista said...

I always bake when someone I know experiences a loss...and then I wish I could do more. At least showing up with a hug or kind word and bearing baked goods feels like "something".

I love how you described the bread as "warm and fragrant". I could just imagine it heating the palm of my hand as I smoothe on a little butter.

Sweet and Savory said...

It is true that food talks and a gift of warm fresh bread says a lot.

I remember when my Dad died and although, I was not hungry, those that brought food touched my heart, in a special way.

That is one beautiful bread. When my holidays are over, I would like to try it.

Lady Ren said...

you are so kind and so sorry to hear about your friends passing.

A Feast for the Eyes said...

What a lovely post and tribute to your friend. Bread, the staff of life...
Mary, I love this bread recipe a lot. You might recall I recently made a prune cake, and you pointed out that they are dried plums! How right you are. I love the combo of sweet potatoes and dried plums...er prunes. I hope to find time to make this recipe, as it looks lovely.

Debinhawaii said...

It's lucky they have such a nice neighbor to comfort them with a lovely bread.

Sonia (Nasi Lemak Lover) said...

Mary, so sorry to hear this..

Bellini Valli said...

I can imagine the wonderful aromas permeating from your kitchen.

Gloria said...

Really love this bread, look georgeous! gloria

Mary said...

Gloria, I'm so glad you joined us. It's good to know you'll be a regular follower.

My Little Space said...

Dried plum sounds pretty tempting! I bet it taste absolutely fantastic!

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