So much food to blog about, yet so little time to put it all in writing. This Sweet Bread is waiting to be published since Christmas and it came out just magical. The dough was puffing and huffing and when baked it was as light as a feather! Cardamom seeds added a seductive aroma; although my husband didn't like the idea of biting into the kernels! (Note to myself: Next time use grounded cardamom!!!) And the nutty filling and the golden raisins just added some additional moistness to the sweet bread. All in all, it was a total success!
Ingredients for filling:
1 cup golden raisins
½ cup orange juice
2 cups walnuts, finely chopped in food processor
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
1/3 cup plain bread crumbs
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1/3 cup milk, boiling hot
3 tbsp sugar
Directions for filling:
Soak the raisins in orange juice for about ½ an hour.
Into a big enough bowl, put finely chopped walnuts. Add cinnamon, nutmeg, and sugar. Stir to combine.
In a skillet, melt the butter and toast the bread crumbs slightly. Add the toasted bread crumbs to the walnuts. Pour over hot boiling milk and mix well to combine all the ingredients. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, beat the egg until it becomes white, foamy, and quadruple in size. Add the fluffed egg to walnut mixture and gently stir to combine.
Ingredients for dough:
6 cups all-purpose flour
11 tbsp unsalted butter
2 cups milk
1 pinch of salt
½ cup sugar
¾ tsp cardamom seeds
1 tbsp sour cream + 1 tbsp milk, for top brushing
Ingredients for yeast slurry:
3 tsp dry yeast
½ cup lukewarm water
1 tsp all-purpose flour
1 tsp sugar
Directions for dough:
Into a big enough bowl, put all the ingredients for the slurry. Mix to combine, cover, and let it rest to react for about 5 minutes.
Into a big bowl, put flour, pinch of salt, sugar, and cardamom seeds. Stir with a wooden spoon to combine.
In a pot, heat milk and butter over medium heat until butter melts. Let it cool down to 99 – 100*F.
In a small bowl, lightly beat the egg. Temper the egg with milk/butter mixture and pour everything (milk/butter mixture, tempered egg, and yeast slurry) over the dry ingredients. Now just dig in and do your workout! Knead until smooth and then some more. If the dough is too wet, add some flour; if the dough is too dry add some lukewarm milk.
Cover the dough with a cloth towel and let rise to double size. I usually preheat the oven to 250*F and turn it off, creating a nice warm room where my dough can rise undisturbed. The dough will be double in size in about half an hour.
After the dough rises to double size, punch the dough down slightly, turn it onto a breadboard, roll it into a rectangle, sprinkle with raisins, and randomly spoon the walnut filling over the raisins. Roll into a loaf and arrange into a baking pan. I used my angel cake form, but you can do any shape you like.
Let the loaf rise for half an hour at room temperature covered with a cloth towel. In a small bowl mix together sour cream and milk and smother the surface of the loaf with the mixture.
Bake in a 400*F preheated oven for 15 minutes. Turn the heat down to 325*F and bake for additional 45 minutes. After sweet bread is baked, let it cool down under a cloth towel.