Today I made mini cupcakes with a kit my brother’s family gave us for Christmas. They provide the dry ingredients with adorable written instructions by our six-year-old nephew, and we provide the wet. But I forgot to grease the tin. Now we have mini cupcake tops and separate mini cupcake bottoms. I also whacked my knuckle when trying to rotate the pan while it was baking against one of the oven racks. I have a nice tiny blister there now. Let’s hope the bread I just started goes more smoothly! Yikes!
A few weeks ago, Cream Puffs in Venice gushed about a recipe for an orange breakfast bread that looked just marvelous. She didn’t give the recipe, so I did a bit of digging to find it. Then in my eagerness, I laughed that it would take only five minutes to get it together for the first rise. I’m not a breadmaking novice, but, um, I am prone to accidents. And that’s what happened here as I started the loaves. Me, butter, paring knife. I’ll leave it at that. Half an hour later, I tried it again. And though I did some kneading of this bread with only one hand, it was totally worth it. It’s delicious toasted, with a little butter or raspberry jam. Yum.
This recipe is from Beth Hensperger’s Bread for Breakfast. I found part of the recipe in google books, but had to guesstimate the baking times. Here you go, and be careful with the paring knives:
Makes 2 round loaves
1/4 c. warm water (105 to 115 degrees)
1 T active dry yeast
Pinch of sugar
1/2 c. warm milk (105 to 115 degrees)
1 1/4 c. orange juice
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. sugar
4 T melted butter
Orange zest (I left this out, since I had bottled OJ, but it would be delicious with it)
5 1/2-6 c. bread flour
2 tsp. salt
Place the yeast and sugar in a bowl, and pour the water over it. Allow it to get foamy, 5-10 minutes.
Combine milk, OJ, vanilla, sugar, butter, egg, zest if you’re using, and 1 1/2 c. of flour in a large bowl. Either whisk together or use a mixer on low speed to combine, about 1 minute. Add yeast mixture, salt, and another cup of flour. Beat 1 more minute. Add the rest of the flour by half-cups, forming a soft and slightly sticky dough that just clears the sides of the bowl. Don’t use the whisk for this–a wooden spoon is better.
Turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface and knead (or, if lazy, make your mixer do it), about 1-3 minutes, until the dough is smooth and springy. Grease a bowl, place the dough in it, and turn over to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 1 1/2 hours at room temperature, or until doubled in bulk. That is, if you live in a temperate area! When I made this a week or two ago, it wasn’t warm yet, and I instead heated my oven to just barely 100 degrees, turned it off, and put the bowl in there with the oven door ajar.
Once it’s risen, take the dough out, punch it down a bit, and divide in half. Shape each half into a ball. Put these balls on a cookie sheet with a bit of cornmeal down if you have it, and let rise, covered in plastic wrap, another 45 minutes. If you’re smart, don’t put this one in the oven. Hensperger prefers to get her oven good and hot before baking, turning it on a half-hour before it’s needed. So turn your oven on to 350 degrees, and pop the breads in (sans plastic wrap) after their second rise. 40 minutes later, you’ll have two fragrant brown orbs. Allow to cool a bit so you don’t burn yourself digging in.