I’m going backwards with my posts. It’s been over a year of baking now, so there are a pile of recipes I intend to discuss – here’s the freshest one. Having been successful with cinnamon raisin loaves, I was convinced to try CRAN NUT. It did not appeal to me, but I happened to see chopped pecans in Trader Joes one day, and decided to give it it a shot.
Using my standard measurements from the no-knead, I used 1 1/2 cup of water, 1/4 cup of starter, 16-18oz of flour, and 1.5 teaspoons of salt. For the flour, I used about 6-7oz AP flour, 6-7oz bread flour, and 4oz whole wheat. My measuring is quite rough – but I aim for around 1/3 whole wheat. I usually go closer to 18oz for a bigger loaf with less slack in the dough. I threw in around 1/2 cup dried cranberries and 1/2 cup of the “Unsalted Dry Toasted Pecan Pieces” from Tjoes.
I mixed it all up, and had a feeling it would not compare to my cinn/raisin creations – but figured it was the first of many. Fermenting and baking went nicely – though a minor nit, the cranberries left a little residue in my proofing basket and dutch oven.
Not pleased with the first version, despite not even tasting it, I set out to fix this recipe. My second attempt followed the same proportions as before, but I went with closer to a cup of cranberries, about 2Tsp of salt, and added 2TBSP of brown sugar. These are rough estimates – my super scientific baking tends to just throw things in “til they look ok”.
To get a feel for the recipe, after the dough rose, I split it into two loaf pans to proof. I didn’t know how that would affect proofing (vs a basket), or loaf size. But, again, my scientific baking style didn’t really need to know. I baked more like sandwich bread, as well – 15min at 450, and ~25min at 400 (not opening the oven AT ALL til it was all over).
Confession – I’ve never cut into a fresh loaf. Until this time. I was quite anxious to taste this creation – so once it was cool enough to touch (but still quite warm), I sliced off a piece of the uglier loaf and chowed down. Holy crap. It was great. The cranberries sweeten up (not tart at all, which surprised me) and the pecans soften so nicely that they do not interrupt the texture at all.
This bread was great warm. Great warm, with butter. Great toasted with cream cheese. But the shining moment? Turkey sandwich. The bread has all the Thanksgiving flavors except gravonaise (future invention) – and made for one hell of a tasty sandwich – albeit a small sandwich.
More to come on this bread!!!