Category: Christmas Bread

Make-Ahead Holiday Brunch for 12

Make-Ahead Holiday Brunch for 12

IMG_6956

I might love brunch more than any meal...perhaps I like the laid-back time involved or the old-school approach.  There’s barely a noted beginning –sitting around drinking coffee as the food is put out — and there needn’t be any end. (Movie with the coffee and brandy??)  It’s almost always a group.  Nearly certainly a special occasion.  More fun at home than at some swanky, pay-through-the-nose, eat-til-you-drop place, I think.  Even the dogs are at ease.

Continue reading “Make-Ahead Holiday Brunch for 12”

Czech Easter Bread or It Tastes Like Spring

Czech Easter Bread or It Tastes Like Spring

   

Travel creates opportunities for brief blogs, my friends.   So here are the pics/recipe for the Czech Easter bread, which was huge, crusty,  and tender with a bit of a lemon feel.  Studded with golden and black raisins, as well as apricots (my additions-no citron to be found), it was only a tish sweet.  Fine with Easter dinner.  Also lovely for any holiday at all.  Sorry it didn’t get posted until AFTER Easter, but here it is in its glory.

Czech Easter Bread

Makes 1 large loaf Czech Easter Cake or Velikonoční Bochánek

Mixing in the fruit
Before the addition of the last 2 cups of flour

 

Get all the flour in

Prep Time: 1 hour Cook Time: 1 hour Total Time: 2 hours

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup scalded milk
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1 cup sugar (or less, to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 packages active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 2 large room-temperature eggs, beaten
  • 5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup golden or dark raisins
  • 1/2 cup blanched sliced almonds
  • 1/3 cup chopped citron (I subbed 2t grated Meyer lemon rind and 1/3 c chopped dried apricots)
  • Topping:
  • 1 large room-temperature egg, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons blanched sliced almonds
  • Confectioners’ sugar (optional)

Preparation:

  1. Add butter, sugar and salt to scalded milk. Stir to combine and let cool to lukewarm.
  • Place yeast and warm water in the bowl of a stand mixer and, with the paddle attachment, stir until dissolved. Add lukewarm milk mixture and 2 eggs and combine.
  • Add 3 cups flour and beat with the paddle until smooth. Add the raisins, almonds, citron, and remaining flour and mix, 3 to 5 minutes until smooth. Dough will be sticky.
  • Place dough in greased bowl. Turn over and cover with plastic wrap and let rise until double, about 1 hour. See this Quick Tip for faster rising.
  • Punch down dough and turn out onto lightly floured board. Knead a few minutes and shape into a large round loaf. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet, cover with greased plastic wrap and let rise until doubled.
Use bread flour
  • Heat oven to 400 degrees. Brush bread with 1 beaten egg. Cut a cross in top of loaf with scissors and sprinkle entire surface with almonds. Bake 15 minutes, reduce heat to 375 degrees and bake 30-45 minutes or until instant-read temperature registers 190 degrees. Let cool completely before slicing. Dust with confectioners’ sugar before cutting, if desired.

Recipe courtesy About.com

 

 

 

 

 

Two-Dog or Two-Cardinal Kitchen

Ok, we’re out of the kitchen.  For now.

 

How long are you going to bake bread, Mom?

 

My kissin’ Cardinals feeding one another outside the kitchen window.

 

 

 

Front yard.  Ah, Spring!