Apparently once you try fresh- baked bread out of the oven you can’t stop eating it. So, I have been busy baking, eating and of course … hitting the stair master at the gym.
I confessed, a few days ago, about my baking blunder at the cooking school. (read my prior blog if you didn’t see it before). We came home that night with another sweet bread dough that we could bake at home.
With my bag of bread in the fridge, it was time for me to get baking and redeem myself after the “WREATH INCIDENT.”
With this sweet bread I decided to do a berry bread. I used frozen strawberries and blackberries. You can use any type of berry – fresh or frozen. I placed the fruit into a medium size saucepan with sugar, water, (I didn’t have a lemon) and cornstarch. Since my fruit was frozen I let is slowly warm up, and then brought it to a gentle boil until it thickened. Helpful Hint – I used a potato masher to help the process along. Once it thickens enough you can take if off the heat and let it cool.
While the fruit was cooling, it was time for me to take the dough out of the fridge. BLUNDER ALERT!!! At this point, I should have SPLIT the recipe in half. I made three doughs that night with my partner, and thought we had already split this one … WE HAD NOT! I took the dough out of the oiled bag and deflated it with a punch! HELPFUL HINT – Work quickly as dough is easier to work with cool. I lightly floured my work surface, and with a rolling-pin, shaped the dough into an 8 inch by 12 inch rectangle and then placed it onto an oiled (canola) silpat on top of a baking sheet. I should have known at that point that something was off , the dough looked REALLY THICK. And for your info, if you don’t have a silpat, use parchment with oil. The chef said not to use the spray so I just used a BBQ brush to “paint” the oil on the silpat.
Spread HALF (another blunder) the cooled fruit mixture down the center of the sweet bread. My helpful hint is … that you want the fruit mixture to be thick enough so there isn’t a lot of juice. BLUNDER ALERT! I should have folded in the ends at this point.Cut angled strips about 1 1/2 inch wide down the outside of the dough – almost to the filling. I used kitchen sheers which were easier than a knife. Fold the strips over the filling, to make a crisscross braid and tuck the excess dough under. This was the fun part for me!
Don’t forget to work quickly and trying not to get any of the berry juice on the dough. Once this is complete, you gently cover with an oiled piece of wrap and let it rise until it’s a bit puffy, 25 minutes. Don’t forget to preheat your oven to 350 at this point.
You will notice it rise quickly … mine rose A LOT – it was HUGE ! I realized that we didn’t SPLIT the recipe and that I had screwed it up AGAIN! How can one person make the same mistake twice? lol
After this rise, lightly sprinkle the top with sugar and quickly place into the preheated oven to cook for at least 30 mins. Let cool on a rack and ENJOY!
So, lessons learned … hmm, maybe I should READ THE RECIPE SLOWLY!
You are going to have fun making this recipe! It is a LOVELY presentation if it is done correctly! My youngest said this was the BEST thing I had ever made!
2 cups fresh or frozen berries
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
2TB lemon juice
1 recipe for all purpose sweet dough (risen overnight in the fridge)
flour for dusting
sugar for sprinkling
Yeasted Sweet Dough – enough for two braids
1/4 c warm water @ 110 degrees
1 1/4 c warm milk @ 110 degrees
1TB plus 2 tsp active dry yeast
1 TB sugar
2 cups all purpose bread flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 large eggs, room temp
3 cups all purpose flour
additional flour for kneading
1 1/2 sticks butter, cut into cubes, at room temperature
In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the water, milk, yeast and sugar with the paddle. Add the 2 cups of flour and beat for about 1 minute. Leave in the bowl, cover and let sit for about half of hour.
Add the salt, sugar, eggs and 1 cup of flour to the sponge. Beat until smooth. Add the butter, a little at he time until combined. Add the remaining AP flour a half cup at a time. Switch to the hook and knead about 3 minutes. Add additional flour if needed in small increments, just until the dough starts to come together. It should be very soft and smooth (a tad sticky). Only use as much flour as needed.
Put in greased container and cover. Let rise at room temperature for 1 to 1 1/2 hours to that it doubles. Deflate the dough, cover and refrigerate for at least 12 hours and up to 24.