FOOD MATTERS

Fork Spoon Knife is the personal blog of Asha where she chronicles her journeys in food through stories, recipes and photographs. She can also be found doodling and sharing her experiences as below.

 
                        

Chocolate and Fruit Spiced Bread... And a Reminder

Choc fruit Spice Bread close up

The weather is rather unpredictable these days. One day it's bright and sunny and the next grey and snowy keeping one largely stuck indoors. Though I must say, I was rather proud of myself yesterday for having trudged through the city slush to the gym!! Anyway, such eccentricities aside, what I usually feel like doing is cuddling with a hot cuppa, reading food blogs and dreaming of all lovely things I can bake...

The aromas and warmth wafting from a fresh baked something can make even a dungeon feel comfortable! So it is natural that one's thoughts trend that way when the outside is muggy and dis-spiriting. Don't get me wrong, snow is beautiful and all that but I am not a winter person and add to that the city can make even beauty turn beast! So, after the first delusional joy that fresh snow brings, reality kicks in and you realize that reaching somewhere with wet sneakers is NOT cool..

Ah well! Clearly I can't wait for the weather to thaw. In the meantime, I am going to try to be shiny and sunny by popping things out of my oven!:) So yesterday, on one such day, I decided to bake bread. Trolling through the net, I came across a lovely recipe on Bon Appetit. It had fruit, chocolate and warming spices in it - So perfect!


And, it came to me just in time for Meeta's Monthly Mingle submission. This month's event is hosted by lovely Jamie and she chose the theme to be Bread and Chocolate. Not a surprise, given it's Jamie, non?! :) So anyway, the thought of the baking this made me happy.

I used dried cranberries and some diced candied pomelo peels that I had made earlier this month when I saw the pomelo on the grocery shelves and pounced on it. You see, so many people had been raving about the said fruit, it seemed a blasphemy that I hadn't tried it yet. Well, anyway, the fruit was consumed and not liked very much, I must add... It is TART!! For me, fruits need to be sweet. Oranges are the end of my sweetness rope.

Bread + cranberries + citrus peel + chocolate

In it's defense, the candied peels taste good. It's like eating a sour patch candy; you scrunch up your face, shake your head, swallow and then reach for more. They added a nice touch of tang to the bread. For the warmth I added fresh cinnamon and nutmeg - typical winter spices...

After glutenifying overnight, shaped into a log this morning (I woke up early.. Not for this purpose, I swear!) and rising to double, the dough went into the oven. As soon as it hit the heat, the aromas arose like ghosts in the dark. Ah! such heartwarming smells filled my apartment.. Sweet, spicy, warm, enveloping.. I could just picture it like in cartoons; the tempting swirls of aromas intoxicating me with optimism. I was doing taxes while it was baking. It made even that seem not so bad! :)

Choc Fruit Spice Bread Slices

So there, I am happy the day was snowy, I got to make this bread (not to mention give cause to take pride in myself)... Because, it's awesome!!! It has a nice cake like texture which makes it perfect tea accompaniment. Now that I mention it, am off to have a slice with my tea now.. ciao people! :)

Oh and before I sign off, I just wanted to leave a gentle reminder about the FSK Cafe event - Same Notes, Different Highs. This month's ingredients to highlight (in two distinct flavor profiles) are Tomato, Mozzarella and Basil. The deadline for submission is March 15, 2010. For details about the event and how to submit an entry please visit my original announcement here.

Also, sending this bread to our friendly, neighbourhood Yeastspotting team!


Chocolate and Fruit Spiced Bread
(adapted from
Bon Appetit)

1/2 cup warm whole milk
1 envelopes active dry yeast
1/4 tsp plus 1/4 cup sugar (add more if you like it sweeter)
1- 3/4 cups all purpose flour + more for dusting and while kneading
1-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp fresh grated nutmeg
1 tsp salt
1 large egg, room temperature
3 T unsalted butter, room temperature

2/3 cup mixture of dry fruits (I used cranberries and diced pomelo peel)
1 1.2 oz bitter sweet chocolate, rough chopped

Stir milk, yeast, and 1/4 tsp sugar in small bowl and let stand until mixture bubbles, then stir.

Meanwhile, keep ready flour, sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl. Add the yeast mixture whisking (I used a wire whisk. If you have a Kitchen aid then use the paddle attachment) the liquid around until dry shaggy mass forms, scraping down bowl occasionally, about 2 minutes. Add the egg and whisk until incorporated and it comes together into a moist soft dough that.

Add butter by 1 1/2 tablespoonfuls and incorporate fully before adding more. This was a bit tricky. I had to use a bit more flour so the dough did not keep slipping out of my hand. But persevere and it'll know who is boss!

Let dough rest in bowl 10 minutes (dough will become less sticky). Mix chocolate and dry fruits in a bowl. Place the dough in large bowl. Sprinkle chocolate mixture over dough and knead just until incorporated. Transfer dough to a large buttered bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let dough rise at room temperature until almost doubled in volume. Punch dough down; cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Butter a 9x5-inch metal loaf pan. Turn cold dough out onto work surface. Form dough into a log about 9 inches long. Place the logs in prepared loaf pans. Cover pans with plastic wrap. Let dough rise until almost doubled in volume.

Position the oven rack in center of oven and preheat to 400F. Brush tops of risen bread loaves with butter. Pop into oven and lower the heat to 375F. Bake until top crust is deep brown and tester inserted into center of each loaf comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Remove from oven; let loaves rest in pans 5 minutes. Cool on rack to room temperature.

Dust with powdered sugar, slice and enjoy!

20 comments:

  1. the bread looks wonderful i love spiced and fruity breads so this is perfect! thanks for joining us at the mm!

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  2. I would die for a slice of this right now. I have had bit of a mishap with my MM entry, not sure I am going to be able to salvage it in time to submit!

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  3. Spiced and fruits in bread sounds interesting, nice clicks!

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  4. All these knives are necessity in kitchen and you should always remember, the expensive they are better they will work.
    Steak Knives

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  5. Yum! A chocolate bread with dried fruits sounds fantastic! Perfect with cinnamon & nutmeg!

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  6. Asha, your bread looks gorgeous, and yes, I can imagine the aromas wafting through :-)

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  7. Delicious! I bet it would make AMAZING french toast...

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  8. I sure do love chocolate in my bread. I remember the chocolate chip bagels I would ALWAYS eat from Finagle a Bagel when I lived in Boston. So addictive!

    The crumb on this bread looks amazing. I can only imagine how tasty it was. And I laughed when I read your description of the aromas wafting out of the oven like in a cartoon. Too funny!

    I've not heard of pomelo. Must look for that here. Is it tart like a raw cranberry?

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  9. @CookiePie : Oooh! That's an awesome idea!!

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  10. Hey Julia: It's tart and a bit bitter like a grape fruit. actually the marriage of pomelo and orange gave the grapefruit..

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  11. Nothing better than freshly baked bread - I loved the way you wrote this post - I felt that could have been me waking up early and just totally loving the bread making experience - yes, even including the taxes!

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  12. Oh I love it, looks delicious. I adore pomelo, but never heard of dried pomelo peel.

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  13. Asha, this is a wonderful bread and the way you describe it I can just taste those tart flavors! Gorgeous texure! I'd love to try a slice of this. Thanks so much for baking for Monthly Mingle!

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  14. Oo what a gorgeous bread Asha! I love freshly baked bread and when it has gorgeous little bits inside... it can't get any better then that!

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  15. What fabulous bread loaded with goodies!! yum!

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  16. This sounds delicious! I love baking breads with dried fruit but I never thought of combining it with chocolate-what a great idea, I'm looking forward to giving this a try!

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  17. What a great way to be shiny and sunny. I love the combination of tart fruits and chocolate!

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  18. Sweet tooth? Bread tooth? This bread would be good for all of my teeth. Very yummy!!

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  19. What a perfect submission to Meeta's event! The nutella in this bread must have been absolutely divine. that stuff is like cocaine, it's so addictive!

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  20. yum that looks truley amazing i love dried fruits and dark choc so im sure i would have no trouble devouring this whole loaf within a day.. :P

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