Yes, I am still on a roll with bread baking in my last weeks of unemployment. The next bread on the list was Portuguese Sweet Bread, and it came out pretty well. I was also able to make it in one day, which was a plus. I made the starter a couple of hours before making the rest of the dough. This one was nice and bubbly.
Since this is a sweet bread, the recipe called for eggs, butter, sugar, vanilla, lemon, and orange extracts (I actually omitted the orange because a tiny bottle cost about $5). I started the dough by creaming the butter and sugar, and then added the eggs. At first it felt like I was making a batch of chocolate chip cookies rather than a loaf of bread. But, then I added the flour and starter and it started to feel like bread dough again. After a 10-minute kneading session, I formed the dough into two boules. Boules are my favorite kind of loaves—they’re easy to make and they always come out beautifully!
The instructions said to put the boules into pie dishes, but since I don’t have any I just used cake pans. It didn’t really make a difference as the loaves didn’t even rise enough to touch the sides of the pans. Most other bloggers complained of a lack of rising as well. Anyway, they baked for about an hour and made the house smell lovely. I forgot to take a picture of the loaves after they came out of the oven, but here’s a shot of one after I hacked it up.
The loaves stayed perfectly round and developed a nice, dark brown color on the outside. The crust was quite hard when they first came out of the oven, but slowly became more spongy as the loaves cooled. This bread was great to have as a morning toast, and it also made some delicious French toast as well. Two thumbs up!
In other news, you may or may not have noticed the two new additions to my blogroll. If you look, you will see a link to my friend Emily J’s blog, worms in my closet (a blog about composting!). Also, you should check out Michael’s new blog, Brew to Live, which will take you through the trials and tribulations of being a home beer brewer/aspiring brewery owner.
Stay tuned for Potato Rosemary Bread.