Saturday, April 20, 2013

Cranberry pecan bread and bagels. Precise edition

You guys should be proud!!  I'm actually writing down a recipe with specific measurements and specific instructions instead of just making it however I want.  (I am not promising you I will do it this way twice, this is just how I usually do it.) 

  • Ingredient list:
  • 1/2 C Bulgar wheat soaked in 2 C water
  • 2 1/4 tsp fast rise yeast
  • 1 T sugar
  • 2 C warm water
  • 1/3 C finely minced pecans (measure pre-chop)
  • 1/3 C dried cranberries
  • 1/3C all purpose flour
  • 2 Tbl canola oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 C wheat flour to start  (2 C Total)
  •  4 C All purpose flour for the kneading stage. 
  • 2 tbl Canola oil for coating while rising.
  • Extra oil/flour for covering your hands while working with the dough

1/2 C Bulgar wheat soaked in 2 C water

 (I use Bob's Red Mills fast cooking Bulgar wheat.)  Let it soak for at least an hour, longer if the kernels are still tough.  You can do this before you go to work, the night before or the morning, just refrigerate them after they're puffy if you're going to put off baking to avoid growing things.

  • 2 1/4 tsp fast rise yeast
  • 1 T sugar
  • 2 C warm water
Set this stuff up in the mixing bowl.  If you're wondering, that's one envelope of yeast, I just buy it in bulk.  Go do something else for a few minutes, say, chop nuts.  Let the yeast mixture getting all creamy looking.

  • 1/3 c finely minced pecans (measure pre chop)
  • 1/3 c dried cranberries
  • 1/3 c all purpose flour

 Chop the pecans up very fine.  You will regret using more than this because of all the other stuff we're folding into the bread.   Trust me.  I really love pecans.    I would use more if I could get away with it.

 Mix pecans, dried cranberries, and all purpose flour together in a separate bowl to coat with flour. Mix flour, cranberries and nuts together.   Then add Bulgur wheat.  I'm not sure this matters but I do it anyway to help it blend better.

  • 2 Tbl canola oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 C wheat flour to start  (2 C Total)

This is only about a third of the mixture

  Add 1/3 cup wheat flour to the yeast.   Mix.   Add 1/3 c wheat flour to the yeast, mix again.   At this point, add the wheat cranberry nut flour mixture to the bowl.  Mix again.  Add another 1/3 c wheat flour, mix again,   gradually adding another cup of wheat flour.  

When finished
About halfway through
Mix on high speed until well blended.  Remove mixing paddle and install dough hook and flour guard.  Gradually add about four cups all purpose flour.    You need to knead this stuff FOREVER, wheat bread is hard to work with.  In another words, about fifteen to twenty minutes.

Clean your kitchen table thoroughly and pour 2 tbl Canola oil on it in two pools.  Turn out dough.  Use the dough to spread the oil around the table, coat.  Then cover with two sheets of plastic wrap.  Cover with kitchen towels.  Let rise about two hours or until double in size.  You can also leave it until you get back from running an errand but it might rise off the edge of the table so be careful.  A related matter, you can let it rise in a bowl but it WILL overflow.  This is a lot of bread.   Make sure it's a massive one if you try it that way.

I call it the blob

hiding under there
After about two hours, or in my case, three, it will  be at least doubled in size.   This recipe is for a ton of bread.  I freeze the extra and keep it in the fridge because there are no preservatives.  It will mold if you don't pay attention.

First things first, OIL YOUR HANDS.   Punch the dough down and make balls about the size of your palm.  Get it as smooth as you easily can and punch a hole in it.  This is your bagel.  Make 12, set aside and let rest for ten minutes. 

what's left after bagels
my dough balls
While the bagels are resting, it's time to make your bread.  You can do whatever you want with it.  I divided it into six sections and made bagguettes.  One "family" sized and three in two serving size. 

 Roll them out gently if you want a braided bread and twist the two sections to form a braid.  This is for the smaller loaves.

For the family sized loaf I rolled it out in thirds and braided them.  Be careful to the ends under so it'll look good. 

Sometime during all this prepare a sauce pan with water and about two teaspoons of salt.   Turn the heat on high and get it going to a rolling boil.  Get a slotted spoon and boil the bagels, two at a time, one minute on each side.  This will make them shiny and chewy.  Bake for twenty minutes at 450F or until they sound hollow when you tap on them.


Let the loaves rise for about forty minutes or until you lose patience.  Depending on the desired look, you can score the loaves that aren't braided with a serrated knife.  Bake @ 350F or until golden brown and hollow when you tap on them.  Brush with butter if desired, butter with sugar if you want it to be sweeter and enjoy.

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