Thursday, November 10, 2011

day ten

little helper.
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Each and every day, I am thankful.
Thankful that I am so lucky to stay home and be a full time mom to my Littles.
Mom. THE mom. ME!!
There are days I wake up and realize......wait.....
....I am the one in charge here! ha!

But I love it so much, and I'm so grateful to be here every day for all the fun, messes, laughs, tears, messes, and.....messes.

We decided (because I am in charge around here) that we needed to make something yummy while brother was at school. After a little recipie digging, we chose Cinnamon Swirl Bread. 
I found this recipe on the King Arthur Flour website, and decided to start from there. I changed it to use whole wheat pastry flour instead of all purpose, and added the vital wheat gluten and a little bit of pumpkin puree. 
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Whole Wheat Pumpkin and Cinnamon Swirl Bread
recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour

dough
1/4-ounce packet "highly active" active dry yeast; or 2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast; or 2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
7/8 to 1 1/8 cups lukewarm water*
3 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 TBS vital wheat gluten
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons honey
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup nonfat dry milk
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
*Use the lesser amount in summer (or in a humid environment), the greater amount in winter (or in a dry climate), and somewhere in between the rest of the year, or if your house is climate controlled.

filling
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons  unbleached all purpose flour
1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, to brush on dough

directions
1) If you're using "highly active" or active dry yeast, dissolve it with a pinch of sugar in 2 tablespoons of the lukewarm water. Let the yeast and water sit at room temperature for 15 minutes, until the mixture has bubbled and expanded. If you're using instant yeast, you can skip this step.

2) Combine the dissolved yeast (or instant yeast) with the remainder of the ingredients. Mix and knead everything together—by hand, mixer or bread machine set on the dough cycle—till you've made a smooth dough. Adjust the dough's consistency with additional flour or water as needed; but remember, the more flour you add while you're kneading, the heavier and drier your final loaf will be. If you're kneading in a stand mixer, it should take about 7 minutes at second speed, and the dough should barely clean the sides of the bowl, perhaps sticking a bit at the bottom. In a bread machine (or by hand), it should form a smooth ball.

3) Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl. Cover the bowl, and allow the dough to rise, at room temperature, until it's nearly doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. Rising may take longer, especially if you've kneaded by hand. Give it enough time to become quite puffy.

4) While the dough is rising, make the filling by stirring together the sugar, cinnamon, and flour.

5) Transfer the dough to a lightly greased work surface, and pat it into a 6" x 20" rectangle.

6) Brush the dough with the egg/water mixture, and sprinkle it evenly with the filling.

7) Starting with a short end, roll the dough into a log.

8) Pinch the ends to seal, and pinch the long seam closed.

9) Transfer the log, seam-side down, to a lightly greased 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" loaf pan. Tent the pan loosely with lightly greased plastic wrap.

10) Allow the bread to rise till it's crested about 1" over the rim of the pan, about 1 hour. Again, it may rise more slowly for you; let it rise till it's 1" over the rim of the pan, even if that takes longer than an hour. While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 350°F.

11) Bake the bread for 40 to 45 minutes, tenting it lightly with aluminum foil after the first 15 minutes. The bread's crust will be golden brown, and the interior of the finished loaf should measure 190°F on an instant-read thermometer.

12) Remove the bread from the oven, and gently loosen the edges with a heatproof spatula or table knife. Turn it out of the pan, and brush the top surface with butter, if desired; this will give it a soft, satiny crust. 
Allow the bread to cool completely before slicing.
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I'm so thankful for the little hands that helped.

I doubled this batch (the recipe above is for one loaf) and made two loaves......because, well, we eat a lot of bread. My loaf pans are a bit larger than the pan the recipe calls for, but they turned out fine--just a little bit shorter, and less perfectly bread-shaped.
enjoy!
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What are YOU thankful for today?

10 comments:

shutterbean said...

omg. that little hand in the dough?!! i die.

angedelamour.me said...

this is my first time visiting your blog and i absolutely loved it! beautifully taken pictures over here

gram said...

... the 'little' is going to be quite the bread-maker... cute little doughy hands!

Hannah said...

sheena! could you be any more inspiring? the photos of your little are so sweet, and I love the series of her stirring and kneading the dough. and as always, the bread looks delicious. this post made my heart smile. :)

summer said...

um!! maybe the most impressive swirl inside the loaf ever. and her doughy hands are a super feel-good sight, thank you! you two are such cuties. :)

i am thankful that this post could possibly be happening in my own kitchen in a few years. yay for littles!

jen fuller said...

everyday i am thankful i'm able to stay home, too. although i can't always buy whatever i want because i don't work, it's SO worth it!
Smoking Crayolas Blogspot

Meg said...

I am thankful for all those that have ever and are currently serving (including my husband) our country and providing us all of our freedoms including being able to stay at home and bake bread! My husband just joined the military a year and a half ago, and before he did, it was easy for me to forget about those that serve. Now it is hard not to notice. I appreciate their dedication, service and bravery.

Anna said...

What a wonderful image of your childs hands in the dough! And really beautiful lighting too.

Hazelnut said...

That looks delicious! I wish my mama taught how to make bread when I was young.

freddye said...

those pictures at the top are gorgeous! you should frame those, such great lighting and precious little hands!