Cranberry Raisin Walnut Bread

We’re lucky to have a good, artisanal bakery in the Bay Area known as Acme Breads. We bought (and devoured) a few loaves from their stall at the San Francisco Ferry Building Farmer’s Market. Recently, they debuted a cranberry-walnut whole-wheat bread that was divine. Annie tasted some during a trip to Lunardi’s and immediately placed an order for a boule.

A few days later, when that boule was but a happy memory, she decided to make her own cranberry-walnut bread, based on the “Cranberry-Walnut Celebration Bread” recipe in “The Bread Baker’s Apprentice”.

Though the recipe called for 3 cups of white flour, she substituted one cup of whole wheat flour and added some vital wheat gluten. She also added some golden raisins to the mix.

Here is the bread at the first rise after kneading.

She skipped the braiding part and just baked the dough as loaves in two bread pans. Here is the final result.

The loaf lasted just about as long as the Acme bread.

Aloha, Nate

Racetrack Cake

Annie made this racetrack cake for Daniel’s birthday.

First, she baked 4, round 9-inch chocolate cakes. Then she used a cake leveler to make them flat, and cut a slice out of each piece so that they fit closer together.

She thinned out some raspberry jam with water and spread that on the bottom layers. She made a dark chocolate butter cream frosting and spread that on top of the raspberry jam before covering with the top cake layer.
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Monkey Bread

Start a bread dough sponge using flour, water, honey and yeast. Combine a flour mixture containing flour, milk powder and yeast, and then sprinkle that on top the sponge and allow it to ferment for 4 hours. Mix in some softened butter then rest for 20 minutes. Knead in some salt and then allow the dough to rise until doubled, about 1.5 hrs. Turn out the dough and press it down, then let it rise again until doubled, about 1 hr.

Make a filling by boiling some raisins in rum and water, then drain the raisins and reserve the liquid. Melt some butter with brown sugar and cinnamon and set aside.

Roll dough into 1-inch balls, dip them in the butter-sugar mixture and lay them in an angel food cake pan. Sprinkle on some raisins and pecans. Keep layering until all the dough is used up.

Drizzle on any remaining butter/sugar mixture on top. Cover the pan and let the dough rise for an hour.
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Amish Friendship Bread


Some friends of ours gave us a bag of the starter batter plus a recipe for this “Amish Friendship Bread”. It’s kind of like a chain letter of baking. You get the starter batter which you feed and care for 10 days. On the 10th day you make a huge batch of batter, divide it up into four parts, bake at least one, and give away the bags of remaining batter along with the recipe.

It’s a nice recipe, more like a cake than a bread. It uses instant vanilla pudding to keep it moist, and cinnamon powder for spice. Some enterprising people sell the recipe on eBay but you can find all kinds of variations of the recipe elsewhere online.

Aloha, Nate

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My Photo Annie is mistress of the kitchen while Nate is the master of the grill and smoker. We cook the homestyle Asian and Hawaiian foods of our younger days while also exploring the wider worlds of Western foods.

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