Sunday, February 27, 2011

Whole Wheat Fruit and Nut Yeast Bread

My dad and I love this particular loaf we got at Costco a while back that was studded with dried berries, crunchy grains, and almonds. We only got it once, though, because we haven't spotted it since!

I wanted to recreate that bread using one of my favorite whole grain bread recipes as a base. Instead of using my absolute favorite bread recipe as the base, I went with my second favorite because it utilizes an egg and applesauce to keep it nice and fluffy.
I didn't have any tried berries such as blueberries or cherries around, but I did have cranberries, golden raisins, and dates so I used those.
I also wasn't sure how much add-ins to use, but I think the bread really turned out well!

Fruit and Nut Bread:
1/2 cup bread flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup grains (I used a mixture of millet, whole flax seeds, and cracked wheat)
1/4 cup toasted almonds, roughly chopped
1/2 cup dried fruit (chopped if needed)
2/3 cup water
1/3 cup apple sauce
1 egg
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoons salt
11/2 teaspoons dry yeast

1.Place all ingredients into your bread machine on dough cycle.
2.Take out, place in greased loaf pan, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise for about an hour.
3. Sprinkle with raw sugar.
4.Bake at 350 for about 35 minutes. (You may have to cover with foil after 20 minutes if it starts looking too brown)
5. Remove from pan and transfer loaf to a cooling rack. Brush with butter for a glossy shine.

I decided to do something different with this bread that I haven't done before...I braided it! you may be wondering what's up with that crack. What happened was that I didn't grease the loaf pan enough and it ended up sticking to the bottom. It was pretty much a disaster trying to get the loaf out and it nearly ripped in half. Grr! I wouldn't mind so much if it was just an aesthetic issue, but since it ripped while still piping hot, all of the moisture got out of it and the bread dried out :(
Anyways, back to the braid :D
It was super simple and I think it really made the loaf quite pretty. All I did was separate the dough into three pieces and rolled them out into ropes. Then, I just braided them together and tucked the ends underneath the loaf.
That piece on the cutting board isn't the prettiest because that's right were the rip was, but the rest of loaf looks great!
I love the little studs of raisin and cranberry. I think the dates were so soft that they just disintegrated into the loaf :P
Holy. Yum.
I bet this would be great toasted, but I just enjoyed my fluffy piece straight up with some lemon curd :D I love the crunch of the nuts and the little bursts of fruity flavor.
This one was a winner! Next time I really want to try doing pistachios instead of almonds and just craisins. Don't you love that pistachio cranberry combo? Oh, and next time, I'll try not to accidentally rip the loaf in half in the process of getting it out of the pan:P

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