October 12, 2007

World Bread Day '07: Bake or Die


World Bread Day is October 16th and once again Zorra of Kochtopf is encouraging everyone to take part by baking up a loaf for the occasion. Last year I baked a Buttermilk Honey Wheat bread and was thrilled that it rose and actually resembled a loaf of bread. I then proceeded to make a Twisted Oat Raisin bread for the World Bread Day Afterparty. During both baking experiences though, I had difficulty with the yeast. It didn’t behave the way I wanted or expected it to. The problem might not have actually been the yeast, but my lack of patience. When I’m baking something, I want it to be ready immediately, waiting 3 hours for bread to rise is the bane of my existence. Or something like that. The solution to the yeast/patience problem was to make this Cranberry Cornmeal Quick Bread. By virtue of being a quick bread, it doesn’t require any yeast. That meant it went directly from mixing bowl to the oven without any downtime.


When it came out of the oven it looked exactly like it was supposed to but I couldn’t help feeling a little disappointed. Sure, it was bread, but was it really? I question the validity of anything that calls itself bread without requiring yeast and I think the only reason that quick bread gets away with calling itself that is because of its loaf shape. With that in mind, I decided that it would be cheating for me to submit a quick bread alone for world bread. So I opted to make what I deemed an official loaf of bread as well, in the form of brioche. Ah brioche! Just the word takes me back to my time in France. At the coll├Ęge I attended they sold little snacks during morning break and brioche was thankfully one of those treats. I loved it. I would happily eat it plain, but spread with a little Nutella it was heavenly! Of course for my loaf of brioche I turned to none other than Dorie Greenspan to ensure a golden loaf, worthy of World Bread Day. I figure that since I’ve made both a quick bread and a yeasted bread, I’m fully covered. You’ve still got four days left to participate so let that deadline be the encouragement you need to make some bread of your own.

Cranberry Cornmeal Quick Bread (from Bon Appetit, October 2007)


Nonstick vegetable oil spray
1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1 cup white whole wheat flour or regular whole wheat flour
1 cup medium-grind whole grain cornmeal or regular cornmeal
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon maple extract
3/4 cup chopped pecans plus 10 pecan halves for garnish
3/4 cup dried cranberries (about 4 ounces)


Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Spray 9x5x3-inch metal loaf pan with nonstick spray. Whisk both flours, cornmeal, sugar, salt, and baking powder in large bowl. Whisk buttermilk, melted butter, maple syrup, eggs, and extract in medium bowl. Add buttermilk mixture to flour mixture; stir just until blended. Stir in 3/4 cup chopped pecans and cranberries. Spoon batter into pan. Arrange pecan halves in row down center of batter.


Bake bread until top is golden brown and paring knife inserted into center of bread comes out clean, tenting bread loosely with foil if browning too quickly, about 1 hour 10 minutes. Cool in pan on rack 20 minutes. Turn out onto rack; cool.


World Bread Day '07



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26 comments:

Nicole said...

I completely missed world bread day last year and I would have done the same this year if I hadn't seen this post! Thanks for the reminder :-)

I notice that you made a buttermilk bread last year. I made a buttermilk honey sandwich bread last night (just kind of made up the recipe) and it was wonderful! I had planned on making it with half whole wheat flour and then realized that my flour was in the freezer. Not wanting to wait for it to come to room temp, I just used unbleached all-purpose. Now that I know the recipe works, I'll try a whole wheat version (maybe for world bread day).

The cranberry cornmeal quick bread sounds amazing!

Truffle said...

You've got some seriously beautiful loaves there. The recipe wounds and looks just delicious!

Gattina said...

glad that you made one more loaf of brioche! I adore it, and yours is really wonderful.
It's only me... I dislike quick bread... BUT! after sliced it, toasted it, buttered (thick!) it, it's pretty good to me :)

zorra said...

Awesome brioche! You see, your efforts get rewarded. ;-)

Thank you for joining WBD again!

K & S said...

looks wonderful! better remember to send my entry in.

Hannah said...

Oh wow, I had no idea it was going to be World Bread Day so soon, and I love obscure holidays, too! Thanks for letting us all know, perhaps it's not too late to whip something up real quick to celebrate.

Lovely loaves you've got there, by the way. ;)

Mallow said...

Wow - so much good stuff in one spot! It all looks amazing!

Maria said...

I will have to tell my dad World Bread Day is next week. He makes the best artisan breads, he needs to celebrate! All of your loaves look wonderful, esp. the brioche! Yum!!

Dana said...

The brioche looks fab. Question: Do you have a KitchenAid or other stand mixer? Is it possible to make it without one?

Deborah said...

They both look fabulous! I think I am going to give brioche a try this weekend.

Sara said...

both look so good, but i especially like that brioche. yum!

Peabody said...

Your quick bread sounds great!
Oh and by the way, you should totally try frying donuts. Really easy and they don't spatter or anything like other foods...they just bubble with grease.

Kelly-Jane said...

I don't know which looks more tempting, great baking :)

Cynthia said...

I'm sorry I'm not home to take part in this event.

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Both loaves look totally delicious. Everyday should be bread day, in my book. It's true, though, that man can not live by bread alone. You need Nutella, or at least good butter, to spread on it.

Rasa Malaysia said...

Oh man, I have just learned to bake cakes and now it comes bread...hmmm, is it easier or harder? You can just tell me NOW! LOL.

Belinda said...

I agree with everyone else...BOTH of these look wonderful. They are picture perfect loaves. :-) Ever since the cinnamon buns, I have been drawn to yeast bread recipes, and I'm now "starting" to become more confident in trying a few, but you are so right about the patience part...all of that rising and waiting...you have to be in the mood for that part of it!

Tartelette said...

Gorgeous! I love Dorie's Brioche recipe, makes great French toast too. Keep meaning to as you, where did you go to "college" in France?

Kevin said...

A cornmeal bread sounds interesting. And with cranberries, maple syrup and pecans. Brioche is on my list of things to try making.

Cheryl said...

Well they are both beautiful breads to me. World Bread Day? What a lovely idea.

Patricia Scarpin said...

I am so sorry for having lost this special day for bread baking. :(

Your baking skills always make my jaw drop, sweetie - next time you make these delicious loaves again, give me a call! :)

Kate said...

i really admire anyone who can bake a nice loaf of bread. I'm hopelessly pathetic at it...or maybe its my oven...:p

Nabeela said...

The brioche loaf looks so soft!! I would love to bake some bread for the WBD, but my oven always seems to overbake my breads....:(

sher said...

That looks wonderful. I love the taste of cornmeal added to breads or cakes. It adds a wonderful taste and aroma to things. Your pictures are marvelous, as always.


Sher

Three Tastes said...

Hmmm, I think I know what I'm baking for Christmas gifts this year! Corn, cran, maple and pecans -- who could not love that? Aloha, manju

Ruth Daniels said...

They say imitation is the greatest form of flattery. And I do think you're awesome. So I borrowed your recipe and tweeked it a little (giving you credit of course)..http://onceuponafeast.blogspot.com/2008/02/perfect-afternoon-jigsaw-puzzles-tea.html

Thanks for sharing.