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
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.