Winter is my favorite time of the year. There is something enchanting about evergreens and snow, just a slight dusting will do. The fragrance of fires burning in the fireplace is wonderful. Winter is a calm season to me. The plants are asleep waiting on their spring entrance, but right now the world is quiet.
The sunsets are brilliant in the winter. My favorite is the bright peach and coral colors that are the perfect backdrop to barren trees, creating a painting-like image. Winter is the time where I stay inside and sew, quilt, or stitch on one of my samplers.
Winter is the perfect time to start a new project. I never want to stop learning and trying new things. Many of you have seen our new publication Bake from Scratch. I am totally enamored with this magazine as I love to bake.
I want to learn how to make bread from scratch. And then homemade cinnamon rolls! This magazine has given me the courage to try making dough. I don’t know why, but working with yeast has always made me feel really inadequate, but now I am ready!
My son Brian Hart Hoffman is the editor, and he bakes all these delicious breads. So I am rising (no pun intended) to the challenge of learning to bake yeast breads. That is my new project.
What is it that you have always wanted to learn but have pushed aside? Let’s do it! I will keep you posted on my progress!
Happy New Year, again. Let’s do something new!
- 2 cups (287 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1 cup (169 grams) light rye flour
- 1 cup warm whole milk (85˚)
- ¼ cup molasses
- 2 tablespoons (30 grams) unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon (7 grams) caraway seeds
- 2 teaspoons (10 grams) kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons (8 grams) active dry yeast
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, combine all-purpose flour, rye flour, warmed milk, molasses, butter, caraway seeds, salt, and yeast until moistened. Let stand for 20 minutes to let the rye absorb some liquid and begin to relax a bit. Knead for about 8 minutes in the mixer, or 12 minutes by hand. Spray a large bowl with cooking spray. Place dough in bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75˚) until doubled in size, 1 to 2 hours.
- 2. Turn out risen dough onto a lightly floured surface, and deflate it to remove excess air. Pull the four corners of the dough into the center, and roll gently with palms to form a loaf. Spray a 9x5-inch loaf pan or Pullman pan with cooking spray. Place loaf in pan. Cover and proof in a warm, draft-free place (75˚) until doubled in size, 1 hour to 1 hour and 30 minutes.
- 3. Preheat oven to 375˚. In a small bowl, whisk together egg and 1 tablespoon water. Brush over risen loaf, and sprinkle with more caraway seeds, if desired. Using a sharp knife or lame, make 4 large slashes across top of loaf. Bake until golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted in center registers 190˚, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool in pan for 20 minutes. Remove from pan, and let cool completely on a wire rack.