Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Bread of Life

I was attending a class on cooking with wheat and the teacher said something that made me smile. "When the Lord said I am the bread of life, he wasn't talking about white bread!"

Growing up, every Easter my mom would make 'Easter bread' it's nothing more than sweet yeast bread twisted to look like a braid, shaped into a circle, with dyed hard boiled eggs nested inside. A glaze is put on top and it's enjoyed for breakfast. This year the yeast smiled on me and I got a beautiful loaf. I used a hot cross buns recipe that included cinnamon, nutmeg and a dash of ground cloves. I substituted half the flour with wheat flour. I cooked this the night before and we ate it Easter morning before leaving for church.

I flavored the glaze with lemon extract so decided to tint the glaze yellow. But, I added too much coloring and instead of getting a soft yellow, I got this neon. It fit the flavoring, I added too much extract as well. oops.
Sometimes my mom put colored sprinkles on top, I added those cool edible pearls. They don't taste that good, I'll leave them out next time and go back to colored sprinkles.
Being overly zealous since the yeast was happy with me that day, I decided to use part of the ham as a braided stuffed loaf for Easter dinner. I used a standard dinner roll recipe with half wheat flour. After letting it rise I rolled it out (it was huge, I should have split it into 2 pieces) I cut at least a dozen slits 1/3 into each side.

For the filling I sauted onion and mushroom, added cooked broccoli and chopped ham. I stirred mozzarella cheese into it and spooned the filling into the middle of the dough and 'braiding' the stripes over the top. I covered it with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge overnight so I could cook it right before dinner. It got happy reviews from the participants.
On an end note, I used Splenda since I didn't feel like going downstairs to get more sugar. The box says you don't get as much browning with Splenda, and they were right. I'm sure adding egg white before baking, or using regular sugar would have gotten a better browning of both loafs, just make sure you don't over bake them!

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