This month the We Knead To Bake bread post is a little different from the usual as it also includes a cookbook review of 500 Breads (Breakfast Breads, Pizza Crusts, Rolls, Scones, Bagels more) by Carol Beckerman and a giveaway. I’ll start with the review since today’s recipe for the Orange And Cinnamon Swirl Bread is from the book.
Sellers Publishing recently sent me a review copy of 500 Breads (Breakfast Breads,Pizza Crusts, Rolls, Scones, Bagels more) by Carol Beckerman. If you’re like me, then you love fresh home baked bread and are always happy to browse through one more bread book.
I like the 500 Series of cookbooks for a couple of reasons beyond the recipes in them. The 500 series of cookbooks are hard bound and a comfortable size to hold in one’s hand. They have enough detail yet are concise and well presented. They also have beautiful photography illustrating the dishes.
Like other books in this series, this book too is a concise collection of well-presented bread recipes with 4 flavour/ ingredient variations on each basic recipe the book. As expected, the book is also accompanied by beautiful photography.
The book starts with an introduction to baking bread at home and this includes information on the basic ingredients (flour, yeast, etc), equipment required, techniques involved in kneading the dough and baking bread, and some troubleshooting tips.
The comprehensive collection of bread recipes are classified under chapters on Classic Bread, Breakfast Breads, Tea Coffee Breads, Fruit Vegetable Nut Bread, Flatbreads Pizzas, Meals in a Loaf, Sweet Breads Bread Desserts, Rolls Biscuits Bagels and Holiday Breads.
This collection features a good variety of popular American and European breads, and there are recipes for some unleavened breads, sourdough bread, and some gluten-free and diary-free breads as well. The recipes are quite easy to follow and uncomplicated and even a beginner bread baker would find them doable.
Some of the recipes in the book include Onion Bagels, Walnut Rosemary Loaves, Eid Bread, Mediterranean Tomato Loaf, Caribbean Bread Pudding, Lancashire Barm Cakes, Cheese Celery Loaf, Bolo Rei, Stollen and Buttermilk Biscuits.
About the Author:
Carol Beckerman is a London based food writer, published author and dairy-free blogger at Dairy Free Delights, with over 30 years of experience in recipe development.
She has written four cookbooks in the 500 series: Breakfast Brunch, Cookies 2nd edition, Gluten-Free Dishes, and Slow-Cooker Dishes, and two other books – 100 Doughnuts and Popcorn.
I don’t do reviews of cookbooks without trying out at least a couple of recipes from the book I’m reviewing. It just so happened that the 500 Breads review copy came when I was looking through recipes for a bread for the We Knead To Bake group for this month. The timing was perfect!
So I chose theOrange Cinnamon Swirl Bread from the book for the group to bake. It’s an easy enough bread to knead, shape and bake. The Orange Cinnamon Swirl Bread is a typical American style sweet breakfast bread. Being Indian, our choice of breakfast is invariably savoury unless it’s one of those hurried mornings when we’re having jam on toast or my daughter demands pancakes for breakfast.
Carol Beckerman’s description of the bread “This is a pretty looking bread with a delicious swirl of cinnamon, brown sugar and apricot preserves when you slice it”, and the accompanying photograph of a gorgeous looking loaf made the decision for me. And who says that breakfast breads must bea eaten only for breakfast?
This Swirl Bread is a great bread to bake, and there’s something really nice about the combination of orange, cinnamon and apricot preserves. I think so and I’ve already baked this twice! The first time was a bit of a disaster in the appearance department because I put the dough into a loaf pan one size too small and ended up with a loaf that burst out of its tight seams and the apricot preserves leaked and bubbled over the sides!!
Getting back to this bread, the recipe below makes two medium sized loaves. There was just two of us at home so I halved the recipe. I made some small changes which might work for you as well, so here they are. I did cut down on the sugar a bit because of a personal preference for less sweet bread. I used only the 1 tsp for proofing the yeast and left out the 3 tbsp for the dough. I also used only a little over 1/8th cup sugar in the filling. (Reproduced from 500 Breads by Carol Beckerman, with permission)
Orange And Cinnamon Swirl Bread
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2/3 cup warm water
- 2 tsps active dry yeast
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsps salt
- 3 tbsps sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 juice and zest of orange
- 5 tbsps apricot preserves
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- oil for greasing
- Grease two 8"x 4" loaf tins with a little oil. Dissolve 1 tsp sugar in the warm water and sprinkle the yeast on top. Leave it for 10 to 15 minutes till frothy.
- In a large bowl, mix together the flour, salt and the 3 tbsp sugar. Add the liquid yeast, the eggs, the juice and the zest of orange and work into a somewhat firm dough.
- Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for about 10 minutes until smooth and elastic. Place the dough in a large oiled bowl, and turn so it is coated all over. Cover and put it in a warm place for about 1 1 /2 hours, until doubled in size.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and punch down. Knead for a few minutes until the dough feels firm. Roll into to 6 x 13-inch rectangles.
- Spread each rectangle with apricot preserves and sprinkle with cinnamon and brown sugar. Roll up each triangle like a jelly roll and place in the loaf tins. Put in a warm place for about 30 minutes, until double in size.
- Pre-heat the oven to 200C (400F) and bake the loaves for about 30 to 35 minutes until the top is golden brown and the bottom of the loaves make a hollow sound when tapped. Cool on a wire rack. This recipe makes 2 medium sized loaves.
And now for the giveaway!
Sellers Publishing has also sent one more copy of 500 Breads to giveaway to a reader of my blog. If you would like to enter this giveaway, just leave a comment on this post telling me what your favourite bread is.
Now I don’t normally ask any of you entering the giveaways on my blog to do anything other than leave a comment. This time however, I’m going to also ask that you please show my blog some love on social media. I hope that’s a fair request.
So please hop over to Facebook, and “like” the pages there that are dedicated to this blog, My Diverse Kitchen, and my Photography, if you already haven’t done so. I would also greatly appreciate it if you could follow me on Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. Once you’ve done that, please let me know in your comment and I’ll add you to the giveaway. Thank you.
Please make sure you also leave a link to your blog or a mail id or some way while leaving your comment, so I can get in touch with you should you be the lucky winner.
The giveaway is open to bloggers and non-bloggers alike, but only to those resident in India or those with an Indian mailing address. This giveaway will close at midnight on the 7th of June, 2015, after which one randomly chosen commenter shall win the book.
If you want to be convinced some more before entering this giveaway, you may like to see these recipes (and photographs) in 500 Breads.