Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Raspberry and Cream Cheese Bread plus French Toast

This delicious bread recipe comes courtesy of my ambitious list of recipes that I am slowly working through. Originally called Blueberry and Cream Cheese Bread, there is a note underneath that says raspberries, strawberries, or blackberries can be substituted, which is what I did. I think the marbled red with the whiteness of the bread is so pretty and it is very, very tasty.

The main reason I did this recipe, though, was due to the other half of the note which states “this marbled bread makes terrific French toast.” So that’s what I did (and documented!) and it was quite terrific.

The only issue I had at all was the top of the bread being a teeny bit burnt. I did it on the low side of the bake time and should have been checking on it due to all the mushy fruit on top. It was only a little burnt, though, and hardly affects the flavor. Just be more careful than I was!

Raspberry and Cream Cheese Bread modified from Blueberry and Cream Cheese Bread from Flavored Breads:

Yield: 1 loaf

8 oz. cream cheese
2 Tb. sugar
2 Tb. butter, softened
2 eggs
1 c. lukewarm water
2 tsp. active dry yeast
4 c. bread flour
1½ tsp. salt
2 c. raspberries (I used frozen, defrosted and drained)

In the bowl of a heavy-duty electric mixer fitted with a flat beater, cream together the cream cheese, sugar, and butter. Add the eggs and cream for 1 minute longer.

Place the water in a separate bowl. Sprinkle the yeast over the water, stir in, and let sit for 2 minutes. Add the yeast to the cream cheese mixture. Add the flour and salt (I mixed the two together beforehand) and mix with a dough hook (or knead by hand) for 4 to 6 minutes, or until dough is smooth and elastic. As usual, I started this in the mixer and finished it off by hand. It goes faster and you still get the joy of kneading bread.

Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl (for example, a cleaned out mixer bowl that you just used) and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place for 1 hour, or until approximately doubled in volume.



Carefully fold in the raspberries into the risen dough until evenly incorporated. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. From here he goes on to have you form a round loaf. Instead of doing this, I just shaped it square and dropped it into a square baking pan.

Anyway, shape the loaf how you please (it’s really only a suggestion) and lightly butter or oil a 10-inch square baking pan or cake pan with sides at least 2 inches high and dust with bread flour. Place the loaf seam side down in the pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 20 minutes, or until approximately doubled in volume.



Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Uncover the loaf and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until dark brown. Let the bread cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Turn the loaf out onto a rack to finish cooling. I left mine in the pan because when I tried to take it out, it bent funny and raspberries got all over the counter. It was fine.

So! French toast. It’s delicious. In case you don’t know how to do it, it’s really easy, and it makes good use of stale bread. Or this bread. Anyway, this is what I did for 2 people:

2 eggs
¼ tsp. salt
½ c. milk
Splash of vanilla extract
Dash of cinnamon
3 slices of raspberry and cream cheese bread, cut in half



In a pie pan (this work out perfectly, but any flat dish with sides will do) beat eggs slightly, add salt and milk, flavor with vanilla extract, and add cinnamon to taste. Dip the bread into the mixture, coating on both sides. I like to let one set sit while I cook another and the flip them when I flip the ones in the pan.



Brown the bread, each side, on a hot, well-buttered griddle or pan. It only takes a couple of minutes for each side. Serve hot with your choice of syrups. It’s a very sweet way to start a day and I love that. Daaang! So good!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A good story

GK Chesterton: “The poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese.”

Voila: www.tastingtoeternity.com. This book is a poetic view of 30 of the best loved French cheeses with an additional two odes to cheese. Recipes, wine pairing, three short stories and an educational section complete the book.

From a hectic life in New York City to the peace and glories of the French countryside lead me to be the co-founder of www.fromages.com. Ten years later with the words of Pierre Androuet hammering on my brain:

“Cheese is the soul of the soil. It is the purest and most romantic link between humans and the earth.”

I took pen and paper; many reams later with the midnight oil burning Tasting to Eternity was born and self published.

I believe cheese and wine lovers should be told about this publication.

Enjoy

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