I love creating something out of nothing. It’s funny, because one could reasonably argue that my life is about creating nothing out of nothing. When the power goes out, my work no longer exists. Perhaps that’s why I’m so partial to baking bread. It’s something out of nothing – that brings people joy. You don’t need much in the way of resources. Bit of flour, water, heat and time and you’re good to go. I’m convinced that if you have a warm loaf of bread all is right with the world.
It’s love… really.
Um, yeah. This worked quite well.
So, perhaps my work is not nothing out of nothing. If (by incredibly abstract extension from bread-making) it’s love, then it transcends medium. A case that may prove this point is Figs With Bri creator and author, Bri Brownlow. She is one of the many kindly people who has invited the world into her life through the words that she writes and the food that she eats. The grateful people who read what she writes have answered back. When Bri wrote about her recurrence of cancer they arose out of the nothing to help. Which means that, while all is not right with the world, it’s not crap either.
Along with the fundraiser there’s a CLICK photo contest, in honor of Bri. Photos are to feature the color yellow which made me think of my chubble bread. Bri made this recipe of mine (with her own modifications) a few months ago and talked about making a sweet version. I’ve thought about this as well and while a most appropriate version would have featured figs and brie, I chose to go with lemon, blueberry, pecan and mascarpone cheese. (It’s decidedly lighter and healthier than it’s predecessor.)
CLICK – that’s the zest. Zest is good.
The bread worked well. When it was done, we (Marv and I) decided it was good, but needed a bit of glaze to polish it off. Yeah… that was more good.
Please, join me in sending your best wishes to Bri and eating good bread.
That’s right, when life gives you lemons – make bread.
1 t active dry yeast
1/2 c warm water 105°f to 115°f
3/4 c unbleached all-purpose flour
Sprinkle yeast over the warm water in a large bowl, whisk it in, and let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes. Stir in the flour. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until very bubbly and doubled, about 45 minutes.
1 t active dry yeast
1 c warm water, 105°f to 115°f
3 T olive oil
1/4 c honey
1/4 c dried milk
3 1/2 – 3 3/4 c unbleached all purpose flour
2 t kosher salt
Sprinkle yeast over the warm water in a small bowl, whisk it in, and let stand until creamy, about 5 to 10 minutes. Using a heavy-duty mixer, add the dissolved yeast, honey, dried milk and olive oil to the sponge in the mixer bowl; mix in with the paddle attachment until well blended. Add in salt. Add in flour 1/4 c at a time – when you get to 3 cups add flour slower checking it until dough stops being very sticky and is only slightly sticky.
Change to the dough hook and knead at medium speed until the dough is soft, velvety and slightly sticky, 3 to 4 minutes. At this point you will be able to pull the dough up into peaks with your fingers. Finish by sprinkling 1 T of flour on your work surface and kneading the dough briefly. Transfer to a bowl lightly coated with olive oil and cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled 1 1/2 hours, or so.
6 oz marscapone cheese, frozen then cut into small chunks
1 c pecans
1/3 c sugar
zest from 2 – 3 lemons
3 T olive oil
1/4 t salt
Just before the rise is done, prep and toss together all stuffs ingredients in a large bowl. Coat the mixture with oil.
Stuffs & Second Rise:
Put a coating of stuffs in an empty wide bowl. Empty out bread on a non-sick surface. Shape into an flat rectangle, approximately 1/2″ – 1″ thick. Using a pizza wheel, cut loaf into inch wide strips. They do not need to be uniform. Then cut off one inch ends and put them into the stuffs bowl. Toss dough cubes into the stuffs mixture and gently coat them. Add in more stuffs periodically so that they stay separate.
Divide mixture into your baking pans. I generally do two pie plates but you can do loaves, cake pans or even muffin tins. Once you have dough in pans cover with plastic wrap and leave for second rise in a warm area. Let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 400°f. Brush top with olive oil and bake for 25-35 minutes or until golden brown. (If top starts to brown too much, place on top shelf of your oven.
1/4 c powdered sugar
2 oz marscapone cheese, melted
1 T lemon juice
Whisk all together and drizzle over bread. Enjoy!