CARROT BREAD

If one does not live by bread alone, then one has never eaten freshly baked carrot bread. There’s something incredibly satisfying about pulling a loaf of bread out of the oven that you made with your own two hands, but when that loaf is perfectly browned with a crackly crust, dusted with flour and dotted with raisins… Well, there’s just nothing like it.

CARROT BREAD

 

This is yet another Jim Lahey creation, and I promise I will soon start making things that don’t have his name behind them. When you bake a loaf of bread like this, though, it’s hard to want to make anything else. I keep scrolling down to the pictures below and thinking, “Did I really make that?” Well yes, I did. And it was unbelievably easy, and it tastes unbelievably good.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp instant yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups carrot juice*
  • 3/4 cup currants (golden raisins are a fine substitute)
  • 3/4 cup walnuts (or pecans)
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds (optional)

Preparation:

*If you don’t have a juicer, you can find 100% carrot juice at Whole Foods and probably plenty of other grocery stores.

I skipped taking photos of the first few steps because I documented basically the same thing a few days ago. Click here if you’d like to see photos.

Or…

Mix the flour, salt, and yeast in a large bowl. Add the carrot juice, and mix to combine with a wooden spoon or your hands. If the dough isn’t very wet and sticky, add a little more carrot juice or a little water. I had to add a few tablespoons of water to get a sticky dough. Add the raisins/currants and nuts and mix to incorporate – it’s easiest just to use your hands for this part. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature for 12-18 hours.

After 12-18 hours the dough should be bubbly and about doubled in size. Using a rubber spatula scrape the dough out of the bowl to a lightly floured surface. Fold up the sides to create a ball.

Liberally dust a kitchen towel with flour and cumin seeds (if using). Transfer the dough seam-side down to the towel, loosely fold the edges of the towel over the dough, and set aside for another hour or two of rising. With about 30 minutes remaining preheat the oven to 450 with a covered pot inside. When it’s baking time, remove the pot from the oven, carefully transfer the dough, seam-side up, to the pot, put the lid back on, and bake it for 25 minutes.

Remove the lid and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes, until the crust is deeply browned.

Transfer the bread to a rack to cool before slicing. Doesn’t that look like a professional made it?

Yum! This is perfect any time of year, but I think it would be especially fun for Halloween or any fall celebration.

Feel free to experiment with the fillings. I used golden raisins and pecans because I didn’t have currants or walnuts, and it worked well. I think dried cherries and walnuts would be a good combo, too. I’m a little undecided on the cumin seeds, and I might skip them next time. Make this bread, play around with the fillings, and enjoy!

If you have any queries about the recipe feel free to contact us here.…

BUTTERMILK BISCUITS

I love buttermilk biscuits. I don’t care if they come from a package in the freezer or if they’re the glorious biscuits at Lucile’s in Boulder that are the size of a small grapefruit. I love them. They’re flaky and buttery and they go well with bacon. What more could you want?

I was sitting around Saturday morning really wanting to bake something before I resumed studying for admin law. As it turned out, my admin efforts were futile, but my biscuit efforts were not.

Ingredients:

1-1/2 cups flour
1-1/2 tbsp sugar
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
Rounded 1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 stick cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/2″ cubes
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 tbsp milk or cream

Instructions:

Combine the dry ingredients in a sifter (including powdered buttermilk if that’s what you’re using), and sift the mixture onto a piece of wax paper.

Pour the mixture back into the sifter, and sift a second time into a large bowl.

Use your fingers to mix the butter with the flour until it’s a coarse meal.

Pour in 3/4 cup buttermilk.

Stir with a fork just until combined.

Turn out the dough onto a heavily floured surface. I cannot overemphasize the need for lots of flour. Especially on your hands. I forgot to flour my hands before I started kneading the dough, and it was a huge pain. Huge.

Knead it 5 or 6 times until it comes together.

Then use a floured rolling pin or your hands to press it out into a rectangle.

Dip a knife in flour.

And trim the edges off the dough. You can skip this step if you don’t mind having biscuits that are rough around the edges or if you’re going to use a biscuit cutter.

Slice into 6 pieces, dipping the knife in flour between each slice.

Place the pieces about 2″ apart on an ungreased baking sheet.

Brush the tops with a little milk.

Bake at 425 in the center of the oven for about 12-15 minutes or until the tops are golden. They didn’t puff up a whole lot, and I’m guessing I overworked them a little. Or maybe it was because I accidentally added 1-1/2 tsp baking soda instead of baking powder and probably did not do the best job of scooping out the excess baking soda.

Transfer to a cooling rack until use.

I made a couple extra biscuits with the scraps. And then I ate them. They were good. If you liked this cookie recipe, feel free to contact us here.…