Guest post by Richard Evans
First get some Diastatic Malt Powder
why? better rise, browner crust, better texture especially on sweet breads or dark breads.
I use 1 tsp per 3 cups…also useful in waffle batter mixes you buy. Just add a bit to the dry ingredients and mix normally… let that activate in the waffles. You’ll get crisper edges and valleys and it won’t be poofy or empty, more even waffleness throughout.
Dark Malt Extract syrup, also found on any home brewing supply site. Some grocers like Jungle Jim’s might carry it too.
Dark beer. 12-16oz Bottle or can. (prefer bottles)
Can use Oatmeal Stouts. Chocolate Stouts. A Sweeter Porter. Etc can be your beer of choice to add to the dry ingredients. Remember the dark malt extract will help keep the bread a darker color w/o making it too heavy. The beer will also help the dough to rise. Don’t worry about the alcohol it’ll cook off. The hardier DMP yeast will still work. Does this mean two rise ingredients? yeah.
I use a sweet bread recipe. Spring bread or a desert bread recipe will work. This is close as I can come to what I use. (note I experiment a lot. I was often stressed enough to need the knead (beat) the dough into submission therapy, lest this dwarf do something more stupid and painful to someone else..
Here’s a basic sweetbread recipe.
- One beer 3/4 cup worth (warm) – you can drink the rest.
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1 tbsp DMP Yeast
- 1/2 cup flour.
This will be wet and gooey. That’s perfect. This is the start blend. Let it bloom somehwere warm and covered 15 to 20 minutes maybe.
- All of the starter blend.
2 sticks softened butter.
2 large eggs beaten. (do this before mixing or you get weird striations in the bread)
1/2 cup sugar here. I use light brown sugar myself. More flavor.
2 tsp salt. (less if you wish, but it’s a chemistry thing that also does flavoring)
1 tsp cocoa (yes chocolate. Adds to color and flavor of bread. A subtle thing. It will work with the beer/stout/porter very well.)
1-2 tsp Vanilla extract. flavor and smells…good smells.
3 tbsp Liquid Malt Extract.
1 Tbsp Molasses. ( favor black strap here )
1 tsp instant coffee or one tbsp expresso (made and cooled)
4-5 cups flour.
Most spring or sweet breads call for cream too. I don’t use that, as I often don’t have it.
That’s why I start w/3-4 cups of flour into the dough and add the last cup or two as need be. Got too much flour left over after the dough comes together well? Save it for when you roll it out. You will need it then.
Reserve some egg wash (egg beaten mixed with water…this is for covering braid later.)
(1 egg 2 tbsp water beaten, lil touch salt- save in fridge until braid is ready to go in oven)
= once mixed all ingredients (excepting the egg wash) knead the dough. (be sure to flour your hands) Don’t be a sissy. This is stress therapy. Cussing helps as does drinking the rest of the sixpack that didn’t go into the bread dough mass.
The dough should be darker colored than most breads you’ve made before. That’s fine.
Put it into a clean floured bowl to rise for about an hour to hour n half. (really let the yeast work.)
Punch down the dough. Cut into three pieces. Roll out into strips about inch and half thick and as long as a cookie sheet.
Set the three rolls next to each other and braid them- basically this method
1- 2- 3- lift 1 and 3 and cross over middle. Lift 2 and then cross 3 and one under…repeat until you have a complete braid. Pinch ends together and slightly tuck em under the main weaves.
You should really have enough dough for 1 big loaf or two smaller ones.
Let this rise for about an hour on the cookie sheet you plan to use to bake it upon. You can use parchment paper if you wish. I never have it around. So I just dust pan a bit with extra flour.
Brush loaf/loaves with egg wash on top. If you wish you can sprinkle with sugar (bletch…enough in the bread already.)
Get ready Put in oven
set oven to 350-375 (go high initially if yer not sure of yer oven or height over sea level. Dwarf doesn’t care. This is science n stuff…
Bake 25-30 minutes, middle of oven, at 375F (longer if at 350F) but do watch it towards the end.
remove and let it cool for 20 minutes. (less if yer damned hungry)
Should yield two braided smaller loaves or one larger longer one.
For spread- NOTE this is not calorie light.
- 1 rectangular package cream cheese softened (at least 8 oz)
1 stick butter softened
1 tsp lemon juice and 1 tsp oj concentrate
1 tbsp honey.
1-2 tbsp powdered sugar (you know, confectioner’s sugar?)
Blend this in a bowl until light n fluffy. Put into a serving cup/dish and then cover and chill.
Best used when bread is sliced and still warm.
If yer feeling braver next time round you can fill the bread itself before braiding too.
Just roll yer three long sections out to about half inch or less thick… fill center line with a jam (like raspberry) or a spice blend made from brown sugar, cinnamon, allspice, touch of cloves and ginger. (in fact if you use this second filling, maybe the bread itself should get a touch of same spices in the starter mix? You know you have to try it for science…mad genius science…) and butter. (this should be about the same as filling for a cinnamon roll…
Seal each strip by folding it around the filling down middle…roll a bit along length to be sure of seal. make a “U” not a spiral. Pinch as you close it then smoot it out. Pinch ends shut before you braid.
Braid, do your last rise… egg wash… and here with the second filling do sprinkle wigth coarse sugar before baking – I don’t. But you can.
You could also do a blend of spices, cream cheese, sugar, butter and a touch of flour (helps it hold together in middle) for a third try…
Another trick is to cut near to through the braid when it’s braided an before rise and egg wash. this will result in a more pull apart type of bread than just the braided loaf would.
Slice bread, spread with your desire spread or just butter… enjoy with strong coffee or if any left over, the six pack you bought to make the bread with.
Don’t think about the dishes…that’s stress right there. So you’d need to make even more dwarven sweet bread to get rid of the stress that would cause.
So find a minion…offer some warm dwarven sweet bread
if they do the dishes. You did the hard part already.