Thursday, August 24, 2006

Gingerbread

This is not your garden variety square pan ginberbread. This is a full on yeast bread. It also makes the absolute best PBJ's on the face of the earth.

Ingredients:

1 cup whole milk at room temperature
(i suppose you could substitute reduced or nonfat, i just haven't ever tried)
1 egg, beaten well
1 tbsp shortening
2 tbsp molasses
2 tbsp brown sugar (packed)
3/4 tbs salt
3 1/4 cups white flour
1 tsp ground ginger
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
2 tsp dry yeast

Heat the oven to 375°

Take two tablespoons of the room temperature milk and mix with the yeast, set aside.
I use my big ass standing (and candy apple green) Kitchenaide® mixer with a dough hook for this, but it can be done by hand if you're strong and relentless. Mix all the other ingredients together and turn on the hook for 5 minutes. Add the yeast mixture. Knead or hook for another 5 minutes. You want your dough to be elastic It should naturally ball up and should stretch well before tearing. A small ball pinched off should naturally hold its shape.

Take it off the mixing stand and brush the dough ball with a little melted butter. Cover with a towel and put in a warm place (not too hot just slightly more than room temperature) for 30 minutes. The dough should be doubled in size.

Turn onto a lightly floured surface and flatten it out. Knead by hand or put it back under the hook for another 5 minutes. Brush, cover, and allow to rise again for another 30 minutes.

Without all the brutality this time, turn out and shape into a loaf in a standard, lightly greased loaf pan. Cover and allow to rise another 20 minutes.

Put it on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 40 minutes. At this time you can start checking for crust color and crispness. I like a dark, crunchy crust on mine, but tastes vary. A well done loaf of this bread will sound hollow when you tap it with a finger.

When you're satisfied with the crust, put on a cooling rack and cool for 15 minutes.
Then turn out of the pan and cool completely. I know there's a temptation to attack the bread with your knife and slather it down with butter and start gobbling it right now, the melted butter runs down your chin and ooohh it's just so fucking good right now. It's all that indeed, but be strong and resist. If you start hacking into the bread before it's cooled you'll fuck up the texture of the rest of the loaf you weak willed greedy bastard. Be strong for the rest of your family. The only time it is acceptable to tear into a hot loaf of bread is if there are enough people right there with you to devour the entire loaf.

I need to go track down my son and his visiting friend right now dammit.

2 Comments:

Blogger konagod said...

Ahhh, man I LOVE gingerbread but haven't made any in so long I just forgot it existed!

9:18 AM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

egad, blogger is being bitchy this morning. i am making two loaves right now because the above mentioned april adores the pbj's this bread makes. (it helps to have home made, home grown, prickly pear jelly. . .) then i'm off to prowl the farmer's market down the road. . .

9:29 AM  

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