Rhiannon is the name of my second child born in October 2011. While at home on maternity leave, I discovered the Baking with Julia group and decided to join. While I may be short on time, I love to bake and love having an excuse to bake. Although Rhiannon cannot eat all of these treats, she is a (somewhat) patient observer of my endeavors.
Monday, January 14, 2013
This recipe was scheduled to be done in mid-December with the Tuesdays with Dorie, Baking with Julia cook group but leave it to the holidays to allay best intentions. I actually DID make this over the holidays, just not in time to post with the whole group. So here, I post, in a make-up week.
This makes a beautifully, stunning bread. Well worthy of any holiday breakfast table. And with some easy timing adjustments (final rising in the fridge over night), it can actually be ready in the morning. And it was a simple recipe, especially considering how grand it looks in the end. I just love recipes like that: ones that belie the effort taken to make it.
I found myself baking this recipe at my in-laws in California not unlike the blueberry nectarine pie from this past summer. We hunted down some yeast with an upcoming expiration date, but rather than run out to the store again at holiday time, we gave it a go. Well, the yeast worked, but it was a bit sluggish. The proofing should have been my first sign, but in my defense, it did proof, just not much. And the first rise was well below double in bulk, and I gave it almost double time to rise. (I know, I know, how many signs do I need?) The second rise in the fridge overnight barely showed signs of growth. But, believe it or not, 15 minutes into it's baking time it grew tremendously, giving it, it's final appearance above.
What the picture does not show, is the doughy texture found inside, resulting from those initial sluggish rises. It also cannot depict the smell and taste of the fresh cardamon. I think it was that flavor alone that made people forget the doughiness and just keep eating. It was gone by lunch.
And I owe thanks to my husband for hand crushing that cardamon with mortar and pestle. It made all the difference.