Well, we are on break for the next couple of days, but really, what's inspiring my rapid baking over these past couple of days is that the next recipe on the list is homemade English muffins! I am so intrigued, but being a good little rule-follower, I had to bake the ones in-between first.
So, cranberry-walnut celebration bread! Or, since I apparently didn't look in my cupboards, go shopping, or plan ahead, cranberry-cherry-pecan-almond bread....because those were the only fruits and nuts I had in the house (wow, there are a lot of jokes waiting there) and I only had a tiny bit of each.
Also, given how un-in-love we were with the cinnamon raisin walnut bread (and fruit-nut bread of any variety), I decided to make a half-batch, just a small braided loaf instead of the enormous double-braided celebration loaf.
The dough came together quickly and easily. I was going to use the trusty ol' stand mixer today, but given how small and malleable the dough was, I ended up just mixing and kneading by hand. As with the cinnamon raisin bread, incorporating the fruits and nuts was a bit of a pain, but I eventually got the stuff mixed in.
exactly right! Peter Reinhart says 155 - 190 degrees, and it was 186 when I took it out. We waited the requisite hour and then dug in. The flavor was very nice, and neither of us minded the fruits and nuts the way we did in the cinnamon raisin. Hubby didn't love the texture as much (he said it was too light and airy?!), but the kiddos both asked for more. I'm still glad I didn't make a big loaf because it wouldn't have gotten eaten, but I think it will make a lovely breakfast bread for tomorrow morning! (Except for hubby, who is still working on single-handedly finishing the entire pan of cornbread!)