This week's recipe was a fun one to try! I've never made a bread before, nor have I tried to caramelize anything in my life.
While one aspect of this bake was a fail, the other 2 parts were successes!
This is another recipe from on of my trusted Great British Bake-Off cookbooks, 'Celebrations."
Don't worry, I have more cookbooks on the way, so I'll start trying other recipes soon!
TOOLS YOU'LL NEED
A digital scale
2 baking sheets lined with paper
2 medium pans/pots
Wire cooling rack
INGREDIENTS FOR THE BREAD
450 grams all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
80 grams cocoa powder
100 grams pecan halves, roughly chopped
115 grams unsalted butter, diced
200 grams sugar
200 ml buttermilk
2 large eggs, room temperature, beaten to mix
HOW TO MAKE THE BREAD:
Time: About 50 minutes plus time to cool
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
Sift the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cocoa powder into a mixing bowl
Add the chopped pecans and mix
Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and set the bowl aside
Measure your butter and sugar into a medium pan and set the pan over low heat
Stir occassionally until the butter is melted
Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the buttermilk
Stir in the beaten eggs
Pour the wet mixture into the well in the flour mixture
Use a wooden spoon to gradually work the flour into the wet mixture. This will make a heavy, slightly sticky dough
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured worktop - you'll want to work quickly on these next couple steps
Gently knead the dough for a couple seconds until it's just smooth
Divide the dough in half and shape each half into a ball
Place the balls on the lined baking sheet with plenty room for them to expand
Slightly flatten the balls with the palm of your hand
Use a large, sharp knife to cut a cross in the top of each ball - I cut mine too long, so use mine as an example of what NOT to do
Baked for 30-35 minutes
The loaves will sound hollow when tapped on the bottom when they're done. Cool on a wire rack.
INGREDIENTS FOR SALTED CARAMEL SAUCE
15 grams unsalted butter
125 ml whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt flakes (I just used fine sea salt)
50 grams sugar
HOW TO MAKE THE SALTED CARAMEL SAUCE:
Time: 20-30 minutes
Measure your butter and cream into a small pan
Heat on low until the butter is melted. Get this mixture warm, but not hot
Remove from heat and set aside
Measure the sugar into a medium and and heat over low
Swirl the sugar in the pan until it's completely melted. You can use a metal spoon if needed to stir occasionally
Bring the melted sugar to a boil (don't stir it) until it turns into a golden caramel
Quickly remove the pan from heat and add a spoonful of the cream mixture to the caramel. Be careful as this will froth up but mine splattered a little as I stirred it
Use a wooden spoon to stir in the rest of the cream mixture
Return the pan to low heat and stir until smooth
Pour into a heatproof jug or a mason jar and set it aside until it's cool
You can cover it with plastic wrap or a lid and keep in the fridge until needed
INGREDIENTS FOR CARAMELIZED PECANS
20 pecan halves
200 grams sugar
HOW TO MAKE THE CARAMELIZED PECANS
Time: 20-30 minutes plus cooling/setting
NOTE: I completely failed at this one
Place the pecans on the line baking sheet
Measure the sugar into a medium pan (you can even wash the one you used for the sauce)
Set over low heat and cook into the golden caramel as before
Pour the caramel over the pecans and let set
Once they're set, break the caramel into fragments but keep the pecans in tact
For my caramel, I let it boil too long which resulted in a very dark caramel. It didn't taste burnt, but it didn't taste good. It had a very strong spice flavor to it that I didn't like, so I ended up throwing it away.
PUTTING IT TOGETHER
When you're ready to serve the bread, drizzle some of your salted caramel sauce over the top and place the pecans and caramel shards on the loaf. Obviously, I ruined my pecans so I only had the drizzle to work with. I put the extra sauce into a cup for dipping because I'm a sucker for anything salted caramel.
I hope you guys enjoyed this recipe! If you tried it, let me know how it went in the comments below or share your pictures on Instagram with the hashtag #LetsDoughThis so I can see it!
While you're here, check out my previous posts to see what I've baked this month and come back next Sunday night for another new recipe!