This month’s topic of the Bread Baking Day which was initiated by Zorra from 1x umrühren bitte is “Baking Bread for a Birthday Party”, hosted by Jamie from Life’s a Feast. As fate would have it, we were invited to a birthday party last weekend, and as a present I wanted to bring some homemade bread and jam. The birthday person likes to bake bread himself, so I thought he’d appreciate receiving homemade bread.
I chose to make the Cranberry Walnut Celebration Bread from the Bread Baker’s Apprentice by Peter Reinhart. I had made this bread for the BBA Challenge before, so I knew this would be a nice gift. Then, I had braided a double-decker version which was really nice, but this time I wanted to try something else: a braid made from one strand. How is that possible, you might ask? You’ll see in a minute.
First, I mixed all the ingredients for half a recipe, that is flour, sugar, salt, yeast, citrus extracts, eggs, milk, butter and water. Everything was kneaded, and then I added the cranberries, kneaded again and added the chopped walnuts in the end. I fermented the dough for 2 hours and then formed one long strand out of the piece of dough. It was approximately 3 feet long. I braided the string following the directions given in the following video and brushed the braid with an eggwash:
You also find a detailed photo “tutorial” at Lovin’ from the Oven. It was really fun to try a new braiding technique. This is the result I got: it’s pretty, isn’t it?
I can’t post any pictures of the cut loaf because the birthday person ate the loaf the next morning, but he called me right back and said how impressed he was by this bread. He even wanted to know what book the recipe was from, so I guess, it must have been quite good ;-).