Monday, 13 May 2013

Spiced Orange Breadcakebread

What makes a bread a bread, or a cake a cake? With this sweetly spiced delight the lines blur. The dough itself is prepared like a loaf, with the familiar stages of kneading and proving. However it is baked, served and sliced as a cake would be. The title though is of little significance as the warm citrus flavour and soft texture speak louder than any moniker you decide to bestow upon it. Equally as lovely as a lunchtime snack, afternoon tea treat or even toasted for breakfast the process of its creation is tremendous fun and more than worth a little endeavour.

WARNING: This recipe contain repeated use of the term "warm place", which for reasons unknown makes me cringe when I read it. I mean an area such as an airing cupboard.

Prep time: 30 Minutes (Plus 2 hours proving time)
Baking time: 30-35 Minutes
15g Fresh Yeast
75ml Tepid Water
35g Caster Sugar
300g Strong White Bread Flour
1tsp Mixed Spice
1/2tsp Salt
50ml Milk (Warm)
50g Unsalted Butter (Melted and cooled)
1 Large Egg Yolk
The zest of 1 Large Orange
130g Candied Orange Peel (Chopped)
3tbsp Golden Syrup
25g Toasted Flaked Almonds

I love making this on a weekend morning, with a bit of music in the background. Crumble the fresh yeast into a large mixing bowl. Add the water and sugar, then mix with a fork or little whisk until dissolved. Tip in the flour, mixed spice and salt, then the milk, butter and egg yolk, followed finally by the orange zest and candied orange peel. Don't ask me why I add the ingredients in that order, it just feels right!

Mix the ingredients together to a loose dough then tip out onto a clean dry surface. Knead the dough, gripping the dough at one end, stretching the other away from you, folding it back on itself, turning by a quarter and repeating. Do this for 7-8 minutes until smooth and elastic, then shape into a ball and place into a clean and greased large mixing bowl. Cover with a damp tea towel and leave in a warm place for one hour.

Grease a 20cm deep loose bottomed baking tin and line with baking paper. Remove the dough from the your warm place, remove from the bowl and tip out onto a clean surface that has been lightly greased. Press the dough all over with your fingers to knock any air out, then shape into a large disk, very slightly smaller than the base of your tin. Carefully transfer the dough to the prepared tin and place the tin into a large plastic bag. Return to your warm place for a further hour, by which time the dough will have risen.

Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5. Remove the tin from the plastic bag and bake in the centre of the oven for 30-35 minutes, until dark brown on top. When you are happy it is cooked take the baked bread out of the oven and carefully remove from the tin, peeling the paper from the bottom. Warm the golden syrup in the microwave for 20-30 seconds, then brush all over the top. Finish by scattering over the flaked almonds and your work is complete. Very well done.

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