This started out as a really simple baking exercise: I pulled out the bread machine, skimmed through my favorite bread machine cookbook for something that uses ingredients I had on hand, and picked the Rosemary Lemon Bread, because I have fresh rosemary this week from Boston Organics. Yay, using up things from the veggie box!
I didn’t *quite* have everything the recipe called for: I decided to use almonds instead of hazelnuts, and to not bother skinning them. I planned to use regular raisins instead of golden, but I couldn’t imagine that making much difference except in presentation. Fine, fine, on we go.
This is where things started to go wrong. I *massively* failed at reading comprehension, and started adding things from the ingredient list to the bread machine pan. Unfortunately, the 3 tablespoons of baking soda were not *supposed* to go in the pan—they were supposed to be used for boiling the hazelnuts to skin them. No harm done–I rinsed off the rosemary, which was the only other thing in the pan. The massive failure was in not noticing that the 2c of water listed next *also* did not go in the pan. I didn’t realize that until all the ingredients were in and the bread was almost an hour into it’s cycle, but still looked like soup.
I *almost* threw out the whole thing, but I couldn’t bear to give up so easily and waste all those nice ingredients. Besides, I had promised Jr Baker that there would be bread, so bread there would be if I could possibly make it happen. I poured and scraped the “dough” into a big bowl, and started adding flour. 3.5 cups later, it was starting to look like dough. I added another 3 tbsp of butter and an extra tablespoon of dried lemon zest, added the chopped almonds and the raisins, let it rest an hour and decided to bake my chances…
It worked! My creation lives! B. made two *brilliant* suggestions that really helped: the first was to divide the giant mass of dough into two loaves, so they would bake through more easily. The second was, instead of their lemon frosting, to glaze before baking with an egg, lemon juice and some sugar.
It took about 45 minutes to bake—I was really unsure, so we used Science:
At 30 minutes my thermal probe reported 180F and came out sticky
At 40 minutes both loaves turned golden-brown
At 45 minutes they both measured around 212F inside and were done!
For the bread:
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup milk
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 3.5 cups plus 450g all-purpose flour
- 5 tablespoons gluten
- 1 large egg plus one egg yolk
- 1/4 cup honey
- chopped fresh rosemary (about 2 tbsp)
- 2 tbsp dried lemon zest
- 1.75 tsp salt (more would actually be better, because of the more flour)
- 2.25 tsp SAF yeast
- 1 cup raisins
- ~ 1 cup chopped almonds
For the glaze:
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp sugar
- ~ 2 tbsp lemon juice
Mix together all the ingredients and knead until mixed well. Some flour will remain in the bowl.
Let rise for 1-1.5 hours, then shape into two loaves. Paint the loaves generously with the glaze.
Bake at 350F for 45 minutes or until a temperature probe reads around 212F.