Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Caramel Bread


TheHusbands brother loves to cook. So when we're up for a visit I try and see where his interest lie and how well he executes them. So far I have seen him do 2 things. 1) Wreck a really good piece of meat and 2) Caramel Bread.

His way: Buy bread dough from the grocery store, make little balls, place in a baking tin and cover with Caramel Sugar and Cream. Leave to rise then bake.

This is the way I have been doing it. It's one of those dessert you can whip up real quick, everyone loves it and there is only 1 dirty dish (and sometimes a dirty drip tray if I underestimate how much it bubbles over)

It really is a self saucing dessert. The caramel sugar melts into the cream and soaks into the dough as it bakes. If you put in enough cream (and it doesn't all boil over onto your drip tray) there will be some caramel sauce left over too.

So the other day, while cooking up a cottage pie I sat waiting for the bing of my oven timer and realised "I need dessert!". How could I have people over for supper and not give them something sweet to end with? Caramel bread came to mind. Smells great, tastes delicious, minimum effort. I checked my watch, 17:00, there would be no way that PnP would still have raw dough for sale.

This lead me a to google search for a simple white bread recipe and I stumbled on this recipe. Checked my pantry (cupboard), checked the fridge, inspected my counter and found everything except bread flour. So did I give up? No! See I am a cook not a baker so I have no regard for exact ingredients...pffft. I used cake flour instead. I can tell you that on this one occasion my contempt for recipes paid off well (nothing exploded either, bonus!)


What you need:
1 cup milk
2 tbs butter
1 1/2 cup warm water
2 packets dry yeast
2 tbs sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup warm water
6/7 cups flour (use bread if you have it, cake if you don't)
1 cup cream (or more if you have a deep enough dish)
1 cup caramel sugar

What to do:
Melt the butter in the milk in a saucepan on a low heat. Once melted put aside to cool. Mix the yeast and 1/2 cup of warm water together and put aside too. In a large bowl mix together the sugar, salt and water together. Once cooled add the milk and butter mixture. Make sure the mixture is not too warm before adding the yeast mixture, you don't want to kill the yeast. Mix the flour in one cup at a time until you get a nice smooth and slightly sticky dough, not too sticky though. Kneed it and then pop it into a well oiled bowl, flip it over so that the dough is coated in oil and then cover and leave to rise for about an hour or until doubled in size. Knock it down and leave it for another 30 minutes. Greece a baking tin of your choice and and make balls of dough. The size is your choice depending on the baking tin you use but the balls are important. Sprinkle the caramel sugar over everthing keeps a little aside to sprinkle ontop. Pour the cream over. Cover and let rise for at least 20 more minutes. Before popping it into the oven at 180°C sprinkle the rest of the sugar on top. Bake until golden brown and serve warm. 
Can also be served the next day with some extra caramel sauce and a cup of coffee

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