Tuesday, December 10, 2013
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Teresa Marrone’s cardamom-maple swirl bread, from the recipe in her book “Modern Maple.”
Teresa Marrone photo
1 teaspoon ground cardamom (see head note)
½ teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons half-and-half or whole milk
Prepare the dough in a standard-capacity bread machine (or prepare it by hand, following the standard procedure for yeast breads). Add syrup to 2-cup measure, then add buttermilk to equal ¾ cup. In a small bowl, beat eggs with a fork until very well blended but not foamy. Add enough of the beaten egg to the maple mixture to equal 1 cup, then add 2 more tablespoons of the egg to the syrup mixture (you will be using a total of ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons of the egg in the dough). Cover and refrigerate remaining beaten egg; you'll use it to brush on top of the bread before baking it. Add maple mixture and all remaining dough ingredients to bread machine according to instructions for your machine. (Some have special yeast dispensers and require the liquids to be added last, on top of the flour; others require the liquid to be added first so it is at the bottom of the mixing pan, with the yeast on top of the flour.) Run the white dough cycle so the dough is kneaded and proofed; watch the dough in the first few minutes of kneading, and add a little more buttermilk or flour if the dough appears too dry or too wet.
About 45 minutes before the end of the dough cycle (or first rising, if making dough by hand), prepare the cardamom-maple filling. Place syrup in a heavy-bottomed small saucepan. Cook over medium heat without stirring until the surface is covered with foaming bubbles, then adjust heat so mixture continues to bubble but does not boil over, and cook without stirring until mixture reaches 24 degrees above boiling on a tested quick-read thermometer (236 degrees if your thermometer measures boiling water at 212 degrees); this will probably take 2 1/2 to 3 minutes from the time the mixture starts boiling. Remove from heat and add butter; stir constantly until butter melts and mixture is smooth, about a minute longer. Stir in cardamom, cinnamon and nutmeg. Set aside to cool, stirring occasionally; the mixture needs to be spreadable – no longer fluid but not hard – when you use it. If it is still looking like fluid when you turn the risen bread out to begin working with it, refrigerate the butter mixture for a few minutes to firm it up slightly.
When dough cycle is complete (or, if making dough by hand, when it has risen once and been punched down), turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead a few times. Pat into a rough rectangle about an inch thick, then cover loosely with a towel and let it rest for 10 minutes. Coat a 9- by-5-inch loaf pan generously with cooking spray and set aside.
Uncover the dough and roll it into a rectangle that is about 8½ by 17 inches. Spread cardamom-maple filling evenly over the dough, keeping about an inch of one short end clear of filling. Starting with the other short edge, roll firmly into a log. Pinch the edge together very well to seal and pat the ends in slightly if necessary so the log is about the same width as the loaf pan. Place dough, seam-side down, in prepared loaf pan. Cover with a clean towel and let rise until roughly doubled in size, 45 to 60 minutes; if you press your fingertip gently into the dough, the dent will spring back just slightly when the dough is properly risen.
Near the end of the rising time, arrange two oven racks in the bottom of the oven and remove any racks above them; place a square of foil in the middle of the bottom rack to catch any drips. Heat to 350 degrees for a glass loaf pan or 375 degrees for a metal loaf pan. When dough is properly risen, add half-and-half to reserved egg and beat with a fork; brush over risen dough, discarding any excess. Place loaf pan in center of oven on top rack, above the foil. Bake until the center of the loaf reads 200 to 205 degrees on a quick-read thermometer, 30 to 40 minutes; loaf will be richly browned. Place the loaf pan on a wire rack and cool for 5 minutes. Loosen the edges with a table knife and turn the loaf out onto a wire rack; let cool completely before slicing.
Recipes reprinted with permission from "Modern Maple" by Teresa Marrone, published by Minnesota Historical Society Press (www.mhspress.org).