Few things are more satisfying for a person who likes to cook than making homemade bread. What smells better than bread baking in the oven, or tastes better than still-warm bread slathered with sweet butter? Organic bread from a company like Klosterman Baking Company may be just the thing, but there’s a wealth of delicious ingredients that you can put in your bread just for the variety of it. Here are five of them:
Raisin bread is brilliant, but the best raisin bread isn’t the result of opening a box and just tossing a handful of raisins into the dough. To make best quality raisin bread, plump the raisins overnight. One recipe calls for one and a half cups of sultanas, or golden raisins steeped in cognac or sherry with a half a teaspoon of mace and two teaspoons of grated orange rind. Add the raisins after the second rising of the dough, then fold the dough over them like an envelope before putting the loaf in the oven.
Saffron is a spice made from the stigmas of a special type of crocus. Granted, the spice is expensive, for it has to be collected by hand. But the taste and golden-orange hue it gives to bread is unbeatable. Saffron bread is especially good as toast. To prepare the saffron, pour boiling water over one half a teaspoon of the threads, and let them steep for five minutes. Let it cool before adding it to the other ingredients.
One type of bread, pissaladiére, originated in Provence, France, and is made not only with ripe tomatoes but Spanish onions, Parmesan cheese, crushed rosemary, anchovy fillets, and olives. This bread is made with brioche dough, and the filling is made when the dough is still rising. Brioche bread is made like your regular bread but with the addition of eggs and light cream.
Cheese gives bread a rich, delicious flavor. The cheeses are often Parmesan or Romano, Gruyere or Swiss Emmenthaler. Some cooks use cheddar. The flavor of this bread is given a bit of heat with about a teaspoon of Tabasco sauce. The cheeses are sprinkled in after the second rising then kneaded into the dough.
One type of bread uses mashed potatoes along with flour. The flour can be all-purpose flour, half-whole wheat, whole wheat or graham. Along with the mashed potatoes, which can be the instant type if you wish, use the water in which the potatoes were cooked. This bread is moist, somewhat heavy and utterly delicious.
The oldest food produced by humans, known as the staff of life, bread is eaten all over the world in many different forms. Its versatility is one its great benefits, and even a novice bread maker can find novel, mouth-watering ingredients to make their loaves special.