Friday, December 30, 2011

Candy Cane Shaped Bread

* 1 cup sour cream
* 1 package active dry yeast
* 1/4 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees F)
* 2 tbsp butter, softened
* 2 tbsp + 1.5 tsp sugar
* 2 tsp salt
* 1 eggs
* 3 cups all-purpose flour

1. Heat sour cream over low heat just until lukewarm.
2. Dissolve yeast in the warm water (110-115 F). Stir in sour cream, butter, sugar, salt, eggs and 1.5 cups of the flour. Beat until smooth. Mix in enough remaining flour to make it easy to handle.
3. Turn dough onto well-floured board. Knead until smooth, about 10 minutes. Place in greased bowl. Turn once to bring greased side up. Cover. Let rise in warm place until double, about 1 hour. To test for rising, stick two fingers in dough. If holes remain but top stays smooth, dough is ready.
4. Heat oven to 375° F. Punch down dough.
5. Roll the dough into a rectangle. Place on greased baking sheet. With scissors or a knife, make 2-inch cuts at 1/2-inch intervals on both long sides of the rectangles.
6. Place the filling down the center of the rectangle.
7. Crisscross strips over the filling. Stretch dough to 22 inches. Curve to form a “cane.”
8. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. While warm, brush with butter and drizzle canes with Thin Icing (recipe follows). If desired, decorate with cherry halves or pieces.

For thin icing:

Blend 2 cups powdered sugar with about 2 tablespoons water. If icing is too stiff, add water a drop at a time. If too thin, add more powdered sugar a little at a time.

The original recipe is double all of these ingredients and makes 3 loaves. I halved the recipe (what I used is what is shown above in the ingredients list) and made one large one. I bet I could have made two small size ones with the same amount of ingredients as I used because it came out really large. Also, the original recipe has a recipe for a mixed fruit filling using apricots and maraschino cherries, but during my childhood my mom would use pie filling as the bread filling. I followed her example. I used apple filling, but raspberry or cherry would look quite festive, and I bet blueberry would taste great as well! You'll see in the pictures below that I used parchment paper to ensure that bread wouldn't stick!

One other tip...when Hannah and Owen saw this bread, they told me we could make it for Halloween and have it be Mummy Bread! That would be cute too!

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