The candied grapefruit peel have taken days to make. Don’t get me wrong they’re lovely. But between the blanching, the simmering, the drying, and rolling in sugar, it has been a couple of days since I first peeled those grapefruit. And today’s the day I dip them all in chocolate.
There’s a plate of toffee on the shelf, ready to be packed. And grapefruit simple syrup in the refrigerator, waiting to be poured into little jars. The fudge shouldn’t take too long. Neither should the pumpkin seed brittle, the vanilla sugar, the citrus-rosemary salt, or the peppermint snowflakes. But I’ve never made caramels before, and for some reason I decided to make ginger-infused cream before I even attempted the recipe.
And last night I burned the hell out of an entire batch of homemade granola. (By the way, it turns out that molasses burns much faster than maple syrup.) I have to make another batch of that today.
I haven’t even started on the cookies.
This is the first year since I met Danny that I am actually making edible gifts for Christmas. Every year before this has been a whirlwind. I promised myself the chance to bake and stir butter and sugar into something different, but it hasn’t happened. Forget the newborn year. Impossible. But this year, Lu has been helping me. And we’ve been having a grand time.
Still, after I made this cardamom fruit bread yesterday, which took ten minutes to prepare, I kind of wish I had made one of these for everyone instead.
This moist bread (Lu kept calling it a “cakebread” and that seems a little accurate) comes from a recipe by Red Star Yeast. As you my remember, Red Star Yeast is one of the sponsors of this website. We decided to work with them because they make great yeast, which we use all the time. But even more than that, they’re great supporters of those of us who have to be gluten-free. Danny and I particularly like that there are gluten-free baked goods recipes on their site because these are bakers. With test kitchens. They know what they’re doing.
If this cardamom fruit bread is any indication, I might be making a lot of their recipes in the new year.
In the meantime, if you’ll excuse me, I have gruyere crackers to start.
Since it’s the holidays, Red Star Yeast is giving away some goodies to one lucky reader here. If you would like to win a bread pan, a pizza cutter, a rolling pin, and some yeast? Please leave a comment here. The winner will be chosen at random on next Wednesday, December 28th and announced here.
P.S. Stephanie of Dollop of Cream, you are the winner of the Red Star Yeast package! If you email me at email@example.com, I will put you in contact with them!
CARDAMOM FRUIT BREAD, adapted from Red Star Yeast
If you have a kitchen scale, this recipe will be ridiculously easy to make. (If you don’t have a scale, please ask Santa for one this year. I don’t convert to cups because I want you to have a successful baking experience.) It’s this: combine wet ingredients, combine dry ingredients, put into a pan, bake. So simple.
I like this combination of cardamom and candied fruits, but you could play with other flavors too. Many of you have asked about family holiday favorites and how to convert them. If any of them are like this slightly sweet bread, baked into a shape this is your recipe. Make it yours.
We used a combination of sorghum flour, sweet rice flour, and potato starch to make this bread, in equal parts. That’s my favorite AP mix right now. Three flours! I’m refining the proportions for our cookbook, and we might change flours, but this combo is working for everything. However, you’ll notice that I gave you the grams of flours necessary, in case you have another combination of flours you like better.
Finally, I wanted to make this into a ring. Did I have a pan for it? Of course not! So I greased a 9-inch cake pan, greased a small bowl, and put the bowl in the cake pan. I held the bowl when I poured in the batter and voila! A ring pan. This time of year, we have to do what we can to make it work.
260 grams warm water
3 large eggs, at room temperature
4 tablespoons oil (I used walnut oil here)
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
400 grams gluten-free flours (we used equal parts sorghum, sweet rice, and potato starch)
2 1/2 teaspoons psyllium husk
90 grams buttermilk powder
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons cardamom
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
220 grams dried candied fruit, plus another 30 grams
Preparing to bake. Preheat the oven to 375°. Grease a bundt pan or loaf pan with a neutral-tasting vegetable oil. (Or, if you want to do what we did, grease the small bowl as well as the cake pan.)
Combining the wet ingredients. Combine the water, eggs, oil, and vinegar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Let it run on low while you put together the rest of the ingredients.
Combining the dry ingredients. In a large bowl, combine the flours, psyllium, milk powder, salt, sugar, cardamom, and yeast. Whisk them together well. (If you truly want to combine them well, whirl them around in a food processor.)
Finishing the batter. With the stand mixer still running, slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Let the mixer run on medium speed for a good long while, at least 8 minutes. (This is a good chance to put away all your ingredients and wipe down the counters.) Add the dried fruit and mix for 1 minute more. The batter will be the consistency of thick pancake batter. Never fear you’re on the right track. Do NOT add more flour.
Letting the dough rise. Pour the batter into a greased bowl and let it rise for for 1 hour.
Baking the bread. Pour the risen batter into the prepared pan. If you wish, scatter the remaining candied fruit on top of the batter. Bake until the top of the bread is firm and the edges are pulling away from the sides of the pan, about 45 to 60 minutes.
Let the pan stand on the counter for 10 minutes before you turn it onto a cooling rack. Allow the bread to cool to barely warm to the touch before you attempt to eat it.
Frosting this bread would be a lovely idea. Here I brushed a bit of melted butter with Chinese five-spice powder onto the top of the bread and dusted it with powdered sugar.