Monday, 14 December 2009

The Bread Baking Babes Celebrate the Season with Viennese Striesel

'Tis the season to bake with sticky dried fruits, earthy nuts, and sugar!
Katie of Thyme for Cooking is our Bread Baking Babe hostess of the month and has provided us with a seasonal and delicious loaf to bake for the holiday season.
I made it according to the recipe, only subbing craisins for the candied cherries as I didn't have any.
Mine was fairly dark by 45 minutes, but the inside was creamy and delicious. Very tasty indeed.

If you would like to join us as a Bread Baking Buddy this month, visit Katie's Viennese Striesel post and either leave a comment or send an email and she will send you the Buddy Badge. Katie will do the Buddy recap on December 21st.

Viennese Striesel

Basic Sweet Dough - I used my stand mixer with the dough hook and just finished up the kneading by hand.

1 package active dry yeast
1/4 cup very warm water
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tbs shortening, melted (I used butter)
2 3/4 - 3 cups flour
1 egg

Dissolve yeast in warm water
Scald milk. Put milk, sugar, shortening, salt in bowl of mixer. Cool until just warm. Stir in 1 cup of flour. Mix in dissolved yeast.
Whisk egg and add to dough. Add second cup of flour and combine.
(Add remaining flour and knead until smooth and satiny if all you are doing is this basic dough - otherwise go on to the second part of the striesel recipe)
Viennese Striesel

1 recipe Basic Sweet Dough* recipe above
1/4 cup seedless raisins
1/4 cup candied cherries, chopped
2 tbs candied orange peel, chopped
1/8 tsp mace
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
1 tbs milk
almonds or walnuts for sprinkling

Add fruit and mace to basic dough before the last of the flour. Mix in well. Add remaining flour and finish kneading until smooth.
Shape into a ball, place in lightly greased bowl, cover and let rise until doubled, about 2 1/4 hours.
Punch down. Divide into 9 pieces, shape each into a ball and let rest 5 minutes.
Roll each piece into a rope about 15" long. Lay 4 strands on a lightly greased baking sheet, overlapping at the center. Braid from the center toward each end. With the side of your hand make a trench down the center. Now braid 3 strands, also from the center to each end, and place in the 'trench'. Twist the 2 remaining strands loosely together and place on top, bringing the ends over the end of the loaf and tucking in.
Cover loosely and let rise until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours. Bake, 350F (175C) for 40 - 45 minutes. Remove and cool on a wire rack.
Mix milk and sugar. When bread is cool, drizzle frosting over the top. Sprinkle with nuts.