Monday, April 12, 2010

Cheese Caraway Batter Bread

This weekend's selection from the Green Box came from the "Seasonal Favorites" section. I thought that the springtime weather deserved something special. Betty's suggestion? A cheese caraway batter bread. Yup. Apparently this is a spring food. Don't ask me what is springlike about a pretty dense bread, but I'm not the one with decades of baking experience like Betty.

This time I was lucky to have the help of both Nicole who has joined me on most of my Green Box exploits as well as our friend Elizabeth.

This mostly involved ingredients that I had on hand, which is always nice. Besides buying yeast, caraway seeds, and some sharp Cheddar cheese (I had mild in the fridge, oh well), it was just water, sugar, salt, flower, and butter. Oh and SHORTENING!!! You don't get to make many things these days that call for Crisco, but Betty knows how to deliver. OK, so maybe I didn't have most things on hand - my Crisco apparently expired two years ago, so I had to pick up a new one. Whoops.

Betty told us to put the yeast in 105-115 degree water. That sounded a lot to us like just using hot water out of the tap. Not really having a thermometer, that's what we did, and then mixed in the yeast.

Then pretty much all of the other ingredients got thrown in immediately. There was no waiting for the yeast to do it's thing before combining it with cheese and caraway seeds.

At this point we had a bread batter as it were. Honestly, this was incredibly easy, and now it was time to let it sit. For a half hour.

At which time we went out for BBQ at Capital Q. That was a great choice.

Came back, looked at the batter. It was supposed to double. Did it? Honestly, I have no idea. It kinda looked like it did, but how does one measure such a thing? After 30 minutes which involved a break for pulled chicken and macaroni and cheese I didn't really remember how much batter there was before.

So, I went with it. Next was just taking the batter and spreading it into the baking pan. Then, more waiting. Betty said 40 minutes for the batter to double. This time I gave it a little extra time since it really wasn't warm enough in my apartment for it to rise that quickly. Again, did it double? I don't know, but putting it in the oven at this point seemed like a good idea, so I did.

Once it was done baking for 45 minutes I took it out of the oven. Betty next wanted me to spread melted butter on the top of the bread. How much? She didn't say. I went with two tablespoons. Heck, it was 1971, I figured that's what she would have wanted.

So, how did it taste? Really good, actually. It was one tasty bread. While the cheese definitely added something to the taste it was not necessarily a distinct cheesiness to the bread. Nicole could have gone without the caraway seeds, but I would definitely say that out of all of all of the Green Box experiments, this was far and away the most successful in terms of tasting good.

After we finished tasting some bread there wasn't much else to do, so we decided chatroulette with the bread being what was on camera would be fun (if you have not done chatroulette, I really wouldn't recommend it. Way too many people just being gross. This means you Mom and Dad. Really). It was actually pretty entertaining. We tried to get the person on the other end to pretend to eat the bread, and a lot of the time they did. Here are a few pics:

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