It felt good to gather my ingredients and begin on my baking project. Yesterday, I made
Orange Whole Wheat Bread from The Best of Craig Claiborne. This cookbook is a collection of 1,000 recipes that came from his days writing for The New York Times food column, and four of his previously published cookbooks. (Find the recipe below the pictures)
Craig Claiborne was an icon to me, as I grew up in White Plains, NY. My mom read the food section of the New York Times, religiously. She cooked and baked the recipes de jour, reporting to my brother, sister and me about the recipes, what she learned, and how she modified them so suit her taste. Consequently, I learned this chef’s name (and that of Pierre Franey), as if he were a family member or personal friend. My mom sent us all to college with Craig Claiborne’s Kitchen Primer Cookbook, which proved to be an asset, and perhaps a beginning, for me.
After having been in San Francisco, last weekend, seeing all the artesian breads bakeries, I was ready to get back to work. This recipe called for some unique ingredients which attracted me to it, anything with orange rind is a favorite for me.
The recipe was pretty clear, and easy to follow. But when it called to turn the dough onto a floured board, I knew I was in trouble. My dough was so wet, that I began adding 1/4 cup of flour at a time, getting to the point where I was dumping unmeasured flour into the dough until dough hook on the mixer could do its thing. I would guess I added 1 additional cup of flour to the mixture. Fortunately, I have a good sense of bread dough’s look and feel, and knew that adding flour was the remedy.
NOTE: I measured flour by the cup, wondering afterwards if weighing the flour would have produced a more accurate result. So I measured the flour later that evening and the it measured nearly the same, just off a few grams per cup. I don’t believe grams of flour would have affected the liquidity of the dough.
The first rising was 2 hours. Rising dough is like napping children…I see it as my opportunity to clean up and prepare for the next steps. J The initial rising was followed by forming the dough in bread pans, with another 45-minute rising.
The final products were better than anticipated. The dough, as it baked, rose beautifully, and evenly. And the bread flavor was invitingly warm; a little bit of sweetness from the honey and brown sugar, with a fragrant orange accent from the rind. I can imagine this bread would make delicious French Toast. But simply toasted with a smear of butter and apricot jam was a perfect afternoon treat. #yeatsdough #bread
Craig Claiborne’s Whole Wheat Orange Bread
- 2 cups of water (I used warm tap water)
- 4 Tablespoons butter (room temperature)
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 package granular yeast
- 2 teaspoons salt
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup honey
- 1 egg
- Grated rind of one orange (larger orange is better)
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- Combine water and butter in a sauce pan. Heat just until the butter melts or is 110° F. If the liquid becomes hotter, let it cool to that temperature.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 cups of all-purpose flour with the yeast, salt and brown sugar.
- Add the water and butter mixture to the dry ingredients. Add honey, egg and orange rind. Blend on medium speed until blended.
- Thoroughly work in the remaining all-purpose flour and whole wheat flour.
- NOTE: At this point my dough was quite wet and I added 1/3 cup of flour at a time to ensure the dough was smooth and not too sticky to handle before turning it onto the board.
- Turn the dough onto a lightly floured board and knead until smooth and elastic. Then shape into a ball
- Lightly butter a clean mixing bowl. Add the dough to the bowl and make sure it’s coated with butter on all sides. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it stand in a warm place until the doubles in bulk, about two hours
- Turn the dough back onto the floured board and knead it lightly. Cover with a towel and let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Cut the dough in half and shape each into loaf. Arrange each loaf in a greased 1.5 quart / 9” x 5” greased loaf pan.
- Let rise in a warm place about one hour. Preheat the oven to 375 and bake for 45 minutes.
- NOTE: If you’re using a glass pan lower the temperature to 350°