I am loathe to speak badly of Paris, because it’s a city I love, but there were times, many times, in the three years we lived there that I would have given anything just to see some sunshine. Winter was cold and grey and rainy. And long. The girls were little and seemed to have constant colds, accompanied by the inevitable runny noses and consumptive coughs that keep a mother up at night. Once the baby’s congestion was so bad that the pediatrician wrote her a prescription for a therapist who came to the house to bang her on the back and suction the mucus out of her chest. Too much information for a food blog? Yeah, well. That was my life. On the other hand, I learned to appreciate whatever joy I could find, even through the cold, wet days. One was the daily pleasure that was watching my children blossom and grow as little, articulate people. The other was the bakery just around the corner from our home. I’d bundle the girls up and we’d go for a walk, just to get out of the house. Stepping into the headily yeasty boulangerie, with its eye-goggling display of artisan breads and fancy pastries and Viennoiseries, a subclass of baked goods that include croissants, pain au chocolat and brioche, we were transported to a place where it was warm and inviting, indeed summer all year round. My elder daughter almost invariable chose a palmier – a sweet treat made from puff pastry, baked to a golden crunch, and my younger daughter, when she got old enough, chose a pain aux raisins – a brioche bun baked with raisins. My favorite take-home was a baguette they called tradition, shorter than a baguette ordinaire or standard baguette, that is baked after a longer fermentation time, with a thicker, crustier outside.
For this month’s Twelve Loaves, our ingredient is oranges which easily lends itself to many sweet options. I decided to go savory and add rosemary to the mix, forming the dough into a boule or ball. As it baked, both the oven and the wonderful aroma of oranges and rosemary warmed our rented house in Providence, taking me back to the welcome we received at La Fournée d'Enfance all those years ago.
1/2 cup or 120ml water
1/2 cup or 120ml orange juice
2 tablespoons olive oil plus a little extra for oiling bowl for proofing
2 tablespoons grated orange zest plus extra for garnish
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 oz or 7g active dry yeast
Several sprigs fresh rosemary plus extra for garnish
1 teaspoon sea salt
2-3 cups or 250 – 375g unbleached wheat flour (If you are using regular all-purpose flour, you might use even more.)
2 tablespoons milk
In large bowl, measure in 1/2 cup or 60g of your flour and make a little well in the middle. Sprinkle in your yeast and then pour in 1/4 cup or 60ml of the water that has been warmed. Let this hang out for a few minutes, while the warm water activates the dried yeast.
Meanwhile zest and juice your orange. Mine was a Minneola, a special hybrid between tangerines and grapefruit, distinguished by the knob at the end and being extra sweet and juicy. One Minneola gave me a 1/2 cup of juice so I ended up not needing the second one and just peeled it and ate it. Lovely! They are only available in early spring but if you can find some, buy!
Pull leaves off your rosemary sprigs and mince most of them finely. Keep a few leaves for garnish.
To your yeast/flour mixture, add in the orange juice, oil, zest, honey, rosemary, and salt. Be sure to reserve some zest and rosemary for garnish before baking.
Mix until you have a loose batter.
Mix in enough flour, a 1/2 cup or about 60g at a time, to form a soft dough. I used unbleached wheat flour. When I finished adding two cups, it was already fairly stiff so I kneaded in the last half cup. Bleached flour doesn’t absorb as much water so it might take you more if you are using regular all-purpose flour.
Turn dough out onto floured board and knead it for about five minutes, sprinkling on extra flour if needed. Form the dough into a nice round ball. Wash out your mixing bowl then dry it and oil it. Put your dough ball in and toss it around a little to coat it with the oil. Cover the bowl with a cloth or some cling film and put it in a warm place for about an hour. Meanwhile, grease your baking pan with a little more olive oil.
After the hour is up, punch the dough down and knead again for a minute or two.
Form the dough into a nice round ball and put it in your baking pan. Cover it with the mixing bowl and put it in a warm place for the second rising of about an hour.
When your hour is almost up, preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C.
When your hour is up, use a very sharp knife or lame, to cut a cross in the top of the dough. Gently brush on some milk with a pastry brush. (I didn’t have a brush so I used some spare sprigs of rosemary. They didn’t add any flavor, of course, but I felt resourceful and creative so that’s worth something.)
Sprinkle on your reserved zest and rosemary.
Bake the boule in your preheated oven for about 45-50 minutes or until the dough reaches 180°F or 82°C when measured by thermometer in the middle or is golden brown all over and sounds hollow when tapped.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before slicing. If you can wait that long.
One of the goals of each month’s Twelve Loaves challenge is to encourage bread baking. I hope this wonderful list of orange flavored recipes inspires you to create some warmth in your own kitchen.
- Blueberry Dreamsicle Orange Lower-Fat Quick Bread from Shockingly Delicious
- Brith with candied orange from Ma che ti sei mangiato
- It's Thyme for Orange Dinner Rolls from Cookistry
- Orange Biscuits from Magnolia Days
- Orange-Fennel Cake Doughnuts from girlichef
- Orange Marmalade Filled Sweet Rolls from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Orange Marmalade Scones from A Baker's House
- Orange Pull-Apart Bread from All That's Left Are The Crumbs
- Orange Pull Apart Bread with Orange Cream Cheese Glaze from Bakingyummies
- Orange Rolls from Basic N Delicious
- Orange Rosemary Boule from Food Lust People Love
- Orange You Delicious Honey Crescent Rolls from Kudos Kitchen By Renee
- Pizza di Pasqua from Karen's Kitchen Stories
- Rye and fennel seeds snails with blood oranges and red onion chutney from Rise of the sourdough preacher
- Sicilian Orange Sweet Bread from Cake Duchess
- Strawberry and Orange Quick Bread with Candied Orange Marmalade from Hip Foodie Mom
If you would like to join us this month, it’s easy:
1. Bake a bread using oranges and post it on your blog before the end of April 2014. This must be a new post. Your bread of choice recipe can include oranges, orange marmalade, orange zest, in fact, anything orange related but it must be IN the dough. In addition to being in the dough, it could also be added to a glaze. Whatever you bake, (yeasted, quick bread, crackers, muffins, braids, flatbreads, etc) have fun!
2. Mention the Twelve Loaves challenge in your post. This helps us to get more members as well as share everyone's posts.
3. Add your link to the linky tool at the bottom of this post.
#TwelveLoaves is a monthly bread baking party created by Lora from Cake Duchess. #TwelveLoaves runs so smoothly thanks to the help of the Renee from Magnolia Days and Heather from girlichef.