A trip to the hills happened last week. Hills give a sense of freedom, a sense of liberation. Nature is so majestic and magnanimous.
The vastness of the valleys, the power of the springs, the agility of the streams, the beauty of the flowers, breeze whispering through the pines make you realise how puny you are and how insignificant are the issues that surround and stifle us.
Sitting on a cushion of pine leaves, we savoured the cool breeze, touched the wildflowers around a spring, heard the echo of bird calls across the valley and watched a white-browed fantail flitting in the branches of a peach tree.
Rhododendrons dotted the forests and painted the landscape red. They looked magnificent against the blue sky.
We drove past some colourful houses in the village.
A day before embarking on the journey, we baked a Tuscan Coffeecake. We loved the sweet bread studded with walnuts and cranberries and raisins.
The recipe is adapted from www.kingarthurflour.com Few changes have been made to suit taste.
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup water at room temperature
1/16 teaspoon instant dry yeast
- 2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons instant dry yeast
- 2/3 cup warm water
- ¼ cup melted butter
- 1 egg
- All the starter
- 1 cup toasted and chopped walnuts
- ½ cup golden raisins
- ½ cup dry candied cranberries
- 2 tablespoon candied peels cut into small pieces
- 3 tablespoons hot milk
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons butter
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- To make the starter, mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Cover and keep overnight at room temperature.
- To make the dough, take a deep bowl. Whisk together flour, salt and yeast. Combine all the other ingredients. Mix till everything comes together. Let it rest for 10 minutes. With floured hands, knead till you get a smooth and supple dough.
- Transfer dough to a greased bowl. Cover and keep to rise for an hour or until almost double.
- Deflate the dough. Knead for 2-3 minutes. Knead walnuts, raisins, cranberries and chopped peels into it.
- Shape dough into a flat ball. Transfer to a greased 9 inch round cake pan. Press from the top. Cover and keep to rise for 1 hour or until double.
- Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
- For glaze, mix all the ingredients. Brush the top of the risen coffeecake gently with the glaze.
- Bake coffeecake on the lower rack for 50 -55 minutes. Tent with a foil if the top is browning too fast.
- Remove coffee cake from the pan after 5 minutes.
- Cool on the rack. Slice when cold.
Linking to Breadbakers
#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page.
We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.
Our host this month is Anshie Dhar who blogs at SpiceRoots Do visit her space for some lovely recipes, great bakes and amazing photography. Anshie chose Italian Breads as the theme for this month.
If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to [email protected]
· Casatiello by A Shaggy Dough Story
· Ciabatta Sandwich Rolls by Herbivore Cucina
· Classic Italian Bread by Hostess At Heart
· Cornetti by Gayathri's Cook Spot
· Einkorn Parmesan Piadina by The Wimpy Vegetarian
· Fingermillet and Rosemary Focaccia by Sizzling Tastebuds
· Focaccia Caprese by Sneha's Recipe
· Il Pane di Matera by Food Lust People Love
· Italian BLT Focaccia by A Salad For All Seasons
· Italian Easter Bread by Palatable Pastime
· Italian Easter Cheese Bread by A Baker's House
· Italian Herb and Garlic Focaccia by Hezzi-D's Books and Cooks
· Italian Stuffed Pane Bianco by Cook's Hideout
· Mini Panettone by Mayuri's Jikoni
· Pane Bianco by Veenas Vegnation
· Pane di Genzano by Spiceroots
· Piadina by Passion Kneaded
· Pizza alla Siciliana by Karen's Kitchen Stories
· Rosemary and Cabernet Salt Focaccia by What Smells So Good?
· Torta Salata Pasquale by A Day in the Life on the Farm
· Tuscan Coffeecake by Ambrosia