Bread + Pie = Harvest Buns
October is here! This is the month of pumpkins, apples, and spices. The weather is cooler and I have been busy, busy, baking up a storm. This means less time for things like sleep, crafts, reading, etc. And yes, I have reached that strange point in my baking craze when I lose my appetite. Strange, I know. Every time I go on a cooking or baking jag, I get super enthusiastic, plan lots of stuff, but about halfway through completion, I totally lose my appetite for it all. Sometimes, I don’t even want a bite of it when it is done.
It is unfortunate that I lost my appetite during this week’s Tuesday’s with Dorie recipe, Cranberry-Walnut Pumpkin Loaves, because I love this bread. I make it every year around Thanksgiving and it never fails to make me happy. I knew I was going to have to tinker with it a bit this time, though, because none of the stores had fresh cranberries and because it is apple frenzy time. Ordinarily, I would bake this recipe as is, except for the fact that I always double it. I love the contrast of the sour cranberries with the sweet and spicy nature of the rest of the bread. It is great toasted with butter and apple butter on top. This time around, I decided to try something different and make what I am dubbing Harvest Buns.
Basically, I made the dough according to the recipe except I doubled it and substituted half of the raisins for dried cranberries. The dough is always a little sticky and it can be a slow riser because of all the stuff that is in it, but mine did just fine this time. Here it is before the first rise
and after the first rise.
By the way, this might not look doubled but it is. The dough did not fill the bottom of the container when I put it in, (I was lazy and did not press it down) and I placed the tape at the crest of the dough. After I punch it down, I just stick it back into the container and put it in the fridge. I never bother with the bag. The next day, after I pulled it out and let it have its rest, I shaped one third of it into a loaf so we could have something for sandwiches. The rest got rolled into a large rectangle and topped with some apple pie filling I had ready.
Then, I sprinkled on a mixture of brown sugar and cinnamon and rolled it up, cinnamon bun style. Do you see where I am going with this?
They rose nicely and then I baked the pan for about 45 minutes. I wanted to make sure it was all nicely baked through because I hate raw dough in the middle of my bread. The dough did not have much oven spring, which is something I vaguely remember from year’s past. Next time, I need to remember to use my baking stone.
After they cooled a bit, I cut one out and drizzled it with salted caramel sauce.
The boys liked it. The younger one said they were “very good” which is pretty high praise. Usually everything he likes is just good. At the age of seven, he is already a little man of few words. Anyway, because I suddenly lost my appetite the day I made these, I really do not have much of an opinion about these. They were very moist and pretty. The husband said he would prefer them without the salted caramel. I loved the salted caramel, but after two weeks of apple frenzy, I just couldn’t get excited about the buns. I put the regular loaf in the freezer for another day. Hopefully, after a little time, I will feel better about that one. What do you think?
Don’t disregard this recipe because of my apathy this week! It is a really great bread and nice for the holidays because you can make the dough day before, then just shape and bake on Turkey Day (or whatever holiday you are celebrating) to have fresh, warm bread for your dinner. Try it! The recipe is posted here.
Next: Jelly and Apple Butter, revised