Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Bread Breakthrough: A "Kneadlessly Simple" Technique

(NAPSI)-Savoring a warm loaf of fragrant, just-from-the-oven bread can be one of life's great pleasures. Now you can experience the joys of home-baked bread using a breakthrough technique.

Taking bread making to a whole new level, award-winning cookbook author Nancy Baggett has developed a "Kneadlessly Simple" method that helps even complete novices bake bread easily in their own kitchens, with no kneading and no mess.

The secret is to allow the yeast to grow slowly and develop the same full, satisfying flavor of traditional bread. The technique can be used to produce a wide variety of breads, from Pull-Apart Butter-Top Rolls to Easy Oat Bread and Rosemary Focaccia.

Here's an amazingly easy example to try. Don't let the length of this recipe alarm you as Baggett offers detailed instructions for best results and various rising options to fit your schedule.

"Kneadlessly Simple" Very Cherry-Streusel Coffeecake


2½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon Fleischmann's® RapidRise or Bread Machine Yeast

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 cup plus 3 tablespoons ice- cold water, plus more ice water if needed

Streusel and Filling:

1 cup packed brown sugar

1½ cups all-purpose flour

1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon

¾ cup (1½ sticks) butter (not margarine), melted

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

¾ cup slivered almonds, optional

1 can (21 oz.) cherry pie filling

First Rise: In large bowl, thoroughly mix flour, sugar, salt and yeast. In large measuring cup, whisk oil into water. Thoroughly stir liquid into flour, scraping down sides until thoroughly blended. If mixture is too dry to mix in all the flour, stir in just enough water to blend ingredients; don't overmoisten as dough should be almost stiff. If necessary, firm it by adding more flour. Brush or spray top with oil. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. For convenience or fullest flavor, hold dough in the refrigerator 3-10 hours if desired. Then let rise at cool room temperature (about 70° F) 8-16 hours.

For Streusel: In medium bowl, combine brown sugar, flour and cinnamon, finely crushing any sugar lumps. Stir in butter and vanilla until evenly incorporated and mixture forms small clumps. Refrigerate, covered, until firmed up and cooled, at least 30 minutes and up to a week. If cold, let warm up slightly before using. Before using, break up any large clumps.

Second Rise: Set aside 1½ cups streusel for topping. Vigorously stir remaining streusel into dough, leaving little patches of streusel throughout. Turn out dough into well-oiled 9x13x2-inch baking dish. Spread or press until evenly thick using an oiled spatula or fingertips. Spread cherry filling evenly over top. Sprinkle nuts and reserved streusel evenly over dough top. Cover baking dish with nonstick spray-coated plastic wrap. Let rise using any of these methods: For a 1½- to 2½-hour regular rise, let stand at warm room temperature; for a 1- to 2-hour accelerated rise, let stand in turned-off microwave along with 1 cup boiling-hot water; for an extended rise, refrigerate, covered, 4-24 hours, then set out at room temperature. When dough nears plastic, remove it and continue rising until dough is ½ inch below pan rim.

Baking: 15 minutes before baking time, place rack just below center of oven and preheat to 350° F. Set coffeecake on a baking sheet. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until top is nicely browned and a paring knife inserted in center of the dough comes out with just a few crumbs on tip (or until center registers 205-207° F on instant-read thermometer). Cool in pan on wire rack 15 minutes. Then cut into rectangles and serve warm. Yield: 1 large coffeecake, about 12 portions.

Storing: Cool completely before storing airtight in plastic or foil. Keeps at room temperature for up to 3 days and may be frozen, airtight, for up to 2 months.

Fleischmann's Yeast is offering a book with some of Baggett's many recipes. To order a copy of the book for $1 to offset shipping and handling, visit www.breadbreakthrough.com.

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