Something slightly less sweet for those days after Christmas when the last thing you want to think about is chocolate and rich desserts. Although I don't quite understand why I don't fancy rich desserts because I didn't particularly over-indulge over the festive period. I think it must be down to this nasty cold that is refusing to budge and is affecting my sense of taste too.... Anyway, this is one from the archives (there's a lot in there!) that I made shortly after Dan published the recipe. The choice of this bread was partly inspired by a tub of soured cream sitting unloved in the fridge, but also by the rave reviews of this bread on Dan's forums here.
I wanted to use my whole tub of sour cream, but for reasons of space in the freezer (i.e. I couldn't make this bread, plus another and fit them both in!), the bread had to make something suitable for lunchtime sandwiches, and for breakfast, when I like a slice of bread with added dried fruit for preference. I decided to make the whole recipe but split the dough in two and knead about 90g of dried sweetened cranberries into one portion of the dough. When it came to shaping I shaped each dough separately and left them to rise on the same baking sheet. You can see from the pictures that they joined together during baking - not really a problem though! Otherwise I pretty much followed the recipe as given apart from not needing to bake for as long as specified as my dough was in two smaller quantities.
Taste/texture? You can see that the texture was fabulous - very fine grained and moist. In fact, this bread kept very well in the freezer - suffering little from freezer burn. I wonder if this was to do with the fat content. The bread I usually make has very little added fat and is sometimes prone to freezer burn if I don't get through it fairly quickly. The loaf smelled lovely while it was baking and cooling - warm and creamy but I didn't find the loaf particularly creamy to eat.
It has to be said that this is not my favourite Dan Lepard bread recipe. I don't really know why - as you can see from his forums most people were raving about this bread, but although it was nice enough I didn't think it was anything special. I'm definitely in the minority here! I think that at the time I made it I was craving wholemeal bread more than pure white and this has perhaps tainted my memories of it. The part I liked least was the crust - again for no particular reason, but perhaps I overbaked it slightly or something like that. The recipe probably deserves another chance, when I'm in a white bread 'mood'. I will admit that the half with cranberries in was enjoyed greatly for breakfast and would have been delicious toasted, if work ran to providing a toaster!
I think if I make this bread again, which is a possibility if I have sour cream left over from something else, I'll bake in a tin rather than freeform, because I think this might help keep the crust from browning as it did. The crust was definitely my least favourite part of the bread and I can't really put my finger on why.