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April 2014
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July 2014

Cherry Pecan Bread

Sliced Cherry Pecan Bread

I love making bread.  On ordinary days I experiment.  On special days I pull out tried and tested recipes.  Certain meals and special occassions call for specific recipes.  This one is my go to loaf for a Sunday brunch. 

The combination of Chinese 5 Spice, pecans and sweet/tart cherries is outstanding. A subtle combination of sweet and spice. You can serve it with eggs, a cheese plate, platter of cured meats or on it's own.

Honey drizzled Cherry Pecan Bread

Thoroughly combine flour, salt and yeast.  Add the whey or water and 1 tbsp honey.  When mixed the dough will be sticky.  Cover loosely and allow to rise in a warm environment for 12 to 18 hours.

Dust a piece of parchment with flour and remove dough from the bowl.  Stretch the dough and spread 1 tbsp honey over it.  Dust with Chinese 5 Spice and sprinkle on Pecans and Dried Cherries.  Roll up dough, then fold it back together, leaving the crease resting on the paper.  Cover with a towel and let rise for 2 hours.  You can either bake it in this form or twist it in to a circle and place in your cast iron pot. 

Rolled Cherry Pecan Bread

After 90 minutes of the rising time place your pot or baking stone in an oven that has been preheated to 475 f.  When the dough finishes rising, sprinkle with salt and carefully slide it into the hot pot or onto the stone.  Bake 30 minutes.  Remove from the oven.  Check to see if the internal temperature is 200 f.  If it is and the bread has browned to your liking it is finished.  Should you want a darker crust put it back in the oven uncovered for 15 minutes.

Finished loaf of Cherry Pecan Bread

You can make it with traditional all purpose flour instead of the sprouted spelt.  I adapted it from the basic recipe in Jim Lahey's, My Bread.  Honey was added because it helps the spelt to rise better, you do not need it when using traditional wheat flour. 

Berry nice additions to a Sunday Brunch:


Photo Credit: Julie Cecchini

Pink Lemonade Margarita, for my Mum

Pink Lemonade Margarita, for my Mum
My mother loves a good Margarita.  As the weather gets warm margaritas are often a go to drink when the sun passes the yard arm.  To me the best drinks are simple, often margaritas are not.  

Several years ago we were having an impromptu Sunday party.  Homemade tortilla chips were fresh out of the oven, ripe avocados were begging to be used and a pitcher of pink lemonade was chilling in the fridge.  In the lingering heat, as daylight faded my mother made a declaration, she wanted a margarita.  Oh the things one must do to pay homage to a great lady!
I improvised and raided the fridge, the result is the easiest of margaritas and the house standby.  
  • 2 oz tequila, our house favorite is Casa Noble Crystal Tequila
  • 8 oz pink lemonade
  • A healthy dash of Cointreau, if you have it
  • Ice
  • Limes to garnish
  • Kosher salt for rimming glasses
The easiest method is to pour the liquids and ice into a cocktail shaker and mix vigorously.  If you have a blender handy, pour all the liquids in, add ice and pulse for 30 seconds.
Pink Lemonade Margarita, for my Mum
For salted rims;  pour a thin layer of salt onto a flat bread and butter plate, rub lime over the edges of the glass, place the glass rim down on the salt and twist.
Serve the drink straight up, on the rocks or frozen as made in the blender.
What to serve with your margaritas: