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

Matzo in a Wok

Matzo in a Wok
All I knew about Matzo was that it came in a box with the name Manischewitz on it. Well that and we never bought it because my mother thought it was a really tasteless cracker.
Then I got a schooling on Passover from Eva Owen and Bill Tewels.  The original meal was made in haste by the Israelites the last night before their exodus from Egypt.  The food was simple out of necessity.  Matzo, an unleavened bread, was the backbone of the meal.  It is meant sustain and satisfy.  Thats it, a bread/cracker completely without pretense.
Matzo in a Wok
I have been intrigued ever since.  Out of necessity, my first matzo had to be made in a wok.  This is how I did it.
  • 2 cups Specialty Matzo, whole wheat or Spelt Flour
  • 3/4 cup Spring Water (more as needed)
  • Olive Oil  (optional)
 Matzo in a Wok
Mix flour and enough water together, until you have a soft workable dough.  Kneed for about 5 minutes.  Dust a piece of parchment with flour.  Place a meatball sized ball on top.   Roll into a thin circle and prick with a fork.  Put aside and repeat until the dough is finished.
Using a paper towel, rub oil over a wok.  Turn the heat on to the lowest setting.  When a drop of water sizzles in the pan it is ready.  Place 1 piece of rolled dough in the pan.  Cover and cook for 10 minutes.  Flip and cook for another 7 minutes.  The finished matzo should be cracker like.  Cook a bit longer if it is still a bit doughy.
If you have an oven, bake for about 5 minutes at 450 f.
Makes about 12 matzoh.
Matzo in a wok
More to fill a passover table:


Photo Credit:  Julie Cecchini