HAPPY ALOHA FRIDAY, friends!! Hope you all had a wonderful week. What are your plans for the weekend and how many holiday parties have you attended so far? Moses and I are up in the Bay (SF) for a long weekend with our friends, Jackie and Bob, to celebrate Moses' + Bob's birthdays! It feels like forever since we were here last and I also forgot what it's like to be chilled to the bone. SF's one of those places where the cold chills you to your core. Granted, I get it, the temps don't drop down as low as they do in Fargo, but man, that wind--it'll getcha! We just got in last night and already had two dinners :D :D! We started at Kin Khao, a Thai spot that's been getting a ton of praise and just picked up its first Michelin star (!!). If you haven't been, and are in the neighborhood, I highly recommend it. The food's amaze (make sure to try the mushroom hor mok terrine, it's bomb) and the service is impeccable (they really pay attention to all the details). Our next stop was, of course, the fabulous Liholiho Yacht Club, and it just as wonderful as I remembered. The space is so warm and inviting and those yellow subway tiles in their open kitchen make me so happy. I can't wait to check out The Progress tonight, grab lunch with Em and her rad cousin at Off the Grid, and hang with Michelle and Jenn at the Cuesa Farmers Market on Saturday!
However, there are still recipes (and giveaways!) to be shared because, 12 Days!! Today I'm teaming up with my friends at Staub USA to share this Cranberry Dark Chocolate Pan Rustic Dutch Oven Bread with all of you! It's got a gorgeous, thick crust, is dense in the best way possible (aren't all the best cherry/cran/raisin + nut dense?), and perfectly sweet (aka just a little). The addition of rye and whole wheat flour add that extra layer of nuance, you know the one you can't quite put your finger on but clearly know is missing when it's not there? And then the actual bread making process--there's something about the ritual of bread making that is so calming. Simply put, it's a process that forces you to slow down and take a moment to appreciate the moment. Because you can't rush it, and it's something that requires time and planning. In an age where we're all a bit guilty of go, go, going, it's nice to take a minute to plan ahead, and bake something simple and comforting. Plus, you really can't beat the smell freshly baked bread wafting through your home!
Have you ever made bread in a dutch oven? Are you sitting there thinking, duhhhh!?! Well, if you haven't, you're in for a treat. By cooking your dough in it, with the lid on for 15ish minutes at a high heat, you're able to essentially create a mini steam bath for it, which gives you a gorgeous crusty, err, crust. Amazing, right!? I mean, I already LOVED my Staub cocotte because everything I've ever cooked in it has come out perfectly browned, and that self-basting lid is pretty much the coolest. When I figured out I that I could make crusty, rustic breads in it, too, on top of all that other stuff, I immediately patted myself on the back for finding such a solid piece for the kitchen. It's such a workhorse, and a real beauty too. In fact, it's so pretty that it never actually leaves the burner anymore! So, naturally, it made sense to team up with Staub to giveaway one of my favorite shapes and sizes to one lucky winner for the second to last day of Fix Feast Flair's 12 Days of Sweets!
To enter, simply leave a comment below and tell me the first thing you're going to make with this gorgeous cocotte if you win! Don't forget to fill out the form as well, so I can notify you (via email) if you've won. I'll be selecting one winner at random. This contest is open to US residents only. Thanks so much for reading along with me for these 12 Days--I can't believe tomorrow's already the last day. It's been so much fun and I've loved reading all your wonderful, wonderful comments! Have an awesome Friday, guys and don't forget to check back tomorrow for the final day's recipe (and giveaway!)!
Cranberry Dark Chocolate Pecan Rustic Dutch Oven Bread
Adapted from The Merlin Menu
Makes one loaf
- 5 1/2 tsp. instant yeast
- 1 c. whole milk, heated to about 110°F
- 1/4 c. dark brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted, and slightly cooled (to around 110°F)
- ~ 3 c. bread flour
- 1/2 c. rye flour
- 1/4 c. whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 3/4 c. dried cranberries, chopped (you can substitute dried cherries or raisins)
- 1/2 c. coarsely chopped dark chocolate
- 1 1/2 c. coarsely chopped toasted pecans
- Stand mixer
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Mixing bowls
- Plastic wrap
- Parchment paper
- 4-qt shallow round cocotte
- Wire cooling rack
- Whisk yeast and brown sugar together in a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together egg, butter, and milk. Whisk egg mixture into the yeast and sugar mixture and let sit for 15 minutes, or until it foams (proofs).
- In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with dough hook attachment, combine the yeast mixture with 2 1/2 cups of bread flour, 1/2 cup of rye flour, 1/4 cup of whole wheat flour, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg and mix well on medium speed until it dough just starts to come together. Add cranberries, chocolate, and pecans, and continue to mix until well incorporated. Add more bread flour in 1/4 cup increments, mixing after each addition until dough forms a shaggy ball and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
- Remove the dough hook from the mixer, scrap dough into a clean mixing bowl, cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let rise, at room temperature for at least six hours, and preferably overnight. If you're concerned with leaving dough at room temperature with an egg as one of the ingredients, you can refrigerate dough overnight instead and let it come to room temperature before using.
- Liberally sprinkle some flour on your work surface and scrape dough out onto floured surface, sprinkling more flour over the top of the dough. Fold dough onto itself a couple of times, and then knead 10 or 12 times to smooth it out.
- Place on a sheet of parchment paper and lift by paper and place into dutch oven. Cover and place in a warm place to rise for an hour to an hour and a half to two hours. Preheat oven to 450°F, at least 30 minutes before baking.
- Before baking, cut 3 diagonal slashes in the dough with a serrated knife and cover. Place covered dutch oven into oven and bake for 15 to 17 minutes. Remove lid from dutch oven and continue baking for another 15 to 17 minutes. Check at 10 minutes because bread may brown very quickly.
- Transfer bread to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Serve and enjoy!
This post wouldn't have been possible without my friends at Staub USA, so a giant thanks to them for making this possible! I'm a huge fan of the brand and their cocottes have been a real game changer.