Sunday, June 14, 2009

Strawberry Loaf

I realize I am getting kind of lazy lately. Not too motivated on baking anything...not sure is this a phase or is it my age catching up! *Yipes!* Or perhaps it's what some people say, "You need a vacation after a vacation!" Hahaha! Either way, I hope this thing will pass and I can get my lazy bones back to baking up something good. What normally gets me going is browsing around other food bloggers' posts. I would usually go like " nice!" or "Cool, I must try this recipe soon!" I am sure some food bloggers feel that way too. But luckily today something triggered my "baking bones" and hence the "birth" of this Strawberry loaf. But, unfortunately the color was not as pink as I hope it will turn out. :-P
Wonder what that "something" is? Well, it's a box of dried strawberries which my friend, Reese bought from Cameron Highland just a couple days back. These strawberries still look moist even though they are dried. So I asked my friend if she can kindly spare 1/2 cup for me to bake a loaf. Being generous as she always is, she agreed! Thanks so much Reese!
I have always wanted to bake a Strawberry loaf, and now with these dried strawberries, I bet it's going to taste even better! Anyway, for those bread lovers out there like me, here is my version of the recipe:

Ingredients for Pink Strawberry Loaf:
300g bread flour
4g instant active yeast
35g caster sugar
2 sachets of strawberry milk tea* (about 28g)
4g instant active yeast
3 tsp milk powder
3g salt
100ml fresh whipping cream
1 egg
100ml fresh milk
10g unsalted butter, room temperature

*Note: I got this Strawberry milk tea from a Japanese grocer in Singapore. It's such a delicious drink by the way. ;) But I guess you can always substitute this with fresh strawberry puree (lessen the milk) or with 1 tsp of strawberry essence.

  • Heat up the fresh milk to almost boiling in the microwave and stir in the strawberry milk tea powder if using. Set aside to let cool.
  • Mix all ingredients including the strawberry milk mixture in step 1 but excepting the butter in a large mixing bowl to form a soft dough. Knead the dough till it is not sticky, about 20 to 25 minutes.
  • Add the unsalted butter in and continue to knead till the dough is shiny and elastic. To test if the dough is ready, pull a small piece off and stretching it with your fingers. If dough is very elastic and pulls to almost see through without breaking, then it's done.
  • Place dough in a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap and allow to proof for at least 90 minutes to 2hrs.
  • Punch out the air in the dough and divide it into 3 equal portions.
  • Roll out each portion into a long flat oval shape and roll up one end to make it into a swiss roll form.
  • Placed the dough into a greased loaf tin and repeat with the rest of the 2 portions.
  • Cover and let proof for another 2hrs or till the loaf fills 90% of the tin.
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C. Brush the top of loaf with egg wash.
  • Bake loaf in the oven for 35 minutes. If top browns too quickly, cover with aluminum foil till baking time is up.
  • When done, take out from oven and unmold immediately and let cool on rack before slicing.
When my husband saw the color of the strawberries inside the loaf, he was a little taken aback, haha. I can understand since the color of the dried strawberries are kind of shocking red, not your usual dried fruits. Anyway, the bread was really soft with a slight scent of strawberry but the overall combination was just satisfactory. Will definitely try to improve this Strawberry bread formula and hopefully will be able to come up with an even better loaf next time round. ;)


Kitchen Corner said...

This is a very special loaf of bread! I've not eat this before. The bread looks soft too! Great job!

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Thanks for the compliment Grace. Nowadays I like to experiment on new bread recipes, some turns out great, some so-so. I guess this is one of those so-so / need improvement category. ;) So if you ever bake a great strawberry bread recipe, let me know! I would love to try it out. ;)

Florence said...

These dried strawberries certainly looked very attractive. The ones I have here are dark brown in color.
Maybe can add strawberry milk to get more strawberry flavour.

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Thanks Florence for the advice! Will definitely try out with some strawberry milk the next time. ;)