Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Day 113 - Photos and Hefenkranz (Yeast Wreath)

Yesterday I was interviewed for the blog by Des Moines Register Columnist Kyle Munson.  Today the Des Moines register sent a photographer to our house!  Yikes!  I cleaned as best as one can clean with two little ones nearly 1 and 3 years old running around.  Luckily their dad had the day off so he took them out for pancakes, Dr. appointment and some other errands so I could clean uninterrupted.  Still, they wanted a photo at the sewing machine so my awful basement was seen by a non-family member (yes, for those of you non-family members this is a scary sight)!  Oh well, he was a great photographer and I am sure the disaster that is currently my sewing room will not be seen by the rest of the public.  So for those of you following along - if you want to check out a copy of the Sunday edition of the Des Moines Register I should be in there somewhere discussing this blog and my goals for the Iowa State Fair.

Anyway, since I made grandma buns yesterday I wanted to try something new and knowing there would be a photographer I thought it should be something special in the baked goods department.  Thus, Hefenkranz!  I finally found a recipe that tastes almost exactly like the bread I used to help my German host family make for market years ago!  My host family lived near the Black Forest.  My host mom could make a mean Schwarzwalder Kuchen (Black Forest Cake) and some delicious sweet breads and cheesecakes.  I was so very excited - it smelled wonderful and tasted even better.  I will make a few modifications before the ISF but let me say it was pretty fantastic as is.  I have never tried a braided bread before and wanted to try one since they look so pretty.  Let me just say it has been a LONG time since I have braided hair so I had to remember the basics of braiding.  Not too bad - however, with bread I realized you need to be very careful about the amount of pull you use on the ends so that the ends don't become too overworked and too narrow.  Other than that it worked pretty easily.   Photo of the braid before baking is below (sorry, just realized it is tilted wrong way but you can still see the braid).

This recipe also made a huge braid!  My ropes were at least 3 feet long and the loaf nearly went over the sides of my cookie sheet/baking pan.  It is sitting on a 16" cake circle (in photo at very top of blog) if that helps you visualize the size any better!

This recipe is a keeper - not just for the ISF but I believe it will become a new family Christmas bread tradition.  No, I am not replacing stollen - no good German girl would replace her Christmas stollen.  However, this may replace the sweet rolls I make for Christmas morning!  That's right, this recipe beats out my sticky bun recipe - that speaks volumes about the flavor of this bread!

Well, I think that's all for now.  The King Arthur catalog came today so I plan to search through it page by page and make a list of items to order.  Plus, I need to plan out some sewing projects so I get them done for the boys' birthdays!

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