Italian Rum Baba #TwelveLoaves May

Italian Rum Baba | Bakewell Junction

Italian Rum Baba | Bakewell Junction

For this month’s #TwelveLoaves linky party, the theme is any bread we wish to share to celebrate the #TwelveLoaves anniversary.  A long time friend of mine loves Rum Baba and she asked me to find an authentic and classic Neapolitan recipe which I’d like to share for #TwelveLoaves May.  I can’t wait to make this recipe again for my friend – she’ll love them.

It was hard to figure out what the end result should be because I don’t like bakery made Rum Baba (it’s the picky thing again).  On the up side, my Mom and a co-worker do like Rum Baba and they were able to help me with deciding which of the recipes I tried worked better.  The first recipe was tasty but it wasn’t what I thought of as authentic Rum Baba.  This recipe turned out to be authentic and, surprise of all surprises, my husband loved them too.  I found the recipe I adapted on You Tube from the Giallo Zafferano kitchen.  There’s a video but you can get the details too.

This is a relatively easy recipe and I recommend you give it a try.  The syrup gives it a lovely sweetness.  If you have brioche pans, you can use them to make these or you can use a cupcake pan like I did.

Enjoy!

Italian Rum Baba

Yield:  12 rum baba                  Cook Time:  20 minutes

Dough:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/3 tablespoons instant yeast
  • 9 tablespoons of room temperature butter
  • 1/4 cup of milk

Syrup:

  • 2 cups water
  • 2 1/2 cups of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup of rum

Directions:

Step 1:  For the dough:  Heat milk to 110 degrees in a microwave safe small bowl or a 1 cup measure.  I heated the milk in the microwave in small intervals until the thermometer read 110 degrees.  Add 2 teaspoons of sugar and the yeast and mix briefly to combine.  Set aside until the mixture begins to foam.

Step 2:  In the interim, set up your electric stand mixer with the dough hook attachment.  Add the flour to the mixer bowl.  In another bowl beat the eggs and then mix in the salt.  Turn on the mixer on low and add in the egg mixture.  Then add in the yeast mixture.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure the flour is incorporated.

Step 3:  While the flour is incorporating, in another small bowl mix the softened butter and remaining sugar together.  Turn the mixer to high and add the butter mixture to the dough and knead until the butter is completed incorporated.

Step 4:  Transfer the dough to a large greased bowl.  You can use butter or cooking spray to grease the bowl.  Cover the dough with plastic wrap and place in a warm place to rise for approximately 1 to 1 1/2 hours (see tips).  The dough should double in size.

Step 5:  Flour and butter the baba moulds, brioche moulds or cupcake tins to prepare them.  Deflate the dough with a large spoon and fill the 12 moulds about halfway.  Place the moulds on a baking sheet and let them rest for about 20 minutes in a warm place.

Step 6:  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Bake the batter at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.  Lower the temperature to 350 degrees.  Bake 10 minutes more.  Remove the baba from the oven and let cool about 10 minutes; then depan and transfer them to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Step 7:  For the syrup:  While the baba bake.  Boil the water in a medium sauce pan.  Add the sugar and stir until completely dissolved.  Let the syrup continue cooking to thicken.  After about 5 minutes add the vanilla and rum and mix to combine.  Continue stirring and cooking for another 2 to 3 minutes.

Step 8:  Place the rum baba in the plastic container upside down. Prick the bottoms with a toothpick.  Pour about 3/4 of the syrup over the Rum Babas and let them soak it in.  Reserve the remaining syrup and any that’s run out of the babas to pour over the babas when serving.

Tips:  To create a warm environment, you can boil a pot of water while preparing the dough and place the water and dough in a cold oven.  The boiling water will create a warm moist environment in the oven for the dough to rise well.  In addition, you can garnish with whipped cream but I usually see these plain.

Storing:  Store Rum Babas in a sealed plastic container for a few days.

Enjoy!!!

Recipe adapted from Sonia and Giallo Zafferano on You Tube.

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What is baking this May in the TwelveLoaves kitchens?

#TwelveLoaves May:  Bake any bread, yeast or quick bread, loaf or individual.  This #TwelveLoaves May 2013 is all about May is all about celebrating bread and the one year anniversary of #TwelveLoaves.  Do you have a favorite bread?  We would love to see it.   Think luscious quick loaves, sinful scones, delightful Danishes.  Any bread recipe you’d like to bake, share it with us!  Let’s get baking!

Look at what our very talented #TwelveLoaves bakers have created this May!

We would love to have you join our #TwelveLoaves group; it’s easy!
1. When you post your Twelve Loaves bread on your blog, make sure that you mention the Twelve Loaves challenge in your blog post; this helps us to get more members as well as share everyone’s posts. Please make sure that your Bread is inspired by the theme!
2. Please link your post to the linky tool at the bottom of my blog. It must be a bread baked to the Twelve Loaves theme.
3. Have your Twelve Loaves bread that you baked this May 2013 posted on your blog by May 31, 2013.

You are next… Click here to enter

Lora launched this Twelve Loaves this last May and there have been many wonderful recipes shared since then.  I haven’t participated from the beginning but it’s been fun the past few months that I have participated.
Check out what we have been busy baking!

May theme: Focaccia
June theme: Corn Rolls
July theme: Challah
August theme: Summer Fruit
September: Say CHEESE!
October: Seeds, nuts and grains
November: Autumn Fruits: Apples and Pears
December: Boozy Bread
January: Clean Slate
February: Open Challenge
March: Holiday Breads
April: Berries

Follow @TwelveLoaves on Twitter

See what’s freshly baked for #TwelveLoaves on the growing Pinterest board.

This post may also be entered in the following linky party.  Click the button below to see the other great posts in the blog hop.

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Easter Bread

My family has come to expect me to bake Easter Bread for Easter Sunday.  I’ve used this recipe for the past few years and my family really loves it.

A few years ago I was looking for an Easter Bread recipe to remind me of the bread my Grandmother used to make every Easter.  Although my Grandmother’s recipe was delicious, we no longer have the recipe and the bread was a little dry and heavy.  I searched the internet and I wanted a recipe that produced bread that was moister, lighter and sweeter than the one I remember as a child.  I had seen an Easter Bread recipe on the La Lama Mountain Ovens site and modified it to my liking.  Although I’ve said before that I usually have more difficulty with yeast recipes, this one went well from the first time I tried it.

I usually double this recipe to make six breads because I give at least four away.

Enjoy the recipe.

After rolling out the dough for one bread.

After braiding the dough.

Form the braid into a circle and pinch ends well.

Transfer into the pan and add colored egg(s).

Hot out of the oven.

Easter Bread

Yield:  3 breads                Cook Time:  30 minutes

Ingredients

Starter:

  • 2 packages dry yeast (1 package yeast = 5 – 1/4 teaspoons; therefore substitute 2 1/2  or 2 1/4 teaspoon jarred yeast)
  • 1 cup lukewarm milk
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 or 4 handfuls of white unbleached flour

Bread:

  • 8 cups white unbleached flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 8 large eggs, room temperature
  • 4 oz melted butter, cooled (one stick)
  • 1/2 cup Rum (possible substitutes whiskey or bourbon)
  • 6 dyed Easter eggs (eggs don’t need to be hard boiled as they will cook during baking; be careful not to crack)

Egg Wash:

  • 1 egg yolk, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • nonpareils

Directions:

Step 1:  For the starter, add 1 teaspoon sugar to warm milk, then dissolve yeast in the milk.  Use your fingers to mix the yeast until it dissolves.  Whisk (or stir) in flour by the handful until about the consistency of a thick pancake batter.  Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for an hour or until bubbly and about double in bulk..

Step 2:  While the starter is rising, mix 8 cups flour, 2 cups sugar and 1 teaspoon salt together and put this mixture onto a large wooden table.  Make a well in the center large enough to hold all of the starter plus the wet ingredients in the next step.  I have a huge platter that I use for this step so if my flour well gives way, I don’t have a mess dripping onto the floor.

Step 3:  Beat eggs in electric mixer until light and foamy, add melted butter and rum and just beat to mix.  Scrape the starter from step 1 into the well of dry ingredients.  Pour egg mixture in slowly while using a fork to start incorporating the flour into the well, making a soft dough.  This will take some time and a lot of patience because you do not want to collapse the flour walls while you have a very runny egg mixture in the middle.  Once you have a soft dough working, start kneading vigorously using a dough scraper to help it along.  The dough will start off being very sticky.  Keep adding dustings of flour and kneading until it is soft and velvety, being careful not to add so much flour that it become hard or dry.  This kneading will take about 15 min.  Place in a large greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm place to double.  It will take 2 or 3 hours.

Step 4:  Deflate the dough but do not knead it.  Cover again and let rise until double, about 1 1/2 hours.

Step 5:  Cut the dough into 3 equal pieces of about 2 lbs each (make large thick loaves – yields softer bread).  Cut each piece in half for a total of six pieces and roll each piece into a long log, working from the center out.  Rotate working each piece, resting the others. This relaxes the dough and makes it easier to work with.  When all are the size you want (2 to 3 feet) to form them into twisted rings to fit the pan, then take two of the rolled logs and twist together to form a braid, pinching ends together well.  Place on greased (using cooking spray) sheet pans (I use the disposable aluminum half steam tray pans – the bread turns out better) and insert two dyed eggs per bread between the braids but so they are still visible – I usually place one on each side of the bread for visual appeal.  Cover bread with clean towels and let rise overnight.  Repeat for the other two breads.

Step 6:  Preheat oven to 350.  Place all three uncovered breads in the oven.  Bake until golden brown for 30 minutes to yield soft moist bread.  Rotate the breads 180 degrees and top shelf to bottom shelf for even baking when adding egg wash.  After 20 minutes of baking, brush each loaf with a mixture of 1 egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon milk and sprinkle with nonpareils.

Step 7:  Cool completely before wrapping.  Keep breads well wrapped, so they don’t dry out.  You can double wrap and freeze if not eating in the near term.

Recipe adapted from La Lama Mountain Ovens.

Tips:  When handling the dough make sure your hands and all the implements you use are well dusted with flour.  Use your dough scraper as one “hand” when kneading.  You may consider preheating your oven to “low” for 10 minutes and then shut oven off to make a good environment for the various raising stages.  This can dramatically shorten the process time from start to finish.

This post may also be entered in the following linky party. Click the button below to see the other great posts in the blog hop.Sweet 2 Eat Baking