Orange clove bread

Another Samantha Seneviratne recipe here we come!

This one is fun and the recipe lends itself to your own flavor variations.  Go for it.

While generally not a huge fan of cloves, I figured what the heck, I'll give this one a try.  The "pull apart" nature of the finished product pulled (pun intended) me in.

This is a yeasted bread so put that into your planning agenda.

It's an easy dough to prepare and potentially requires a few hours (total) of rising time, depending on how warm your kitchen is.

Let's go.

les ingredients

Have a large buttered bowl ready.

Bring 120 ml (1/2 cup) whole milk to a boil (I did it in the microwave), remove from the heat and add 56 grams (1/2 stick) unsalted butter to melt it.  Let it cool to about 105ºF.

Blend 1 large egg, lightly beaten and 1 tablespoon vanilla extract into the milk-butter mixture.

the liquid and dry ingredients

In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large bowl) whisk together 130 grams (1 cup) all purpose flour, 130 grams (1 cup) bread flour, 56 grams (1/4 cup) sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves.

Add the milk mixture and mix with the paddle attachment ( or with a wooden spoon) until just combined.

Switch to the dough hook and knead on low speed about 6 minutes until smooth and elastic (or knead on a work surface by hand for about 12 minutes).

after the mixer knead 

 I turned the dough out onto my pastry board and gave it a few quick hand kneads, formed a ball and placed it in my buttered container for the first rise.

ready to rise

My rise took about 1 1/2 hours.

During that time you can prepare the filling.  Mix 75 grams (1/3 cup) granulated sugar with the grated zest of 2 oranges and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt.  Have 42 grams (3 tablespoons) unsalted butter at room temperature.

Blend the butter into the zest-sugar mixture, cover and set aside until ready to use.

filling's ready!

Prepare a medium loaf pan - butter it, line it with parchment and butter the parchment.

Once the dough has doubled, turn it onto a lightly floured work surface, give it a knead or two and roll it into a 9" square.

Spread the filling over the dough . . . .

then cut into 4 strips . . . .

and stack the strips on each other, filling side up (isn't this fun?!).

Then cut the stack into 4 piles . . . .

and line them up on their sides in the prepared loaf pan.

Love it!

Now it's time for the second rise so cover the pan lightly with plastic wrap, put it in a warm spot and let it rise until it reaches to just under the lip of the loaf pan.  About an hour.

Heat the oven to 375ºF.

I forgot to take a picture before I popped it in the oven so I quickly snapped a shot at the start of the bake.

Bake until nicely browned and puffed, about 30-35 minutes.  If the center sections seem soft, bake a few minutes more.

et voila!  C'est fini!

I must say the aroma during baking was delightful, clove or not.  I couldn't wait to give it a try.

First let it cool about 15 minutes, then lift it out by the overhanging parchment and finish cooling on a rack.

The sections pulled apart easily.  The interior had a soft, tender, sort of sweet-roll-like characteristic and the orange-sugar filling added just the right citrus note.  And the clove wasn't bad either!

Steve liked the texture but didn't care much for the clove.  Oh well.

I like the dough for sure - easy to mix and handle and nice texture.

Next time I'm thinking of replacing the orange zest with lemon zest and the clove with perhaps a bit of coriander and ginger.  And maybe buttermilk instead of milk.  One could throw in some chopped dried cherries, raisins or apricots too, depending on your flavor profile.  Or some finely chopped nuts.

You make up your own and have some fun!  You can do it.