Mimosa Bread and Cheers to Good Health

My happy place is definitely light, fruity creations that pair well with bottomless coffee.  I found myself in the ER this week with a severe case of strep throat, and now I’m trying to inject citrus and Vitamin C into my routine more than ever.  A little orange juice probably wouldn’t have prevented my scary doctor visit, but it wouldn’t have hurt!  When you’re sick, it’s essential to surround yourself with bright, happy things, and this recipe does the trick.  Just be sure to have your friend bake it for you!

I made this mimosa bread last month, perfect for hot summer days when you just want to hide inside and crank the AC.  Who knew that it would come in handy now?  Indulge in thick slices of tangy citrus bread baked with real champagne.  Lavish with glaze, and you’re sure to be back on your feet in no time.  Even if you’re feeling better than ever, this bread makes a great addition to any gathering with your girlfriends or breakfast in bed with your SO.

In addition to this week’s health hoopla, I managed to move to Bushwick, and boy am I glad to be closer to Manhattan.  The hour plus train ride to work can really take its toll on even the hardiest of souls.  Now I’m surrounded by beautiful flashes of street art, and I can’t seem to go on a walk in the evening without stumbling onto a spirited block party.  There’s a cafe/bar next door called Sunrise/Sunset that I’m pretty sure will turn into my second home.  Time will tell if the mimosa on their brunch menu comes close to matching this bread!

Scroll down for the recipe, and be well!


Mimosa Bread (Original recipe on Lemon Tree Dwelling)

Bread Ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3/4 cup champagne
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • zest of 1 orange

Glaze Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon champagne
  • orange zest

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In a separate mixing bowl, combine the beaten egg, champagne, sour cream, orange juice, vegetable oil, and orange zest.
  4. Add the wet mixture to the dry flour mixture until just combined.
  5. Fill a greased baking pan (8x4x2 inch) with the batter.  Bake for 50-55 minutes.
  6. Combine all glaze ingredients and mix well.  Pour on bread immediately after removal from the oven.

 

Field Guide To Breads

For the past two weeks, I’ve worked with breads during my pastry school classes.  I learned how to feed the dough, care for the dough, and coax it into fluffy existence… I’ve realized that making bread is kind of like taking care of a pet!  Often, my chef would pat the dough as if it were the flank of a horse that successfully followed his command.  Through observation and one-on-one handling, I learned that breads have personality!

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We started with simple shapes like the boule (a ball), and worked our way up to batards (somewhere between a boule and a baguette) and finally baguettes.  We also learned how to score the surface of the bread so that it wouldn’t lose volume during the proofing and baking process.

I felt a connection with the bread that I didn’t feel with other pastries that we’ve produced thus far.  Coming out of the oven, some of the loaves looked like little dinosaurs with their spiky crusts and oblong shapes.  I have a soft spot for food with a  mind of its own!  Each bread took much longer to make than the cakes and petits fours we made earlier this year, so I felt more of a connection with each loaf.

Here are a couple breads that are regional specialty breads in France.  I made them using a recipe for country bread.  After shaping the loaves, it was important to let them proof upside down so that their designs didn’t thicken or become altered.

This little guy reminds me of a clam peeping out of its shell.  It is the Auvergnat style.  It originates from France’s Auvergne province located in the center of the country.

clam bread

This very similar loaf reminds me of a lily pad (see the Pokemon “Lotad“).  Instead of a flap of dough folded over the top, a disk rests on the surface.  Its edges curl up during baking.  It is called Tabatiere.

lotad

This is beer bread.  We painted on a mixture of flour and beer on top of the loaf after shaping the dough.  It baked in a crackled pattern that reminds me of leopard spots.

beer bread 2

beer bread 1

And this sourdough loaf looks like it might crawl right off of the table!  I wonder where it would wander to…

slug sourdough bread

slug bread

Here’s some pull-apart monkey bread.  Is it called monkey bread because the individual pieces of dough stick to each other like plastic monkeys in a barrel?  We used left-over puff pastry dough and some cinnamon sugar to construct this loaf.

monkey bread 3

And finally, this flower design won the World Pastry Cup in the past!  This is a multi-grain bread with decorative poppy seeds in the center.  It was definitely my favorite bread to shape, and its design was perfect for springtime!

flower 3

flower trio

flower

flower stack