Ethiopean Honey-Spice bread

This is a standard bread recipe for me. I have been mucking about with it for the last year or so. I don’t think I *have it* just yet, but this entry is a good work in progress.

Etheopean Honey-Spice Bread

  • 1 T active dry yeast or 21g cake yeast or .75 oz cake yeast
  • 1/4 C warm water
  • 1 t sugar or honey
  • 1/8 t ground ginger
  • 1 large egg, pulled from ‘fridge
  • 1/2 C mild honey
  • 1 T ground coriander
  • 1/2 t ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 t ground cloves
  • 1.5 t salt
  • 1 C whole milk, warmed
  • 4 T unsalted butter, melted in milk
  • 4.5 C flour (1.2-1.4# where 9oz AP, rest bread flour. This is roughly 2 C AP and 2.5 C bread flour)
  1. Combine yeast, water, sugar/honey and ginger in ceramic bowl. Let it stay in warm spot until bubbly. This is not needed if you are using the cake yeast.
  2. Combine egg, honey, spices and salt in mixer. Add milk and butter and 1 C of flour.
  3. Add yeast and beat until well blended.
  4. Add more flour, 1/2 C at a time, until you get soft dough. More humid day = more flour, etc. It should be cleanly pulling from the side of the bowl. Avoid adding more.
  5. Knead by hand or in machine 5 min. If by hand, use dough scraper to clear board and turn the dough. I find a mixer is wonderful for this. Wet dough makes me want to add flour all the time. Your end result is a smoother dough. You can do the window pane test if you like, but I have not worked it that much to get to that point. It is a fairly easy-going bread in this manner.
  6. Put it in a lightly oiled bowl for 2 hours until it has doubled in volume. This will take about 2 hours.
  7. Butter a 3 quart Dutch oven or 3″ deep baking pan or pasta pot. Form ball and let it do it’s first rise where it doubles in size. 1-2 hours. I use a heating pad on low, with a cookie sheet on top and a bigger bowl over all of it to help this out since my apartment is cold.
    ALTERNATE: place on two baking sheets and divide into 4 parts. 3 parts does not work on a single sheet, nor does it in 2 pieces. Just deal with it and have one that is in a colder spot so it doesn’t over-proof.
  8. Optional: brush a glaze of beaten egg and water or beaten egg and milk over it.
  9. Bake at 300 degrees for 60 min if single loaf , or if you are M and I, bake at 350 for a much shorter time, like 40 minutes. If you are doing multiple loaves, 15-20 minutes will work. Tap on it. If it is hollow and the bottom is not elastic, then it is done.
  10. Leave in pot for 5 min (if that is what you are using), then remove and transfer to a rack to cool completely.

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