Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Orange Cottage Bread

This recipe comes from The Harlow's Bread & Cracker Cookbook. The book is out of print now but, thanks to the Internet, you can still find a copy. Do so, you won't be disappointed. The author, Joan Harlow, had a wonderful little bakery in Epping, New Hampshire that our family loved to visit. It was a small red-orange painted cape and looked like a little storybook cottage, with its flower beds and bow windows.

4 cups lukewarm water
1 cup cottage cheese
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbl. salt
1 tbl. fennel seed (put in a plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin to release the flavor)
1 orange, chopped up (include juice and grated rind)
2 tbl. dry yeast
10-12 cups bread flour
whole-egg wash

Put all the ingredients except the flour and the yeast in a large mixing bowl and combine them. Add the proofed yeast, then work in the flour a little at a time until no longer sticky.

Turn out onto a floured board and knead a bit. Place in a greased bowl, cover, and let rise until doubled. Punch down and shape into 3 loaves. Put each loaf into a greased bread pan, brushing tops with whole-egg wash. Cover and let rise until almost doubled.

Bake at 375° for 45 minutes or until done. Cool on rack.

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