Lucy tends to get easily bored and wanted to take up the piano recently to try to be a little more with it and keep herself out of trouble. I told her no one plays the piano anymore and she should consider taking up the electric guitar…but it turns out electricity scares her as much as lightning and thunder.
To take her mind off of such things I thought she would enjoy getting the holiday baking schedule going early this year, especially after the GMA’s had done their fruitcakes a couple of weeks ago now. Last year Lucy came up with 4 different fruit cakes and we sent some off to friends.
See that little bit of dough peaking through the middle of bowl between the mountain of nuts on one side and snockered fruits on the other? Not much dough holding thisnall together.
This year, since we are early and still have to bake stollen, I told her to keep it to one fruitcake for now so she upped the size of it to compensate hoping I wouldn’t notice. You would think she would know who the master is around here by now and no try to hide things like this in the details.
Donlt forget to non stick spray that souffle pan beofre laoding in the dough.
It isn’t often that we get to bake something where the add ins are 800% of the weight of the flour but this one…. is one. Makes one wonder what is actually holding this chock full of stuff thing together and why it doesn’t just explode. Last year, we didn’t get any rise at all, during proof or in the oven, out of any of those fruit cakes but one was an English version that had no leavening in it at all.
This years Lucy though she would double up on the amount of levain and use both YW and SD to see if any rise would happen. But, there was none of that to be had. The only thing is that hopefully the fruitcake will last longer this way – not that it wouldn’t anyway with that much bourbon and brandy in it.
I know what you’re thinking. That fruitcake is horrible and there is really only one of them that gets passed around to everyone on the planet hoping some fool will eat it. Well, this fruitcake is not the one of those. This one is just plain full of it, what ever it is.
This year the fruits included, pineapple, red and green cherries, orange and lemon peel, citron, prunes, cranberries and 3 kinds of raisins. All were soaked for days in copious amounts of bourbon and brandy until they soaked all of it up. The nuts included walnuts and pecans. The enrichment included; eggs, brown sugar, molasses and butter and the 7 spices used were; cardamom, ginger, mace, nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice and cloves.
There is always a place for a 13 hour smoked pork shoulder to make some pulled pork sandwiches.
The 2 separate levains were built in once stage each and left out to ferment for 10 hours before being retarded in the fridge overnight. We then let them warm up on the counter for an hour and a half. This is one of those dump and mix recipes that can be done by hand or in the mixer - with one change - the, fruits and nuts are held back and then mixed in last
Smoked pulled pork served with homemadebiuns, slaw and baked wedge fries.
I’m not sure this makes a difference at all though and you could probably just dump the whole mess in at once and mix away. I used a spoon and it wasn’t too difficult. I hate cleaning the mixer and Lucy hates cleaning anything.
Lucy reminds us never to forget that fine salad!
Then it just gets dumped into a 1 ½ quart soufflé dish for 6 hours of bagged proofing on the counter. It didn’t rise but at least we gave it a chance. Then in the oven it went for a full 2 hours of baking at 350 F until the middle hits 205 F.
There were a couple of nice sunsets this week to highlight the fact we got the garden planted last week and the 11 pots of greens came up this week. We also plantd 4 tomato plants - all cherry tomatoes - 2 red, one yellow and one black/putple.
An unusual lunch for us...a shell pasta with meatball, green with blue cheese and potato salads, some avocado and a golden delicious apple.
It came out a little risen in the middle and the top was a dark brown and cracked. We put some watered down apricot glaze on the top to shine it up. It smelled terrific as it baked. This one will have to sit quite a while before we can cut into it. Then we have ti decide of we want to hooch it up some more as it ages.
The crumb came out nice and moist that you could slice in 1/4" slices. It is chock full of goodies, very aromatic, fruity, boozy, chocolaty..... it tastes great like a high end fruitcake that Lucy would dream up. Just delicious. Now for the stollen....
Yeast Water & RyeSD Levain
8 Week Retarded Rye Starter
Whole Grain Mix
Cherry YW & Water (RyeSD)
Levain % of Total Flour
Whole Grain Mix
Total Dough Flour
Total Flour w/ Starter
Liquid in Starter
Hydration with Starter
Whole Gtrain %
Total Hydration w/ Starter & Adds
Pecans and Walnuts
Mini Chocolate Chips
Egg (2 large)
Total Add Ins
Whole grain mix is: rye, wheat and spelt
1 T of 7 spice mix: allspice, cinnamon, mace, nutmeg,
clove, ginger and cardamom