I'm normally not much of breakfast eater at home...a cup of coffee and a small handful of almonds is all I usually eat in the morning. But....when I'm on vacation...I indulge....I admit it!
In my defense, I do try to stay very active...a run or walk every day, and on our most recent vacation, I added Aqua Gym in the pool or ocean twice a day, along with other water activities. Exercise in the water is just much more fun....and a little less stressful on the knees. We stayed at a Club Med resort in the Turks and Caicos Islands. Club Med is known for their abundant water and land activity options, all led by skilled and trained GO's...Gracious Organizers! Isn't that a great title? (Same initials as a blog you might be familiar with....:).
Another thing Club Med is known for is their famous White Chocolate Bread....yep, white chocolate chunks right in the bread. Warm out of the oven or a little toasted with a dab of butter...absolutely to die for! So, when I got home, I did a little search on the internet for the recipe and found it. The official Club Med version is a recipe for 5 loaves...a little more than I wanted to deal with! I kept searching and found a recipe on Food.com for a two loaf version. The recipe is a little unusual because it calls for gluten....which has become such a no-no for many folks. I'm a firm believer in carefully following recipes....especially when it comes to baking. Fortunately, I was able to find gluten in our local Haggen's market, as well as the other ingredients I needed. What I did not think about until I began to make the bread, however, was that it called for a "french bread baking pan." Again, doing a little search on the Internet, I read several comments that said those pans were not necessary...the bread loaves could be baked on a cookie sheet. So, I decided to go for it!
Now, I must tell you that though I love to bake, I've only made bread a few times. I grew up with a mother who was a wonderful bread baker. Every week, she would bake about 8 loaves of delicious wheat bread or Swedish rye bread. Why so many? Well, she would keep 3 loaves or so for our family, and take the rest to work to share with other nurses who might be struggling or need a little help and encouragement. Yep....that was my Mom...one of my heroes. My older sister helped her more in the kitchen than I did so she is a great bread baker also...I was the "laundry" girl....lots of ironing in the late 60's and early 70's!
Back to White Chocolate bread....I used my Kitchen Aid mixer with the dough hook...a wonderful help when making small batches of bread! Everything went pretty well, until the bread began to raise for the second time, on the baking sheet. The loaves looked like they would end up flat and wide, like focacia bread or something, so ended up transferring them into the two bread loaf pans I had...sometimes you just have to improvise and hope for the best! Consequently, I had to bake them a little longer than the recipe called for, but the bread turned out quite well. Warm, just out of the oven, this bread is truly delicious...perhaps what Psalm 78:25 refers to as "the bread of the angels"! I'm thinking my next purchase will be a french bread baking pan, however! I'm taking one of the loaves to work today at the clinic...a small tribute to my mother.
Happy Wednesday! Here's the recipe:
Club Med White Chocolate Bread
Serves: 24 Yield: 2 loaves
4 cups flour
2 teaspoons yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons gluten
2 cups water
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
12 ounces white chocolate chips
1. Place flour, yeast and gluten in mixing bowl. Mix on medium-low or first speed for 1 minute with the hook attachment.
2. Add water and mix for another 2 minutes.
3. Add salt and continue to mix for another 8 - 10 minutes on medium or second speed.
4. Add the chips and mix for an additional 1 - 2 minutes, or until the chips are well distributed throughout the dough.
5. Take the dough out of the bowl and lightly kneed into a ball.
6. Put dough into an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap that has been sprayed with Pam and let rise for 45 minutes.
7. Cut dough into two portions and knead them into the desired form, and place them into your pans (lined with parchment or silpat).
8. Let loaves rise for about an hour.
9. Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes. (I baked for an additional 5 to 7 minutes).
10. Let loaves rest for 5 minutes or so before cutting.