Tuesday, January 20, 2009

An Old Favorite Bread Re-created for a New President

Today, America celebrated one of the most anticipated changing of power in a generation, the inauguration of the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama.

Barack Obama Takes The Oath of Office of President

To say that I was excited would be an understatement and I was glad to share the event with my colleagues at the office over lunch in a local watering hole. We laughed, cried and cheered. It truly was a historic day. Tomorrow we ALL have to roll up our sleeves and get to work on the problems we face but today we are celebrating.

When I was growing up there was this small local bakery that my family frequented since I could remember. Besides incredible pies and donuts, they had a sweet bread filled with pineapple, coconut, and marciano cherries and then topped with this delicious thick white glaze. They called it Hawaiian Bread. (Note: This bread wasn't the well known Hawaiian Bread) When the bakery changed hands a few years ago, one of the recipes that they didn't keep was the recipe for the Hawaiian Bread and my mom and I have missed that bread ever since.

My mom and I were chatting about the upcoming inauguration and that not only would this inauguration represent the changing of generations leading this country but this President would be first President born in one of the states not one of the contiguous forty-eight. Somehow, this chat about Barack Obama's upcoming Presidency and our hope for it led to talking about the Hawaiian bread and a seed was planted in my mind to try and replicate the recipe this past weekend.

I knew that the bread was a more tender than typical sweet bread so that led me to believe that it was egg based. I also remembered that it was slightly sweeter than the typical sweet dough. All this made me to think about a orange cinnamon swirl bread that I like to make from the Better Homes and Gardens Bread Cook Book.

Better Homes & Gardens Bread Cook Book

This bread is soft, sweet with just a hint of orange. In other words, the perfect base to add coconut and pineapple as part of the filling. I was skipping the Marciano cherries as I didn't have any and frankly, I'm not a huge fan of them.

First, I proofed the yeast


in warm water and a pinch of sugar.


Next, I combined the ingredients called out in the recipe but I substituted 1/4 cup of pineapple juice in place of 1/4 cup of the one cup of scalded milk. After kneading the dough, which had a lovely orange pineapple scent while I was working it, I put it in my slightly warm oven to rise. Two hours later I had this lovely risen dough


all ready to be rolled out and filled with cinnamon, sugar, coconut and crushed pineapple.

After forming the loaf, I let it rise again

Risen Loaf of Hawaiian Loaf

and baked it for about 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

The glaze required some consultation with my mom about what she thought the glaze components were. After a little back and forth, we were pretty sure that corn syrup was part of the glaze because we remembered it being glossy and thick. My only fear was that with the combination of corn syrup and confectioners sugar that the glaze would be tooth numbing sweet. My fears were getting justified by finding corn syrup glazes that called for up to 1/2 a cup of corn syrup on top 2 and 3 cups of confectioners sugar. Finally, I found a recipe for a vanilla glaze that included just 2 Tbsp of corn syrup on a website about donuts. A few adjustments to this recipe and I was sure I had a good place to start.

After the bread cooled, I placed it on a cookie pan and poured the glaze on top

Glazed Hawaiian Loaf

and let the glaze set before slicing into the bread. So far, the bread looked exactly right. Now for the taste test.

When I took the first bite, I knew instantly that I had re-created the Hawaiian Bread from our local bakery. I can't wait to get home to Michigan again to bake it for my mom and get her opinion!

Since this bread is known in my house as Hawaiian Bread and since our new President hails from that lovely island state AND I'm blogging about it on the day he was sworn in to lead our nation, I'm renaming this bread Inaugural Bread in honor of Barack Obama and the hope that has returned to my country despite the tough times we have ahead.

I'm also submitting this bread to Susan at Wild Yeast for inclusion in this week's Yeastspotting.

hawaiian Bread

Hawaiian Bread aka Inaugural Bread

Makes Two (2) 8.5" x 5" loaves

For Dough:
1 package active dry yeast or 1 0.6oz cube of fresh yeast
1/4 cup warm water (90 degrees)
pinch of sugar
3/4 cup milk, scalded
1/4 cup pineapple juice
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp grated orange peel
3/4 cup orange juice
1 egg, slightly beaten
6 - 7 cups All purpose flour

For Filling:
1 16oz can crushed pineapple, drained with 1/4 cup of juice reserved for dough (make sure your pineapple is in juice and not heavy syrup
2 cups shredded coconut
1 cup Marciano cherries (optional)
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 Tbsp cinnamon
dash cardamom

For Glaze:
2 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoon light corn syrup
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract.

To Make Dough:
Completely dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup of water and a pinch of sugar. Set aside to proof, approximately 5 - 10 minutes (yeast will be bubbly and/or slightly foamy when proofed).

While yeast is proofing, melt butter in scalded milk and stir in sugar. Combine pineapple juice, orange juice and orange zest and egg and set aside.

If using Stand Mixer all the following will be done using the dough hook(s):

In large bowl whisk together 4 cups of flour and salt. Pour in juice, zest and egg mixture and combine with flour. Add yeast and mix until completely combined. Finally, add milk and sugar mixture and mix until fully combined. This should result in a very wet dough.

In 1/2 cup increments, add remaining AP flour until a soft, slightly tacky dough ball is formed. To test, if using stand mixer, stop mixer and touch dough. It will leave little clumps of dough to your hand. If it leaves large chuncks, add more flour until dough is soft and tacky.

Place dough on very lightly floured surface and allow to rest 10 minutes to absorb flour. Dough will be soft but not tacky. If the dough is tacky, knead in more AP flour one tablespoon at a time until dough no longer feels tacky. If you add flour, allow dough to rest for five minutes before continuing.

Knead by hand for approximately 2 - 3 minutes or until dough is elastic and velvet feeling and place in large greased bowl and cover. Place covered bowl in a warm place (70 - 80 degrees) and allow dough to rise until double, about 2 hours.

To Make Filling:
Combine sugar, cinnamon and cardamom (if using) in a bowl and set aside. Combine coconut and crushed pineapple in a bowl and set aside.

To Form Loaves:
After dough has risen, punch dough down and place on lightly floured surface. Divide dough into 2 even chunks. Set aside one chunk and cover until ready to use.

Roll out each chunk of dough into 18" x 10" rectangle. Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar filling over rolled out dough, leaving 1/4" edge along 18" sides of rectangle. Sprinkle pineapple coconut filling the same way.

Starting with one 10" side of rectangle, roll dough into tight roll making sure the fillings stay inside the rolls of the dough. Seal the roll so that no filling will leak out and place seam side down in prepared loaf pan.

Lightly grease top of loaves, loosely cover, and place in warm place to rise. Allow bread to rise until bread has risen about 1" above rim of loaf pan.

To Bake Loaves:

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Bake loaves for 30 minutes or until inside of bread reaches 180 degrees. If loaves start to brown too much on top, tent with foil.

Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before glazing.

To Make Glaze:

Whisk together powdered sugar, milk, corn syrup and vanilla into a smooth glaze. If glaze too dry, add more a few more drops of milk and corn syrup or, if too thin, add more sifted powdered sugar.

When right, the mixture should be bright white, quite thick and very smooth and shiny.

If it starts to set, re-warm briefly, in the microwave, uncovered.

To Glaze Bread:
Place loaves on a cooling rack over a edged baking sheet and pour 1/2 of glaze over each loaf. Allow glaze to set before slicing.

Bread will stay fresh for about 3 days.