The Breukelen Life

The Breukelen Life

Food, Yoga and Travel in Brooklyn

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Cinnamon Crumb Surprise Oh My!

March 23, 2011

I recently bought The Bread Bible. Well recently as in the last six months. It’s a beast of a book that I have a hard time dealing with. While I can appreciate how revolutionary the book is – part chemistry, part baking, part art, it’s a lot to take in at once. The problem is, is that everything looks so good; it’s hard to put it down even when you are completely frustrated reading everything in it.

Had I finally met the cookbook that will allow me to have my own version of a culinary affair? It is possible for me to look but not dig too deep? Only to stroke the nice pages before I got too attached?

No, of course not. Because after this weekend, I want to know this book. The Cinnamon Crumb Surprise rocked my world and disappeared in record time at the office. No seriously, it was gone before the last person trickled in at 10. Usually there’s a bite or two left around 11. I should start timing. That will give the true success of something.

When I first got the book, I tried out the bagel recipe, which was an all day business that left me feeling cheated. It was my fault really. I didn’t try hard enough and when you commit to something that’s going to take all day, you really do need to try. I hadn’t really looked at it again until this past month when I’ve been feeling a little overdosed on Food52. And last week I finally zoned in on something I could have the mental capacity to try.

Isn't this scale awesome looking? Must find...

There are a few great things about this book. For one, it comes with the ingredients in ounces and grams. For the first time I actually weighed my flour. I was a little nervous because once the batter was complete it looked like so little! But then I realized, like I do every morning, the scale does not lie! If you would like the measurements in ounces, give me a holler and I’ll send them over to you. Weighing is helpful when she has a measurement like 3/8th tsp of baking soda (1.8 grams).

There are also little pointers for success with each recipe like you don’t have to sift the flour if you are weighing it and it’s fine to use all-purpose flour, it will just result in a firmer texture.

All right folks, here we go. There’s A LOT of butter in this one.

Crumb Topping

¼ c light brown sugar
1 ½ Tbsp sugar
¾ c walnuts
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ c plus 2 tbsp unsifted cake flour
3 tbsp melted butter
¼ tsp vanilla extract

Apple Filling and batter

1 small tart apple
2 tsp lemon juice
1 large egg
2 large egg yolks
½ cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 ½ c sifted cake flour
¾ c sugar
¼ tsp baking powder
3/8 tsp baking soda (I KNOW, really 3/8 of a tsp???)
¼ tsp salt (a scant ¼ tsp)
9 tbsp butter

1. Preheat the oven to 350. For real. Don’t skimp on this one. Actually preheat.

2. Prepare the pan by either greasing and flouring or spraying with Baker’s Joy

3. Peel and core the apple. Slice into 1/4″ slices. Mix with lemon juice.

4. Make the crumb mixture. In a food processor fitted with a blade, pulse the sugars, nuts and cinnamon until nuts are coarsely chopped. Remove ½ cup for the filling. Add the flour, butter and vanilla to the remainder and pulse until the butter is absorbed. Refrigerate for about 20 minutes to firm up and then use your fingertips to form a coarse, crumbly mixture.

5. Prepare the filling

a. In a medium bowl, lightly combine egg, yolks and about ¼ of the sour cream and vanilla
b. In a mixer bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix on low for 30 seconds to combine
c. Add butter and remaining sour cream and mix until dry ingredients are moistened. Increase to medium if you are using a stand mixer (or high if a hand held) for 1 minute to aerate and develop the structure.
d. Gradually add the egg mixture in 2 batches beating for 20 seconds after each addition.

6. Fill the pan

a. Scrape about two-thirds into the pan.
b. Sprinkle with the reserved ½ cup crumb mixture and top with apple slices, arranging them in 2 rows of overlapping slices.
c. Drop the rest of the batter over the fruit and spread it evening.
d. Sprinkle with crumb topping

7. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. You can tent it with buttered foil to prevent browning 45 minutes in. (I did not do this and it was ok. I think. Actually, now that I think about it, it was a bit brown.)

8. Remove bread from oven and cool for 10 minutes. Loosen sides with spatula and then cool on wire rack. I know! How do you get it to the wire rack without getting the crumbs everywhere!? I took a piece of parchment paper and covered the top of the cake. Then placed a towel and then a plate over that and flipped it over. Then I took another piece of parchment and finagled it right side up with little crumb loss. Cool on a wire rack for 1 ½ hours before wrapping airtight.


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Very nice template here! I was quite impressed with your writing skills as well. A question for you.. is this a wordpress theme? It looks pretty nice to say the least!

interesting facts

April 21, 2011

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