It’s time to ring in the new year and what better way to do that than to pop some bubbly! Champagne that is. I adore champagne. I love any occasion grand enough to cause cold frosted bottles of champagne to emerge from the selves of a cool refrigerator. With the new year upon us I’m sure there will be plenty of corks popping all over the world as we ring in the new year tonight. Are you a resolution maker? In years past, I was always the worst about resolutions. Maybe most people are. I would make a simple promise to myself, a goal and then a mere few weeks into the new year that resolution would be forgotten.
Two years ago is the only time I can ever remember setting a goal for myself and actually doing it. I managed to keep that resolution for the entire year. Last year, I can’t even tell you what I resolved to do. Mike can’t remember it either. So this year I find myself thinking, “why bother?” On the other hand, I also find myself reflecting on my one successful resolution and that leads me to resolve to make a resolution!
This year I resolve to stay on track with my fitness goals and accomplish finishing Tough Mudder. I also have some culinary resolutions. I want to conquer making Sfogliatelle. I’ve had that on my to-do list for two years now and this is the year! There are a few others on my list that will likely show up in First on the First throughout the year, but that’s the big one! Also, now that I’ve come to find so much enjoyment in baking bread, I’d like to do it even more often. I’d like to learn more techniques, think of more creative variations and continue to get better at it.
For this month’s Twelve Loaves, the challenge was to incorporate some kind of booze into your loaf of bread. Our hostesses inspired us with their boozy beauties. Lora made a lovely Christmas Stollen and Barb made Gingerbread Kahlua Date Nut Bread . While Jamie made a Glazed Orange Cointreau Quick Bread that I definitely bookmarked to make.
As I pondered what I would create, my mind turned to quick breads or alcohol soaked fruits but then I had the thought of actually using alcohol in the dough itself, much like a beer bread. Instead I decided to try champagne in my loaf and that idea worked out very well. The champagne in this bread lends a slight sweetness to the finished loaf. As you eat it you’ll taste that hint and wonder what it is. Once you know there’s champagne in the dough, then you’ll be able to place the flavor but until then it will have you pleasantly wondering. This loaf of bread was perfect for breakfast with a bit of jam. I wish you all a very happy new year and hope it brings you joy and only the best! Are you making a resolution this year? I’d love to hear what it is!
One Year Ago: Dark Chocolate Espresso Chip Brownies
A slightly sweet loaf of bread perfect for breakfast or with a nice afternoon cup of teas.
- 1 package instant yeast (Rapid Rise)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup very warm water, about 120 degrees
- 1 cup warm champagne, about 120 degrees
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, whisk together the yeast, salt, sugar and flour. Add the water and champagne. Knead the bread for about 10 minutes until a smooth, elastic ball forms.
- Spray a large bowl lightly with cooking spray. When done kneading the dough, form into a ball and place in the oiled bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and set in a warm place to rise until doubled in size, about an hour.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper lightly sprayed with baking spray. Set aside.
- Deflate the dough. Form into a ball and place on the prepared baking sheet. Rise again in a warm place until doubled in size again, about 30-45 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Slash the top of the bread with a very sharp knife, being sure not to deflate it. Mist lightly with water and bake the bread for 30-40 minutes until well browned. Cool on a wire rack completely.