Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Commercial Bakeries—How do they do it?

Costco used to carry this very yummy cranberry spice bread. My family and I would eat slice after slice. It was especially good toasted with some butter. I haven't seen it at Costco for years. Well, my mom came up to visit for Christmas. She flew in (from Arizona to Utah) Christmas Eve. I picked her up at the airport, and then we some last minute Christmas shopping while we were in Salt Lake. One of those stops was at Sam's Club. My mom has a membership there. There are a few items that Sam's carries that she think is worth having a memebership there and also at Costco. For me, however, I don't go there enough to make it worth it. While there, she asked what we would be having to eat, and I mentioned that I had some chicken salad that we could use for sandwiches. She suggested that we get some croissants. I agreed and we walked over to the bread area. As I looked for the croissants I happened to notice a misplaced loaf of, you guessed it, the cranberry spice bread. I looked around for where the others might be placed and could not find them anywhere. So, we asked. It so happened that they were doing a special demonstration on the complete opposite end of the store. So, thank you to whoever was too lazy to go all the way back to return the loaf to its proper location. If it weren't for that one lone loaf, I would not have had the pleasure of tasting that delicious bread.

My mom, of course, is back in Arizona, and I am left without access to Sam's Club. But, I didn't just give up on having some more of that cranberry spice bread. I am sure specialty bakeries like Great Harvest Bread Co. would have some, but I decided that I would attempt to make my own. I looked online for recipies but didn't find anything that would have resembled this other bread. There were lots of recipies for quick bread with cranberries but not the yeast kind. Desperate, I thought that I would just have to make it up myself using a regular white bread recipe. Continuing to look online, I realized that it would be quite easy to take a cinnamon raisin bread recipe and adapt it just a bit, which is what I did. And this is the result:

I have made homemade bread before (I guess that is a little redundant) and I have gotten pretty good at making my mom's dinner rolls, but it never turns out like the bread you buy in the store. Why is that? Is it the preservatives they use? Maybe stores could market a bottle of preservatives—like a magic dust that makes things turn out like commercially prepared stuff. The recipe, however, has turned out the best by far. Maybe it is because I let it rise for twice as long as the recipe called for. Either way, it turned out pretty tasty. It lasted a day. My roommates and one's boyfriend contributed to the devouring of the bread. So, it had to be good. Well, I guess boys will eat anything, though, right?

I will make this recipe again. But I will have to do it on a day that I have patience enough to let it rise completely. If you are interested in the original, you can find it here:

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