Ahhhh, yep! I’ve joined another cooking club! Not because I don’t have enough things on my to-do list already, but because it’s great to be taken out of your own head, read some new blogs, and get some fresh ideas. So here I am with my very first post for The Secret Recipe Club. Each month, you are assigned a blog, from which you choose a recipe to recreate. It’s kind of like being handed a new cookbook every month.
My first assignment was the mouthwatering Dancing Veggies. Looking through Amanda’s absolutely jam-packed recipe list, I was a bit overwhelmed! How do I choose??? Then my eyes fell on the words “Vanilla ricotta bread”. That’s breakfast sorted for this weekend!
As I don’t have a bread machine any more, I had to convert the instructions for making it by hand (which, admittedly, is a messy job because it’s a very soft, sticky dough) and baking it in an oven. I have also included the weight measurements I converted, as well as the original volume measurements. It’s soft and fluffy, sweet and rich and makes the best toast with butter and jam for breakfast!
Makes 1 medium loaf, approx. 25cm (10″) long x 10cm (4″) wide
Active time: 20 minutes
Rising time: about 2 hours
Baking time: 30 minutes
315g (2 1/4 cups, scooped and levelled) all-purpose (plain) flour
5g (1 1/2 tsp) instant yeast
6g (1 tsp) fine salt
30g (2 1/2 Tbsp) granulated (white) sugar
80ml (1/3 cup) milk
250g (1 cup) ricotta
1 large egg
30ml (2 Tbsp) vanilla extract
15g (1 Tbsp) unsalted butter, diced and softened
In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a bread hook, whisk together the flour, yeast, salt and sugar. Make a well in the centre.
In another bowl, whisk together the milk, ricotta, egg and vanilla extract. Pour into the flour mixture and mix together to a shaggy dough. Scatter the butter over the dough and knead in.
Continue kneading for about 15 minutes by hand or 10 minutes in a stand mixer. It will be a very soft, sticky dough so you will need to scrape down the mixer bowl, or if you are kneading by hand, butter your work surface and hands. Avoid adding more flour, or you’ll make the bread too dense.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise for about an hour, depending on ambient temperature, until it has doubled in size.
Butter a medium-sized loaf tin.
Scrape dough out onto a buttered surface and, using buttered hands, knead together briefly and form into a loaf shape. Place dough in the loaf pan, cover loosely with buttered plastic wrap and allow to rise for about 45 minutes, until the dough clears the top of the pan.
Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F).
Bake in centre of oven for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 180°C (360°F) and bake for a further 20 minutes, until the top is deep golden.
Let the bread cool in the pan for five minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and allow to cool completely before cutting.
Keeps for 2 – 3 days well wrapped in the pantry, may be frozen for 2 months.
To see other great recipes from Secret Recipe Club members, visit the link below!