After one year and 104 recipes, I finished the Brooks Bakes Bread Project on March 27, 2012. You can still find me baking and cooking at my new blog, Tangled Up In Food.

Archives: 19 November 2011

Sour-Cream Bread
November 19, 2011

by stacy
Published on: November 19, 2011
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Comments: 2 Comments

“This is a very rich bread with a slightly acid flavor and a wonderful texture.  I invented it one day when I set out to make buttermilk bread and didn’t have any buttermilk.  I resorted to sour cream instead, and the results were highly satisfactory.”
-James Beard, Beard on Bread

Continuing on my sour cream kick (it was on sale) I made Sour-Cream Bread tonight.  Today was our first snowfall of the season, so it was a perfect night to stay in.

Here are the ingredients:

Sour-Cream Bread Ingredients

This recipe took a bit longer than anticipated because the sour cream is supposed to be at room temperature, so everything was delayed by an hour while the sour cream sat on the counter.  Otherwise, this was fairly straightforward recipe to prepare.  The dough was a challenge to work with; the sour cream made it extremely soft, but at the same time very  crumbly.  It took a lot of elbow grease and patience to knead the dough to the point where it stayed together.

After the first rising, I didn’t have enough dough to shape into 9 x 5 loaves, as called for by the recipe, so instead I used my 8 x 4 pans.  I was so anxious to get the bread in the oven that I forgot to take a “before” picture, but here is the “after” picture when the bread came out of the oven after 20 minutes at 375 degrees:

Sour-Cream Bread

Sour-Cream Bread is definitely not a bread I would make again.  It is very rich and heavy; I prefer my white breads to have a light texture. However, it was still lovely to eat soup and fresh bread and watch the snow fall, and bask in the appreciation of not having to shovel any of it since we live in a townhouse.

Rich Sour-Cream Coffee Cake
November 19, 2011

by stacy
Published on: November 19, 2011
Tags:No Tags
Comments: 2 Comments

“This is another coffee bread, baked in a tube pan, one that I have enjoyed all my life.  In fact, it is my favorite of all the sweet breads.”
-James Beard, Beard on Bread

I usually don’t mess with Beard’s recipes.  That seems to defeat the purpose of the project: why bake all the recipes from a cookbook if you’re going to change them?  I am guilty of leaving out raisins and the occasional exotic liqueur, but I mostly bake by the book.

Rich Sour-Cream Coffee Cake is an exception.  James Beard was a man who really, really loved butter, so when he calls something “rich” it means “obscenely decadent.”  Furthermore, the recipe as written yields two large coffee cakes and contains ingredients I know I hate, like currants and apricot jam.  So I decided to step outside the box and modify the recipe a bit.  Instead of my usual post, I’m posting my recipe variation.

Stacy’s Blueberry-Sour Cream Coffee Cake
A variation on “Rich Sour-Cream Coffee Cake” from Beard on Bread


Rich Sour-Cream Coffee Cake Ingredients

For the dough:
2 packages active dry yeast
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup warm water (110 degrees Fahrenheit)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup cold skim milk
1/2 cup light sour cream
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 1/2 sticks softened unsalted butter
2 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

For the filling:
1 tablespoon melted unsalted butter
1/8 cup granulated sugar mixed with 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 cup finely chopped walnuts

For the glaze:
4 ounces blueberry jam

The night before, combine the yeast, 1/8 cup sugar, and water in a large bowl and allow to proof.  Stir in the remaining 1/8 cup sugar, salt, milk, sour cream, lemon juice, and vanilla; mix well.  Add the egg; mix well.  With a pastry blender or two knives, cut the butter into the flour in a separate large bowl.  Add the flour mixture to the yeast mixture; stir.  Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic.  Shape dough into a ball, place in a tightly covered bowl, and refrigerate overnight.

The next morning, roll out the dough into a rectangle (it will be stiff and difficult to work with, but persist).  Brush the rectangle with butter and sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon; then sprinkle with walnuts.  Roll dough up from the wider end.  Form into a ring and place in a Bundt pan that has been buttered or sprayed with baking spray.  Join the ends together.  Let dough rise until puffy and doubled in bulk.  (To make your dough rise faster, preheat oven to “keep warm” setting.  Turn off oven and place dough in the oven to rise.  This is particularly helpful if you keep your house cool during the winter months).

Rich Sour-Cream Coffee Cake After Second Rising

Bake bread in a preheated 375 degree oven for 30 minutes or until brown and hollow sounding when rapped with knuckles.  Turn out of Bundt pan onto a large plate or cake stand.

Melt jam over medium-high heat in a small saucepan.  Drizzle jam over cake.  Serve warm and enjoy!

Rich Sour-Cream Coffee Cake


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About the Baker
I'm a paralegal living and working in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area. Besides baking, blogging, and eating bread, I love knitting and enjoying the Minnesota outdoors. My husband, Mike, is the Brooks Bakes Bread website developer, bread photographer, and chief taste tester.
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