Farmgirl Gourmet came to fruition in 2006 on a whim to keep our family in the loop on what we were doing with our 120 year old farmstead. Each post was an apology for taking 6 months or more to write something. Fast forward to October 2010 when I decided to make it or break it, so to speak. It wasn’t long after I had jumped in head first that I received a note that I had been chosen to work on Emeril Lagasse’s latest cookbook “Sizzling Skillets & Other One Pot Wonders” and that I’d be working with 19 other bloggers from around the country. We worked fast and furious together for 3 weeks making Emeril’s recipes, tweeting with him, spreading the word about his book and, well, just having a great time collaborating together.
Then it was all over. There was this emptiness that followed, like closing the biggest deal of your life. You should be excited, but the phone has stopped ringing and you’re no longer elbow to elbow with your team. That’s when it hit us. Let’s not let it end….let’s keep it going and Virtual Potluck was born.
You’re probably wondering why I’m going into great detail about Virtual Potluck, well this post today is dedicated to Donna Currie of Cookistry.com, who was one of the original 20 bloggers in Virtual Potluck, and has just released her first cookbook, Make Ahead Bread. With this amazingly beautiful book, there’s no way to say “I don’t have time to make bread” anymore. Each recipe has Day 1 and Day 2 instructions. It’s brilliant. To commemorate her book the Virtual Potluck crew has gotten back together to do a HUGE giveaway (see pics below). Let’s get to the prizes:
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I chose to make Cinnamon Swirl Bread from Donna’s book as I am a huge fan of it with a big slather of butter! Me and bread are BFF’s forever. This bread was super easy to make. I started it one night after work, then the next day popped it in the oven. So easy – and amazingly delicious. Make sure you check out Donna’s blog for the full list of Virtual Potluckers who made recipes from her book – HERE.
Cinnamon Swirl Bread
Yield 1 loaf
For the Dough
- 4 1/2 cups bread flour, plus more as needed
- 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
- 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
For the Filling
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 2 graham crackers, crushed into crumbs (optional)
- Nonstick Cooking Spray
ON PREP DAY
- Combine all of the dough ingredients and knead by hand (mix first in a large bowl, then turn out and knead) or in a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment until the dough is elastic.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise until it has doubled in size, about 1 hour in a warm place.
- Meanwhile, combine the filling ingredients in a small bowl. Spray two 8x4-inch loaf pans with cooking spray.
- Divide the dough in half. Working with one half at a time, on a floured surface, pat the dough into a rough square, then use a rolling pin to roll the dough to a rectangle about 8 x 16 inches.
- Sprinkle half of the cinnamon filling onto the dough rectangle, leaving about an inch uncovered on one of the short sides. Use the rolling pin to lightly press the mixture into the dough. Starting at the short side opposite the uncovered end, roll the dough, jellyroll style. When you reach the opposite side, pinch the dough to seal the seam, then pinch the ends of the roll closed as well. Place the finished dough in one of the prepared baking pans, seam side down. Cover with plastic wrap or place in a large bag and tie the end closed.
- Prepare the second half of the dough in the same way.
- Cover the pans with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight or up to 24 hours.
ON BAKING DAY
- Remove the pans from the refrigerator and heat the oven to 350º F.
- Remove the plastic wrap from the pans and bake the loaves until they are nicely browned and the internal temperature reads 190º F, on an instant-read thermometer (about 35-45 min); make sure you test in the dough and not in the filling. Turn out the bread from the pans and let cool on a rack before slicing.
Courses Baked Goods
For the giveaway, we’d like to thank our sponsors who generously offered some fantastic prizes:
- Taunton Press, the publisher of Donna’s book, is supplying a total of 12 copies of Make Ahead Bread, one to each winner.
- Magimix is giving one winner a Magimix 3200XL 12-Cup Food Processor in Brushed Chrome.
- WÜSTHOF is giving one winner a CLASSIC 9-inch Double Serrated Bread Knife
- Silverstone is giving one winner a 5-piece set of bakeware (11×17 cookie pan, 10×15 cookie pan, 9×13 covered baking pan, 9×5 loaf pan and 9-inch cake pan) in the winner’s choice of red or blue.
- King Arthur Flour is giving one winner a rye bread baking kit.
- Duralex is giving one winner a 9-piece set of mixing bowls.
- Harold Import Company is giving three winners a made-in-the-USA hardwood baker’s rolling pin (It’s the baker’s pin, with no handles.)
- Microplane is giving each of the 12 winners an Elite Zester, Cube Grater, and Spiral Cutter.
- GIR is giving each of the 12 winners a silicone scraper.
- King Arthur Flour is giving each of the 12 winners a coupon for a bag of flour of your choice (good at your local supermarket) and a plastic bench scraper.
- And Walker’s Shortbread is supplying cookies to three winners.
In addition to supplying items for the giveaway, a special thanks to Taunton Press, Silverstone, Microplane and WÜSTHOF for supplying products for all the bloggers to work with.
Do you want to know more about the sponsors? You can find them on their websites and social media, here:
Taunton on Twitter and Facebook.
Magimix on Twitter and Facebook.
WÜSTHOF on Twitter and Facebook.
Silverstone would like you to follow Pots and Pans on Twitter and Facebook.
Duralex on Twitter and Facebook.
GIR on Twitter and Facebook.
Harold Import Company on Twitter and Facebook.
Microplane on Twitter and Facebook.
King Arthur Flour on Twitter and Facebook.
Walker’s Shortbread on Facebook.