Monday, February 6, 2012

Pear Bread

My husband and I used to live in Seattle.  It's a really fun city with a lot to do and a lot of fantastic places to eat.  We try and get back for a weekend visit every year.  We have a friend we typically stay with and he has a great condo right above the Macrina Bakery and Cafe.  Every time we visit, I always vote for breakfast to be eaten there.  The food is fabulous and the atmosphere is so warm and cozy.  They have a big window where you can watch the bakers work, so I like to sip my mocha and watch the magic.  I enjoyed my first visit there so much, I promptly bought the cookbook and read it cover to cover.  I will be submitting this bread to the weekly roundup of Yeast Spotting hosted by Wild Yeast.

Pear Bread adapted from the Macrina Bakery and Cafe Cookbook
2 Bartlett Pears
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons instant yeast
2 tablespoons honey
2 eggs
1 cup whole wheat flour
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
cornmeal for dusting baking stone

Cut up the two pears into small chunks.  Reserve 1/3 of the chunks for later and take the rest for a spin in the food processor until smooth.
Incorporating the pear chunks

In a large mixing bowl, mix together flour, salt, pepper, and yeast.  Add in the honey, pureed pears, and eggs.  Stir to combine.  Add water as needed to make a firm dough, dough should be tacky but not too sticky.  Turn out onto a floured surface.  Knead until bread is smooth and elastic.  (Or in with a bread hook attachment on your stand mixer.)  Place pear chunks on the dough and mix them in by hand, some of the pieces may fall out of the dough, just stick them back in and keep working the dough until all of the pieces are incorporated.
After first raise, before shaping
Allow to raise for 2 hours.  Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for a minute or two.  Divide dough in half.  Loosely shape dough into a round ball.  With two fingers, poke a hole in the middle of the ball.  With your fingers in the middle of the ball, spin the dough around your fingers gradually widening the hole until it is a couple of inches in diameter.  Repeat with second loaf.  Place loaves on a baking stone dusted with cornmeal.  Cover and allow to raise for another hour.  Lightly slash the surface on the top of each loaf with a sharp knife, making four slashes, creating a square around the hole.
Shaping the loaves

 Bake at 400 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.

Shaping the loaves

**Special thanks to my husband for taking action shots of me shaping the loaves.


  1. Beautiful loaf.
    Yep, Seattle is a wonderful town.

  2. When I saw these beautiful loaves at YeastSpotting I knew I had to make them too. Ones a year we can buy pears here. So this will be a special treat.


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