Attempting Perfect: Red Velvet Gift Bread

Every woman, at some point, dreams of being ‘that woman’.  You know the one: she always brings the perfect gift, her hair always looks right, her car doesn’t have crumbs or what was once a complete outfit in the back.

I’m going to share with you my go-to gift giving treat that occasionally lets me have that moment of  “Damn, she’s got her shit together!”

Red Velvet Loaf 2

I created this bread years ago as a freezer staple.  I can make a batch, wrap them up all pretty and at the drop of a hat I can grab one and dash off the surprise a hostess with what looks like a gift I woke up early to get ready for her.

It is a comforting bread that has a heady texture and a light bite.

red velvet loaf 4

Its not too sweet and bread works nicely at adult affairs as well as kid friendly ones.

As is true with all red velvet, the red food coloring is not necessary, it just makes it more fun!  So if your life if full of granola moms that frown at red food dye, simply replace the quantity with milk.

This recipe makes 2 full size loaves; I have included the half measures incase you don’t plan to share and want to make just one.


Red Velvet Loaves

First:

Make the filling:

1 Package Cream Cheese
¼ Cup Sugar
1/8 Tsp salt
½ Tsp Lemon juice
1 Egg
2 Tablespoons All purpose flour

Cream together the cream cheese, sugar, salt and lemon juice with a whisk. This can be done by hand or with a mixer.  Mix in one egg until smooth.Whisk in the flour until smoothly combined and place in pastry piping bag or zip lock freezer bag; promptly refrigerate to firm up the mixture.

Second make the batter:

Preheat oven to 350F.

Step one:

1 ½ Cups Buttermilk (3/4 cup buttermilk)

1 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar (1 ½ tsp)

2 Tablespoons Red Food Coloring {replace with milk if not using dye} (1 Tbl)

Combine milk, vinegar and food coloring in a measuring cup, leave to sit while you continue on.

 

Step two:

1 Cup brown  sugar (1/2 cup)

½ Cup Butter (1/4 cup) – at room temperature

1 Tsp Vanilla (½ tsp)

¼ Tsp Salt (1/8 tsp)

In a  bowl cream together the butter, brown sugar, vanilla and salt until light and fluffy. Easiest with a mixer, but not necessary.

 

Step 3:

4 Tablespoons Unsweetened Cocoa Powder (2 Tablespoons)

4 Eggs (2 eggs)

Add the cocoa powder and the eggs before mixing again.  I prefer to mix this part by hand with a hand held whisk, over mixing eggs is easy to do but I’m far to lazy to achieve that by hand.  You only need to mix thi until it is fully combined.

 

Step 4:

At this juncture you will add the milk mixture you concocted at the beginning.  Add it slowly incorporating it into the batter.  Your batter should be quite liquid at this point.

 

Step 5:

2 Cups All Purpose Flour (1 cup)

2 Tsp Baking Soda (1 tsp)

 

Add dry mixture to the wet, stirring until completely and smoothly combined. Try not to over mix.  The baking soda and the vinegar will interact at this point and may foam up a little bit.  Don’t worry, you’re not going to blow up your kitchen. Carry on.

Next, pull your cream cheese from the fridge, snip the end or one corner and set it on a napkin or a counter top you don’t mind cleaning up later.

Grease and cocoa (or flour) a full size bread pan.

Here’s a quick video if you’ve never done this before:

I love Baker’s Joy, it is a staple in my kitchen.  It combines this step into one easy spray.  Who doesn’t love easy?

baker's joy

Spoon or scoop slightly more than ½ of the batter into the 2 pans.

Pull your cream cheese from the fridge, snip the end or one corner and pipe 3 thick cords of the chilled cream cheese mixture onto the center of the batter in the pan.

Spoon the remaining ½ of the batter around and on top of the cream cheese, making certain to cover it completely.

Place pans into your 350F oven and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Cool on a rack in pan. Do not remove it early, it will lose shape. Allow to cool completely.

You can drizzle the top with a cream and powdered sugar glaze, or just slice and eat. It is delicious and has a lovely texture.

I wrap them in cellophane and then place them into a large ziplock freezer bag.  Into the freezer they go and at a moment’s notice I (believe it or not) am THAT woman, perfect gift in hand.

Red Velvet Loaf 2

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