Nourishing Yogurt and Maple Bread

The winters here are less “wintry” than anywhere I’ve lived before, but I still find that I’m wanting to eat a lot of comforting foods even though it’s 70 degrees outside. I have been making my own yogurt for a little while, so I tend to have quite a bit around. I made a double batch this week since I had a friend coming in to town, but there are so many great places to eat that we ended up only consuming a little yogurt. To use it up, I decided to try making yogurt bread for breakfast. My friend gave me some of our shared love (maple syrup) for Christmas, so I added some as an homage to her. The result=delicious!

Maple Yogurt Bread
1 cup plain yogurt
1 tsp salt
1/4 c pure maple syrup
3-4 cups flour, plus extra for dusting
1/4 c wrist-temperature water
1 tbsp active dry yeast

-In a large bowl, whisk together the water, yeast, and syrup until foamy.
-Add the salt and a little flour.
-Add the flour, 1/2 a cup at a time, beating the first addition or two with a whisk before graduating to a wooden spoon. The exact amount you’ll need will depend on any number of factors including the thickness of your yogurt and the humidity in the air.
-Continue adding flour until the dough just begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl.
-Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and begin to knead.
-Knead for 5-10 minutes, dusting with more flour as needed, until the dough is smooth and springs back when pressed.
-Place the dough in a bowl, cover with a dish towel, and set in a warm place (I put it in the oven with the oven off but the oven light on).
-Allow to rise for about an hour and a half, or until doubled in size.
-After the dough has risen, press it gently to deflate it, then turn it out on a floured surface.
-Knead a few times, then roll it out into a rectangle that is about an inch narrower than your loaf pan and about 12 inches long. If you feel like making this a cinnamon swirl bread, sprinkle a bit of cinnamon on one side of the dough at this point.
-Beginning at one end, roll the dough up, pressing gently to seal after each turn.
-Once it is rolled, press the loose end to seal it, tuck the edges under, and set it in the (lightly oiled) loaf pan.
-Allow to rise (covered) for about 30 minutes.
-Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
-Bake your bread for about 25 minutes, or until golden brown.
-Enjoy!

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