Magazine article Sunset

Fringed, Fragrant, Fanciful ... Costa Ricans Just Call It "Good Bread." (Includes Recipes)

Magazine article Sunset

Fringed, Fragrant, Fanciful ... Costa Ricans Just Call It "Good Bread." (Includes Recipes)

Article excerpt

Fringed, fragrant, fanciful . . . Costa Ricans just call it "good bread'

A spiraled fringe decorates this soft,springy, flavorful loaf we discovered in Limoon, Costa Rica. Richly scented with spices and studded with dried fruit, the loaf indeed lives up to its name: pan bon --good bread.

Caramelized sugar and cheddar cheesegive the loaf its warm hue. A strip of dough cut like a fringe decorates the top. The recipe makes two loaves. Serve them freshly baked, or wrap and freeze. To reheat, thaw bread unwrapped, then place on a sheet of foil and cover lightly with foil; bake in a 350| oven until warm, 15 to 20 minutes.

Costa Rican Fringed Spice Bread

1 cup sugar

1 3/4 cups water

1/2 cup (1/4 lb.) butter or margarine, cutinto pieces

1 tablespoon vanilla

2 packages active dry yeast

5 to 5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons each ground ginger andground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon each ground nutmeg andsalt

1 cup (4 oz.) firmly packed shreddedsharp cheddar cheese

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 cup chopped dried apricots

Pour sugar into a 10- to 12-inch fryingpan and cook over high heat, shaking pan often, until sugar liquefies and turns a dark amber color (do not scorch), about 4 minutes. Add 1 1/2 cups hot water and butter. Reduce heat to low. Stir until all sugar dissolves and butter melts. Remove from heat. Let cool to 110|. Add vanilla. In a large bowl, soften yeast in 1/4 cup 110| water, about 5 minutes. Add cooled sugar mixture, 4 cups flour, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.

With a dough hook, electric mixer, orheavy spoon, beat dough until flour is incorporated.

If using a dough hook, mix in 1 cup flour.Beat at high speed until dough is stretchy and pulls cleanly from bowl, about 3 minutes; if needed, add more flour, 1 tablespoon spoon at a time. …

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