Then the dough had to be placed around the cone.... easier said than done! The dough mat was very heavy and gravity takes control when you try to lift it, let alone place it around the cone, which was slippery. You really need to be an octopus to get it neat and tidy and as I only have two hands (sometimes just left ones), it sagged down and wasn't beautifully round. No great curve at the end, which is caracteristic for the horn, either. By working fast and getting it on the baking tray further drama's were prevented and bad parts could be disguised by the filling (made with the left over dough) and the right photo angle.
(Adapted from Bread, A Baker's Book of Techniques and Recipes, by Jeffrey Hamelman.)
Light Yeasted Decorative Dough
Light Yeasted Decorative Dough
Yield: 1500 g (more than enough for one 12-inch and one 6-inch cornucopia)
•13 g (2-1/3 t.) salt
•44 g milk powder
•39 g sugar
•44 g butter, softened
1.In the bowl of a stand mixer with dough hook, or a medium mixing bowl, combine all ingredients.
2.Mix on low mixer speed, or by hand, until all the ingredients are evenly incorporated.
3.Continue mixing on medium speed, or by hand, until the gluten is very well-developed.
4.Use the dough immediately, working with small portions at a time and keeping the remainder of the dough refrigerated.
Dark Yeasted Decorative DoughFeel free to scale this down, since you'll only need a small amount if using it as an accent. However, small amounts may be difficult to mix effectively in a stand mixer. * If you're making the woven basket, you'll need twice this amount of dark dough.
Yield: 500 g
•276 g flour
•15 g sifted cocoa powder
•162 g water
•1.2 g (generous 1/3 t.) instant yeast
•4 g (2/3 t.) salt
•15 g milk powder
•13 g sugar
•15 g butter, softened
The method is the same as for the light dough above.
Cover the cone with foil. (The foil is optional, but it helps the form release more easily from the baked dough.) Stuff the form with crumpled foil or paper to help it maintain its shape. Foil is firmer. To keep the stuffing from falling out, I stapled a piece of parchment paper across the mouth.
Spray the form with baking spray or oil. Stand it up on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
(Note: because the woven dough is very heavy, Hamelma advises to brush it with egg white, wait until it's sticky and then place the dough mat around it.)
Now mix the dough(s), refrigerating it immediately, removing small pieces to work with as you need them.
Preheat the oven to 360F (180C).
Wrap the rope around the bottom of the upright form overlapping the ends and pressing them together slightly.
Roll another strand of dough, again 1/2 to 3/4 inch, tapering the ends. Coil it continuously around the form until you run out. Then repeat with more pieces, overlapping the tapered ends slightly. I didn't worry about making all of the joins in the back, as I think the overlaps add to the rustic appeal of the piece. Make sure each tier lies on top of the one underneath it with no gaps (although small gaps are okay; they will fill in as the dough expands a little during baking).
When you get to the top of the cone, continue the coil just a bit further and curve it a little to form the tail.
Carefully lay the cornucopia down on the baking sheet so that the rim seam is on the underside.
Make an egg wash by lightly beating together one whole egg, a splash of water, and a pinch of salt. Brush the cornucopia lightly and evenly with the egg wash, reaching as far to the underside as you can without lifting it up.
Bake initially for 30 – 45 minutes. This should set the dough enough to hold its shape when the form is removed. Removing the form helps the inside dry out much faster. Tongs are helpful if you can't grab it well. At this point, or any further point in the baking, if the cornucopia has reached the color you want it, cover it with foil , leaving the mouth open.
Return it to the oven to bake for another 30 – 45 minutes. Then turn off the oven, leave door slightly ajar, and let the cornucopia stay in there until it is quite dry inside, another hour or two. If your oven cools down very quickly, you may need to leave it turned on at a low temperature instead of turning it off completely. The exact baking/drying time will depend on the size of your piece.
Check out the other babes (links in the side bar) for other results and methods. Wanna be seasonal and bake a wonderful Cornucopia with us??? Send your details to Susan, so she can send you the Buddy Badge and add your entry in the round up. Deadline for sending your Horn of Plenty in: 29th of this month.