Valentine’s Day Special: How to make heart-shaped bread

Valentine’s Day Special: How to make heart-shaped bread

Do you want to do something special for your sweetheart this year? Perhaps you want to entertain your kids with a fun and festively shaped bread for Valentine’s Day. Regardless of the motivation, heart-shaped foods and desserts are very popular for the holiday. In this post, I’ll share a few tips for making a heart-shaped loaf, as well as a list of my favorite Valentine’s Day flavor combinations for breadmaking.  Your bread machine can make the job easier for you by doing the mixing, kneading, and initial rising.  Then you just have to shape and bake!

There are many ways to make a heart-shaped bread. Of course, you will need to shape and bake the bread by hand, but you can prepare the dough using a breadmaker if you like. Before attempting to shape your loaf by hand, keep in mind that bread changes as it rises. The sharp corners you cut will round out slightly. Plan ahead – and make sure not to attempt to shape your loaf until the final rise. Bake your loaf on a silicone baking mat to ensure a completely non-stick finish.

If you want to make a cinnamon swirl bread, try having the swirl be vertical instead of horizontal. This creates a unique and impressive display when the loaf cooks. To get it to work, you need to tuck the loose end under the loaf, otherwise it will unravel while baking.

For a cleaner-looking heart shape, use a basic dough like French or Italian. Even a farmhouse white is a good pick for clean and crisp forms. Remember that when you add nuts, dried fruits, cheeses, or other additives, the smooth and perfect finish of your bread will change. Your end product will be mottled and bumpy, but love isn’t always smooth, either.

A few of my favorite flavor combinations for Valentine’s Day breads (heart-shaped or otherwise) are Cinnamon Pecan, Cherry and Almond, and Jalapeno Cheddar (to spice things up!).

Still not sure if you should bake a loaf of fresh bread for your sweetheart on Valentine’s Day? According to a poll of more than 4,000 Brits, the smell of fresh bread makes people happy. Some might even call it an aphrodisiac.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

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