Warm, soft bread bites with a fresh fruit jam dip. Made in cute individual servings!
This little dish has been kicking around in my head for a while. I spied this idea on a Russian baking forum, except it was baked in a large dish with large rolls. Since I'm such a fan of individual servings, I envisioned a few little bread bites and jam, baked up in ramekins. And so these little bread bites with raspberry jam dip were born.
The bread bites are made from my favourite soft bread dough recipe, so they're light and moist. The "jam", is made from fresh fruit (in this case, raspberries), that's mixed with sugar and pectin. It cooks right along with the bread in the ramekin and frankly, it's awesome. The resulting jam is not super thick, but that's what makes it perfect for dipping, as it soaks in to the bread beautifully.
I anticipate that some will wonder if they can just use already made jam (homemade or store bought) instead. First, I haven't tried it, but I honestly think it will over-cook, become like glue and possibly even burn, so I don't really recommend it. I'm hoping you'll take my word for the fact that starting with fresh fruit is super easy and ever-so-delicious.
If you can't find jam sugar or fruit pectin, you could make this with a combination of fresh fruit, sugar and cornstarch (for thickening). This method will require a little pre-cooking though. Simply mix together in a saucepan and heat over medium heat until sugar melts and sauce is no longer cloudy. Allow to cool, then put in ramekins.
You can make this with any fresh fruit. If you've picked up some pectin, there's usually a handy-dandy pamphlet that offers some guidance on fruit to sugar to pectin ratios. Just scale it down to the amount of fruit you're starting with. It doesn't need to be super precise. It will still be good! And yes, you can use frozen fruit if you need to, but you MUST THAW IT FIRST! Why? Because you're bread bites will be rising on top of the fruit and if you put them on top of cold/frozen fruit, bad things will happen (or actually nothing will happen - as in, your bread won't rise because it's too cold :).
What is Jam Sugar? Jam sugar is usually found in with the sugars at the grocery store, or sometimes, in with the canning supplies. It is widely available these days. In my grocery, Lantic makes a Jam and Jelly mix, which comes in a 900g box and I believe is 1:1 ratio (which means you'd use an equal amount of fruit and jam sugar, by weight), but it doesn't exactly say. World wide, jam sugar is available in varying ratios (1:1, 2:1 or 3:1). 2:1 jam sugar means you would use twice as much fruit to jam sugar, by weight. For this recipe, since we're making a quick "jam", and we're really just looking for something to thicken up the fruit juices, use what you have and adjust the recipe accordingly.
Warm Bread Bites with Raspberry Jam Dip
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup cake flour sifted
- 1 1/2 tsp instant dry yeast
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp white sugar
- 1 cup milk, scalded and cooled to lukewarm
- 1 whole egg + 1 egg yolk
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 18 oz fresh raspberries
- 9 oz 2:1 ratio jam sugar if using 1:1 ratio jam sugar, increase jam sugar to 510 grams
- 2 Tbsp. fruit pectin combined with 2 cups white sugar
- To make bread bites: Scald milk by heating in a small saucepan until it steams and small bubbles form around the edge of the pan. Remove from heat and let cool to lukewarm.
- In a large bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a kneading hook, combine the flours with the yeast, salt and white sugar. Add the lukewarm milk, egg and egg yolk, vanilla and vegetable oil. Mix until combined. Knead, adding more flour if necessary, to make a smooth, moist dough. Remove dough to a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise until doubled, about 45-60 minutes.
- Meanwhile, combine the fresh fruit with the jam sugar and mix well. Divide mixture between 8-10 ramekins. Make sure that each ramekin gets a portion of fruit and sugar. Place ramekins on a baking sheet and set aside.
- When dough has risen, remove to a floured surface and de-gas gently. Using a sharp knife or a bench scraper, cut dough in to 24-30 pieces (depending on how many ramekins you're using - you'll need 3 pieces of dough for each ramekin). Form each piece into a ball by pinching together the edges underneath. Place 3 dough balls (pinched side down) in each of the ramekins, on top of the fruit/sugar mixture. Once all ramekins are filled, cover with a tea towel and let rise until puffy, about 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350° F. with rack in bottom 1/3 of oven (1 position below centre). When buns are puffy, place baking sheet with ramekins into oven and bake for 25-30 minutes. *Check at 20 minutes and rotate baking sheet and cover with foil if buns are brown enough at that point.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool until lukewarm. *Note: Be careful with hot jam. Sugar mixtures really hold heat, so be careful not to try the jam too early or you could burn yourself.
- These freeze really well! Just freeze them in the ramekins in a freezer bag. To serve, microwave from frozen until buns are soft and warm.