Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Cinnamon Raisin Bread

I made a big pot of cabbage soup on Sunday, much to the dismay of those who share my home. They do not care for cabbage soup, and they especially do not care for its perfume in the kitchen.

To chase the odor, I made cinnamon raisin bread.  Plus, I had promised some to DH who has given up cakes, candy and cookies for Lent, but not ice cream, hence creating what I refer to as the Lent loophole. Apparently dessert-type bread also falls into that category.


I found a recipe written on a scrap of paper labeled simply "bread."  It looked promising, as it called for an egg and sorghum or honey, making it richer and sweeter than a traditional white loaf -- a perfect base for cinnamon and raisins.

Baking bread is pretty easy and the sense of accomplishment is far greater than the effort. It does take time to rise, but your attention is not required while it does, and punching down the inflated dough can be quite satisfying.  It's perfect to make on a rainy day (yeast performs especially well in low pressure) and you almost can't screw it up -- bread is very forgiving.

Below is an illustrated guide. I've also added my adaptation of the recipe, at the end.

Proof the yeast: Let it sit in warm water for a few minutes until it comes alive, i.e., begins to bubble. The water temperature should be warm, not hot.



Mix the scalded, cooled milk, the melted butter, honey and egg in a large bowl (to which you will later add the yeast and flour.

Add the flour to the bowl until the dough comes together.  You can also incorporate additional flour during the kneading phase if your dough seems to sticky, as mine did.

Knead the dough until it's smooth and elastic.  Next, roll it to form a large rectangle, as wide as your bread pan.  Brush with melted butter.


Sprinkle with cinnamon to taste.  Err on the side of too much -- the only criticism my bread received was that it needed more cinnamon.  You can also sprinkle some sugar on too.

Roll the dough into a log.  It's pretty easy to work with.  Place in bread pans and tuck the ends under.

Cover the loaves with a cloth and let them rise until the dough fills the pan.


Bake and enjoy!



Bread
1 cup milk, scalded and cooled
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup sorghum or honey
1 egg
1/2 to 1 cup raisins

1 cup warm water
2 packages yeast
1 tsp. sugar

About 6 cups flour

Mix first five ingredients in one bowl.  Mix next three in a separate bowl and wait for yeast to bubble a bit.  Combine ingredients from both bowls into one large bowl.  Add enough flour to make dough.  Knead nine minutes.  Place in greased bowl, cover and let rise until doubled.  Knead again.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Divide dough in half and roll out each into a large rectangle.  Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon.  Roll up, tucking in ends.  Place into ungreased bread pans.  Cover and let rise until doubled again.  Brush with melted butter, optional.

Bake 15 minutes at 400, then lower oven to 350 and bake 40 minutes.

4 comments:

  1. Gorgeous loaves! Do you prefer to bake bread in glass or metal? I've always heard that glass bakes slightly quicker than metal. I have my grandmother's vintage Pyrex loaf pan, but have never used it for that reason.

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  2. Thanks, Tugs Girl! I usually use metal, but couldn't find my other metal pan so used the beautiful vintage Fire King glass one (hard to tell, but it's blue with designs on it) that I purchased at a flea market a while back. It did bake much quicker than the metal one (wish I had noticed it at the time!) probably on account of the glass and the fact that it is a smaller size than the metal one. Live and learn, I always say! Thanks for writing!

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  3. Susan, the bread looks great. But what really caught my attention is the white stove (a guess) you have behind the loaves. It reminds me of what we here call economical kitchens that date from the times when the stove and oven were wood fired. Is it new or it´s an old one restored? Very cool, I love it

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    1. Paula -- My stove is a c. 1950 Chambers, once called the Cadillac of Stoves. It's all gas and I absolutely love it! If you search my blog, I wrote about the stove, probably in early 2010. It's both old and unrestored. I simply bought it from a guy in New York and had it delivered (which cost more than the purchase price -- this stove is heavy!!) and called a plumber to connect it. And it's outlasted three modern electric baking ovens. Thanks for writing!

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