Monday, January 17, 2011

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Raisin Bread

Cinnamon Raisin Bread 2

The idea of cinnamon raisin bread really appeals to me-sort of like a cinnamon bun without so much sweet, it makes a really great breakfast toasted with some cream cheese slathered on top. On Sunday I was awake early, so I got the dough going, by lunch I had it all tucked into loaf pans, and by the time we came home from a walk it was ready to go into the oven.

Bread really isn't so that hard to make, just a bit time consuming. This recipe is pretty easy though, and I'm sure you guys will whip some up some in your own kitchens without a problem. This recipe was not like anything I've made before, since it uses oil instead of butter-but it was really very tasty. With two loaves you can freeze one, share it, or make some killer French toast!

Adapted from Food Network Magazine January/February 2011

2 cups bread flour, plus more for dusting (or just regular all purpose flour works too)
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/4 cups warm water (check with a thermometer-should be between 120-130 F)
1/4 cup non fat dry milk
1 large egg
2 tbsp oil
3 tbsp honey
2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp instant dry yeast
2/3 cup raisins (soaked in boiling water about 30 minutes)
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/3 packed brown sugar

In a large bowl, combine the flours, dry milk, egg, oil, honey, salt, water, and yeast. Mix until you get a dough. If you have a stand mixer, use the dough hook and mix 3 minutes on the lowest setting, then increase to the next highest and mix another 5 minutes. Or, if you don't have a stand mixer, just turn the dough out onto a floured counter and knead that baby for about 5 minutes or so.

Get a nice big bowl, and slather the inside with some oil. Add the dough, and cover with plastic wrap. I like to let dough rise in my oven with the light on-that way the dough is draft free, and the light generates enough heat to really make it rise.

Let rise for an hour and a half until doubled in size.

Punch down your dough to get rid of air bubbles, then divide it in half and roll each half into an 8 inch square. Brush each square with oil, then sprinkle with half of the brown sugar, then raisins and cinnamon. Actually what I did was just mix the sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl, and then just use half of that. Starting with the end closest to you, roll up tightly and place in a loaf pan that has been lightly brushed with oil. (Or buttered, like I did. All that oil seemed weird to me. ) Cover with plastic wrap and stick back in the oven with the light on for an hour and a half so that they can rise some more.

Before baking, remove those loaves from the oven and turn your oven on to 375 F. Brush the loaves lightly with oil and bake about 25 -30 minutes, or until golden.

Remove to a wire rack to cool.

Makes 2 loaves
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