Occasionally, it turns out to be a good thing that I can't read a calendar. A few weeks ago, I made this assignment for the Secret Recipe Club, then very carefully queued up the post. To go live last Monday. Luckily, I noticed other members talking about it being group C's week. I quickly readjusted the publish date.
Then last Tuesday I came down with the plague. Or the flu. Whatever. Baking or anything else that had to do with the kitchen became totally out of the question. Good thing I can't read a calendar.
So with that, I give you what I wrote almost 2 weeks ago. Enjoy.
Have I explained the SRC lately? Once a month I get to make and post about a recipe from another member's blog. This month I was assigned Curious Cuisiniere, hosted by Sarah.
When Sara's not working (at a bakery!), she and her husband travel and try local cuisines. When they are home, they test and work on recipes, experimenting with flavor combinations along the way. They believe that food should and can be both delicious and healthy.
Which brings us to their recipe for Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Bread. Nothing says warm, happy home like the scent of baked cinnamon ... pretty much anything! Especially when cinnamon is gently swirled with raisins throughout a warm, yummy bread.
|Buttered cinnamon raisin bread and a cup of chai ... heaven!|
Sara's version of this almost dessert-like but not quite as sweet as cake-like bread is baked with butter. To be honest, cinnamon-raisin bread practically cries out to be shmeared with butter before consuming
Sara's also includes a surprise ingredient: white whole wheat flour. Until now, I did not know that white whole wheat flour was available to home bakers. Unlike most breads made with whole wheat flour, white whole wheat is lighter, both in density and color. If/when you try a slice of bread made with it, you can't really tell the difference. Then why bother using it? Well, Dear Reader, it makes that delicious bread you lovingly baked from scratch that much more healthy. And delicious. I'll have to try some in my very next batch of challah. I'm hooked.
Be sure to lightly grease the rolling-out surface ... yes! ... even if you use a silicone baking sheet! The dough, at least mine anyway, stuck a bit to the silicone sheet until I gave up, scraped off the dough, then lightly spritzed the sheet with cooking spray. To avoid the same problem with the rolling pin, I also lightly spritzed the top of the dough before rolling out. Worked like a charm.
Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Bread
Slightly Adapted from Curious Cuisiniere
Yield: 1 9×5 loaf
1 cup (8 fl oz) rice (or soy) milk
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted margarine
3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 cup (2 oz.) warm (comfortably, not hot) water
1 pkg. active instant dry yeast
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
3 1/2 cup all purpose flour (plus up to 1/4 cup more, if needed)
2 Tbl. ground cinnamon
1/2 to 1 cup black raising, depending upon how much you like raisins
2 cups water (for soaking raisins)
1 Tbl. margarine, melted and cooled slightly
Heat rice (or soy) milk in a small saucepan over medium heat until it just begins to steam (a skim might or might not form). Avoid letting it boil. Remove from heat, then add margarine, 1/2 cup of the sugar and salt; stir until dissolved. Set aside to cool to room temperature (or just barely warm) to avoid killing the yeast later.
In the large mixing bowl of a stand mixer, dissolve yeast in warm water. Allow to sit for 4-5 minutes until mixture becomes foamy. Add cooled-down "milk" mixture, eggs, all of the white whole wheat flour and 2 1/2 cups of the all-purpose flour.
With the mixer fitted with dough hook, knead on low for two minutes, stopping every so often to add remaining cup of all-purpose flour, a 1/4 cup at a time and scraping down the sides as needed, until a soft dough forms. Increase speed to #2 (or the speed suggested by the mixer manufacturer) for 8 more minutes. Meanwhile, grease another large mixing bowl with cooking spray.
Form dough into a ball, then place in prepared bowl. Cover with wax paper or plastic wrap and let rise in a warm, draft-free area until doubled in bulk, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Punch down dough. Lightly spritz a silicone sheet or counter top with cooking spray, then plop dough on; let dough rest 5 minutes while you combine remaining sugar with cinnamon in a small bowl. In another small bowl combine raisins with the soaking water (to plump them a bit). Lightly spray a 9x5 loaf pan with cooking spray and set aside.
Roll dough into a ½ inch thick rectangle (about 9 inches x 13ish inches). Brush with half of melted margarine, then sprinkle with half of cinnamon sugar mixture.
Drain raisins and pat with a towel to dry. Toss raisins with remaining cinnamon mixture and sprinkle evenly over dough.
|Raisin mixture could have been spread closer to side edges.|
Starting from one of the short ends, roll dough gently, but tightly, jelly-roll style. Carefully pick up and nestle into a prepared loaf pan, seam side down. Brush the top of the dough with the melted and cooled margarine.
Cover with wax paper or plastic wrap and let rise in a warm, draft-free location until doubled (about 45 minutes). About 15 minutes before the end of the rising time, preheat oven to 400F.
Uncover loaf and bake for 30-35 minutes. Check bread after 15 minutes to see if top is browning too fast. If so, tent loosely with aluminum foil. The bread is done, after removing from its pan, when an instant thermometer poked into the bottom (so as not to ruin the lovely crust) registers about 180F, or sounds hollow when gently tapped on the bottom with your knuckles.
Turn out loaf onto cooling rack; let cool before slicing. If desired, toast slices before serving.