This was my first time making real cinnamon raisin bread. I’ve made it from frozen or pre-made dough, but never from scratch. I’m very excited that the Tuesdays with Dorie group is delving into some yeasted breads. I put making yeast breads on the same list as learning all sorts of skills that seem just out of my reach, yet I’m determined to learn:
- how to drive a manual car (learned, but I probably forget now)
- use the manual settings on my camera (kind of do this one)
- serve a perfect overhand serve in volleyball (forget)
- run a marathon (just completed!)
- change my own oil (have not done this one)
- can fruits and veggies (not yet)
- make my own jam (not yet)
- play the piano (not yet and I’m musically challenged)
- sew (nope)
- how to tell a joke (I can’t!)
- make biscuits (sort of)
- pick out constellations in the sky (still can’t!)
- learn bird songs (only know the chickadee)
This list goes on. As you can see, I’ve learned some, forgotten some, and still mystified by others. I usually have to take a class to learn just about anything, which is why I drool over King Arthur Flour’s yeasted bread classes. They are kind of expensive, so for the moment, I’ll continue to play in my own kitchen. Luckily, this yeasted dough is not hard to make, but it does take time. For some reason, I decided to start this bread on Sunday night after I’d been away all weekend. It finally got done baking just before midnight. The good part is that I was able to have a warm piece of bread right before bedtime.
The recipe calls for mixing the dough with a dough hook. Unfortunately, I do not have a fancy stand mixer with a dough hook. I would have done it all by hand, but it had been a long weekend (I knew I was tired this weekend when I took two naps…..I never nap!). Alas, I decided to mix the dough in the bread machine on the "dough" setting.
First I activated the yeast with the pinch of sugar and the warm milk.
Then I just dumped everything in the bread machine. It worked its magic for an hour and thirty minutes. I watched Crazy Heart from Netflix. Wow – intense but good. I don’t listen to country music very often and became sort of obsessed with the theme song.
I broke the machine, in a fit of clumsiness, one dark winter day. It got beat up pretty good, and I say a little prayer each time I use it that it still works. So far, so good. I’m not into having a lot of kitchen gadgets, but this bread machine is nice to have in the home.
While the bread machine was working its magic, I mixed together the cocoa powder, cinnamon, and sugar. This is a bowl that I got from Erik Rehman, a potter and sculptor in Burlington who makes the most unusual and exquisite pieces.
The bread has risen.
Now, Dorie tells you to freeze the dough for 30 minutes, but I thought that my dough was just fine to roll out.
Spread two tablespoons of butter over the dough.
I didn’t roll mine out perfectly, but that’s okay.
Sprinkle on the cinnamon/cocoa/sugar mixture.
Spread it all around.
Scatter raisins over the dough.
I also tossed in a few pecans.
Roll into a log.
I had to tuck in my too long ends. (Maybe I should have rolled this out more evenly.)
Place in greased loaf pan and let rise for 45 minutes, or until bread has risen above pan. (This is a good time to clean up the mess that rolling out the dough makes in your kitchen!)
Mine puffed up quite nicely.
Brush with one tablespoon of butter and place on cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes, cover with foil and bake for another 20-25 minutes.
Let cool 5 minutes, then unmold from pan. It came out looking just like the bread in the book!
I cut up half of my loaf and took it to a work gathering.
However, I like it best toasted with a little butter for breakfast. Ray did point out that he would have liked the cinnamon swirl part doubled. I see his point, but this isn’t like a dessert bread per se. It’s more of a hearty bread than a sweet bread.