Sunday, May 5, 2013

Cravin' Raisins?

Happy Cinco de May to everyone!  Today I am at home working on an order for a Cinnamon Raisin Bread that I make; since I haven't blogged in a while, I decided to blog about the bread.  As it turns out, it has been suggested I start catering on a part-time basis; will it happen?  I still haven't decided on it; I will, however, entertain the idea of selling dishes or breads or desserts to those who ask such is the case today.

I have found that making bread can be very therapeutic for me; I must stress that fact that I do not utilize nor own a bread maker.  I prefer using my wonderful KitchenAid Stand Mixer that I absolutely love; AND if I am having a rather stressful day, I will knead my dough by hand, lol.

My set up:

When creating this recipe, I was taken back to a convenience store I worked at on the weekends my senior year in high school; we used to make this enormous cinnamon rolls that were super yummy.  I wanted that warm, inviting feeling and taste in my bread so I decided to add nutmeg to it as well.  You will notice in the picture next to the nutmeg jar is a bag of what looks like nuts; these, in fact, are whole nutmeg.  You can certainly use ground nutmeg, but I personally prefer using whole nutmeg for a much better profile.  Also if you do not buy the packets of yeast, you can buy the jar as I have; I find it more handy to have, and it lasts 6 mos.

Now there are a few things to keep in mind when baking yeast breads: you need active yeast in order for the rise to occur and you need heat but not direct heat.  In order to create the heat the yeast needs to work:

1.  you can place your bowl and pan on top of the heated oven
2.  you can put in a warmed oven around 200 degrees
3.  you can place covered on your patio or balcony in the sunlight
4.  you can place covered in the trunk of your vehicle if in direct sun (lol)
5.  if you're lucky to have a proofer in your home or apt, great!
6.  you can place covered in your laundry room if it is small & enclosed with 
      dryer running

Now, I have found the last one to be our case; we have a nice, enclosed laundry room in our loft.  When the dryer is running on high and the door closed, it creates the perfect heat need for my breads to rise.  It even makes my sourdough started ferment perfectly when I do sourdough breads.

So, now let's get started!


3/4 cup raisins

3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 pkt or 2-1/4 tsp active dry yeast
4-1/4 cup bread flour
1 tsp salt
1-1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
2 eggs
2 Tbs butter, melted & cooled
Cooking spray
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg white, lightly beaten


Place raisins in a small bowl & cover with very hot tap water.  Let stand 10 min; drain well.

Heat milk over low heat in a small saucepan to between 100-110 degrees & remove from heat.  (to proof yeast, mix yeast well with milk & add 1 tsp sugar). Place on a warm stove top & let sit for 10 min.  If yeast is active, it should be frothy & doubled in size.

Combine 4 cup flour, salt, nutmeg & 1/4 tsp cinnamon in electric mixer bowl.

Add eggs, brown sugar & 1 Tbs butter to milk mixture; stir well with a whisk until combined.  

Add to flour mixture

Mix with paddle until soft dough forms.  

Switch paddle to dough hook & knead on speed 2 until smooth and elastic (about 8 min); add enough of remaining flour, 1 Tbs at a time, to prevent dough from sticking.  

Lightly coat dough with cooking spray; cover & let stand 10 min. 

Knead in raisins.

Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top.  

Cover & let rise in a warm place free from drafts, 1 hr or until doubled in size.  

(Gently press 2 fingers into dough; if indentation remains, dough has risen enough.) 

Punch dough down; cover & let rest 5 min.

Spray 9x5 loaf pan with cooking spray.

Roll dough into a 14x7 rectangle on a lightly floured surface; lightly coat surface of dough with cooking spray.  

Combine 1/4 cup sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon in a small bowl.  Sprinkle sugar mixture evenly over dough; lightly re-coat with cooking spray.  

Cover dough with plastic wrap; press to help sugar mixture adhere.  Remove & discard plastic wrap.  

Roll up rectangle tightly, starting with short edge, pressing firmly to eliminate any air pockets; pinch seam & ends to seal.  

Place roll, seam side down, into prepared pan.  

Cover & let rise 40 min or until doubled in size.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Uncover loaf; carefully remove exposed raisins & gently brush dough with egg white.  

Bake at 350 degrees for 50 min or until loaf is browned on top & sounds hollow when tapped.  Remove from pan; brush with remaining 1 Tbs butter & cool on wire rack.

Top view

Side view, nice & tall

 Out of pan, cooling on rack

Wow, the loft smells incredible AMAZING!  Makes ya' want to take a bite of the air, lol.  I hope you will give this a try or even hit me up if ya like one; I have plenty of time on the weekends for all kinds of projects.

Until next time people, Happy Eating!