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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Cinnamon Raisin Walnut Bread

Okay, so I might be doing the Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge a little out of order. Can you blame me though? Once you flip through a bread book, and see a perfect loaf of cinnamon bread, you have to try it. I know, the Cinnamon Raisin Walnut Bread is number nine on the list of breads, but I LOVE cinnamon bread! I can even pinpoint the reason for my love of cinnamon bread.

When we were little, my brother and I never had a babysitter. While some other kids were watched by neighbors or teenage daughters of their parents friends, we got to go to the tiny house. I loved the tiny house, because in the tiny house was my tiny Gram. At Gram’s house we would spend hours in the garden, eating grapes off of the back fence. I would sit in the kitchen, organizing the cabinets. And when we were hungry, we would get toast. Toasted cinnamon raisin bread, yum.

So baking my own loaf of cinnamon raisin bread brought back so many memories from that tiny house. More of a free form loaf bread, this doesn’t have to be perfect. This recipe made for a wonderful day, filling the house with a sweet, cinnamon aroma. So this post is in honor of that tiny house and my tiny Gram who lived inside.

Cinnamon Raisin Walnut Bread
From The Bread Bakers Apprentice
3 ½ cups (16 oz) bread flour
4 tsp (0.66 oz) granulated sugar
1 ¼ tsp (0.31 oz) salt
2 tsp (0.22 oz) instant yeast
1 ¼ tsp (0.16 oz) ground cinnamon
1 large egg
2 tbsp (1 oz) shortening, melted and brought back to room temperature
½ cup (4 oz) buttermilk
¾ cup (6 oz) water
1 ½ cups (9 oz) raisins
1 cup (4 oz) walnuts

Combine flour, sugar, salt, yeast and cinnamon. Add egg, shortening, buttermilk and water. Mix to combine. If the dough is still really sticky, add some flour. If it is too dry, add some water.

Transfer dough to a floured surface and knead by hand for ten minutes. Or you can use your stand mixer’s dough hook and allow it to mix for 6 to 8 minutes. Add raisins and walnuts two minutes before finished kneading. The dough should be soft and pliable, but not sticky. Add flour as needed, so achieve this texture. At this point it should pass the windowpane test.

Lightly oil a large bowl and add dough, turn to coat dough in oil. Allow dough to rise until doubled in size. This should take about 2 hours.

Divide the dough into two pieces of equal size and shape into loaves. Place your loaves on baking sheets and lightly coat with spray oil. Lightly cover with plastic wrap and allow the loaves to rise for about 30 minutes.

Remove the plastic wrap and bake in a 350 F oven for 20 minutes. Rotate the pans 180 degrees and bake for another 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the baking sheet and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.

Slice your loaf and toast up two pieces. Spread on some butter and sprinkle them with sugar. Enjoy a quiet moment and find that tiny house in your heart.
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  1. I've never ever baked my own bread.. I'm terrified that something will go wrong!! And you make it look and sound so easy... :)

  2. Very sweet. Loved the visual of your childhood days with Gram....somehow it's hard to feel the same as an adult! The bread looks really delicious too!

  3. Isn't it wonderful the way the smell of cinnamon brings back memories? It's just so comforting. I can only imagine how good this smelled while baking.

  4. yay to your memory! the cinnamon spreads a kill aroma i know!

  5. I love this post! I teach part time in a Waldorf early childhood program and there's a book by nearly the same title that I read to the children. Your post brings fond memories of all things warm and comforting:)


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