Cinnamon Raisin Walnut Bread

 

I woke up the other morning in a baking mood (i.e. craving flour). I had a bunch of stuff to do, but was feeling motivated to fit everything in. Settling on this recipe – from the fancy cookbook “The Bread Baker’s Apprentice” – I was able to fit in all of my errands during the two rising times. During the first rising time, I went for a run. During the second rise, I went to bathing suit shopping. And while the loaves baked, Streusel and I skyped. By the end of the day, I felt very accomplished!

 

I should note that this isn’t a fussy bread to bake, but it does take some time. It’s well worth the time, though. The dough itself doesn’t have much sugar, so the cinnamon sugar swirl add as lovely sweetness without a bread that tastes too much like dessert. Although- if you spread a little cinnamon-sugar cream cheese on top, and you’ve definitely got an addictive breakfast (or mid-afternoon snack, as the case may be!)

 

 

 

To start off, gather up your dry ingredients

 

 

 

and the wet ingredients

 

 

 

and the mix ins.

 

 

 

Stir up all the dry ingredients

 

 

 

add the wet ingredients, and knead with the dough hook – my dough was a bit sticky while it was kneading, so I added in a few more tablespoons of flour.

 

 

 

Dump the dough onto the counter and knead in the mix ins

 

 

 

until walnuts and raisins are happily involved.

 

 

 

Let rise in an oiled bowl for 2 hours

 

 

 

then divide into two loaves, forming each into a rectangle

 

 

 

Spread with cinnamon sugar

 

 

 

and roll

 

 

 

and the rock to seal and even out.

 

 

 

Dough is placed into loaf pans to rise

 

 

 

and after 60-90 (or 120, if you get caught up shopping) minutes, it’ll look like this.

 

 

 

In to – and out – of the oven!

 

 

 

And into my mouth!

 

(note: cinnamon cream cheese was made with whipped cream cheese, softened to room temp, a little sugar and a whole bunch of cinnamon)

 

 

Cinnamon Raisin Walnut Bread

recipe very slightly adapted from The Bread Baker’s Apprentice by Peter Reinhart

printer-friendly version

makes two 1 ½ pound loaves

 

for bread:

 

3 ½ cups 16 ounces unbleached bread flour
4 teaspoons .66 ounce granulated sugar
1 ¼ teaspoon .31 ounce salt
2 teaspoons .22 ounce instant yeast
1 ¼ teaspoons .16 ounce ground cinnamon
1 large .165 ounce egg, slightly beaten
2 tablespoons 1 ounce shortening, melted or at room temperature
½ cup 4 ounces buttermilk or whole milk, at room temperature
¾ cup 6 ounces water, at room temperature
1 ½ cups 9 ounces raisins
1 cup 4 ounces chopped walnuts

 

 

for swirl filling:

 

½ cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon

 

 

 

1. Stir together flour, sugar, salt, yeast, and cinnamon in a mixing bowl (or in the bowl of an electric mixer). Add the egg, shortening, buttermilk, and water. Stir together with a large spoon (or mix on low speed with the paddle attachment) until the ingredients come together and form a ball. Adjust with flour or water if the dough seems too sticky or too dry and stiff.

 

2. Sprinkle flour on a counter, transfer the dough to the counter, and begin kneading (or mixing on medium speed, switching to the dough hook). The dough should be soft and pliable, tacky but not sticky. Add flour as you knead (or mix), if necessary, to achieve this texture. Knead by and for approximately 10 minutes (or by machine for 6 to 8 minutes). Sprinkle in the raisins and walnuts during the final 2 minutes of kneading (or mixing) to distribute them evenly and to avoid crushing them too much. (If you are mixing by machine, you may have to finish kneading by hand to distribute the raisins and walnuts evenly).

 

3. Lightly oil a large bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling it to coat with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let rise at room temperature for approximately 2 hours, or until the dough doubles in size.

 

4. Mix together the cinnamon sugar, whisking together ½ granulated sugar and 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon.

 

5. Coat two 8 ½ by 4 ½ loaf pans lightly with oil. Divide the dough into 2 equal pieces and form them into loaves.  To make loaves, flatten dough into a rectangle about 5 inches wide and 6-8 inches wide. Sprinkle ½ of cinnamon sugar mixture over the surface of the rectangle. Working from the long side of the dough, roll up the length of the dough. The loaf will spread as you roll, extending to 6-8 inches. Once it’s entirely rolled up, rock the loaf to even it out, but do not taper the ends. Place the loaf, seam side down, into lightly oiled pan. Repeat with second loaf.

 

6. Mist the top with spray oil, and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let rise at room temperature for 60 to 90 minutes, until the dough crests above the lips of the pans and is nearly doubled in size.

 

7. Preheat the oven to 350°F with the oven rack on the middle shelf. Place the loaf pans on a sheet pan, making sure they are not touching each other.

 

8. Bake the loaves for 20 minutes. Rotate the pan 180 degrees for even baking and continue baking for another 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the oven. The finished bread should be golden brown on top and lightly golden on the sides and bottom. They should make a hollow sound when thumped on the bottom.

 

9. Immediately remove the breads from their pans and cool on rack for at least 1 hour, preferably 2 hours, before slicing or serving.

 

optional: bush the tops of the baked loaves with  melted butter as soon as they come out the bread pans, then roll them in the cinnamon sugar.

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