Friday, July 23, 2010
Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Bread
It's almost time for me to leave for Philadelphia and medical school (4 days!!!), and I've limited myself to only making foods that use up any leftover ingredients in the pantry. So this morning, I figured Mom's probably not going to find any use in the leftover raisins from my granola, or the small jar of cinnamon from God knows when. Luckily, the two pair together pretty well, and it wasn't long before I narrowed down my options to reach (can you guess it) cinnamon raisin swirl bread! Plus, I had leftover bread flour, and Dad is a sucker for French Toast (back when I used to work at Panera Bread, I used to bring back leftover cinnamon raisin bread loaves home all the time for that alone).
The bread itself is really not hard to make. I think in general I've found that the more fat content is in the baking, the more baker-friendly it usually is. More savory things like sourdough or French baguettes are far harder than your average sweet-tooth quick bread.
On another note...I've been messing around with my blog layout for the past few days (I've actually lost quite a bit of sleep in my enthusiasm over it), and for now, I've given up on my html/css skills. I've reverted back to Template Designer...but at least I'm learning little by little the coding in the page source, and hopefully one day I can manage to build my own blogging domain from scratch. Just...not anytime soon.
Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Bread (adapted from Food Baby)
For the bread:
1 packet active dry yeast
1/4 cup sugar, plus a pinch
1 1/4 cups just-warm-to-the-touch whole milk
1/2 stick (4 tablespoons or 60g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (optional)
2.5 - 3 cups bread flour
For the swirl:
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder (optional)
1 cup moist, plump raisins (dark or golden) - I soaked them in hot water, then left them to drain.
3 tablespoons (45 grams) unsalted butter, softened to a spreadable consistency
1. Dissolve the yeast in 1/4 cup warm milk and a pinch of sugar. Leave for 3-5 minutes.
2. In a big mixing bowl, combine the rest of the milk, butter, and sugar.
3. Add salt, egg, and vanilla, then combine.
4. Add the yeast mixture and mix for about 1 minute.
5. Add 2.5 cups of the flour, then knead. Add in more flour if the dough gets too sticky.
6. Continue kneading until the dough becomes smooth and springy.
7. Cover the bowl with saran wrap and let rest in a warm place for about 1.5 hours until doubled.
8. Meanwhile, combine the sugar, cinnamon, and cocoa powder for the swirl.
9. Take out the dough and roll roughly on a floured surface to about a 12x8 flat rectangle in size.
10. Smear 2 tbsp butter evenly over the surface of the dough, then cover with an even sprinkling of the cinnamon/sugar/cocoa.
11. Spread the raisins over the surface; try to avoid the edges of the dough.
12. Carefully roll the dough like a jellyroll, then left into a loaf pan that has been buttered or sprayed with nonstick spray (my loaf pan was too small, so I cut the dough in half and used 2 baking dishes).
13. Cover with saran wrap and let rest about 45 minutes.
14. Brush the tops with 1 tbsp butter (melted) and bake at 375F for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
15. Let rest on a cooling rack BEFORE cutting in. But when you do, be sure to savor every bite!