Friday, November 11, 2011

Adventures in Breadmaking: Trial and Error and Cinnamon Raisin Bread

Our second week of bread making, Barry picked Sunflower Nut Bread and I picked a Simple Oat Bread recipe. After our first week, I realized we would need a few more things to enhance our bread making experience: another bread pan as I only had one and many recipes make two loaves, pastry brushes for brushing oil/butter/egg white on top of loaves of bread and bread flour.
Imagine my surprise when Barry came to tell me the brand new bread pan had exploded in the oven. That was a fun mess to clean up. At least it exploded away from the bread and there was not glass embedded in it.

We were a little disappointed with our results this time as both loaves were rather dense and heavy. They were still edible, but were not what we were hoping for. I suspect that since the yeast expired in May 2011, it just wasn't doing the job anymore, so I bought some fresh yeast next time I went grocery shopping.

I used the fresh yeast to make Cinnamon Raisin Bread, using a recipe from
  • 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water (105 degrees to 115 degrees)
  • 2 cups warm milk (110 to 115 degrees F)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 5 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups raisins
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • GLAZE:
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk
In a mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add milk, 1/3 cup sugar, oil, salt and 2 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Add raisins and enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes.

Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until
doubled, about 1-1/4 hours. Punch dough down. On a lightly floured surface, divide in half. Roll each into a 15-in. x 7-in. rectangle.

Combine cinnamon and remaining sugar; sprinkle over dough. Sprinkle with water. Starting with a short side, roll up tightly, jelly-roll style. Pinch seams and ends to seal. Place, seam side down, in two greased 9-in. x 5-in. x 3-in. loaf pans. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool completely. Combine glaze ingredients; drizzle over loaves.

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