Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Cinnamon Raisin Nut Bread

Cinnamon Raisin Nut Bread courtesy of another baking kick! I managed to go over a month without baking up a sweet bread of any kind so it shouldn't come as a surprise that the day that I get into a baking mood I end up making a few different varieties of sweet breads (the others will be coming at a later date).

Glancing over my top 100 list gave me several ideas of things I could make during this baking marathon. I thought about baking monkey bread but decided to go an easier route with cinnamon swirl bread. After choosing two different cinnamon swirl bread recipes I decided to add raisins and nuts to this loaf to make it into Cinnamon Raisin Nut Bread.

It was really pretty easy to make. There is a bit of patience involved with the rising time of any yeast bread but since I was pretty much just hanging around the house all day it worked out fine. I was somewhat surprised that this recipe didn't use any eggs.  I was glad it didn't because my other recipe required two eggs which is the exact number I had in the fridge. One pleasant surprise was the sweet smell of cinnamon when I started kneading it. This cinnamon bread recipe adds cinnamon right into the dough so when you knead it both before and after rising the smell is heavenly. Enjoy! 

Cinnamon Raisin Nut Bread
Source: Adapted from Recipe Girl

1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons granulated white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
3/4 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees F)
3 cups all-purpose flour + more for surface work

2 tablespoons butter, softened
2 tablespoons granulated white sugar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup chopped pecans

In a microwavable cup, heat butter and warm milk in short bursts; stir together until butter is melted. In a large bowl, stir sugar, salt and cinnamon until combined. Pour warm butter/milk mixture into the bowl; stir.

In a glass measuring cup or small bowl, mix yeast and warm water until yeast is dissolved; pour into the bowl and stir. Mix in 2 1/2 cups flour.

Turn out dough onto a floured board (dough will be sticky). Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup of flour onto the dough and knead until the dough is soft and smooth (4 to 5 minutes). Add additional sprinkles of flour, if needed.

Put dough into a greased bowl; turn the dough over so the top of the dough is greased too. Cover with a clean dish towel and let rise in a warm place for about 60 minutes, or until doubled in size.

Punch down the dough in the bowl with your fist. Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead for about 1 minute. Roll dough out into a basic rectangular shape. Use a butter knife or your clean fingers to spread 2 tablespoons softened butter on the surface of the rolled out dough.

In a small bowl, mix white sugar, brown sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle this mixture on top of the butter. Roll up dough and form into a loaf. Place into a buttered 5x9-inch bread pan, seam side down. Cover with a clean dish towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Score risen dough in the pan by cutting 3 slashes diagonally across the top of the loaf with a sharp knife. Bake bread for 35 to 45 minutes, or until golden brown. Fully baked bread should sound hollow when tapped. Turn out bread and let cool on a wire rack.

Makes one loaf