Tuesday, January 26, 2010

House Special Organic Cinnamon Raisin Bread



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(c) photo copyright Carrie Boyko 2008


Yummy Raisin Bread:
My Family's Favorite Breakfast Treat


Welcome to my neighborhood. Today I am pleased to bring you a recipe that I consider my house specialty, or perhaps I should call it a 'house-warming specialty'. This bread makes a great gift, and is a nice conversation starter when I visit to say hello for the first time.


This Organic Cinnamon Raisin Bread is rich and full-bodied, much like a cinnamon roll. My family enjoys it for breakfast, dessert or an energizing afternoon snack. With or without butter, it is moist and delicious and will make a wonderful special-occasion gift for your own friends or family. Delivered warm, your bread will bring a wonderful aroma of fresh-baked bread and cinnamon sweetness, and your kitchen will smell great too. If your family will be home, you'd better make 2 loaves or there will surely be some complaining if you give that one loaf away.


To prepare the dough, I generally use the dough cycle on my bread machine, but you can just as easily use your mixer. Even though I'm a fan of whole grains, this particular bread is best with organic bread flour. If you want to be daring, you can use a mixture of organic bread flour and organic whole grains, but I do recommend you go lighter on the whole grain side.


One final tip: If you make this bread for a gift, you might as well go ahead and write the recipe up to include along with it. You can almost be guaranteed a phone call asking for the recipe after they taste it.


Dough Ingredients:



  • 1/4 cup organic milk, whole or 2%
  • 1 large or extra large organic egg, slightly warmed
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3/4 cup filtered or bottled water
  • 1/4 cup organic butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup organic sugar
  • 3 1/2 cups organic bread flour 
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 cup hearty organic raisins (I like Earthbound Farm's jumbo premium gourmet raisins the best; they are fat and less dried, making them perfect for cooking as well as eating)
Cinnamon Swirl Ingredients:
  • 1 organic egg white, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup organic butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 tablespoon organic cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup organic sugar
  • 1/4 cup organic brown sugar
Top Your Bread With:
  • 1 organic egg white
  • 2 teaspoons filtered water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons organic sugar


Instructions:


  1. If using your bread maker, follow the manufacturer's instructions for the order of ingredients, while using my instructions for amounts below. When your dough cycle finishes, follow the remaining instructions by picking up with number 9 below.
  2. Without a bread maker, follow these instructions:
  3. Place the egg and milk into a measuring cup and add just enough tepid+ water to bring the mixture to 1 cup.
  4. Combine this mixture with the remaining dough ingredients, using a heavy-duty mixer.
  5. Flour a clean surface and knead the dough for about 10 minutes to get it good and elastic.
  6. Roll the dough into a ball.
  7. Place it in an oiled bowl and cover with a clean cloth. 
  8. Place this in a warm spot to rise. I like to heat my microwave up while I'm kneading, and them put the bread inside for it to rise. The remaining heat speeds up the rising process nicely.
  9. Allow the bread ball to double in size. Then knead again for about 5 minutes, adding the raisins. Make sure they are well incorporated into the dough.
  10. Now roll the dough out to a rectangle about 10" x 12". Be patient with this; it takes a few minutes to roll to this size, as the dough is quite elastic.
  11. Spray your loaf pan with organic cooking spray, or use organic butter to rub the inside of a bread pan. Dust this lightly with flour.
  12. To create the cinnamon swirl, brush the egg white over the dough, followed by the melted butter.
  13. Combine the sugar and brown sugar with the cinnamon and sprinkle it evenly over the dough.
  14. Starting from the short side, roll the dough, snugly pinching the ends as you go, to retain the cinnamon swirl mixture.
  15. Tuck the ends under before placing the loaf, seam-side down, into the prepared loaf pan.
  16. Once again, cover the pan with a clean cloth and place in a warm spot to rise. A sunny window sill, refrigerator top or under a lamp often work well also.
  17. Allow the bread dough to rise until it is at least an inch above the top of the pan.
  18. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  19. With a fork, whisk the water and egg white together for an egg wash. 
  20. Brush this mixture over the top of the bread gently, coating it completely.
  21. Finally, sprinkle the sugar evenly over the bread.
  22. Bake in the center of the preheated oven for about 35 minutes. When done, remove promptly from the pan to cool on a rack.
Your bread can be sliced with a sharp, cerated bread knife after cooling for a few minutes. It is especially delicious when served warm. Enjoy!

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