Thursday, April 5, 2012

Cinnamon Raisin Bread

Recipe from The River Cottage Family Cookbook.
I have always been terrified of making bread with yeast.  I was worried that the yeast wouldn't work, the bread wouldn't rise, and my ingredients would go to waste.  The picture of the bread in this cookbook made me crave homemade raisin bread and I was left with no choice but to attempt it.  Surprisingly, it was fairly easy to make.  The only specialty tools I used were a meat thermometer and my hands.  I suggest you try it.
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp salt
2 1/4 tsp yeast
3/4 cup raisins
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup warm milk
1/2 cup hot water
1 egg
2 generous TBS orange marmalade
  1. In a large bowl, mix the flour, salt, yeast, raisins, and cinnamon.
  2. Bring a pot of water to a boil and measure out 1/2 cup water.
  3. In a second bowl, mix together the egg, milk, and hot water.  Check the temperature with a thermometer.  It should come to 100 to 110 degrees.  If it's too cold, add a little more hot water.  If it's too warm, allow to cool.
  4. Pour the warm milk mixture over the flour mixture, and add the orange marmalade.  Mix with a wooden spoon or spatula until combined, then turn onto a floured work surface and knead the dough until all ingredients are well incorporated.  If you push your finger in the center and the dough bounces back, it's ready.  Form into a dough ball and place back in the large bowl.  Cover with a towel and allow to rise in a warm place, away from drafts, until the dough doubles in size, approximately 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
  5. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  6. Push your fist in the center, then knead gently.  Form the dough into a long, thick rope.  Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray and place the dough in the pan so it touches the ends.  Allow to rise an addition 25 minutes.
  7. Place in the center of the oven and bake for 12 minutes, then turn the heat down to 375 degrees and bake for an additional 12 minutes.  Remove the loaf from the pan and allow to cool on the cooling rack.

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