Whole Wheat Cinnamon Raisin Bread…

I know, I know, only a few weeks into this whole blog thing and I am already slacking off!  It’s been a few weeks since I’ve posted – I have been super busy!

But this weekend I got myself back into the kitchen!  I started by trying my hand at making bread, something I haven’t done since I was little.  I have these wonderful memories of making cinnamon raisin bread every weekend with my mom – I always loved rolling up the dough to get that cinnamon-y swirl. I was reminded of this when I saw cinnamon raisin bread on Pete Bakes.  I also really wanted to try this honey whole wheat bread that I found on Prudence Pennywise (which I think is just the most adorable blog – I love the music!), so I decided to adapt that recipe and add the raisins.

Overall, the bread-making adventure was a success.  My bread came out a little bit underdone and heavy, even though I baked it about 10 minutes longer than suggested.  I think if I had let it rise a little longer that might have done the trick. I made 5 mini loafs and one normal sized loaf.  I put a few in the freezer and the rest is being rapidly demolished by my family members. I loved the whole wheat taste with the cinnamon!

Honey Whole Wheat Bread

Adapted from Prudence Pennywise and Pete Bakes
3 cups warm water
1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
1/2 cup honey
scant Tablespoon coarse kosher salt or 1/2 t. fine salt
6 cups whole wheat flour

3/4 cup very warm water
3 Tablespoons yeast
1/2 teaspoon sugar

2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups white, all-purpose flour
1 cup raisins

1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbs. cinnamon
Water
Additional raisins if desired

2-3 Tbs. butter, melted

Mix water, oil, honey, salt and 6 cups whole wheat flour together using a stand mixer with a dough hook.  I did it the old fashioned way – by hand.

Meanwhile, proof the yeast with the very warm water and sugar.  Once proofed, add to bread mixture along with the 2 cups whole wheat flour and 2 cups white flour.  Mix on low or medium to incorporate, then on high for 10 minutes, or until dough is smooth and elastic. Fold in the raisins.

Turn out into bowl sprayed with cooking spray and allow to rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine the cinnamon and 1/2 cup sugar in a bowl. After dough has risen, punch down dough  and separate into loaves. (I made 5 small loaves and 1 normal one). Roll out dough out onto a very lightly floured surface so that it is twice as long as wide.  For each loaf, sprinkle some water on the dough, add additional raisins if desired (I like having some along the swirl), and then cover with a layer of cinnamon sugar.
Roll up the dough from the short side and pinch the ends together.  Place in greased and floured loaf pan. Allow to rise for at least 45 minutes more. Brush melted butter on the top of each loaf. Bake in 350 oven for 30-45 minutes, until bread is golden brown. To avoid a hard crust, place a shallow pan of water in the bottom of your oven while baking.
Remove from oven.  Let cool in pans for a few minutes, and then turn out onto a cooling rack. Delicious toasted with a little butter, and extra loaves can also be frozen for later use.
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