Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Homemade Cinnamon Raisin Bread

Who doesn't love the smell of fresh bread? 
Even better, a slice of fresh bread with butter?!

All recipes are created by Jenna unless stated otherwise! I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

There is nothing better than a homemade loaf of bread right out of the oven. The aroma that fills your kitchen suddenly transforms your house into a home. Baking bread on a crisp fall or winter day is seriously one of my favorite things to do! It is relaxing and comforting...even the process of baking bread warms you up on those cold days. Disclaimer: I live in days are really not that cold but it is all relevant...right?

Below is my recipe for Cinnamon Raisin Bread. I enjoy it toasted and with my coffee in the mornings but I also think it could be a great addition to your Thanksgiving or any of your upcoming holiday dinners.

Makes 1 Loaf (serves about 10)
Prep-Time: 1 hour (not counting rise time)
Rise Time: 3+ hours 
Bake-Time: 40 minute 
Cool-Time: 1 hour (if you can wait that long)

What you will need:

1 1/4 cups warm water; it is important it is not boiling
1/2 tbsp active dry yeast
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp salt (my mom doesn't eat salt and I limit my intake so I have made this recipe without salt and it is still good, however, if you are not used to the absence of salt I highly suggest not skipping this step)
2 tbsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp raw sugar
1 cup raisins (if you want more go for it)
1/3 cup sweetened shredded coconut 
1/2 cup skim milk (warm for 20 seconds just so it is not cold from the refrigerator when added into the ingredients) 
5 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (don’t be afraid to keep adding if the dough is too sticky)

Let's get started: 

1) In a large bowl (I use our Kitchen Aid) sprinkle the yeast over the warm water. Let the yeast sit for about a minute. 

2) On low beat in the oil, salt, cinnamon, sugar and milk. I use the whisk attachment for this step and let it all mix up for about a minute. You do not want or need to over beat your yeast. 

3) At this point in the process I switch to using my dough hook attachment on my kitchen aid (pictured below). Slowly add in the flour one cup at a time. In betweens cups add in small amounts of raisins and the coconut so that when you finish adding in the flour everything is already mixing in. 

4) If the dough is too sticky you can slowly add in more flour. Once the dough appears to be too thick to mix with tools start to beat/knead it with your hands. Continue to slowly add flour if it is sticking to your hands.

5) Once you have worked the dough (about 2-5 minutes by hand) you will set it aside to let it rise.

6) Cover the dough with a clean damp cloth and place in a warm or sunny place for a minimum of 3 hours. The dough should double in bulk.

7) When you are ready to bake the bread preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

8) Knead the dough one more time (add flour if it is sticky) to get rid of any air pockets.

9) Now, it is ready to bake. I just plop my loaf on a baking sheet but if you prefer you can shape yours at this point or put it in a loaf pan. 

10) Bake for 40 minutes on the middle rack and enjoy the aroma that is starting to fill your home.

11) Let bread cool for about an hour. This is hard to do so don't beat yourself up if you cut into it a bit early...I know I usually do.

Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!



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