raisin cinnamon wheat bread
There is something simply beautiful about community. I believe we were built to thrive in relationship with one another, supporting and encouraging those around us through the often tempestuous seas of life. Our joys are never more exciting than those shared with a giggling best friend, and our sorrows rarely felt more true than moments spent sobbing with an empathetic lover. Relationships are designed to, in a sense, complete the equation.
This little blog has allowed me to become a part of a community of men and women who inspire me, challenge and humble me every day. I am thankful to have met many new people who breathe the same air as I do and seem to be cut from the same mold. Whether we have met in person, or only virtually, I am continually in awe of their strength, creativity and outlook on life. A group of us, whom have come to know one another through various ways, wanted a way to stay in touch while encouraging the craft we all hold so dear, so we concluded we would pick a cook book and do our best to cook through it together. The book we chose is a classic, most notably known for the famous yeasted waffles which lie within. The Breakfast Book by Marion Cunningham boasts 304 pages of breakfast nirvana. Recipes ranging from the standard omelette to custard filled cornbread (Aimee I can’t wait for that one!) keep you coming back to it’s wisdom every morning. Each of us have chosen one recipe from each chapter and will be regularly posting about our efforts. To me, this is more than just working through some undoubtedly exceptional book, it’s about building relationships with friends I have come to admire, and it’s about forming a community here, one in which I hope you will feel a deep connection to and a strong sense of being at home, among friends.
The first chapter of the book covers yeast breads. It’s a fitting place to start since bread is the foundation for so much of our diet. It’s a starting point, a building block we use to jump from. This particular recipe feels like a comfortable place to start for me. It’s familiar. Like many of you I’m sure, I have memories of raisin cinnamon bread with melted butter dripping between the cracks in the bread made by the cinnamon-sugar swirl. It evokes a feeling of family for me, which is exactly how I want this project to feel.
If you want to join us in our endeavors to cover the depths of this wonderful book, please feel free to purchase a copy of the book and cook along with us. Join in our conversation by commenting on our blogs, and be sure to check out the other amazing women involved in this project. Sammy, Aimee, Claudie, Emily and Natasha are all wonderful women, I know you’ll love every one of them.
raisin cinnamon wheat bread
adapted from The Breakfast Book by Marion Cunningham
makes two loaves
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 2 packages dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 2 cups warm water
- 1/2 cup nonfat dry milk
- 6 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 2 cups raisins (Marion suggest using 1 cup golden and 1 cup dark raisins if you have both)
- 3 cups all purpose flour, approximately
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- Put the 1/2 cup warm water, the yeast and the teaspoon of sugar into the work bowl of a mixer. Let stand 5 minutes.
- Add the next 7 ingredients (through the whole wheat flour) into the work bowl. Beat on medium high speed until the mixture is smooth. Add the raisins and the walnuts. Add 2 cups of the all purpose flour and mix. Continue to add flour a couple tablespoons at a time until you reach the consistency of a manageable dough (the dough should pull away from the sides of the mixing bowl, but should still be tacky to the touch). With the dough hook, knead the dough for roughly 15 seconds. Let the dough rest for a couple of minutes and then continue to knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic.
- Remove the dough from the work bowl and place in a large, oiled bowl. Shape the dough into a ball and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough sit until doubled in volume, about an 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
- Divide the dough in half. Pat each half into an 8 1/2 by 4 inch rectangle, with the long side facing you. Beginning with the long side, roll the dough away from you until you have a log. Place each log into a well oiled 8 1/2 by 4 1/2 inch loaf pan and cover loosely. Let the dough rise in the pan for another 45 minutes.
- Sprinkle each loaf with rolled oats and bake in a 375 degree oven until well browned and cooked through, about 45 minutes.