Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Cinnamon-Raisin Swirl Bread

An easy way to make a basic loaf of bread impressive is to add a surprise inside - a swirl of cinnamon, here, in cinnamon raisin bread:

This is the same recipe as in my previous post on Cinnamon-Raisin Bread, From "The Breadbaker's Apprentice." The recipe does include complete instructions for a cinnamon swirl, and something like this could easily be added to, say, plain white bread in the form of cheese, or maybe a grainy bread, in the form of nuts and extra grains. 

This bread has two extra components to it - the swirl, and the raisins. The raisins themselves take a lot of extra kneading, and this is kneading that shouldn't be done by machine (I should add, though, that I knead all of my bread by hand). Here is the dough when I started to add the raisins, bit by bit. You can see that there are a large number of raisins still to be added:

And here is the dough once the raisins are incorporated, ready for the first rise:

After that rise, the amount of raisins in the dough doesn't seem nearly so daunting, and if you work them in well enough, they remain well-distributed while the dough is bulking up around them:

The last step before a final rise and baking is to shape the dough. This batch is split in two, rolled out, and then heavily sprinkled with a cinnamon sugar mixture:

Then, taking advantage of how a regular loaf of bread is formed, the dough is rolled into a log:

Placed in the pans for a final rise:

And after they crest above the tops of the pans, baked!

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