shala_beads (shala_beads) wrote,

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New Kindle and Cinnamon-Raisin Bread Recipe

I'm in serious gadget lust over the new Kindle. I was able to avoid the serious whining "BUT I WANT ONE" when Alaska wasn't in the coverage area, but now Anchorage is. So.. "WANT!!!" Really seriously super muchly. Mike asked me if I thought I'd really use it, and I pointed out the joy of having less hard copy books being bought monthly. Since they let you re-download books you've bought, I can delete, then redownload a book if I want to re-read it. Plus.. I admit it.. a huge part of it is my love of sci-fi. See, I always loved the idea of automatically downloading a daily newspaper to read and having it not take up the space of laptop. I'm sort of overly impressed with how many things which were science fiction 20-30 years ago are now a part of every day life. And I want a Kindle.

This is going to have a lot of possible substitutions, it's a basic bread recipe but adapted for cinnamon raisin bread with instructions. To make 2 loaves. Plain recipe follows the instruction and editorialized version.
In a big bowl, preferably not metal. I use a big glass bowl.
1/4 cup warm water (about like a warm but not hot shower)
3 Tablespoons of sugar
2 packets of yeast= 4 1/2 teaspoons, 4 teaspoons works just fine. Yeast is alive and multiplies.
Mix sugar and water, and sprinkle yeast over the top.
Let set for 10 minutes, at the end of that time, the yeast should be foamy. This is called proofing the yeast, and it shows it's alive and viable. Since I keep jarred yeast in my fridge instead of using packets, I *never* skip this step.

2 cups of milk, scalded then cooled. This is another step with a couple different options. I'm not a big fan of using more pans than I have to, and it's way too easy to burn milk, so if I'm using regular milk, I put 1 cup of milk, and the butter in a microwave safe container (actually, my pyrex 2 cup measuring cup. I love my Pyrex 2 cup measuring cup) for 1 minute, and then I pour cold milk over it to bring it to warm. If I'm using powdered milk, I just put in my water at a warm temperature. I know, the instructions on the box are for mixing more than 2 cups. Just figure 1/3 cup dry milk to 1 cup water. I use powdered milk almost exclusively for my baking, it costs a lot less than fresh milk and tastes the same in baking.*
1/2 cup butter- melted
1/2 cup honey OR molasses OR brown sugar OR maple sugar OR maple syrup, or a combination, and this amount can be varied to taste or by health restrictions. Using this much will make a sweeter loaf.
1 teaspoon salt
3 Tablespoons cinnamon, can also be varied by taste. I like a lot of cinnamon. Not everyone does.
7-8 cups flour- This can be all white unbleached flour or a mix of white and whole wheat. I like the flavor of whole wheat, but it's sticky to work with, so I usually work with half and half if I want wheat flavor.

Pour the milk over the yeast, and add in the butter, stir in the sweetening, salt, cinnamon, and 3 cups of flour. It will be a sticky gloppy mess as you stir it, get it all incorporated, and start adding in more flour a half cup at a time until you can't stir in anymore. Then dip your hands in the flour, and start kneading the flour. Some people turn it out on a surface to knead it, I use a fairly big bowl, and can knead in the bowl so it's not as messy. If you turn it out to knead it, flour your kneading surface to keep it from sticking, and keep adding in 1/2 cup of flour at a time until you can't add more. This is the hard part of bread baking, judging when it's right, but you'll get a feel for it, it's better to be a little under than to go over. You'll use 7 cups, you might need 7 1/4 cups for it to be just right, you might need 8, it depends on humidity. Keep kneading until the dough becomes smooth and elastic, it will fold easily and push down easily without crumbling apart or tearing, and the surface will be smoother then it was to start. Lightly butter or oil the ball of dough, and cover your bowl with a clean kitchen towel or a large plate and set somewhere warm to rise for 1 hour. Butter or grease your bread pans. I use standard loaf pans.
1- 1 1/2 cups raisins or chopped dried fruit of choice really.
Go back, and check your dough in an hour. To see if it's doubled, push a clean finger into the dough. If the indentation stays, it's doubled. Punch it down, or let your kid do it. E LOVES punching down the dough. She punches it right in the middle, then punches down the side. I usually just punch down the middle, then knead it together and knead in your raisins.
Melt 1/4 cup of butter
Turn out your dough on a clean surface. If you a pastry mat or silpat, that's perfect. Divide the dough into two, and roll out rectangles about 9 inches wide, and 18 inches long. Spread tops of both rectangles with butter, and sprinkle on some cinnamon sugar. Well.. I didn't put the "recipe" for cinnamon sugar because we keep a salt shaker full of it mixed to our tastes for cinnamon toast. Roll both rectangles from short side to short side, and pinch the seam closed, put seam side down in loaf pans, and butter the tops of the loaves, cover and let rise 45 minutes.
Pre-heat oven to 425°F and move your rack low enough the tops of the loaves are in about the middle of the oven. Bake loaves for 35-40 minutes. The tops will be browned or golden if you used all white flour and it will have a hollow sound when you tap it with a spoon.

Recipe can be halved, but why would you want to?

Cinnamon Raisin Bread Recipe
1/4 cup warm water
3 Tablespoons of sugar
2 packets of yeast= 4 1/2 teaspoons, 4 teaspoons works just fine.
Mix sugar and water, and sprinkle yeast over the top to proof the yeast.

2 cups warm milk
1/2 cup butter melted + 1/4 cup melted butter for later
1/2 cup honey OR molasses OR brown sugar OR maple sugar OR maple syrup, or a combination
1 teaspoon salt
3 Tablespoons cinnamon
7-8 cups flour
1-1 1/2 cups raisins
cinnamon sugar

Mix milk and 1/2 cup butter into yeast mixture, and stir in sweetener, salt, and cinnamon. Add in 3 cups of flour, and stir until mixed, then add in flour a half cup at a time until you can't stir it. Knead in flour a half cup at a time by hand until you can't mix more in. Knead until smooth and elastic. Butter or oil ball of dough and set in a covered bowl to rise for 1 hour or until doubled.
Grease 2 loaf pans and set aside.
After dough has risen, punch it down, and knead in raisins.Divide dough in half. Roll out into two rectangles about 9x18 inches, and spread tops of rectangles with melted butter, and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, roll tightly from short end to short end into a loaf shape and pinch seam closed. Set seam side down in loaf pans. Butter tops of loaves, and cover and let rise 45 minutes. 15 minutes before the end of the 45 minutes, preheat oven to 425°F. After it's done rising the second time, put into the oven for 35-40 minutes, until golden brown and when it sounds hollow when tapped with a spoon.
Wonderful topped with cream cheese.

*And at least a couple times a year, a few boxes get damaged in transport so I can get it 50% off the regular price. I watch for it and buy it when it hits that price. It's shelf stable, so it's worth the cost. I also use it in soups and casseroles where milk is called for.
Tags: bread, cooking, recipes
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