Sing Praises here to Pat “Feeding My Enthusiasms”, who went on a year end cookbook clean out of her book cases and found our bread this month in Sacramental Magic in a Small-Town Cafe by Br Peter Reinhart. Somehow bread just doesn’t go out of date.
Cinnamon Raisin Bread, you think you’ve enjoyed cinnamon raisin bread but this recipe has now taken top honors in our house. I’ve baked hundreds of cinnamon raisin bread loaves. When we sailed the Atlantic, I baked two loaves every other day. Two loaves of Oatmeal Bread from James Beard on Bread. One was a plain loaf and one was Cinnamon Raisin loaf. It was terrific bread but this recipe is terrific bread and is filled with whole grain health goodness.
In the past I’ve always made my Cinnamon Raisin Bread with the raisins in the swirl. Gorn and I both like this with the raisins mixed into the dough much better.
This makes three full sized loaves. You may think you shouldn’t make the full recipe … you’d be wrong if you think you wouldn’t be able to use all the bread … I don’t think you’ll be able to stop eating this bread. When I make this again I will try using 4 cups white whole wheat and 3 cups bread flour.
Cinnamon Raisin Struan Bread
4 cups high-gluten bread flour
3 cups whole wheat bread flour
1/2 cup uncooked polenta (coarse ground cornmeal)
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup wheat bran, used wheat germ
4 teaspoons salt
40 grams ground flax seed
3 tablespoons yeast
1/2 cup cooked brown rice
1/4 cup honey
3/4 cup buttermilk
3 cups water, should have stopped at 2 cups 2/3 had to use extra flour
3 cups raisins
1/2 cup cinnamon sugar (1 part cinnamon to 2 parts brown sugar)
4 tablespoons butter, softened
1. In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients, including the salt and yeast (unless you are using active dry yeast, which should be activated in warm water and added with the wet ingredients.)
2. Add the cooked rice, honey, and buttermilk and mix together. Then add 1 cup of water, reserving the rest to add as needed. With your hands, squeeze the ingredient together until they make a ball. Sprinkle some flour on the counter and turn the ball out of the bowl and begin kneading. Add small quantities of water as needed. *****Adding the full 1 1/2 cup of water was no where near enough. I added another full cup … and then another half. See 5.
3. Because Struan has so many whole grains, it takes longer to knead than most breads. Allow at least 15 minutes, but be prepared to knead for 20. The dough will change before your eyes, lightening in color, becoming gradually more elastic and evenly grained. The finished dough should be tacky, not sticky, lightly golden, stretchy and elastic, rather than porridge-like. When you push the heels of your hands into the dough it should give way but not tear. If it flakes or crumbles, add a little more water.
4. When the dough seems ready, add the raisins and knead for 2 more minutes, until the raisins are evenly distributed.
5. **** I added too much water too fast and had a VERY wet dough, too heavy and wet to kneed. So, after trying to kneed adding extra flour, I either pretended to be an expert bread maker or made an executive decision – I’ll let you decide – I switched to a lift and fold technique. I did a lift and fold four times.
6. Wash out the mixing bowl and dry it thoroughly. Put in the dough and cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap, or place the bowl inside a plastic bag. Allow the dough to rise in a warm place for about 1 hour, until it has roughly doubled in size.
7. Cut the dough into 3 equal pieces (or more if you want to make smaller loaves). With a rolling pin, roll out each piece into a rectangle. Sprinkle about 1 tablespoon of cinnamon sugar over the surface, spreading it evenly. ******I used about 3 tablespoons cinnamon sugar. I have used brown sugar to make cinnamon sugar for forever now because we both just like the extra caramel flavor.
From the bottom of the long side, roll up the dough into tight loaves, tucking and pinching the seams into one line on the bottom. Put the loaves, seam side down, in greased bread pans (for full-sized loaves your pan should be around 9 x 4 1/3 x 3 inches). Cover and allow the loaves to rise until doubled in size.
8. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. When the loaves have risen, cresting over the tops of the pans, place on the center shelf and bake for about 45 minutes. The loaves should be nicely domed and dark gold. The bottom and sides should be a uniform light gold and there should be an audible, hollow thwack when you tap the bottom of the loaf. If the loaves are not ready, remove them from the pans and place them back in the oven until done. They will bake quickly when removed from the pans.
9. When done, brush a little butter over the tops, then sprinkle with the remaining cinnamon sugar, coating each loaf with a layer of cinnamon crust.
***** I forgot the cinnamon sugar topping but would like to have done that.
Allow the breads to cool on wire racks for at least 40 minutes before slicing. This bread makes exceptional breakfast toast and French toast!
Bake. Bake Cinnamon Raisin Straun Bread. Tell the Kitchen of the Month, Pat at FeedingMyEnthusiasms! You’ll be thanking her for years to come. You know you want to Swirl.