MyKitchenInHalfCups

Once Upon a time: Cooking … Baking … Traveling … Laughing …


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BBB ~ Cinnamon Raisin Struan Bread, the Babes will Swirl with this one!

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  Somehow bread just doesn’t go out of date.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.

IMG_1924

Rising …

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

SWIRL

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.

Oatmeal Twists with rainbow


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Mystery of the Twisting Oatmeal

The best mysteries have twists and double crosses … bread can too.

Oatmeal Twists with rainbow

Oatmeal Twists with rainbow

In my world there are two kinds of bread bakers: there are those of us who sweat blood over the details, follow the recipe to the fourth even fifth decimal point, take the temperature of the dough, obsess over the exact ingredients. And then there are … well, the rest of us. We can’t read and when we do, we often decide to not read a detail with “I think I didn’t see that.” Technically speaking then their’s a continum between both those extremes. If I were to peg myself, I say I’m a “slider”. There have/are times when I actually follow the recipe. Then there are other times when I follow a recipe … except I play with ingredients. Other times I start the recipe and everything under the sun seems to conspire to go change things around.

Oatmeal Twists with rainbow

Oatmeal Twists with rainbow

First Mystery: Who’s Kitchen of the Month?

Kitchen of the Month is Elle from Feeding My Enthusiasms.

Now, this kitchen table is a very wild place where there are Babes without rules there’s bound to be wildness. There was some twisting, I’m not sure there may have been some hoola hoops involved but I’m sure there was and is and always will be wonderful bread where ever the Babes gather. Elle has us twisting a very happy twist!

Second Mystery: Where’d she find the recipe?

Farine (that’s the name of her blog too)

Farine called these Morning Cuddles. They do have lots of lovely oatmeal in them so I can see why you can enjoy them for breakfast! I enjoyed them for breakfast lunch and dinner. Thank you Farine!

I baked this one twice. First baking … was gone in two days, I shared only 6 with a neighbor – this recipe makes a lot. Second baking … thanks to a freezer, I’m sharing them with my sister and Dad visiting. The second time I baked these I used the refrigerator to retard the dough overnight and baked them in the morning and enjoyed them with a great salad for lunch.

One of my favorite things about these was the walnut dust used for topping. Don’t think that you have to use any one nut. I think just about any nut you enjoy will be wonderful with these, I’m thinking peanuts, then I’m thinking hazelnuts. Babes used savory to sweet on these. I really enjoyed the walnut and salty dust. Still I realize that the options are endless and I don’t just mean the nut ingredient and I really need to give these a big ingredient twist next time I’m baking.

One ingredient I won’t twist is the oatmeal and the coarse grinding. It gave the dough a wonderful nobby texture on my hands that I enjoyed; some might not enjoy such but I found it fun and different.

Oatmeal Twists

Recipe By: Pat: based on Farine’s Morning Cuddles
Yield: 8 to 18. Make smaller sizes for snacks or appetizers. Make them bigger for a sandwich bun.

Farine of the blog Farine made the cutest breads and called them Morning Cuddles. Elle twisted Farine’s recipe and added buttermilk and some butter. I think Farine’s original idea with these for breakfast comes from all the wonderful oatmeal in them and indeed they are a really nice breakfast roll.

Starter/Poolish

700 g sourdough starter
OR Poolish, just not both
350 g all-purpose flour
350 g water
2 teaspoons yeast
Dough
320 g all-purpose flour
230 g whole wheat flour, used organic
1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
115 g rolled oats, coarsely ground in a food processor
15 g salt
1 1/4 cup water – I used potato water, 300 grams
1/4 cup buttermilk, 64 grams
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled – 56 grams
100 g pecans – I used walnuts, chopped – 1 cup

1. If mixing and using Poolish – without sourdough starter – Sit 3 hours on counter, stir down, cover and put in fridge overnight.

First Rise

First Rise

Rising

Rising

Rising Finished - pop the top

Rising Finished – pop the top

2. After overnight in the fridge: Mix the flours together with the yeast, oats and salt. Stir the water, buttermilk and butter into the starter. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the starter mixture until a soft dough forms. Let sit 10 minutes. Turn out onto a lightly floured board and knead in additional flour if needed until dough is tacky but not sticky.

3. Knead in the walnuts.  Here’s my caution on the nuts:  If you leave them too big, they tear the dough when you roll it into the snakes to twist.  Just pinch it back together and/or chop your nuts a little finer. Shape into a ball and put dough ball into oiled rising bowl or container, turning dough to coat with the oil. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk. This might take 2 hours or 6. (Also fine to cover and let sit overnight in the fridge, then let rise until doubled on the counter the next day.) I did it both ways.

4. When dough has doubled, turn out onto lightly floured board. Shape into a log and cut into two pieces. Return one piece of the dough to the rising bowl and cover.

5. Shape the second piece of dough on the board into a log and cut into 8 pieces, each about 100 g. Cut each piece in half and shape each piece into a snake and twist two pieces together a a time or two, then place twist on a parchment or silicone mat lined baking sheet.

Twisted and rising

Twisted and rising

6. Repeat with remaining 7 (100 g) pieces. You will have eight twists. Take the remaining large (about 800 g) piece of dough and repeat the shaping into a log, cutting into 8 pieces, cutting those in half and shaping into twists. You will finish with 16 twists set out on parchment or silicon mat covered baking sheets. Cover twists and let rise until doubled in bulk. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F when twists are almost doubled.

7. Uncover, glaze with buttermilk with clean pastry brush. If desired sprinkle with finely chopped pecans, or preferred seeds or with sea salt.  I tried one without glazing with the buttermilk – seemed infinitely better with the buttermilk glaze.

8. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. If browning too rapidly, turn down the oven temperature. Turn the pans back to front and bake another 10 – 15 minutes or until breads are 180 degrees inside. Cool on a rack then serve.

9. Variations: When you knead in the pecans you can knead in dried fruit like dried cranberries or diced prunes, apricots or dates to make a breakfast twist. If you prefer savory you can knead in herbs and/or Parmesan cheese and/or seeds. This bread loves to have you make your own combinations, so other nuts can also be used in place of the pecans or with them. I made my second batch without any nuts, seeds, fruit or herbs and they were yummy, too.

BBB logo June 2012

BBB logo June 2012

So I’d call myself a “slider”. What kind of a baker are you? Bake this bread with us and become a Bread Baking Buddy and tell us. Bake the bread, take some photos, blog (or not), send your link and photos to Kitchen of the Month – Elle of Feeding My Enthusiasms – and if you can do that by the 29th, Elle will have you in the round up!

YeastSpotting!  What is it?  Find out here.