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  Somehow bread just doesn’t go out of date.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


9 Comments

BBB ~ CHAPATIS, AKA ROTIS (INDIAN FLATBREAD)

I guess I really PQ’d Elizabeth’s interest when I said I was slightly embarrassed to say what I put on my Chapatis.   Elizabeth is our Kitchen of the Month (KOM), and she’s done a totally wonderful video of making these chapatis, don’t miss it.  BUT she’s terribly worried that I may have Americanized my Chapatis by submerging them in ketchup with either a hotdog or scrambled eggs. I smiled then laughed when she took a poll for the babes to guess what I might have done to my chapatis.  I kept pretty quiet.  I didn’t put any ketchup or hotdog or egg on any of them.  Promise

Blank Slate: what shall I wear today?

Blank Slate: what shall I wear today?

In the early mists of time when I started cooking, one of my favorite cookbooks was “Diet for a Small Planet” (see told you it was long ago).  In that little book was a recipe for Plaka Paneer.  I made it … but not the chapatis to go with it. If only I’d had this recipe and Elizabeth’s super video, I’d have been authentic!  Even back then when our two boys were fairly little, 4 and 7, they enjoyed the Plaka Paneer and I made it often.  It’s time again but it must wait as we’ll be traveling again and the fridge must be cleaned out and left empty.
These seemed intimidating, hot griddle, sliding them onto a wire rack over a hot burner … and the big question … will they puff!?  Elizabeth’s “After struggling for months trying to make these…Do not get disheartened […] you will improve with practice.”  Yes, I was intimidated.
Let me tell you, these little puppies puffed right up on my dry crepe pan like I actually knew what I was doing and had made these for decades.  I squealed, I did a little jig. I went to town: roll out a disk, drop it on the crepe pan, turn and start the next disk rolling out, flip the one on the medium hot pan, finish the roll out on the one on the counter, turn and … PUFF, wow aren’t you a beauty … This is not hard. This has a lovely rhythm and a beat.
Funny thing was you could pick up a chapatis and it would start deflating, drop it on that wire rack and bingo it would puff all over again. As Aparna calls it “phulka”, all puffed up. Magic.
You will note: I reversed the all purpose and whole wheat amounts to use more whole wheat. I’m just trying to eat less refined flour. Also I used bread flour in place of the all purpose as I was out of AP.  OH, and I was out of flax, so no flax in this batch but next time there will be.
This was easy and they are wonderful. I don’t want to improve with practice, these were just perfect.  I can only hope this wasn’t beginners luck.  Many thanks Elizabeth.  My few comments below in italics.

CHAPATIS, AKA ROTIS  (INDIAN FLATBREAD)

IMG_7869Recipe By: based on “Flat Wholewheat Bread – Roti” in A Taste of India by Madhur Jaffrey
Yield: 8

157 grams whole wheat flour, 1 cup
77 grams bread flour, 1/2 cup
1 teaspoon salt
up to 1 c. just-boiled water, I had to add about 1 extra teaspoon

1. In a bowl, mix flours and salt. Add hot water gradually, stirring with a fork

Awesome mixing fork!

Awesome mixing fork!

until you have a soft dough. The amount of water will vary drastically depending on air temperature and humidity. You just have to play with it. You are aiming for dough that resembles silly putty.  Silly putty: This is the kind of word(s) that I think are so helpful when trying new recipes making bread! At least for me, silly putty really communicates because I know what it feels like from experience.
Using as little extra flour as possible, knead on a board or in the air for 10 minutes until the dough is soft and silky.
Put the dough back in the bowl. Cover with a damp cloth or plate and let sit on the counter for 30 minutes to one hour.

IMG_7868

2. Put the tava on medium heat. Do not oil it. Put the wire rack on another burner at the highest heat possible.   Tava: I love the special tool, oh you know I do … but I also love multipurpose tools.  I was tickled to find another wonderful use for my cast iron crepe pan.  Now, my crepe pan can do crepes, pancakes, socca, and chapatis!

Cut the dough into 8 equal pieces.  It seems to me, these could be made smaller and used for little bites/appetizers.   Lightly flour each one and put 7 pieces back in the bowl. Cover the bowl. Form the piece of dough into a ball and flatten it. Roll it out into a round till it is quite thin but not too thin (this is again is one of those infuriating things where you will just have to practice to find out what thinness works best for you) – about 2 mm?? As you roll out the dough, make sure it is not sticking to the board and that there are no holes. Keep the rolling pin lightly dusted with as little flour as possible and the board the same way.

Steam. Oh, och! I'm wrinkled!

Steam. Oh, och! I’m wrinkled!

3. Place the round of dough on the hot tava (griddle). As soon as you see little bubbles form, turn it over using tongs.

Now I'm blemished ... sigh ... what a fate.

Now I’m blemished … sigh … what a fate.

  As soon as there are little bubbles on the reverse side, lift the bread off the tava with the tongs and place it on the wire rack. It should puff up. Turn it over once or twice to ensure that it puffs up completely.

Ah, Cooks that blemish right out!

Ah, Cooks that blemish right out!

  Don’t be worried to see a few dark brown spots on it. (If you are lucky enough to have a gas stove, you can hold the bread directly over the flame.)

I'm a puffer! HooRay for me!!

I’m a puffer!
HooRay for me!!

4. Put the finished bread into a pot and cover it with a lid. Keep it in a warm oven. Roll out the next piece of dough and repeat til you have 8 rotis. As you put a new roti on the stack, turn the finished rotis over to keep the bottom ones from getting wet.
Elizabeth serves this bread with green chili omelettes or Palak Paneer (spinach and cheese).

What to put on them? Palak Paneer would have been ideal.

Oh, no, no. I need more, something fancy ...

Oh, no, no. I need more, something fancy …

I don’t think I Americanized them, I Italianized them with pepperoni and cheese 😉

Yeah, like a little bit of roasted butternut and onion!

Yeah, like a little bit of roasted butternut and onion!

Oh, my yes, just a touch of cheese!  I'm ready for the party.  And not a blemish in sight.

Oh, my yes, just a touch of cheese! I’m ready for the party. And not a blemish in sight.

Just for a snack don’t you know.

OK, just salted butter for this one.

OK, just salted butter for this one.

One I had plain with just butter; mighty fine indeed.
One I had with just a strip of bacon …

Now, How will you dress your Chapatis?  Get your self belly up to that stove and bake ’em some Chapatis.  Elizabeth our KOM will have one of Lein’s super-dupper badges for you and get you into the round up at the end of this month.  Check out her web site for details.

Walks to the beach can be a challenge these days but totally fun ... if you can remain upright.

Walks to the beach can be a challenge these days but totally fun … if you can remain upright.