Wednesday, July 15, 2009

BBA Challenge #9: Cinnamon Raisin Bread

Somehow, when you start baking bread, you end up having to give most of it away to keep yourself sane and/or thin. However, once you start to do that, people's eyes get all wide and they want more.

I made this bread on 4 July, just before a company picnic, so I was under a bit of time pressure, so I decided to skip the cinnamon swirl on the loaf. Oh, by the way, this post is brought to you by the letters, B, B and A from The Bread Baker's Apprentice Challenge.

For some reason, Germans prefer their shortening in 1kg bars. They're huge and look like a stick of butter for giants. Fortunately, I found this "small" cube weighing in at 250g. I now realize that Kokosfett, which is Coconut fat, might not match the profile of shortening, but it's in the same section, and behaves the same way. In any case, the package says "Reines Pflanzenfett ungehartet" which means "Pure plant fat, unhardened" which is close enough!

I actually wasn't really into this bread, plus I was under time pressure, so I think I might have rushed through it. Okay, okay, I definitely rushed through it. I did a dry ingredients plus wet ingredients mixture as I would with a cake or quick bread. Here are the dry ingredients.

And the wet ones on the left. All I did was mix them together.

Into the DLX they went.

One of the niftiest functions of the Electrolux Assistent AKM4110W/N26/DLX is that it has a built-in timer. Here, I set the timer for six minutes and 33% power. I very rarely go above 50% power, but it's not because the machine can't handle it. Believe you me, the machine can beat around dough at 100% power, no problem. The thing is, at 100% the bowl is spinning so fast it's actually quite frightening.

I used 25% dried cranberries in the recipe and 75% raisins. Unfortunately, the raisins overpowered the whole loaf and the cranberries were nowhere to be found.

Into the mixer they go. When adding dried fruit, the DLX usually takes about 2 minutes at 33% power to mix everything in, and an additional minute to mix everything in evenly. However, whenever I put walnuts in, the dough gets stuck, and I have to move the arm back and forth and back and forth in order to get them to even enter the dough.

I usually let dough rise in the DLX bowl. I take off the scraper and roller and then cover with a moist kitchen towel. Here is the bread after the rise.

And the bread after the shaping. Because I give away most of the bread, I try to make two of them. In this case, the loaf on the left was for Amy's colleagues, and the rolls on the right were for Amy and myself. I don't remember if I didn't feel like doing the cinnamon swirl in the middle or if I just decided to omit it for no reason.

Forgive me, I totally forgot about brushing the butter on the warm bread as it came out. I did love the way the loaf looked, all gnarled up.

Here's a peek at the bottom. Even though the loaf wasn't brown or anything, it was still pretty dark. Maybe because I used Type 1050 flour, the darkest before going to Whole Wheat.

And here are the rolls. Many people in the Challenge actually make rolls out of the breads, so I decided to give it a shot.

Because the loaf was a gift, I could only get a shot of the crumb from the rolls.

Still, the bread smelled divine coming out of the oven. On the weekends, I occasionally forget to eat because I don't have the structure of a workday. On this day, I was going to a BBQ after baking, so I was saving my hunger. However, the smell of the bread got to me and I was unable to resist. As soon as the rolls came out of the oven. Correction- as soon as the rolls came out of the oven and had been phorographed, I tore one off and shoved it into my mouth.

I suppose I'm just used to raisin bread being sweeter, but I was not so impressed by this one. Perhaps it's because we did Cinnamon Rolls the week before that I skipped the cinnamon sugar.

But looking at other people's loaves makes me think it was a huge mistake! I'll probably have to re-do this one "the right way" as soon as I get the chance.

The next post will be a Ciabatta Redux, followed by the Corn( )bread and then the Cranberry Walnut Celebration Bread that fell over. See:

Until soon!


  1. Your creations are great. :) I so love rolls.

  2. Oh yeah, with the cinnamon swirl and the cinnamon-sugar topping it's amazing! I loved this bread. Do try it again. Your loaf and rolls look great.

  3. Very pretty! I'll have to try it again soon with rolls this time. I highly recommend the buttery-cinnamon-sugar topping. We liked it so much I went back and dusted the second loaf a second time with sugar! (I bad for you.)

    Can't wait to see how your second ciabatta turns out...

  4. Loved the post and pictures. Excellent looking bread. Awesome job!

  5. Hi Daniel,
    Thanks for my morning laugh. I loved your opening sentence - so true!! Although even with giving it away I am not sane or thin.

    I'm curious to know if you could taste the coconut in the final bread. I loved the "stick of butter for giants!!"

    I am envious of your mixer. Quite the beast. Can you do bagel dough in it? It seems that I am making bagels every week for all the company I am having this summer at the cotage.

    Loved your post and pics.

  6. Love all of the pics and explanations. Did made it tonight and the swirl in the middle and the cinnamon topping really brings flavor and sugar. It was delicious.

  7. Thanks everyone for the kind words. I actually could not taste the coconut in the bread. I'll taste a piece of the Kokosfett to see if it tastes like anything.

    And yes, I did do Bagel dough in the machine. It went and went for like 15 minutes straight and only got a bit hot. I never did get a windowpane, as the dough kept tearing, but the bagels came out great. The post is somewhere in the blog.

    I am definitely making it again with the swirl AND the sugar top!

  8. I thought too that I would have liked the bread a little bit sweeter. The next day it was really good toasted with butter.