Milkmaid's Recipe Box

FOOD, FOOD, FOOD! I'm such a FARMER at heart-- even a CALF knows that so much in life is about the FOOD! (A bit of a "bio" about me can be found way down near the bottom.)

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Saturday, November 12, 2011

Honey Cinnamon Raisin Bread

Give these a 'SCHMELL' and see what ya think!  I think it's fair to say this was a hit over deer hunting season when we had our son and his family visiting here from "out of State"... bread + toaster = YUM!!
Photo by Doris


1 and 1/2 cups milk
1 cup raisins

1 cup warm water with 1 teaspoon sugar in it (water must be between 110-115 degrees).
2 tablespoons active dry yeast

3 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 cup honey (If you don't have honey, use 1/2 cup white sugar)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, slightly melted
2 cups all-purpose white flour
2 cups 100% whole wheat flour (If you don't have this, use about 1 and 1/2 cups white flour in its place.)
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
4 or 5 MORE cups all-purpose white flour
2 tablespoons milk
1 cup packed brown sugar (You can use white sugar for this.)
2 more tablespoons cinnamon (For weaker cinnamon taste, use only 1 tablespoon)
Small amount of butter for buttering the tops of baked loaves

  • Warm the milk in a small sauce pan on the stove until you see little bubbles forming around the edge (stir occasionally).  Remove from heat and stir in the 1 cup of raisins so they can 'plump up' a bit while the milk cools to being just 'warm'.  When the milk is almost cooled down enough to being 'only warm', go to the next step...
  • Dissolve yeast in the warm water w/teaspoon of sugar and set aside until yeast is bubbly/frothy (about 10 minutes?).  Make sure the water is at the correct temperature or the yeast won't activate as well.
  • Mix in the slightly beaten eggs, honey, coconut oil (or butter), salt.
  • Stir in the cooled milk w/raisins.
  • Add the flour gradually-- using my Kitchen Aid mixer with the paddle attachment, I first add 2 cups of white flour; the first tablespoon of cinnamon; then, 2 cups of whole wheat flour.  At this point, like I remember my mother suggesting, I let everything 'rest' for about 10 minutes to allow gluten to form.
  • Finish with adding the rest of the white flour until you have a kneadable dough.  Sometimes, and I don't know why it isn't always the same, I will end up using a TOTAL of 2 cups wheat flour and 7 cups white flour (counting the amount I use on the table for the final kneading period).
  • But!!, don't add so much flour that the dough is NOT sticky at all-- a totally NON-sticky dough will end up making a 'heavy' loaf of bread.  So, a little 'sticky' is a good thing!
  • Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for a few minutes (3-4?) until smooth.
  • Place kneaded dough ball in a large, buttered, mixing bowl and turn dough ball over to grease the underside of the dough.
  • Cover with a warm, damp cloth and let rise.  If you let it rise in an oven with just the oven light turned on, it seems the temperature says pretty much just 'right for it'.  Allow to rise until doubled, usually about 1 to 1.5 hours (check on the progress after 30 minutes and then as often as needed to prevent it from rising 'too much').
Now is a good time to prepare three 9x5-inch loaf pans.  I first grease the pans well and, per daughter Paula's suggestion, I cut a piece of parchment paper to just cover the bottom of the pan and grease that, also.
  • Roll risen dough out on a lightly (very lightly) floured surface and into a large rectangle, about 1/2-inch thick.  How long should the rectangle be?  I lined up my three 9x5-inch loaf pans next to the edge of the rectangle and made my roll as long as the 'line up'.  Roll up tightly (starting along the LONG edge), tucking as you roll.
  • Cut long roll into thirds, tuck ends under, pinching the long seam together to seal the goodness inside.
  • Place loaves into well greased/prepared 9x5-inch loaf pans, and lightly grease their tops.
  • Let rise in warm place (I put the pans back into the 'lighted' oven), uncovered, for almost an hour. When they have risen enough, I CAREFULLY take them out of the oven and turn the oven on.
  • Bake in PRE-heated oven at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until loaves are lightly browned and sound hollow when tapped on.  If you notice that the tops are browning too rapidly, you can rest a sheet of tin foil over the tops of all three loaves.
  • Remove from oven when done, and let cool on rack.
  • Take melted butter and spread on tops of loaves with pastry brush, or paper towel.
  • After a few minutes, remove bread from pans.  With that piece of parchment paper in the bottom of the pan, they always come out very easily for me.
  • Allow to cool before slicing.
  • Guard it, it DISAPPEAR!
If something about this recipe is NOT easy to understand, post a comment and I'll get back to you.

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