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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Cinnamon Raisin Bread

This is another gem from Peter Reinhart's Whole Grain Breads.  I don't know how many ways I can express my love for this book, and the recipes therein, but this one has me singing its praises again!  I was pleasantly surprised by how much I loved the chopped walnuts and pecans (I did a mix of both) worked into the dough.  They add a nice bite to an other wise soft dough. I could see after the fact that I should have used every last bit of the cinnamon/sugar mixture in the swirl, as mine is not terribly pronounced.


I think it ended up being a bit too cold in my house, and the bread didn't rise well after rolling into shape.  I got impatient and just baked it anyway, but I think it would have looked a lot nicer had I let it rise appropriately.  I could also see, after the fact, that I should have used every last bit of the cinnamon/sugar mixture in the swirl, as mine is not terribly pronounced.  Any way you slice it, it tastes fantastic and I can't wait to make it again!

Cinnamon Raisin Bread
Source: Rewritten/Slightly adapted from Whole Grain Breads, by Peter Reinhart
Yield: 1 loaf

Day 1:

170 grams whole wheat flour
3/8 teaspoon (3 grams) salt
170 grams milk or yogurt
170 grams raisins

Mix all ingredients except raisins together in a bowl for about one minute, until all of the flour is hydrated and the ingredients form a ball of dough. Add raisins and knead with wet hands until incorporated.  Cover loosely with plastic wrap and leave at room temp for 12 to 24 hours. (If you need more time, place in refrigerator for up to 3 days, but leave at room temp 2 hours before continuing with bread).

170 grams whole wheat flour
1/4 teaspoon (1 gram) instant yeast
85 grams milk or yogurt, at room temperature (about 70 degrees F)
56.5 grams melted butter or vegetable oil
1 egg (47 grams), slightly beaten

Mix all the biga ingredients together in a bowl to form a ball of dough. With wet hands, knead dough in the bowl for 2 minutes to be sure all ingredients are evenly distributed and the flour is fully hydrated. The dough should be tacky. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes, then knead again with wet hands for one minute. The dough will be smoother but still tacky. Transfer to a clean bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 8 hours and up to 3 days.

Day 2:
Remove the biga from the fridge two hours before making the dough.

Final Dough:
All of the Soaker
All of the biga
7 tablespoons (56.5 grams) whole wheat flour
5/8 teaspoon (5 grams) salt
2 1/4 teaspoons (7 grams) instant yeast
28.5 grams honey or agave nectar
1/2 teaspoon (4 grams) plus 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided
85 grams chopped pecans or walnuts
3 Tablespoons sugar or sucanat

1. Chop the soaker and biga into 12 smaller pieces (sprinkle flour over pieces to prevent sticking).

2. By hand: combine biga and soaker into a large bowl with flour through honey, plus 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon.  Stir vigorously with a mixing spoon or knead with wet hands for about 2 minutes, until all ingredients are evenly integrated. Dough should be soft and slightly sticky, if not, add more flour or water as needed.

By stand mixer: combine biga and soaker with flour through honey, plus 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon into mixer bowl and mix on low speed for one minute with paddle (preferred) or hook. Switch to hook and mix on medium-low speed for 2-3 minutes until dough becomes cohesive and assimilated into each other. Add more flour or water as needed until the dough is soft and slightly sticky.

3. Dust a work surface with flour, the roll the dough in flour to coat. Sprinkle nuts on dough and knead by hand for 3 to 4 minutes, incorporating only as much flour as needed, until the dough feels soft and tacky, but not sticky. Form the dough into a ball and let it rest on the work surface for 5 minutes while you prepare a clean, lightly oiled bowl.

4. Resume kneading for 1 minutes to strengthen the gluten and make any final water/flour adjustments. Dough should have the strength to pass the windowpane test, but still be soft, supple, and very tacky. Form dough into a ball and place in prepared bowl, rolling to coat with oil. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature for approximately 45 to 60 minutes, until it is about 1.5 times its original size.

5. Dust work surface with 1 tablespoon of flour.  Transfer dough to work surface without tearing.  Roll into 8"x8" square that is 1/2" thick.  Mix 2 teaspoons cinnamon with 3 tablespoons sugar or sucanat and sprinkle mixture evenly on dough.  Roll dough into a tight loaf.  Place in a greased 4 1/2"x9" pan.  Mist the top of the loaf with cooking spray, then cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature for 45-60 minutes, until it is about 1.5 times its original size.

6. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Reduce the temperature to 325 degrees F, remove plastic wrap and place pan in oven on middle rack.  Bake for 20 minutes, then rotate the pan and continue baking 25 to 40 minutes more, until bread is golden brown on all sides and a thermometer inserted registers at least 195 degrees F. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack for at least one hour before serving.


Yudith said...

This looks great! ;-) I also made pink cupcakes to celebrate October as the Breast Cancer Awareness Month! Nice job.

Jen said...

This bread looks awesome. I just had some Cinnamon Raisin PB on my bagel this morning.

Anonymous said...

That looks SOOOOOOO delicious!! I love this version!

Rose said...

Oh my! This looks wonderful! I can just see the perfect texture of the bread. Delicious!

Erin said...

Awesome, and it's whole grain too!

Anonymous said...

I recently made Peter Reinhart's cinnamon raisin bread from Bread Baker's Apprentice and I had a similar issue with a weird rise. I can't wait to try this varation

Dolce said...

Your bread looks fantastic (and your picture does too, very bright and crisp)