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Friday, February 25, 2011

Cinnamon Raisin Explosion

Yes - ANOTHER recipe post.

I know...this blog has started to seem more like a cooking blog rather than a travel blog - but hang in there. We are off to Barcelona in a few weeks and Vietnam after that, so you'll be able to feast your eyes on tons of scenic pictures then.

But since its cold and gray and rainy in London this time of year (actually, I'm still waiting for a time of year when it ISN'T like that...) I prefer to hunker down inside where its warm and dry, and bake to my little hearts content.

On Sunday - I tackled bread.  Not quick bread (though I do love a good banana nut or pumpkin loaf) - real, yeast bread.

The last time I made a yeast bread I was in my early teens.

Why I was making bread in my early teens I have no idea - I had the baking bug early I guess.

Needless to say, that was some time ago.

I haven't really had much urge to bake yeast bread. The bread I get from the store is just fine, and since it's just the two of us in the house we usually don't even finish a whole loaf in one week.

But there was one bread recipe that kept catching my eye...luring me in. It's by Martha Stewart in her Baking Handbook cookbook (shout out to Maggs for buying me this cookbook some years back - it is a staple in my kitchen, and it has the cookie stains to prove it!).  It was this photo that inspired me, every time I opened that cookbook....

nom nom nom
I was worried that I would have a hard time making the bread since I don't have a Kitchenaid stand mixer *cough, christmas present, cough* - I wasn't sure if my hand mixer would be up for the task.  However, once I got in there I was pleasantly surprised! I didn't have that much of a struggle at all, and apart from a little extra elbow grease, the dough was ready!

And that's when I remembered how long yeast bread takes to make...two sessions of rising for almost 2 hours each, another hour of rising after the bread was rolled and in the hour in the oven...took me all the way to late afternoon. I was hungry!

This is what greeted me in the oven after 45 minutes of baking. Apparently I didn't seal the seams very well on the loaf to the left, as you can see there was an explosion of cinnamon doughy goodness spilling over the sides of the pan (thank god I put them on a baking tray!).  I didn't want that part to burn or spill out any more so I tore it off and put these babies back in the oven for another 20 minutes to finish up.

What happened to those cinnamony doughy goodness bits I have no idea...

....they might have ended up inside my belly.

But I can't remember - I was in heaven.

Of course I completely forgot to take a picture of the inside of the bread, so you could see the beautiful swirl of cinnamon and raisins. Just refer back to Martha's photo above.

Ok, it didn't look THAT was more like a big cinnamon blob in the middle of the bread.

But maybe that is actually better...?

Take that, Martha!


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