The Challenge Bread
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="500" caption="Mmm...Delicious bread of nutty raisin-y goodness"][/caption]
This week, we're making Cinnamon Raisin Walnut Bread!
A Little History
There really isn't too much difference (in my mind) between this and the cinnamon rolls from last week. An enriched, delicious dough for sure!
Here's the list of the lightly better for you bread ingredients:
- Bread flour
- whole milk
- chopped walnuts
Corn/Dairy Free changes
Since the recipe calls for Shortening, the only thing I changed was Soy Milk for Whole Milk.
I combined the flour, sugar, salt, yeast, and the cinnamon in my mixer bowl. Once I satisfied the dry ingredients were combined sufficiently, I added the (slightly beaten) egg, shortening, milk and water to the mixing bowl. I let the mixer mix the dough for a few minutes, added the raisins and walnuts and kept mixing until it formed a nice ball.
I placed the dough on a floured board to being the kneading process. After about six minutes, I checked the dough to see if it would pass the window pane test, which it did. The internal temperature was about 76 degrees, which is close to the 77 minimum I'm looking for. I placed the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, covered it with plastic and let it sit for about 2 hours under a heat lamp (for added warmth on a cold day).
After a couple of hours, the dough had swelled to about twice the original size. I cut the dough into two equal pieces, and shaped them into loafs. I did this by flattening them out into rectangles and folding them lengthwise like a letter. I then rolled it back and forth to even it out. I placed the Shaped loaves into lightly oiled 9X5 loaf pans and let them rise for another hour, until they just Crested above the pans.
I preheated the oven to 350. I placed the loaves on the middle rack and baked them for 20 minutes. I rotated them 180 degrees and let them go for another 18 minutes. I checked the internal temperature of the loaves and they registered 192 degrees, which is just above the 190 desired temperature. I immediately pulled them out, and placed the loaves on a cooling rack to sit for an hour. After that, it was time to taste!
Results and My Final Thoughts/Notes
This is one of my favorite "not too healthy, but not super bad for you" breads. The end result was a nice smooth, soft bread that had a great nut flavor with the cinnamon as more of an aftertaste than an overpowering one. Two days after the baking, it is still soft and moist...a perfect addition to any breakfast!
Comparing the milk vs. Silk, there aren't any noticeable differences in flavor. The Silk doesn't have as much fat as Whole milk, but with the shortening and eggs, there is quite a bit a fat to help soften the dough. I think next time, I'll try adding in a little more shortening to see if that changes anything...Then again, the two doughs weren't that much different in taste, texture, or appearance.
The next challenge loaf I'll be making is Cranberry-Walnut Celebration bread. I'll be taking a week off for Easter, and then another week to just bake for fun. So look for a new challenge in three weeks time!
So what do you think? Sound good? Anything I should change/do better? Think two challenges a month is too few? Too many? What other type of posts would you be interested in?
Have you thought about making babka? (Polish Easter Bread)
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