Cinnamon Raisin Bread
As far as toast is concerned, until I discovered this in Australia, I felt I had not lived. A few failed attempts, and many confidence building plain loaves and focaccias later, I tried again. And this is the answer…..
350g strong white bread flour
150g wholemeal flour
1tsp cinnamon – you may add mixed spice, allspice or more cinnamon for stronger flavour. If you add only 1tsp it suits both cheese and jam.
1 x 7g sachet yeast
30g unsalted very soft butter
150mls warm milk
100mls warm water and extra just in case
2 handfuls of sultanas – about 140g
A Kitchenaid is BY FAR the easiest and fastest way to make this. So if you have one, skip point 2, 3 and 4.
1. Put all the dry ingredients in a bowl.
2. Add the egg, yolk and butter and then the liquid gradually, stirring it with a knife to combine. Room temps vary so you may need more or less liquid. It should not be too wet or dry.
3. Tip the bread onto a clean surface. It is useful if the height of this surface is worktop height because otherwise this can be back-breaking work.
4. Now knead away for 10 minutes or until it is springy, smooth and not sticky. We all have our own technique but pull and push and stretch and don’t be too soft with it. You may find that swaying your hips from side to side while kneading will help you achieve a comfortable motion and even make you feel as if you are vaguely exercising!
5. Now add the sultanas or raisins to the dough in the kitchenaid or by rolling the dough out and sprinkling them on top and rolling and folding them in – see chocolate focaccia recipe for details of how to do this. Try not to have the fruit visible on the surface as it will burn but don’t worry if there are one or two visible.
6. Place the dough back in the mixing bowl, or leave it in the kitchaid bowl, with a tea towel on top of it for two hours in a warm place in the kitchen until it has doubled in size.
7. Knock it back, i.e. punch the air out of it and shape it into whatever shape you want, or put it in a loaf tin and leave it to rise for an hour, sprinkled with flour if you like a rustic look.
8. When it has reached a decent size,
bake it at 200 degrees for 20 minutes until you tap the bottom and it sounds hollow. All ovens are different so check it the first time you make it at least, after 12 minutes.
9. When it sounds hollow when you tap the base, place it on a wire rack to cool. It will continue to cook for a little bit so leave it for at least ten minutes before you dig in.
Mistakes I have made…..
If you leave it on the tray, the base of the loaf will become damp so do remove it immediately. Also if your oven it super-hot, like my roasting oven in my aga is at times, then it may cook really too quickly and you could end up with a squidgy centre.