Tuesday, June 15, 2010
TWD - Raisin Swirl Bread
Food.Baby had chosen Raisin Swirl Bread for this week's TWD I was ecstatic! I love making home-made bread. For me it is an almost zen-like experience. The aromas, the kneading, the blending of flour and yeast resulting in something so wholesome and comforting as fresh bread. I am always much more relaxed after baking fresh bread. What a perfect recipe for me to get back into my baking with.
My only disappointment in this recipe was I didn't get to knead the bread! The kneading is done in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. Or at least mine was. I suppose there are those who aren't lucky enough to have an electric mixer with a dough hook, but I am. And, I used it to make this bread.
It came together quite easily. In fact, each step turned out exactly as Dorie writes in the recipe. It rose beautifully and smelled divine even before I baked it. I didn't use the orange zest, as I had no oranges. I was going to add the nutmeg, but forgot. :} I did add the vanilla and the cocoa. I was intrigued by the addition of cocoa and couldn't wait to try it. I love raisins so not adding them was never an option. Well, in all honesty I did think about not adding them, because the hubby doesn't like raisins, but, decided this one was for me!
As the bread baked the house filled with the wonderful aroma of cinnamon and yeast and I found myself taking deep breaths as I puttered around. Within minutes of removing it from the oven I was cutting a slice from the end of the loaf. The swirl inside looked perfect. All along the swirl, like little travelers on a road, were the raisins. The steam rising from the slice was scented with a sugary cinnamon smell. I popped it into the toaster (I always toast raisin bread) and spread some butter over the freshly toasted slice and took my first bite.
Heavenly! The bread had a tender but tight crumb. The crust on the outside was chewy and crisp. The raisins were moist and chewy. The cinnamon swirl was delicious...I did not notice the cocoa, but felt that a bit more swirl would have been nice. In fact, the next time I make this I think I will double the amount of swirl. As easy as this was to put together (lengthy but easy) I can see making it again and again. I took two slices into work and shared it with my co-workers. They loved it! The rest is here, with me. In fact, I had two slices this morning for breakfast. And, I may have two slices for lunch!
So, thank you Susan for such a terrific choice. It was a wonderful way to come back to baking and blogging. If you would like to see who else tried this fabulous bread, look here.