Thursday, July 7, 2011

Cinnamon Bread with Cinnamon Sugar Topping


3 1/2 cups unbleached bread flour
4 tsp granulated sugar
1 1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp instant yeast
1 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 large egg, slightly beaten
2 tbs shortening, melted or room temperature
1/2 cup butermilk or whole milk, room temperature
3/4 cup water, room temperature
1 1/2 cup raisins, rinsed and drained
1 cup chopped walnuts

  • Stir together the flour, sugar, salt , yeast, and cinnamon in a mixing bowl. Add the egg, shortening buttermilk, and water. Stir together with a large spoon until the ingredients come together and form a ball. Adjust with flour or water if the dough seems too sticky or too dry and stiff.
  • Sprinkle flour on a counter, transfer the dough to the counter, and begin kneading. The dough should be soft and pliable, tacky but not sticky. Add flour as you knead, if necessary, to achieve this texture. Knead by hand for approximately 10 minutes. Sprinkle in the raisins and walnuts during the final 2 minutes of kneading to distribute them evenly and to avoid crushing the too much. The dough should pass the windowpane test and register 77 to 88 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly oil a large bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling it to coat it with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. 
  • Ferment at room temperature for approximately 2 hours, or until the dough doubles in size.
  • Divide the dough into 2 equal pieces and form them into loaves. Place each loaf in a lightly oiled 8 1/2 by 4 1/2 inch pan, mist  the tops with spray oil, and cover loosely with plastic wrap.
  • Proof at room temperature for 60-90 minutes, or until the dough crests above the lips of the pans and is nearly doubled in size.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit with they oven rack on the middle shelf. Place the loaf pans on a sheet pan, making sure they are not touching each other. 
  • Bake the loaves for 20 minutes. Rotate the pan 180 degrees for even baking and continue baking for another 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the oven. The finished breads should register 190 degrees Fahrenheit in the center and be golden brown on top and lightly golden on the sides and bottom. They should make a hollow sound when thumped on the bottom. 
  • Immediately remove the breads from their pans and cool on a rack for at least an hour, preferably 2 hours, before slicing or serving.

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