Vipul’s parents are in town for the summer holidays along with his uncle and aunt. The day begins and ends with food and food plans. What should we have for breakfast/lunch/evening snack/dinner? They are determined to fatten us up while they are all here!
I volunteered to make cinnamon raisin bread one weekend mainly to give them a break. But it’s so hot in Hyderabad that I could not bear the thought of being in the kitchen and near the stove. Breads are perfect in such weather. You mix and knead the necessary ingredients and step aside for a couple of hours letting yeast do its job. Come back in knead, roll and shape and again step out to do your thing while yeast continues its work. Once doubled, the bread is then baked in the oven and ready to be served.
So, bread it was. But what kind? Basic sandwich bread would be too boring, something like a focaccia too time consuming… I wanted something basic with just a little bit of oomph to impress my visiting in-laws. Cinnamon raisin bread was what I settled on. It’s a little bit beyond basic, goes perfectly with tea and is not too sweet. Perfect.
I looked up a few recipes online and most of them were for 2 – 3 loaves of cinnamon raisin bread which seemed a bit excessive. If my experiment was not successful then who would finish the remaining loaves? I stumbled across a recipe from food.com with a built-in calculator for 1 loaf. Oh good, now I don’t need to do the math. Luckily I had all the ingredients on hand and off I went to make us some bread.
A typical bread requires some sort of leavening agent like yeast to make it rise. And the leavening agents need time to do their magic. They cannot be rushed else it results in a hard bread. Patience is the key here. Slow rises in fridge and an extra third rise is considered to lend deeper flavor to the bread than the standard two rises. A few hours and a movie later, as the bread baked,our house was filled with enticing aromas of cinnamon. Everyone peeked into the kitchen one by one to get a whiff of when the bread would cool enough for them to taste. Even Vipul’s dad loved it with a hot cuppa tea after his nap.
Chocolate Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Bread Recipe
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/3 cup warm water
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup butter softened
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- Pinch of Salt
- 2 – 2 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/3 cup raisins
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon powder
1.Heat the milk until it just begins to form bubbles on the edges and then set aside to cool.
2. Mix yeast in warm water and set aside for 10 minutes to froth.
3. Cream the butter and sugar together for a couple of minutes and then add the beaten egg to it.
4. Add salt to the flour and mix. Add the egg- butter mix, milk,raisins and the yeast to the flour and knead into a stiff dough. Start with 2 cups of flour, adding as necessary to knead the dough into form.
Grease a bowl with butter or oil. Place the dough in the bowl.Cover with a cling wrap and set aside for 2-3 hours till doubled in size in a warm draft free place.
5. Mix the cocoa and cinnamon powder and set aside.
6.Punch down the dough to its original size and rollout into a rectangle 1/2 an inch thick. Moisten the dough with the milk and then spread a layer of the cinnamon-chocolate powder on it.
7. Roll into a tight log (along the long edge). Place this loaf in a well-greased baking pan. Tuck in the ends. Cover loosely with a cling wrap and let this rise for another 30 -45 minutes.
8. Bake for 40 minutes at 350 F till golden brown. Brush the top of loaf with butter once the loaf is out of the oven.
Let cool before slicing.
Serve with tea, coffee, with some butter or jam or as is. Enjoy!