Isn’t the smell of rising and baking bread just one of the best things in life? I definitely think so. I think cinnamon-raisin bread is even one of the best among that. So, when Susan of Food.Baby choose the Raisin-Swirl Break I was rather happy. I knew it was going to make our house smell so wonderfully.
I was lucky enough that this was one of the last recipes I got to make while my friend, Caitlin of EngineerBakerwas in town. I miss her greatly, work and home just hasn’t been the same. (So, Caitlin, if you are getting a little homesick out in California you’re always welcome to come back.) Caitlin taught me a lot about cooking and baking. She got me to overcome my fear of modifying recipes or using yeast. She taught me that it’s rather difficult to really screw up cooking or baking. Before I met her, I couldn’t make a pie to save my life. Something disastrous happened every time. Now, I can make them without any incidents and so I do whenever blueberries or cherries or apples come in season. She was also my best friend at work. No one else really understand what we went through when we were both transferred to a small plant up in New London, Wi (pop. 6000, rather small when both of us grew up on the outskirts of Chicago). We worked shifts together for 5 months while dealing with a plant that had never had one female process engineer, let alone two at the same time. We both met challenges we never expected, but we always helped each other overcome them. We had our differences, but they only helped our friendship. I miss her greatly, and hopefully we will have the opportunity to live near each other again someday and bake together some more.
Until then, I’ll have to use the techniques she taught me to continue exploring the world one recipe at a time.
Now, onto the recipe of the week, raisin-swirl bread. The picture of this bread in the book always intrigued me and I always wanted to make it. I thought it was going to be too difficult though and that I would never be able to make a loaf of bread with a swirl in it. Dorie actually made it rather easy in her book. This recipe came together rather easily. The only problem is that the dough is rather sticky and can be hard to work with. I would recommend adding a little more flour than what the recipe calls for, otherwise it kind of becomes a sticky mess of dough.
It did come out beautifully though. My swirl turned out perfect. My husband and I ate about half the loaf plain before I decided to make it into french toast. I love cinnamon french toast, and so this made wonderful french toast. I have a feeling I’ll be making this again in the future, now that I’ve gotten over my slight aversion to working with yeast outside of a bread machine.
So, if you want the recipe please visit Susan’s blog. Otherwise, enjoy and thank you Caitlin for all your help and support!