Having four days off from work this past week gave me lots of time to bake. It also meant eating a lot of meals at home. I got into the habit of having a couple slices of cinnamon raisin toast for breakfast each day. By the end of the week, I was already running low and I decided to make another loaf.
The last time I made this bread, I had a lot of trouble handling the dough after sprinkling on the cinnamon-sugar and rolling the dough up into a log. The dough is quite wet after the first rise and the recipe instructs you to add more flour to make a hard-to-stir dough before mixing in the raisins. I did this step last time, but apparently I didn't add enough flour. So this time, I added a lot of flour, enough to make it really difficult to stir (even though I was using my kitchenaid stand mixer outfitted with a dough hook to do the stirring). It was so stiff that it was a challenge to get the raisins evenly distributed through the dough. But I was able to easily roll up the dough and get it into the bread pan for the second rise without incident. I noticed that there seemed to be more dough in the pan than last time, and the loaf certainly rose much higher out of the pan before baking. As you can see from the picture below, the resulting loaf was much larger than my previous effort.
After the loaf cooled and I cut it open, you could see a clean pinwheel pattern to the cinnamon-raisin swirl. While this loaf looked prettier than the last loaf, both loaves tasted pretty much the same. I don't know if my adding more flour is responsible for this loaf turning out so much larger. Bread baking can be highly variable depending on rising temperature and rising times. My approach to bread baking is completely different than my approach to baking cookies or cakes. So long as it tastes good, I'm not going to sweat the details!
Recipe: "Cinnamon Raisin Pinwheel Bread" from Kneadlessly Simple: Fabulous, Fuss-Free, No-Knead Breads by Nancy Baggett.
Previous Post: "Snowmageddon 2010: a Bread Marathon," February 8, 2010.