Cinnamon Raisin Bread

February 24, 2012

Lately I have discovered that we LOVE raisin bread. If it’s in the house, it’s always gone within a few days. Lucas begs to have it for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack. It’s so yummy toasted with a little sprinkle of sugar. Mmm.

I’ve always wanted to try to make my own raisin bread, but I never came across a recipe that was intriguing enough to try. That is, until one afternoon I was visiting my mother-in-laws and she had just whipped up a batch and it was rising in the oven. It smelled amazing. When I asked for her recipe, I found out that it is one that I have had in a cook book since I was married. Sigh. If only I had known!

Cinnamon Raisin Bread
Adapted from the Parkland Immanuel Christian School Cookbook

8 oz lukewarm milk
4 oz lukewarm water
1 egg
1 tbsp sugar
4 tbsp brown sugar (heaping if loosely packed)
1 tbsp butter
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
4 to 4 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour (***each time I make, I find I need to add a little more than 4 cups, otherwise the dough is too sticky)
2 tsp bread machine yeast
2 cups raisins

Add all the ingredients (except raisins) to the bread machine in the order given. Set the machine to the dough function.

Once dough cycle is finished, place dough on a floured surface and knead in the raisins. Separate into two equal parts, and place in lightly greased bread pans. Let it rise until it stands approx 1/4″ on top of the bread pans (1-2 hours). When fully risen, pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 20-23 minutes. Bread should be a nice deep golden brown on top, and the pans should sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. Remove from bread pans as soon as possible, and let bread cool completely on wire racks. Once bread is completely cool, slice and enjoy!

I usually slice and leave one loaf on the counter for eating right away and the second loaf I freeze for a later date!

***Note ***
~The original recipe calls for 12 oz lukewarm water and 2 1/2 tbsp milk powder. My mother-in-law recommended switching out the water for milk and I have tried it several times and it works perfectly!
~This recipe also works great if you don’t have a bread machine. I usually mix the 4 oz water, 1 tbsp sugar, and yeast together to proof. Mix the rest of the ingredients together minus the yeast mixture and flour. Add the yeast mixture, and then slowly knead in the  flour until you achieve a good dough consistency (soft, a bit sticky, but not sticking to the sides of the bowl  in the mixture or to the dough hook). Let it rise for 1-2 hours until doubled in size. Then follow the directions to knead in the raisins/place in bread pans etc.

Some fall yummies…

November 16, 2011

Although the sun has been shining, it is COLD outside. I’m not a huge coat wearer, I usually just slip on my vest, but lately I’ve been remembering to bring my jacket along to combat the cold. I’ve also been making lots of yummy fall recipes that will warm you to the core. (Oh and PS: most of these recipes are quite budget friendly, especially if your hubby lets you get away with serving a meatless soup for dinner!!)

Please please give one of these a try, you will not be disappointed 🙂

*Turkey Chili – Yum, yum! I shared only a few days ago on here, but this is a reminder to go make it!!

*Creamy Cauliflower Soup: One of my favorite food blogs, Annie’s Eats, didn’t let me down with this delicious soup. Cauliflower was on sale a few weeks ago for $0.79 a head, so this was a SUPER economical dinner choice! Do NOT skip the Dijon Mustard, at first I was skeptical but it is SOOO good.

*Bacon Mushroom and Brocoli Quiche – This is the most adaptable recipe EVER! Use what you have in the house, even if you just opt for cheese and bacon or ham, so good. This recipe also freezes great. I usually bake it as usual, and then freeze it, however, I’ve heard you can freeze an unbaked one as well. They reheat awesome, and are perfect for those long days with the kiddies.

*Cream of Asparagus Soup: A favourite at our house. We had it for dinner tonight, and for the first time in weeks, Lucas gobbled up dinner without any prompts. Needless to say this is a near miracle for this kid 🙂

*Homemade Sandwich Bread: If you are looking for a go-to bread recipe, look no more, this is the ONE! The Hungry Mouse gives a fantastic step by step blog post on how to make this bread that it is almost error-proof. I’ve been meaning to substitute whole wheat flour for at least half of the white flour, but I haven’t been willing to sacrifice that oh so yummy slice of white bread fresh from the oven. I’ll let you know how it fares..

*Cheddar Bacon Dip: Okay, okay, so this totally doesn’t fit the whole cold weather food, but this is perfect dip to have on hand while watching TV at night, or hosting friends, it’s YUMMY! My favourite thing is that basically all the ingredients are straight from what I usually have in the fridge – the best kind of recipe.

Have a good evening! The couch and my book are calling my name 🙂

 

Every year for Thanksgiving, we typically do a potluck style dinner. Each family member contributes one or two dishes to compliment the large turkey. I have made the Turkey, mashed potatoes, veggie sides, and stuffing; all the Thanksgiving classics. This morning I was day dreaming of cooking the entire Thanksgiving dinner all on my own; maybe one day I’ll do it!!

On Sunday we celebrated Thanksgiving with the Douma side of the family; 12 adults, 4 kids, 1 baby-on-the-way, it was chaotic. We managed to all fit around the table and we enjoyed a delicious Turkey dinner. I was lucky enough to end up with the majority of the turkey leftovers. I think I like Turkey leftovers more than I even like the Turkey dinner itself. I love to be creative and whip up Thanksgiving inspired soups and dishes, the week following Thanksgiving dinner.

First off…Rice and Turkey Soup. I didn’t follow a recipe, just kind of threw everything together in a pot and let it simmer for the afternoon. I think the key to a really good pot of soup is to let all the flavors meld together for a good couple of hours.

Rice and Turkey Soup
1 tbsp butter
1 medium onion
3 medium carrots (sliced into medallions)
3-4 stalks of celery
***Fry the above together in a pan, until tender

Add 1 box chicken broth
3-4 cups of water
1-2 tbsp chicken bouillon
2 or so cups of chopped turkey
A handful of dehydrated vegetables (definitely can omit if you don’t have any on hand…I had a bit left in my container)
A handful of rice
***Bring to a boil, and simmer for 20 minutes.

Add a couple handfuls of thin, soap noodles. (For lack of a better term…the fine, egg noodles…I don’t have the original package anymore…so bear with me!)
***Turn on very low heat and let it simmer. Keep an eye on it, because even at a very low temperature, your cookware can retain heat and soup can start to boil and burn.

To serve alongside my Turkey soup, I served fresh, homemade bread. Mmm, I love the smell of freshly baked bread.
I love white bread! I know that whole grain breads are much healthier for you, but it’s my guilty pleasure. As long as I have been baking bread (only 2ish years…) I have searched high and low for a yummy bakery tasting white bread recipe. Everything I had tried always came out tasting slightly yeasty, too sweet, or just tasted amateur. Until I found THE recipe, “Homemade Sandwich Bread” on The Hungry Mouse.

I would write and tell you of how to make this bread, but she does a fabulous job, so I encourage you to follow the link. Even if you aren’t a bread maker, The Hungry Mouse, breaks it down into sections, and even gives you great tips along the way. (IE…you know your bread is kneaded if it doesn’t stick to your dough hock) Definitely gives you confidence as you move along in the recipe.

While my bread cooled, and my soup melded on the stove, we headed to the pumpkin patch with the kiddies. Lucas had a great time running around the patch trying to find the perfect pumpkin (IE one that he could carry for more than a few steps, haha!) Lucas also visited the petting zoo, all the while Caleb slept nice n’ snug in his car seat not even making a peep. After leaving the pumpkin patch we headed down the road to the U-Pick apple farm and very quickly picked 50 lbs of apples before the rain came…apple pies and crisp…HERE I COME! We rounded up our Thanksgiving weekend by warming up with the soup and bread, the kids headed to bed, and Harold and I curled up on the couch with some coffee and a movie.

What a great day! (I’ll try to post some pictures later…right now the kids need breakfast!)