November 9, 2014

Homemade Raisin Bread



When my oldest was born my husband acquired a new habit, he started insisting on having our door closed at night. Part of the reason is that we have two cats who come in and make noises, waking us (mostly my husband) up. The other part is that we have to leave a light on in order for my kids to be able to find the bathroom at night. I'm a pretty good sleeper, so having the light or noise doesn't bother me. My husband is noise and light sensitive, he has to have the room quiet and dark or he can't sleep. We are also opposite when we wake up, I wake right up and am ready to go. My husband can be a little grouchy in the morning, it's best to let him get ready by himself. I don't mind the door being closed, except our room stays warmer in the summer and cooler in the winter with the door open. Plus I like my door open, that way my kids don't knock loudly when they wake up in the middle of the night. Then I have to get up out of bed to open the door (my husband likes it locked also), and see what the problem is. Honestly, I like my sleep and that is one extra step I don't seem to have in the middle of the night. Maybe when we are empty nesters my husband will allow me to sleep with the door open once again....



We eat a lot of bread in my house. My kids are constantly hungry and homemade bread is a great way to save money. We use it for toast, sandwiches, french toast, croutons, you name it. Plus homemade bread makes great breadcrumbs. The following is a recipe for Homemade Raisin Bread. It can be made with or without a bread maker.


Homemade Raisin Bread



Ingredients
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons dry milk
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 3/4 cup raisins
Cooking Directions
  1. If using a bread maker add liquid ingredients to the bread pan.
  2. Add dry ingredients (except yeast) to the pan.
  3. Man a will in the flour and add yeast.
  4. Select regular/basic setting on your bread maker, makes 1.5 pound loaf.
  5. If making by hand or with a mixer, mix wet ingredients together.
  6. In a separate bowl combine dry ingredients.
  7. Add yeast to dry ingredients.
  8. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and combine until dough forms.
  9. On a floured surface or in your mixer knead dough for 5 minutes.
  10. Add raisins.
  11. Knead 3 more minutes.
  12. Roll dough into ball and add to an oiled bowl.
  13. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let sit until doubled (1-2 hours).
  14. Punch dough down.
  15. Form dough into a loaf shape and add to a greased loaf pan.
  16. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until 1 inch above the top of the pan (1-2 hours).
  17. Bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes.
  18. Tent with foil if crust and top brown too quickly.
  19. Wait until cool to slice.
Tips:
  • All-purpose flour can be used instead of bread flour, however, bread flour makes a superior rise and flavor. 
  • I prefer dry milk and water in bread recipes. However, I have made this recipe with regular milk (omit the dry milk and add 1 cup regular milk). Heat the milk with the butter on the stove and then add to other ingredients. 
  • Don't let this dough over rise in the loaf pan or the top will fall in the oven (trust me I did it once). 
  • Don't worry if the bread begins to get really brown on top, my family loves the really browned outside. The first time I made it I thought it was burnt, but they absolutely loved the browned sugar tasting crust! 
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