The Baking Project..."Home-Made Cinnamon Raisin Bread"

I bet you thought that I had given up on "The Baking Project" since I didn't make a post on my baking adventures last week.  NOPE!  Absolutely not; I just got busy with "Baby Girl" and didn't have much time to write.  But, I am back this week with one of my FAVORITE recipes..."Home-Made Cinnamon Raisin Bread"!

I just LOVE bread!  What is better than smelling that fresh bread baking in the oven and then taking it out and before it has time to cool, slathering it with REAL butter?!  About a year ago, I was determined to learn the "secrets" of bread baking, so I signed up for a class at our local kitchen shop.  I was NOT disappointed in the class and indeed DID learn a few secrets that helped me to master the art of bread baking.

The first thing one needs to wrap their arms around concerning bread baking is the fact that IT CANNOT BE RUSHED.  In this world that we live in, few like to WAIT for anything.  I suppose that is one of the reasons that bread baking is a lost art of sorts...and also why I enjoy it so much.  You need to plan on baking bread when you  know are going to be around the house for a day or two; that's why I would suggest delving into bread baking on the weekend.  Saturday can be the prep day and Sunday the baking day.  Another thing that I enjoy about baking bread is the fact that it is just you and the dough.  It's a cannot be rushed...and you get to wrap your hands around the dough, kneading it into what will be a delicious creation!

What are some of those secrets I learned about baking bread?  First, there's the water temperature:  Make it warm; not hot, not cold and not room temperature.  Second, mix your dough and store it in a plastic or glass bowl; not metal.  Third, us a wooden or plastic spoon to do any mixing of the dough; not metal.  Fourth, use Rapid Rise Yeast; I think it's the BEST.  And last...don't go cheap on any of your ingredients;  you ARE making fresh, home-made bread, after all...AND it is taking 2 days...Why would you even consider skimping on the ingredients?  OH...And I suppose there is one more thing:  Relax and enjoy the actual process of "making the bread"; the mixing and kneading and forming of the bread can become a form of therapy.

Now, once your "Home-Made Cinnamon Raisin Bread" has finished baking, WHAT should you do with it?  OK...I KNOW you're going to eat it!  But there are few options I have on "ways" to eat it.  I, of course, LOVE to just pop it out of the oven, put plenty of butter ("real" butter) on it and savor all of that cinnamon and raisins and butter intermingled.  Then, upon waking up the next morning, I like to slice it and make French Toast out of it.  And if you REALLY want a treat, you can try a suggestion that a friend of mine made...slice it up thick enough to form a pocket, fill that pocket with cream cheese and then make French Toast out it...topping it with powdered sugar and syrup!  I KNOW...sounds positively DELICIOUS, doesn't it?!  Anyway you decide to eat it, I implore you to try your hand at a little bread will not only fill your senses with wonderful tastes and smells, but it may also whisk you away on a journey to a simpler time.
Raisin dough rolled out and cinnamon sugar and butter are added.
Throw a little flour on to prepare for rolling up...
Bread is rolled and ready for placing in a bread pan.
Bread is now in pan and ready to rise a little bit more before baking.
YUM!  Fresh baked home-made Cinnamon Raisin Bread, straight out of the oven and ready for some butter...And gobbling up!

*****If you would like the recipe for "Home-Made Cinnamon Raisin Bread", just send me an e-mail and I will be happy to send it your way!*****

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