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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Here is a hearty and healthy recipe that I found and thought i'd share with you. This whole wheat bread was given a twist when it was turned into a delicious breakfast treat. The aromas of the raisins and the spicy taste of the cinnamon flow through the kitchen when you put a couple slices of this delicious bread in the toaster. A great and healthy way to start your day. This recipe yields enough dough for a loaf and then some, so I got creative and divided the rest in muffin molds and made individual cinnamon raisin breads as you'll see further down on the posting. Hope you enjoy!

Cinnamon Swirl Bread
- 3/4 Cup milk, scalded and cooled to lukewarm
- 1/2 Cup lukewarm water
- 1/4 Cup liquid honey
- 2 Tsp Instant Dry Yeast
- 2 eggs
- 2 oz butter, unsalted and room temperature
- 2 Cups Whole wheat flour
- 2 Cups All purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 Cup Raisins, re-hydrated by covering with boiling water till plumped

To obtain a nice smooth and elastic ball of dough follow these simple instructions.
1. In a large glass measuring cup or a medium sized bowl, combine; the lukewarm milk, water, the honey and the yeast and stir with a fork until the yeast has dissolved in the lukewarm mixture and set aside 10 minutes to let the yeast activate.
2. While the yeast is proofing, place in a mixer bowl with the hook attachment ; the whole wheat flour, the AP flour and the sea salt.
3. Once the yeast mixture starts bubbling, add the eggs to the bowl and whisk them in to create a uniform mixture, pour into the mixer bowl and start the machine to stir, on the lowest speed. Add in the butter and raise the speed to medium to incorporate all the ingredients. Once the dough starts coming together like in the above picture, add in your raisins and stir on low speed till raisins are mixed in.
4. Remove the dough from the mixer onto a floured surface and form into a ball. Place the ball in a well buttered bowl and turn it around to coat the ball of dough. Cover and let rise until doubled in bulk.

To make your cinnamon swirl bread you will need a few simple ingredients for the swirl; some soft butter or margarine to spread on the surface, some brown sugar and cinnamon of course, to sprinkle, about a couple tbsp of cinnamon and 1 1/2 cup of brown sugar.

Take your ball of proofed dough, punch it down and roll it on a well floured surface to obtain a nicely shaped 12 inch by 6 inch rectangle. On this rectangle, spread your fat (with your fingers works best), and then sprinkle the brown sugar and cinnamon uniformly, leaving about an inch at the top and bottom of the rectangle with no mixture as show above.  Tightly roll the rectangle to obtain a log.

Prepare a loaf pan, butter and flour to assure your loaf does not stick. Cut 8 inches of the log, sealing the edges by bringing them under the log and pinching then closed . Place the 8 inch log in the pan and let rise until the dough rises an inch above the loaf pan. Place in a preheated 400F (200C) degree oven and bake until the loaf has a uniform golden color all around, about 30-45 minutes depending on your oven strength.

As for the leftover roll of dough, I divided it in 6 equal portions and placed them in (floured and buttered) muffin tins. I left them rose until they were about the molds by over and inch and placed them in the oven with the loaf. and this is what I got! I was very happy with the result and it made great breakfast buns or a snack for lunches.

Hope you enjoy this recipe and I am looking forward to reading your comments!

Eat well and stay healthy!


Sunday, November 6, 2011

12 Grain Bread

Bulk food stores are becoming more and more in fashion, especially for those who like cooking and baking at home and who are looking for unique ingredients. These stores are becoming specialists in gluten-free products and seasonal baking items alongside many other products for the health nut inside of everyone. It is there that I love to go and buy new flours to test out in bread recipes. This recipe is made with a 12 grain flour that I like very much. Here's the recipe!

12 Grain Bread
Makes 1 loaf
- 2 1/2 cups All-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cup 12 grain flour
- 2 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup vegetable OR canola oil
- 1 Tbsp instant dry yeast
- 1 1/2 cup water, warm

1. Firstly, in a four cup measuring container, pour the warm water and add the yeast and brown sugar and mix together with a whisk. Set aside for 10 minutes for the yeast to activate.
2. While the yeast mixture is proofing, place the flours and the salt in a stand mixer bowl with the bread hook attachment and mix together on the lowest speed.
3. When the yeast mixture started to foam (10 minutes) add the oil to the container. Pour this mix slowly into the mixture while it is on the lowest speed to combine all the ingredients. Once the ingredients have combined properly, turn the speed up slightly to the 2nd or 3rd speed to knead the dough. This will take about 7-9 minutes for the dough to be smooth and elastic. Once it has reached that step, take the dough out, form into a ball and place on a floured surface, sprinkled slightly with flour and covered with a cloth to let rest for about 30-40 minutes.

4. After having rested, the dough is ready to be shaped. To Achieve this, turn the ball of dough upside dough and punch down. With the heal of your hand, press down all along the middle of the flattened bread ball. Shape this into a tightly rolled log and place into a buttered and floured loaf pan. Cover and let rise until the dough as surpassed the mold by about an inch.
5. To prep the loaf for baking, spray it completely with water using a spray bottle (dollar store) and then sprinkle some oats on top. Then, taking a serrated knife, make a light slit all along the loaf. At this point the bread is ready to go into a preheated 400F degree oven until the crust has a uniform gold color.

And this is how I achieved my 12 grain bread! :) It never fails and is delicious all the way up to its 3rd day of preservation. I've never had it last longer then that because it's always consumed, mostly after the 2nd day of it being made. Certainly a new favorite of mine and something I make every week!

Hope you enjoy!


Friday, November 4, 2011

Good ol' Jambalaya!

My dear followers, it has been a while since my last posting and that mostly due to sickness, but hopefully i'll be able to get back into it and share with you some comforting recipes for the colder months to come! Today, I witnessed snow in Montreal for the first time this year, and that meant, MAJOR comfort food intervention needed! I quickly thought of Jambalaya and how the smell of cornbread would be so suiting for the occasion. When I got home from work, it was my new life mission, to make this dish! So here it is!

Good ol' Jamabalaya
Makes enough for 6-8 people ( or great for freezer lunches)

- 2 Tbsp butter
- 6 large spicy sausages (chorizo), sliced
- 1 large onion, finely diced
- 2 branches of celery, finely sliced
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1 - 796ml can of diced tomatoes (with juice)
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 1/2 cup rice, uncooked
- 1-2 handfuls of frozen raw shrimps (prepared)

1. In a large skillet pan, on medium-high heat, add the butter and fry the sliced sausages. When the sausages have fried on the outside, add the onion and celery and fry to begin cooking of the vegetables. Add the spices to the pan. Cook for 5 minutes while stirring halfway through.
2. Add the can of tomatoes and the 2 cups of chicken broth, bring to a boil. Once it's boiling, add the rice. Bring back to a boil and cover with the lid, then turn the temperature down to low to keep a simmer going.  Let cook until the rice had cooked through and your jambalaya has thickened.  Depending on which kind of rice you will use, cooking times will be different. 30-40 minutes.
3. Once the rice has cooked and the jambalaya is nice and thick, add the raw thawed out shrimp to the dish and stir in. Cover with lid and let simmer until the shrimps are cooked through.

Serve with cornbread of garlic toasts. This spicy treat is quite comforting and easy to make! For the cornbread recipe click HERE to redirect to an earlier blog posting! :)

Happy cooking,