Saturday, March 31, 2012

hooked on bread baking.

increasing evidence suggests that there's a directly positive relationship between how busy i am and the amount of bread i bake. take the last 2 weeks for example. It was finals season, and I had 50 pages to write, 3 presentations to give, and a final exam to study for. I also, apparently, had 4 different loaves of bread to bake. 

baking bread is the perfect low-cost, high-reward activity. first, it's cheap. cheap like "why would i ever pay 4 dollars for a loaf again?!" cheap. it's also quick. especially if you're following my lead and sticking with no-knead recipes. throw some stuff in a bowl, let it rise, dump it in a dutch oven, and let 'er bake. finally, it makes so much that no person alone can eat it all by themselves. the solutions: freeze some, give the rest away. the latter is a great way to make people like you - i mean, a great way to be a good person.

this honey raisin cinnamon bread makes a wonderful - or as my mom says, "the absolute yummiest!" - breakfast loaf. it's hearty without being too dense, and you can enjoy it plain, toasted, with some honey, almond butter, cream cheese, or whatever else you like in the morning. i only threw in raisins this first time around, but the dried fruit options are endless. i plan to include some dried apricots and dates in the next batch.

no-knead honey raisin bread

2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon yeast
1/3 cup honey
1 cup water

combine flours, raisins, cinnamon, salt and yeast in a large bowl.

combine water and honey. add to the flour mixture and stir until dough forms. cover tightly and let stand at room temperature overnight.

preheat your oven to 450 degrees F. place the dutch oven in the preheated oven for 30 minutes.

remove dutch oven and spray the inside with grill spray. dump the dough into the dutch oven, cover, and bake for 30 minutes. uncover and bake for an additional 5 minutes.

let cool before slicing and enjoying with a generous shmear of honey or almond butter.