Home for Spring Break after a grueling quarter at UC Santa Cruz, the Young Baker inspired me to free the Kitchen Aid stand mixer from its cardboard box perched on a chair in my office. Ordered weeks ago from CSN after winning a giveaway at A Communal Table, I’ve been eyeing it and waiting for … I don’t what – divine intervention probably. But, now that its been initiated, I’m experiencing feelings of euphoria knowing that I can finally retire my vintage 80’s electric mixer! Thanks, Nancy 🙂
The Young Baker is actually the person behind my first two Food Buzz Top 9’s : Chloe’s Cowboy Cookies and Hello, Cupcake. Folks just love to buzz baked goods! Anyway, besides catching up on her sleep, keeping a busy social calendar, and brainstorming summer employment options, she’s whipping up more Cowboy Cookies in the kitchen – this time with pecans, and testing my new stand mixer for me with this healthy version of raisin bread from Food Network’s Ellie Krieger.
With the exception of the owl cupcakes made with two sizes of Oreo cookies (Hello, Cupcake!!!) that she made with her BFF, we bake using healthy ingredients like oats, wheat germ, whole wheat flour and, now, coconut oil. I’ve always loved the flavor of coconut and have used coconut milk in smoothies and curries, but since the Natural Products Expo last weekend I’m now officially obsessed with all things coconut and its health benefits. More on that later; lets get to the recipe for the raisin bread: honey in the dough keeps it moist and tender, whole wheat flour for additional fiber, and raisins and coconut oil add beneficial antioxidants.
Whole-Wheat Cinnamon Raisin Bread
from Ellie Krieger/Food Network | Yield: 2 loaves
2 cups bread flour, plus more for dusting
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 ¼ cups water, heated to 120 – 130 degrees
¼ cup nonfat dry milk
1 large egg
2 tablespoons canola oil*, plus more for brushing
3 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons salt
1 ½ teaspoons instant dry yeast
⅔ cup raisins
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
⅓ cup dark brown sugar
* We substituted Aunt Patty’s Organic Coconut Oil for the canola oil, but used canola oil to brush the top of the loaves.
1. Heat the water in a small saucepan or in the microwave, check the temperature, it should be 120-130 degrees. Make the dough: Combine both flours, the dry milk, egg, canola oil, honey, salt. yeast and warm water in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Mix 3 minutes on the lowest setting, then increase to the next highest setting and mix for 5 more minutes. The dough should be soft and sticky.
2. Transfer the dough to a large bowl coated with cooking spray. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until the dough has nearly doubled in size, about 1 hour, 30 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, heat a cup of water in the microwave and soak the raisins, about 30 minutes until plump. (Dry raisins rob moisture from the bread.)
4. Fold the dough: Transfer the dough to a floured work surface. Picture it as a loose square and lift up one side of the dough and fold about one-third of it across; press down on the dough with spread fingers to remove any air bubbles. Repeat with remaining 3 sides.
5. Prepare two loaf pans by misting with cooking spray. Divide the dough in half; roll out each half into an 8-inch square. Brush each square with canola oil, then sprinkle with cinnamon, brown sugar, and raisins. . Roll up each square into a tight cylinder; place seam-side down in the prepared pans. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until the dough fills the pans and springs back when touched, about 1 hour, 30 minutes.
6. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Brush the loaves with canola oil and bake until golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from pans and transfer to a rack to cool completely.