I’ve been slowly reading my way through the beginning of The Bread Baker’s Apprentice. I have found it to be quite interesting. I’m excited to master the art of baking using Baker’s Math. It’s an entire system using percentages based on the type of bread you are making. Apparently, every bread has a formula. Once you learn the basic formulas, you can easily make any type of bread with a few calculations. I would try to explain it further, only I fear I would confuse myself trying to put it into words for you to understand as I am just starting to grasp the concept. As I learn more about this wonderful Math ( I always knew liking math would help me with baking!), I’ll share more about applying it to making bread.
To go along with using Baker’s Math, I will also need to switch from measuring cups and spoons to weighing ingredients when baking. We have a small kitchen scale already and I’ve used it a few times to measure flour and sugar. It’s not nearly accurate enough to measure teaspoons. I guess I’ll be shopping for a different scale soon.
With some of my newly acquired knowledge, I decided it was time to make another loaf of bread. I had been leaning towards a sourdough bread, but that is a multiple day process. I only had one day to make bread. Since it was Sunday morning, I had breakfast on the brain. My stomach and my brain settled on Cinnamon Raisin Bread. I’m not certain how my stomach agreed to this since I don’t like raisins. I’ll eat them occasionally as a snack, but never in anything or on anything and most definitely not baked or cooked in any way! BLECH!!! Thankfully, my boyfriend does enjoy raisins and is a happy recipient of most everything I bake.
Unlike the first bread, this one started with mixing all the dry ingredients together, then mixing in the wet ingredients. The wet ingredients only had to be a room temperature for mixing. I quite like that as I always stress out that the water is a little too hot and I’ll mess up the entire loaf of bread!
I feel I was a bit more successful in this attempt at making bread. The loaves still aren’t perfect. One even looks mangled. Though this time around, both loaves rose quite well. The only reason they don’t appear to have risen properly is due to me having the wrong sized pans. It appears that I am going to have to add bread pans to my shopping list as well!
The original recipe also includes walnuts, which I left out because I forgot to pick them up at the grocery store. The bread was quite delicious. Yes, I did taste the bread. I even tried a bite with raisins! I didn’t particularly enjoy that bite, but the rest was wonderful. Having cinnamon mixed into the dough adds a little surprise taste even when you don’t get a bite of the cinnamon/sugar swirl.
Next time I try this recipe, I’m going to make one loaf without raisins and add the walnuts. I’m curious to see if the bread will turn out without raisins in the mix. When adding the swirl, I plan to roll the dough out a bit further to get a longer swirl in the middle.
If you are curious to try this recipe, you have a few options. Once again, I’m opting not to share the recipe due to copyright concerns. I know I wouldn’t like it if someone took what was mine. Your first option is to purchase The Bread Baker’s Apprentice, it is a wonderful book and you will enjoy making bread from it. Second, you can Google Cinnamon Raisin Walnut Bread Peter Reinhart and you may just find a copy.