Monday, February 6, 2012

Cinnamon Rum Raisin Bread

My grandma is coming to town this weekend and I am taking her to an orchid show. I came across this recipe in my Fine Cooking Magazine and was inspired by grandma to add rum to the raisins. She, like me, enjoys her drunk fruit. She always saves the fruit in her old fashioned until the end, when it has had some time to drink up the alcohol. For awhile she kept raisins soaked in gin in her kitchen too, they are supposed to be good for arthritis.

The recipe looks really long, but in reality most of the time spent making this recipe is inactive. There is a lot of combining and waiting. I also wanted to be sure all the steps were clear. Do not be daunted by the length, it was fairly easy. If you do not want to soak the raisins in rum, just use water instead and soak them for less time. After they are removed from the oven, you are supposed to brush them with butter. Brushing the tops with butter, keeps the crust soft and adds flavor.

The final product is moist and a bit dense. It got rave reviews. My roommate asked for seconds and grandma loved it too! The rum does make a difference in flavor, it gives it richness. The rum will be that secret ingredient everyone will be asking about.

Total rising time: approximately 1 1/2 hours to 2 hours

2 cups dark raisins
1 cup rum
1 cup warm tap water
Vegetable or Canola oil, for the bowl
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour; plus more for dusting
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 packet (1/4 oz. or 2 1/4 teaspoons) instant yeast
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup whole milk, room temperature
1/4 cup liquid from the raisins, plus 3/4 cup warm water
1 large egg
3 tablespoons butter, softened
4 tablespoons cinnamon
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
4 tablespoons butter, melted

  1. Combine the raisins, rum and warm water in a bowl. Let the raisins sit for 30 minutes or the time it takes to make the dough. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup of liquid.
  2. In a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon, yeast and salt. Mix on low speed, about 1 minute. Add the milk, egg, butter and 1/4 cup reserved rum raisin liquid plus 3/4 warm water. Mix on medium speed until the dough comes together, about 1 minute. Increase the speed to medium high and continue to mix until the dough is smooth, slightly sticky and clings to the hook, about 5 minutes. 
  3. Remove the dough from the hook and bowl to a floured surface. By hand, gently knead in the raisins, forming the dough into a ball. Lightly oil a large bowl, placing the ball of dough into the bowl. Cover the bowl loosely with plastic wrap and let rise for 30 minutes, until the dough looks puffy.
  4. On a well-floured surface, use your hands to flatten the dough to 3/4 inch thick. Fold the dough in half from top to bottom, then in half again from left to right. Put the dough back into the bowl, cover, and let sit until it has risen slightly, about 30-50 minutes.
  5. Grease two 8 1/2x4 1/2-inch loaf pans with butter. In a small bowl combine the sugars and cinnamon; set aside. Melt 2 tablespoons butter.
  6. On a lightly floured surface, divide the dough in half. Using a rolling pin, roll each half into 8 x 16 rectangles that are 1/4 inch thick.Use your hand or pastry brush to spread half the melted butter onto each rectangle. Sprinkle each rectangle equally with the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Starting at the short end of the rectangle, roll each rectangle into a 8 1/2 inch long cylinder. Place the cylinders in the prepared pans, seam side down and cover with plastic wrap. Let the loafs rest at room temperature until the dough has risen slightly and springs back when lightly pressed, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. 
  7. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 375F. Bake the loaves 30 to 35 minutes, until they are dark brown and hollow-sounding when thumped on top. Leaving the loaves in their pans, transfer to a rack to cool. Meanwhile, melt the remaining two tablespoons of butter. Brush the top of each loaf with the butter. Once cool enough to handle, remove from pans and serve right away or continue to cool.

1 comment:

  1. It was really good. Wish I had used it in my bread pudding for a Mardi GRAS party with bourbon sauce.



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