Thursday, February 13, 2014

BBA Cinnamon Raisin Walnut Bread

We've had an ice storm in Atlanta, but since I have power, I'm just baking up a storm inside!

Yesterday I made the Cinnamon Raisin Walnut Bread from BBA.  It is absolutely delicious and looks just like Reinhart's photo, so I am well pleased.  I loved raisin bread as a child and today the smell of it toasting warms my heart.

There are two ways to make this bread - as a loaf with cinnamon and raisins studded throughout or he suggests as an alternative, adding a cinnamon sugar swirl to an already delicious bread.  Since the recipe made two loaves, I did one as a loaf and the second as a swirl.

I found it an easy bread to mix and make.  Since I'm used to making breads that add dry ingredients gradually to the yeast raised in warm water, it's always unnerving to me to put all the dry ingredients into the mixer and then add the liquids.  But I'm an oldest child and always follow the rules, so I do what he tells me to.

The dough was quite sticky and I probably added about a handful of flour in tablespoons as it mixed to get it to come together in a bread dough.

Here are the raisins, draining, and the walnuts, chopped.

Here is the dough rounded up before putting it into the greased bowl to rise.

I rolled one half of the dough out to make a regular loaf.  I forgot to take a photo of the cinnamon swirl being created.  I did use a brush and brushed water over the dough before adding the cinnamon sugar to help it stick.  Don't know if that was a good idea or not.

Here are the two loaves in their pans to rise.  The one on the right has the cinnamon swirl.

He suggested that you brush the tops of the baked loaves with melted butter as soon as they are out of the bread pans and roll them in the cinnamon sugar, so I did that with the non-swirled loaf.

Here is the loaf sliced - made absolutely delicious toast,  reminding me of childhood (although the bread we had from the grocery didn't had walnuts in it!)

Below is the cinnamon swirl loaf.  I don't care what the filling is, I can't ever make swirled bread that doesn't have a gap in it when it cooks.  So disappointing.

 Slicing further into the loaf, you can see the gap around the swirl.  Would love it if someone knew how to keep that from happening.  I roll tightly and pinch the seam together at the bottom.  I wonder if wetting the dough surface before I put the cinnamon on makes that happen?

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

BBA Cinnamon Buns and Sticky Buns

These cinnamon buns sounded really good - not too sweet and gooey - so I was excited to try them.   I decided to make the cinnamon buns rather than the sticky buns and mixed up the dough.  I liked it that they had the zest of a lemon in them.  He said 1 tsp but I didn't measure - just grated the lemon zest and put it into the dough.

The dough was a little soft so I had to add a little flour - just a smidgeon, but it came together better after I had done that.  

I have real Ceylon cinnamon that I buy from My Spice Sage.  I put it in my adult children's stockings every Christmas and also get some for me.  It's so much better than what we buy in the grocery store!

The recipe didn't make a ton of rolls - just a dozen.  They rose on the cookie sheet on which they would be baked.

This is how they looked coming out of the oven.  And then I glazed them - I made the recipe's suggested amount of glaze.  Next time I will cut it in half.  I have about 3/4 of a cup in my refrigerator right this minute.

They were really delicious and everyone I gave them to, loved them.

BBA Casatiello

We are very lucky in Atlanta to have the Spotted Trotter.  I buy tasso ham there for New Year's Day's hoppin' John.  I love their bacon.  Every time I go, I let myself buy something unusual that I have no idea how to use.  The last time I was there, I bought a lamb and feta crepinette.  It was delicious, but I digress.

To make the BBA casatiello, one of the ingredients is dry cured Italian salami.  This is what took me to the Spotted Trotter.  I bought a delicious salami and this made the bread INCREDIBLE.

After cooking it in the iron skillet, the salami is incorporated into the bread.  The most challenging part of this recipe is incorporating the butter.  I weighed it, like Reinhart advocates.

This was a delicious bread - one of my favorites so far.  I toasted it for breakfast and it made a meal  -  just one slice of toast.  My son-in-law loved it.  I don't think it was that special but the salami from Spotted Trotter made it special.