Friday, October 28, 2011

Fail Turned Fantastic

I'm a lover of bread. All kinds, really. I attack the bread rolls at Texas Roadho, Logan's Steakhouse, everywhere. And yes, Texas Roadho. Drove past it once and the lights were out, so the -use was not lit up. The name sort of stuck.

So, while I'm a huge lover of bread, I completely suck at yeast using. Seriously, either I heat the liquid up too high, it's too cold, or the yeast is inactive EVERYTIME I use yeast. Eh. I take that back. It always seems to work right when I make pizza crust.


I'm trying to expand my horizons, so-to-speak, and I want to make bread. I want to make a lot of bread. I want to have a bread factory, with a bunch of loaves in the freezer for when I'm just in the mood for some.

I want assortments, too.

I have an awesome recipe for zucchini bread when I get a chance to make it. Same with banana bread. I want more. Tons and tons more. So, I attempted to make cinnamon swirl raisin bread. 

And the fail begins.

First part of this fail? My camera was dead, so the first few pictures are from my phone.
Unlike a typical fail on here, I'm going to post the recipe simply because it's an excellent recipe. Like, HOLYOMGMAKETHISALLTHETIME good recipe. I AM going to do it a bit differently, though.

Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Bread

1 c. milk
6 tbsp. butter

Pour the milk into a sauce pan and turn the heat on med-high.

Melt the butter into the milk. Remove it from the heat before it boils.

Wait for this to get warm to the touch. While you're doing that...

3 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp. salt

Combine the flour and salt together into a bowl.

Now get 1 packet of dry yeast.

When the milk mix is warm, sprinkle the yeast over it. Give it a small stir and let it sit for about 10 minutes. Give it a chance to activate.

While you're waiting on this...

2 eggs
1/3 c. sugar

Mix your eggs and sugar together in your mixer.

Add your milky yeast junk to that.

Now start adding your flour into the mix, little by little.

I have a love affair with my mixer. No lie.

From here, you can add the raisins, or you can wait to add them while you knead.

If you have a dough hook attachment for your mixer, switch to that. It'll knead the dough for you. If you don't have one, you can knead it on a floured surface.

Knead it for about 8-10 minutes. If it's too sticky, add some more flour to it little by little. Remember, it's easier to add than it is to subtract.

Take a glass bowl and heat it up a bit in the microwave. This helps with the rising. Throw about 2 tbsp. of oil into the bowl and swish it around to coat it.

Throw your ball of dough into the bowl and roll it around to coat it.

Cover it and let it rise in a warm, not drafty place for atleast 2 hours.
So, something happened and my yeast didn't activate. Or maybe my kitchen doesn't work well with letting dough rise. I don't know. But either way, it didn't rise. But anyway.

Preheat the oven to 350.
Pop your risen dough onto a floured work surface.

Mix a little less than 1/3 c. white sugar, 1 tbsp. brown sugar, and 2 tbsp. cinnamon together in a small bowl.

Add about 2 handfuls of raisins (or, however many you prefer, 0 even) to your dough and knead it like there's nothing else you have in life.

Roll the dough into a rectangle, but not TOO fat. It needs to roll up and fit into your bread pan. It helps to have your bread pan with you to judge size. OH. Don't forget to grease it (I rubbed it with about 2 tbsp. margarine).

Now melt 2 tbsp. of butter in a small bowl.

Using a brush (or your fingers) coat the top of the bread dough with it.

Then sprinkle the cinnamon mix over the buttered bread dough.

Mush it all over so it evenly covers the dough.

Roll it up like a cinnamon roll. Make sure to mush the seam so it all sticks together well.

Throw it in the bread pan, cover it, and let it rise (yes, again) for another 2 hours.

Scramble up an egg and about 1-2 tsp. of milk in a small bowl. paint...this all over the top of the dough. You probably won't use all of it. That's okay. This is what gives the crust the really crispy shell. You could sprinkle a mix of cinnamon and sugar on there, too, if you want.

Bake this for 40 minutes. When it's done, pull it from the oven. Let it cool for a few minutes and pop it out of the pan and let it cool on a rack.

After it's cooled completely, cut into it. I'd keep it in a ziploc bag or a Rubbermaid container when you aren't eating it.

So, as you can see, mine is WAY dense (you can also see my super awesome DVD collection that we're pretty proud of). If your yeast worked right, it would be all airy and pretty like store bought bread. I'm a little disappointed in that. But Kyle isn't. He's in love with it and is already demanding that I make some more. His preferred way of eating it?

Slathered in some butter and glaze. Dude's in Heaven.

So, it tasted reeeeeally good for a fail. Like, super amazing good. I just wish it was like Sara Lee.

I'll get you someday, bitch. Me and you. Bread dough to bread dough.

This would make awesome breakfast toast. SUPER french toast anyone?

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