It’s August in the subtropics. Dog days of summer. So hot, that when I go outside all my clothes get damp and stick to me (and I’m not a person who sweats easily).
Obviously, therefore, it’s a good time to turn on the oven and bake bread? Yes. Apparently.
I’ve been wanting to try my hand at making cinnamon raisin bread for a while. Today’s the day. I browsed around online and read a few recipes, settling on this one from OneGreenPlanet, which I followed pretty closely. Disclaimer: I tend to follow recipes as a set of ratios (I used to have measure cups and spoons, but I finally just got rid of them because I’m really not enough of a baker to want them cluttering up my kitchen). I use a glass for measuring which is approximately a cup. That’s my non-standard unit of measurement.
Also, I have some whiskey lying about in the depths of my cupboards that I have been wondering what to do with as I don’t drink. I usually soak raisins before baking with them and I thought why not soak them in a little whisky instead of water? I think the alcohol would cook off anyway but might lend an interesting flavor. Mainly, though, I just thought it would be funny to then be able to call them them drunken raisins.
In addition to not having standard measuring cups, etc. I also don’t have bread pans. I considered my options. I could form a boule, round loaves. Very artisanal. But no. It didn’t seem right for raisin bread. Perhaps a braid! Yes. This sounded fun and I’d never braided dough before, so now’s the time. The trick was figuring out how to keep the cinnamon swirl element, too. I didn’t worry about it, though. When it was time, I improvised, deciding to roll the dough out, sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar as the original recipe indicated and then roll it up. The part I made up was just out of necessity for the obvious next step. I flattened the roll of dough enough to cut three strands of dough to braid. I thought the exposed cinnamon swirl elements in the cut strands would probably just lend character to the braid.