Drunken Raisin Bread

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.

Dough. Mixed, kneaded, ready to rise

One hour later. Extremely puffy and ready to bake.

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.



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