Sunday, March 28, 2010

Easy Overnight Bread

As promised, here is what I made with that beautiful mixer.  This is back from the 13th-14th.
I knew I wanted to make some kind of bread.  I looked through the recipes that the mixer came with, and there were a few basic bread recipes.  Then I came across "rapid mix cool rise white bread."  The name is a mouthful, but it's basically the easiest way to make bread.  You let it rise overnight, so I wouldn't need to worry about my apartment being warm enough for proper rising conditions.  It said you could use this technique for any of the bread recipes, but I figured I should stick with that recipe for my first time.  It makes two 9x5 loaves of bread (I bought another loaf pan just for this), and I didn't want two loaves of plain white bread.  I thought that maybe I could adapt it slightly so it could be similar to the cinnamon raisin swirl bread I made recently.  I added some honey to the liquids for sweetness, mixed raisins right into the batter, and sprinkled some cinnamon on it before rolling it up.  I think that it would need more honey or sugar, since it wasn't very sweet.  I also used a mix of bread flour and all purpose flour.  It was pretty good.  I ate a couple of the slices warm, slathered with some butter, and then froze the rest.  I'm thinking it would make a really good base for some bread pudding...

Recipe: Rapid Mix Cool Rise White (with Cinnamon, Honey and Raisins) Bread (adapted from KitchenAid Stand Mixer Recipes)
6-7 cups flour (I used a mixture of bread flour and all-purpose)
3 tbsp sugar
3 1/2 tsp salt
3 packages active dry yeast
1/4 cup butter, softened (I used some unsalted european style butter, my splurge)
handful of raisins
2 cups very warm water (120-130 F)
2-3 tbsp honey
Butter or margarine (optional)

Place 2 1/2 cups bread flour and 3 cups all purpose flour, sugar, salt, yeast and butter in mixer bowl.  Attach bowl and dough hook to mixer.  Turn to Speed 2 and mix about 20 seconds.
Stir the honey into the warm water.  Gradually add the water mixture, and mix about 1 1/2 minutes longer.  Continuing on Speed 2, add remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, and mix until dough clings to hook and cleans sides of bowl, about 2 minutes.  Add in the raisins.  Knead on Speed 2 about 2 minutes longer.
Cover dough with plastic wrap and a towel, let rest 20 minutes.
Divide dough in half.  (I didn't divide very well - I should have used my kitchen scale to divide equally.)  On a lightly floured surface, roll each half into a rectangle, approximately 9x14 inches.  Sprinkle each rectangle with the cinnamon.  Starting at a short end, roll the dough tightly.  Pinch to seal the seam.  Pinch the ends and turn them under.  Place the dough, seam side down, in a greased loaf pan.  Brush each loaf with oil and cover loosely with plastic wrap.  Refrigerate 2-12 hours (I refrigerated overnight).

When ready to bake, uncover dough carefully.
Let stand at room temperature 10 minutes (preheat the oven to 400 F during this time.)  Puncture any gas bubbles which may have formed.  Bake for 35-40 minutes.  Remove from pans immediately and cool on wire racks.
If desired, rub the outside of the bread with butter or margarine - this softens the crust.

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