Cinnamon Raisin Bread


Is there anything better than the smell of fresh bread baking in your kitchen?  Yes, fresh bread with cinnamon!  I can’t stress enough how amazing our kitchen smelled on this cold, snowy weekend with this cinnamon raisin bread baking in the oven.  I really need to bake more with cinnamon.  It is such a warm, sweet smell – I absolutely love it!

This cinnamon raisin bread brings back memories of my childhood and the loaf of Sunmaid raisin bread that was a breakfast favorite in my household.  It is a nice soft loaf studded with plump raisins and a hint of sweet cinnamon in every bite.  A piece of this bread toasted with butter and cinnamon sugar is really helping me get through this Monday morning! … 

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Irish Brown Bread (with Guinness!)

This no knead Irish Brown Bread has the most amazing flavor thanks to Guinness and buttermilk. A delicious brown bread that is perfect for St. Patrick’s Day!

No Knead Irish Brown Bread made with Guinness |

The Better Half and I are Irish through and through. We both have Irish mothers (his Duffy, mine Murphy) and we both went to Notre Dame.  So we get a little excited when St. Patrick’s day rolls around!

I wanted to bake something festive, but I draw the line at putting green food coloring in my beautiful bread. It just seems too artificial. So I thought this recipe for Irish Brown Bread from my no-knead cookbook
would be the perfect festive recipe to try out. It is a play on Irish Soda bread, but it uses yeast for the rising, rather than using baking soda. And, it has Guinness in it.  Can’t get much more Irish than that!  

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Country Bread

Country Bread

I am not an expert on bread baking in the slightest.  I have only been doing it for a year, so I am trying to learn as much as I can and try as many recipes as I can.  I love cookbooks and bought a bunch of bread baking ones, but I found myself scouring the cookbooks for recipes that do not use a starter.  Who has time for a starter?  Feeding it and waiting around?  Plus, they sound kind of scary – Biga?  Poolish?  What do those words even mean?

Then this past weekend I decided it was time to get over my fear and make bread with a starter.  And boy am I glad I did.  It brings the bread to a whole new level.  The flavor is more complex and the texture is just perfect.  I guess there is a reason that over half the recipes in my cookbooks use a starter.

There are various types of starters, but I used a very basic method from Joanne Chang’s Flour cookbook.  The only hard part about using a starter is timing.  But on a cold winter weekend, I have nothing but time for baking!  … 

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No-Knead Bread

This No-Knead Bread recipe is one of my absolute favorite recipes ever. The bread is crusty on the outside and light and fluffy on the inside, and it is so easy to make!

No-Knead Bread |
I have always loved to bake.  And to eat.  There are numerous pictures of me as a child with cake batter or cookie dough all over my face, and I haven’t stopped since then.  Cookies are my specialty, although I have dabbled in it all.  However the one thing I had not tried until last January was bread. Good ‘ol yeast bread.  Just the thought of working with yeast scared me, and there were all of these scary words associated with baking bread, like proofing and rising and kneading.  So I just never attempted it, until a long weekend visiting my aunt when she taught me that I didn’t need to be afraid of bread.  That is was surprisingly easy.  And I have been unstoppable ever since.  I am obsessed with baking bread!  The smell of fresh bread baking is intoxicating, and I feel so satisfied when it comes out of the oven.  However if the thought of the whole process still scares you, I have the perfect recipe.  No-knead bread, inspired by Jim Lahey
and America’s Test Kitchen.  

It makes the perfect fluffy white bread with a thick crackly crust, and you don’t even have to knead the dough!  Ok, you do have to touch it, but only a few times, I promise!  All you need is time, because this dough needs to sit for 12-18 hours, and then another 2 hours before it bakes.  I really think this no-knead bread recipe will change your (baking) life!  

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