May 10, 2009

A Swirl of Many Grains and Raisins

As a little girl one of my favorite snacks was cinnamon toast. Warm bread, lots of butter, plus a healthy dose of cinnamon and sugar...comfort food at it's best. I liked it best with a big mug of hot cocoa. I'd setttle down with a good book and time would just slip away.

Lots of people my age can tell you the exact words of commercial jingles from television, even though it was decades ago. I'm a cultural misfit because afte I was about 8 years old we didn't have a working television. One day it just 'broke' and my Dad took all of us who were old enough to get a library card straight to the library. We went back once a week. My younger sister would leave with a stack of books almost as tall as she was and she would plow through them during the week, ready for new ones when we returned last weeks' treasures. I was lucky to finish three books a week, but we all developed a love of reading...or became printaholics...depending on your point of view.

Now that I have the siren song of sourdough starters calling from my fridge, I spend more time baking bread than reading about it. Through trial and error I have figured out the proportions that make the kind of bread I like, so I mostly forget about recipes.

This week I decided to make some raisin bread...something that I love but have not yet tried as a sourdough loaf. The recently arrived order from King Arthur flour included a lovely sack of 12 grain flour. Included are flours of wheat, amaranth, quinoa, sorghum, brown rice,spelt, barley, millet, oats, rye, buckwheat and corn. They add a lot of flavor and some extra nutritional value. The swirl is a combination of butter, brown sugar, cinnamon...lots of cinnamon!...walnuts and, or course, raisins. It is great as is but even better toasted and spread with a bit of butter. Didn't try it yet with hot cocoa, but it was quite enjoyable to eat while reading my latest novel. It would even be good while reading a cereal box...something I've done as a printaholic when no other print was available.

12 Grain Raisin Swirl Sourdough Bread
makes one large loaf

1 cup sourdough starter
1 ¼ cups milk, slightly warm
1 tablespoon molasses (dissolved in the warm milk)
1 egg, slightly beaten or ¼ cup egg substitute
3 cups all-purpose bread flour, divided
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup 12 grain flour mix (I used King Arthur brand)
¼ cup butter, softened
½ cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
½ cup raisins
½ cup chopped walnuts

In the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl, mix together the sourdough starter, milk, Molasses, and egg.

In another bowl mix together 2 cups all-purpose bread flour, 1 cup 12 grain flour and the salt. Mix to combine thoroughly.

With dough hook attached to the stand mixer, gradually add the flour mixture to the liquid mixture, letting the mixer dough hook knead at low speed as you add the flour. Once that is all incorporated, continue to add the rest of the all-purpose bread flour until a soft dough forms and the dough ball cleans the sides of the bowl. Continue to knead for 10 minutes. Turn dough out onto a lightly flour surface and gather into a ball, kneading a few times if needed to thoroughly mix the dough.

Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl or dough rising container, turning the ball to oil all sides. Cover lightly and let rise in a warm place until double in bulk, about 1 ½ hours.

Punch down risen dough and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead a few times, then flatten dough with your hands to about 8” by 10” rectangle. Spread softened butter evenly over the surface, leaving ½ to 1 inch around edges free of butter.

In a small bowl combine the brown sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle this mixture evenly over the butter.

Evenly sprinkle the raisins, then the walnuts over the cinnamon-sugar mixture on the dough.
Roll up along the long side, jelly-roll fashion. Seal the edges at the end of rolling. Turn under the ends to fit a large bread pan. Lightly oil the bread pan. Place dough, sealed side down, into the bread pan. Cover lightly and let rise until double in bulk, about 1 ½ hours. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Bake risen loaf in preheated oven for about 45 minutes, until top is browned and loaf sounds somewhat hollow when bottom is tapped. Due to the filling it won’t sound a hollow as an unfilled bread loaf.

Remove from pan and cool on a rack. Slice with a serrated knife to serve.

This recipe goes to Tangerine's Kitchen for Bread Baking Day #20 - Multi Grains! It also goes to Susan at Wild Yeast for that wonderous event Yeast Spotting - if you love yeast you should really check it every week!


  1. It would seem there are several of us that almost keep the king in business ;o) I too just opened a box filled with flours. Only bread nuts can get this excited about flour I guess. I'm excited to try some of the multi-grain that I got. Cinnamon and raisin ... so good!

  2. Looks beautiful and yummy!

  3. Love the swirled look and a wonderful looking loaf.
    Thank you for the entry!

  4. Nice swirl.

    I like the word printaholic. ;)

  5. That looks great! So what is your latest novel?

  6. Tanna, Yes I now love the King and look forward to a long relationship :)

    DaviMack, Yep, great toasted, too.

    Rachel, Thanks for doing BBD#20!

    Andreas, Thanks...and I am truly a printaholic!

    Susan, I think it was The Quiet Game by Greg Illes. Just returned it to the paperback book store in exchange for some new ones (currently reading non-fiction book Three Cups of Tea...very good book.)

  7. I am so ordering a sack of that 12 grain now and pulling one of the children out of the fridge and making this.

    Elle,you have become a master bread baker now that you are not bothering with recipes and just building a dough that feels right. Well done!


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