I must begin with a disclaimer.
I think I’ve only followed a recipe exactly once in my life.
I made Julia Child’s Boeuf Bourguignon EXACTLY.
You can read about that here.
So, because of my easy going cooking style you will have to put up with a little “inexactness” in this recipe….because you see, I invented this one years ago out of my own head, and well, there you go…I’m more creative than exact.
Elizabeth’s Cranberry Cinnamon Bread
First, “proof” the yeast.
This means make sure the yeast is active before you ruin the whole batch of bread,
and instead of bread, end up baking a cranberry, cinnamon brick.
In a small bowl combine:
2/3 C. very warm tap water
1 1/2 Tablespoons dry yeast granules
1 teaspoon sugar
Stir and let rest until foamy like this:
The rest of this recipe is easiest if you have a Kitchen Aid mixer or another brand of heavy duty mixer with a dough hook. If you don’t have a mixer with a dough hook, you are going to have to do it the old fashioned way, with your muscles. I had the standard Kitchen Aid 325watt for 13 or so years and just got my Kitchen Aid Pro 575watt a couple of months ago. Let me tell you, more power and a much bigger bowl capacity made a HUGE difference when making this recipe for two large loaves of bread.
In your mixer bowl combine:
2 cups warm water or milk
1 beaten egg
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons cinnamon
Add the yeast mixture
Mix on low until combined.
Turn off the mixer and add 4 cups all purpose flour, unbleached flour, or Better for Bread flour and approximately 1 cup of dried cranberries and mix on low until well blended.
When all the above is well blended, turn off the mixer and add 3 more cups of flour and knead on about level 2 speed until the dough pulls completely away from the sides of the bowl and forms a ball on the dough hook. You may need to add even more flour a bit at a time. So, this recipe takes about 7 or 8 cups flour total.
When the dough is well kneaded place it in a greased bowl and cover with greased plastic wrap or a clean, damp towel and let rise until double in size in a warm place.
When the dough has doubled in size, form into two loaves and place in two large greased loaf pans. Cover and let rise in warm place until about double in size.
Preheat oven to 350 and bake for 45 minutes to an hour until bread is golden brown and makes a hollow sound when you tap the top.
When the bread is done, remove from pans onto cooling rack, and brush tops with butter.
*options- add chopped walnuts and/or fresh orange zest when you add the cranberries
I often add both and it is delish!
I always make about 3 batches, (6 loaves of bread), and wrap it up well and freeze it, then take it out as needed over the holidays and give some to family and friends.
I hope you try this and let me know how it turns out and how you like it.
I do ask that you don’t publish this recipe without permission…after all, it is TOP SECRET!
Try it toasted and spread with orange marmalade…my favorite!
HAPPY FRIDAY EVERYONE
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
May you be richly blessed with God’s grace, peace, and love in 2011!