I am a big sucker for any baked good or bread that can pull double duty as both a breakfast or dessert item. This easy no knead cinnamon swirl raisin bread definitely qualifies. Baked as a sandwich loaf, it slices up easily for morning toast or offers just enough sweetness to work as a treat with afternoon coffee or tea. This bread is in regular rotation at our house as both the kids and the wife love slathering it with butter or peanut butter in the morning.
My kids love fresh bread. Specifically, the love eating the warm, soft middle and then handing me the harder, darker crust. This systems actually works pretty well for us as I think the crust is where the flavor is at. But what if I could get the simplicity of a no knead loaf with a softer crust that still had some appealing flavor but would meet with my kid’s approval? Challenge accepted.
Much of bread baking involves science but not everything. There is still a little room for art. And for mistakes. I was rather dubious about this bread recipe. I used a scale. I followed the recipe. It wasn’t exactly matching up with any of the accompanying pictures. It had few bubbles. It appeared dry. It felt off. I kept going. What other choice did I have? I hate wasting food, even sketchy dough. What happened?
Yeast is responsible for bread, wine, and beer. Do you need to know more?
Yeast is a single-cell microgranism in the fungi family. Its scientific name is Saccharomyces Cerevisiae which means “sugar-eating fungus.” It is tiny (It takes twenty billion yeast cells to weigh one gram) but very strong. Yeast serves as a leavening agent which causes the bread to rise and expand by converting the ferment-able sugars present in the dough into carbon dioxide and ethanol.
Bread baking is both deceptively simple. It’s just water, flour, salt, and yeast, after all. But also deceptively complex to master. Here are all the simple bread baking questions I’ve had as I learned more and gained more experience in baking good bread in a home oven.
Cheese and bread. Can you find better friends? Okay, maybe cookies and milk but still, cheese and bread have been besties for a serious long time. And they show no signs of getting tired of each other. They work great in the traditional no knead recipe. This is another simple, easy, foolproof bread recipe that is great at using up various nubs of fridge deli drawer cheese. Take it up a notch by throwing in some age spice cabinet herbs and you really have a party.
If you want to step up your bread baking game beyond the no knead variety, but don’t have the time or confidence to cultivate a sourdough starter quite yet you might consider trying baking a loaf with an overnight poolish.
A poolish is a mixture of flour and water and a small amount of yeast. You let the pre-ferment or poolish sit overnight and then add it to the rest of the ingredients in the morning.