Cherries are owned by Summer.
Pumpkin pie is Fall’s property.
And Cadbury Cream Eggs are under the ruthless dictatorship of a clucking bunny rabbit that only allows me access to his secret stash for a couple weeks a year. Jerk.
But no seasonality owns Bread.
It is an ever changing, resilient free spirit that escapes all forms of proprietorship.
Not due to lack of effort by vying candidates.
Spring sends Easter to battle for custody by parading about adorable egg-decorated, braided brioches and chick-shaped dinner rolls hoping to brand Bread to their season.
Winter slyly lures Bread with dunks in warm baths of chowders and stews in an attempt to entice it into a permanent residence.
And how Bread comes out alive after hoards of paczki float by tossing beads of deliciousness every Mardi Gras, I’ll never know.
Although holidays and seasons come and go every year, not one has successfully managed to confine Bread to a specialty season. It runs free because it truly is wonderful any month, with any ingredients and served at any temperature.
There’s no better way to pay tribute to that than with a knock-out of a yeast recipe: best ever no-knead pecan cinnamon raisin bread.
This bread is perfection.
The splendorous soft, but sturdy crumb is swept within a swirling wind of cinnamon and sugar. Plump raisins scattered within the dough hold their own in the battle for texture supremacy against the toasty pecan pieces and chewy, brown exterior.
This cinnamon raisin delight can transform from its sweet, comforting identity to that of a crunchy, seductive temptress after but a moment in a toaster’s lair. Add a square of butter and spread it into every nook and cranny.
Absolutely. Positively. Irresistible.
No knead for intimidation:
Simply empty your cabinets of all the bowls.
Dirty your hands a smidge.
Watch your dough until it watches back.
Cool the crusted coil.
Slice to find the butterflies.
Get a little toasted and drift into satisfaction….YUM!
Best Ever No-Knead Pecan Cinnamon Raisin Bread
With a loving golden brown crust right out of the oven, this is everything that childhood represents. Its soft center is enticing enough with no pampering. An organic swirling of cinnamon, sugar and toasted pecans runs rampant within to add the perfect sweet marbling. Toast a slice, pair it with a buttery slather and you’re fueled from the inside out.
- 1 1/2 C milk
- 1 C water
- 4 1/2 tsp yeast
- 2 T honey
- 1/2 C sugar
- 3 eggs, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
- 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 7-7 1/2 C flour
- 1/2 C butter, softened
- 1 1/2 C raisins
- butter for greasing the bowl and coating bread- about 4 T
- 1 generous cup pecans, toasted and then ground until slightly larger than crumbs
- 3/4 C white sugar
- 1/2 C brown sugar
- 1 1/2 T cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line 2 cookie sheets with a silpat mat or grease generously 3 bread pans.
- Warm water to 115F. Pour in small bowl over honey and 1T of the bread sugar. Stir in yeast. Allow to sit and proof about 10 minutes until frothy and fragrant.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together 7 C flour, cinnamon and salt.
- While yeast is proofing, heat milk until just starting to bubble and then pour it in a large mixing bowl. Allow the milk to cool to 120F. Add the eggs after tempering to ensure they don’t scramble. Then add the rest of the sugar, butter and raisins to the milk. After stirring, it should be cooled slightly now, but warm enough for our yeast. Pour proofed yeast in.
- Add flour in 2 parts into the milk mixture and stir. Once combined, add additional half cup if necessary- dough should be difficult to stir and pretty sticky. Do not knead for more than the time it takes to mix the dough thoroughly. Once mixed completely, dump into a very large bowl coated lightly with melted butter. Turn dough over to coat the other side with a little butter and then cover and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled, about 90 minutes.
- Gently push dough down and fold it over itself to remove some of the air. Divide dough into three pieces. Roll each into a rectangle about 1/2 inch thick. Use some of your 4T of butter and melt it to brush lightly on the surfaces of your rectangles. Combine the two sugars and sprinkle 1/3 of this sugar mixture and 1/3 of pecans on each of the buttered surfaces. Roll into a tight roll starting with one of the long ends. Fold dough ends over slightly to make sure they are sealed. Take the two rolled ends and connect them. Place the loop of dough as is in the bread pan. Repeat this process with the other portions of dough.
- Melt some of your remaining butter and use a pastry brush to coat the tops of the loaves. Allow to rise until doubled, about 60 minutes.
- Bake in preheated oven for about 40 minutes or until you tap on it and it sounds slightly hollow. If it starts to brown too much during baking, tent the top with foil.
- Once taken out of oven, use pastry brush to coat the top with more melted butter. Cool slightly before trying to remove from pan. This gives the bottom time to set up before removal giving you a better chance of crust perfection (although it tastes just as good if it is slightly flawed!) Allow to cool completely before slicing- enjoy!
Recipe adapted from Food.com