Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Cinnamon Raisin Braid Bread

January is one of those months where I find myself baking bread almost on a daily basis. It may be boredom and cabin fever, or more likely it is out of desperation to stay sane while trying to stay warm. So with an oven-warm-filled kitchen and sipping on herbal teas I can stay warm while dreaming of green grass and the beach. 

Well, honestly, I do not mind winter. I actually enjoy staying home and indoors thanks to my introvertness. But, something happens about this time every year where everyone in the house gets a little stir crazy. And I am sure you can relate because this has been one of the coldest winters on record for the whole country. So back to the kitchen I go. To stay warm and find myself in baking another loaf of bread. 
This bread recipe is a variation my soft and chewy oat baguette bread that I love so much and make all the time. This bread just adds two more favorite ingredients and then rolls it out differently so to come up with a more fancy loaf for breakfast toast. You could make it into a baguette too if you want... it is just best if it is spread to be a longer loaf or two circle loaves because it bakes better. 

Cinnamon raisin bread for me does something to my heart strings. They say your food shouldn't speak to you, but this bread does. It is my childhood and college-baking-bakery days all wrapped into one. So the smells and tastes brings back all sorts of nostalgia and love. 

Bread speaks to me. 

Go ahead and judge me. Or not... either way, make this bread. I promise you won't be disappointed. 
Cinnamon Raisin Braid Bread Recipe
{gluten, dairy, soy, nut, yeast and refined-sugar free}

3 TB of psyllium husk powder (must be HUSK powder to work best)
1 cup of pure water
1 cup of non-dairy milk (unsweetened hemp is my choice here)
2 TB of apple cider vinegar

2 TB of olive oil
1 TB of local honey 
1 TB for molasses
1 TB of ground cinnamon
1/4-1/3 cup of organic raisins

2 cups of freshly ground GF oat flour
1 cup of white rice flour (or sorghum, brown rice or Namaste's Perfect Flour Blend mix)
2 ts. of baking powder
1 ts. of baking soda
1 ts. of sea salt
handful of one of the above flours for dusting

In a large mixing bowl, whisk the psyllium husk powder, water, milk and apple cider vinegar together. It will turn into a thickened blob in a few minutes, then whisk in the oil and honey in together. Then sprinkle in the cinnamon and fold in the raisins.

Then, add all of the dry ingredients and mix with a spatula or wooden spoon until all of the flour is blended, but be careful to not over mix and make it too sticky. 
It will be spongy and you can dump the dough on a parchment paper and roll out with your hands with a little kneading as well. Use a pastry or kitchen knife to divide the dough into 3 even pieces. 
Try and roll out 3- 12 inch logs and roll out as many creases as you can. Use some rice or oat flour if need be to make it just right and not be sticky. Then press all three dough logs together at one end and braid each piece back and forth twice or twist how ever you desire as long ad dough is snug and tight together to make a 10-12 inch loaf.
Then finally pat the loaf with a little dusting of flour. Then put in a preheated 350 degree oven for 50 minutes, but can go as long as 60 minutes if you want a thicker crust.

Pull from the oven and let cool for 20 minutes before cutting into. This will be hard for you because this bread makes your kitchen smell amazing. 

Cut into and spread a healthy spread of some vegan butter, ghee, or your favorite nut or seed butter. Delish! I can honestly say I love this bread more than any bread I remember pre-gluten-free days. I know it's been 7 years now, so I may have forgotten, and mostly likely I have. But who cares. This bread is darn good! So I can honestly say this recipe does bring more HOPE to the gluten-free healing journey.
I hope you find these simple ingredients and make this bread soon. It truly is a treat. Enjoy!

Much love to you and yours.... and stay warm! xoxo