A good day for baking: what to make?

I slept in a bit in the morning. This allowed little cat to continue to curl up on the covers with me. It is a cold day but not quite as cold and windy as the day before. While sitting at my kitchen table having my morning coffee it occurs to me that this would be a good day to warm up the kitchen by baking something. But what? I do not want to bake something too sweet or something that there is a lot of. Chocolate always comes to mind but that may be too sweet.

raisin bread 003While perusing two of my cookbooks that were published in the UK, I come across a sultana and walnut bread recipe with photo. That looks good. It is yeast bread. Do I want to take that much trouble this morning? I have all the necessary ingredients. However, if I want to make raisin bread, this would make a nice toast for breakfast with my coffee; why not use the tried and true Soulard Market cookbook? I get this book out and I have all those necessary ingredients as well, including the chopped pecans. Decisions, decisions!

The perusing of the UK cookbooks was to find recipes for quinoa, bulgur, and barley. I bought packages of each of these interesting grains at my local Aldi store, and wanted to make something other than tabbouleh since I do not have fresh cucumber or cherry tomatoes. I find an interesting chick pea recipe and one for sweet potatoes. I will make the sweet potato recipe with ginger for supper. So the perusal was still productive in that since.raisin bread 002

I decide to make the Soulard Raisin Bread. My kitchen is cold and a yeast bread will take twice as long to rise and I am getting a late start to the day as it is. Not that I have anything to do except what I choose to do these days, at least for a few more weeks.

Quick-Stirred Raisin Bread:

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour ( in my experience baking with only whole wheat flour makes a product heavier than I like; I use 1 cup all-purpose and 1 cup whole wheat)
  • 1 teaspoon each of baking powder, baking soda, and salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 ½ cups buttermilk
  • ¼ cup honey or maple syrup (I use honey; maple syrup is too dear and I want it for my waffles and pancakes when I get around to making some)
  • 1 cup raisins (see brilliant idea later in the narrative)
  • ½ cup chopped pecans

Like quick breads and muffins the dry ingredients are combined and then the wet put in all at once and stirred only until blended. I use a whisk to combine the dry ingredients.raisin bread 004 This is much handier than using a sifter. I had read a handy hint somewhere that spraying the measuring cup with cooking spray before measuring honey helps to ease all of the honey out of the cup and into your recipe. I did this and it really worked!

After the dry and wet ingredients are mixed it is time to add the “extras”. So I am pouring the golden raisins into the measuring cup when I have a brilliant idea! I have in my pantry a package of dried Berries and Cherries!raisin bread 005

These will go in this bread nicely. So I use ½ cup of the raisins and fill the rest of the cup with Berries and Cherries. These get stirred into the batter and put into the prepared pan (greased or sprayed with cooking spray. Now it is ready to go into the oven. Bake for 55-60 minutes.

The recipe directions then say to cool in the pan for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to finish cooling. Now comes the hard part: waiting for the bread to cool so that it slices nicely.

I spread this piece with cream cheese and enjoy. If hubby and I don’t eat all this evening for a dessert, I will toast a slice or two for breakfast in the morning. Yum!

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