It’s that time of month again – Bread Baking Day!
This will be the third time that I have participated in Bread Baking Day, an event that Zorra of 1x umrühren bitte began to celebrate bread making with bakers from around the world. She also hosted last month’s Bread Baking Day (and one year anniversary) with the theme of “Bread with Sprouts”. The “Bread with Sprouts” roundup can be viewed here.
This month’s BBD theme is “Small Breads” i.e. individual serving size breads, hosted by Aparna at My Diverse Kitchen. She will be posting the roundup on Aug. 5th so be sure to visit her site and see all of the wonderful small breads baked this month!
I was feeling adventurous this month and decided to warp a familiar basic white bread recipe to incorporate 25% whole wheat flour, spices and raisins. Luckily for me, the dough still rose, the kitchen didn’t burn down and my parents and I had breakfast the next day!
Whole wheat cinnamon raisin buns
A transformation of King Arthur Flour’s Classic Sandwich Bread
(More on this recipe another time)
– 2/3 cups raisins
– 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp hot water
– 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
– 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
– 1/2 cup lukewarm milk
– 4 tbsp vegetable oil
– 1 tbsp Ovaltine powder* (optional)
– 2 tsp instant yeast
– 1 1/2 tsp sugar
– 1 1/4 tsp salt
– 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
– 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
– 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
– 1 egg, beaten
*I was experimenting to see if Ovaltine would add a malty flavour to the buns. I’ve made these with and without the Ovaltine powder and couldn’t really taste the difference.
In a large bowl, let the raisins soak in the hot water for 10-15 minutes until they begin to get soft. This keeps the raisins plump and less likely to burn once they’re in the oven.
Add the milk to lower the temperature of the water, and then mix in the remainder of the ingredients. You may need to add a bit more flour because this dough is quite sticky. Stir until the dough starts to leave the sides of the bowl. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface, and knead until it becomes smooth and supple, around 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and allow the dough to rise till approximately doubled, about 60 minutes.
*Note: If you like, you can incorporate a folding step halfway through this first rise. If you won’t be able to tend to the dough within ~an hour’s time, you can also place the dough in the refrigerator for the first rise and let the dough sit on the counter for ~15-20 minutes before proceeding to the next step.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface (I used a wooden cutting board) and divide into 12 equal portions. I do this by gently flattening the dough into a rough circle, dividing the circle into 4 equal portions, and then dividing each of the 4 portions into 3 equal smaller portions for a total of 12 portions. Shape each small portion into a ball and cover lightly with plastic wrap. Let the buns rise until puffy, around 30 minutes.
Brush the beaten egg on the tops of each bun – this egg wash will give the buns a glossy shine. You can apply two egg washes (once ~15 min before baking and once right before baking) if you like, but just be careful that there isn’t so much egg it pools at the bottom of the buns = burnt bun bottoms = bird and squirrel food (!).
Bake the buns in a preheated 350°F oven for about 20 minutes, until they’re light golden brown. Remove the buns from the oven, and cool on a wire rack before tearing them apart and savouring their deliciousness.