They say man cannot live by bread alone. This was said because cinnamon oatmeal raisin bread probably hadn't been discovered.
I've been meaning to make this recipe, from The Fresh Loaf, for a while now. Like just about every recipe I make that I talk about. I kept thinking of a slice of raisin-studded cinnamon bread toasted and slathered with butter and honey for breakfast. Finally, I made it.
Featuring the obvious, cinnamon and raisins, this also had oatmeal. You couldn't really tell, though, because the oats were soaked before being mixed with the flour. I like texture in my bread, so next time I'd either not soak all of them, or not soak them at all. They did add a more nutritious element, along with whole wheat flour, so this isn't as bad as, say, a cinnamon roll disguised as a slice of bread. Not too sweet, either, which I liked, though I'd have added just a bit more honey, or boosted it with some sugar, to enhance the flavor a bit more.
While mixing this bread, I accidentally added all the flour at once and it was much too dry. I fixed this by adding just enough water to get things mixing, knowing that the raisins, which were soaked and not pat dry, would also help. (A note for adding water: It might seem to be really sticky at first, and you'll be tempted to add additional flour. Don't. Just knead it a bit to allow the water to be absorbed by the flour.)
There's a ton of raisins. It might seem like too much, but it isn't. Often times I skimp on the fruit and realize after the fact that I shouldn't have, as the dough expands and the raisins do not.
With two tablespoons of cinnamon, the dough ended up turning a bit grey. Weird, huh? I think with less cinnamon and a bit more of the sweet stuff you could get away with whiter, more enhanced flavor, though I'm not complaining at all.
Another note was that this bread was quite dense. The loaves were like weights, I swear I could have gotten some strength training in after they baked. The recipe says it makes 3 8x4-inch loaves, and I only have two of those, so I figured 2 9x5-inch loaves would be appropriate. While they rose well, and I don't think they would have had I made 3, they still were rather dense. If anything, this is a very filling bread to have on hand for a sweet bite that'll leave you satisfied, and is also good for you.
And what to do with extra bread? You make French toast! And you douse it with powdered sugar. Slices of bread soaked with a creamy custard-like mixture of eggs and milk, flavored slightly with nutmeg and sugar (hoping it would help caramelize the crust -- I don't know if this worked), then fried on the skillet until crispy and golden.
This has been a very technical post in terms of what I've told you. I'm almost boring myself. Almost, because I find what I have to say very important.
I will be submitting this bread to YeastSpotting, a place where great bread comes together.
If you are interested in a different kind of energy, one that you can try whilst exercising, head on over to Trying to Heal's blog for a chance to win some Forze GPS Bars. They come in some pretty delicious flavors!