{twd} raisin swirl buns

I decided to make buns instead of a loaf for easier sharing of this week’s Tuesdays with DorieRaisin Swirl Bread. I rolled and filled the dough as directed. Instead of fitting it into a loaf pan, I sliced the roll into 12 sections and used a muffin tin.

I gave half to my mother who then gave some to a friend who is going through a tough time. My mother raved about them. I liked them too. They are not too sweet with a hint of nutmeg and cinnamon.

Thanks to Susan of Food.Baby for hosting this week’s selection. For the recipe, visit her blog or buy the book


cinnamon cranberry walnut bread

The next formula up for me in the Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge was the Cinnamon Raisin Walnut Bread. Out of raisins, I used cranberries. I also made the bread using half white whole-wheat flour. I was able to make three 7-ounce mini loaves out of half a recipe.

The bread was quick and easy, made and baked in the same day. I used my fresh yeast again, made the optional cinnamon-sugar swirl, and topped the fresh from oven loaves with a cinnamon-sugar topping.

I’m not the first person to say this about the bread: This bread is crack. Which is why I froze one loaf, took one loaf to work, and only ate the third. It was hard to take pictures without eating. No, not hard, impossible.

If you would like the recipe, buy the book: The Bread Baker’s Apprentice. It’s a great book and I’ve learned a lot about bread baking.

Raisin, Rosemary, & Cinnamon Focaccia


I made another winning recipe from the Art & Soul Baking–really, you need to get this book–this weekend: Raisin, Rosemary, & Cinnamon Focaccia. I also saw Slumdog Millionaire. If you haven’t seen it yet, Go! It’s a story about destiny, about love, about friendship.

Focaccia is typically made from pizza dough and instead of rolling it out into discs, it is pressed into a jelly roll pan. Dimpled and brushed with olive oil, sprinkled with salt, and maybe some fresh herbs plain homemade focaccia is amazing.

The flavor combination of this focaccia at first may seem a bit odd to you, but give it a chance. It works, it really does. It reminds me a of a cinnamon-raisin bagel, but revved up with the kick of rosemary. The flavor first hit me as I mixed the dough and then again has I pressed it into a pan. However, when it was baking in the oven and the scent wafted through my house I knew I was making something great.

This is a breakfast focaccia. It uses milk instead of the typical water to make the dough. This gives the bread a more tender crumb and also makes it a bit sweeter. Instead of sprinkling the focaccia with salt prior to baking, it is sprinkled with turbinado sugar.


Raisin, Rosemary, & Cinnamon Focaccia

Adapted from The Art & Soul of Baking.
  • 2 1/4 cups (18 ounces) warm whole milk (110 F to 115 F)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 5 cups (25 ounces) bread flour
  • 3 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) olive oil, plus more for brushing
  • 2 cups (10 ounces) plump, sweet raisins ( I used a combo of golden and regular)
  • 1/4 cup very finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons turbinado sugar
  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine warmed milk, sugar, and yeast. Whisk in 1/4 cup of the flour and let sit for 10 minutes or so until yeast is activated and foamy. Whisk in another 2 cups of flour and use paddle attachment and mix on low speed for 4 minutes.
  2. Add raisins, olive oil, rosemary, cinnamon, and salt, switch to dough hook and knead until well blended. Add remaining flour and knead for 2 minutes. Scrape down sides and turn dough over in bowl to make sure everything  is well mixed. Knead for another 2 minutes.
  3. Lightly oil a tub or bowl and place dough, lightly coating it in oil, into it. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until it doubles in size.
  4. Prepare a 12″ by 17″ jelly roll pan by lightly brushing it with olive oil. Scrape risen dough onto prepared pan and lightly punch down to release some of the air. Gently begin stretching and pressing dough to fit the length and width of the pan. If at anytime it seems like the dough is resisting, brush it with olive oil and let it rest for 10 minutes.
  5. Brush the dough with olive oil and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise  until it is almost double in size approximately 45 to 60 minutes.  Meanwhile place a baking stone in the oven and preheat it to 375 F.
  6. Remove plastic wrap and dimple dough by gently pressing your finger tips into the dough.
  7. Sprinkle dough with turbinado sugar. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until bread is a deep golden brown and registers 200 F on an instant-read thermometer. Transfer to a cooling rack and immediately brush with olive oil. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Makes 20 3″ by 3″ squares.


This focaccia is great plain, but even better smeared with mascarpone. YUM! This recipe as also inpired me to try new flavor combinations. I’m thinking dried cranberries and thyme. I’ll let you know how it turns out…