Cinnamon Raisin Challah

Cinnamon Raisin Challah

Do you fondly remember raisin bread as a child?  I do, yet these days my husband and I tend to eat cinnamon raisin bagels more so than the bread.  I couldn’t resist giving the raisin bread I remember some new life.  This loaf is sweet and eggy with lots of cinnamon, a pinch of cardamom, plump raisins and a sprinkling of coarse sugar. 

What is Challah?

In very basic terms, Challah is a braided yeast bread made with eggs.  So by this definition, one can imagine the possibilities for variations.  

Traditionally however, Challah is an egg-rich, braided bread eaten in the Jewish cuisine on ceremonial occasions. The term Challah is also a reference to the separation of a portion of the bread for an offering. 

To me, it’s a darn tasty way to enjoy toast in the morning!

About this Challah

In this recipe, I opted to use brown sugar because I wanted that hint of molasses.  I also added a small amount of cardamom because I think it is wonderful in baked goods.  The raisins are pre-plumped, mostly because mine were looking a little dry. The top is dusted generously with coarse sugar for a little extra indulgence and crunch.  This loaf was braided with only 3 strands, but by all means, use a 5 or 6 strand braid if you prefer.  

Enjoy!

Baked and golden Cinnamon Raisin Challah braid rests on a wooden trivet that is draped with a navy and brown napkin. The loaf has two slices cut and resting at the front of the loaf. A knife and apricot jam sit to the side.
Cinnamon Raisin Challah
Print Recipe
    Servings
    1 large loaf
    Servings
    1 large loaf
    Baked and golden Cinnamon Raisin Challah braid rests on a wooden trivet that is draped with a navy and brown napkin. The loaf has two slices cut and resting at the front of the loaf. A knife and apricot jam sit to the side.
    Cinnamon Raisin Challah
    Print Recipe
      Servings
      1 large loaf
      Servings
      1 large loaf
      Ingredients
      Servings: large loaf
      Instructions
      1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook stir together water, brown sugar and yeast. Allow to proof for 7-8 minutes.
      2. Stir in 2 whole eggs, egg yolks, oil, and raisins. To this mixture add 2 cups of flour, cinnamon, cardamom and salt. Begin kneading, allowing all the flour to be absorbed. Add remaining flour gradually until dough begins to pull away from the sides and is smooth about 7-8 minutes. The dough will be a little sticky but you should be able to handle it without additional flour.
      3. Lightly oil a large bowl and turn out dough into bowl flipping to coat sides. Cover loosely with a clean kitchen towel and allow to rise in a draft-free area for 90 minutes. (It will not appear to be double in size)
      4. Remove dough and knead a few times to punch out the air. Divide dough into 3 equal portions of approximately 300g each. Allow dough to rest for about 5 minutes. This helps relax the dough and will make it easier to roll into logs.
      5. Line a large baking tray with parchment.
      6. Roll each third into a 14" long log. Lay the 3 logs parallel to each other on the baking tray. Braid dough tightly, pinching the ends together and tucking under slightly.
      7. Cover loaf with a clean kitchen towel and allow to rise in a draft free area for 45 minutes.
      8. Preheat oven to 350℉. In a small bowl whisk together 1 large egg and cream. Brush generously on the loaf and sprinkle with coarse sugar. Bake for approximately 32 minutes until golden and an internal temperature of 195℉ is reached.
      9. Remove from oven to a cooling rack and allow to cool prior to slicing.
      Recipe Notes

      For extra plump raisins, soak them in hot water for 10-15 minutes and drain well prior to adding to dough.

      This bread is wonderful toasted with a little apricot jam.

      It toasts quickly because of the sugar content.

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      I may receive compensation for purchases made through this site, at no cost to the purchaser. Compelled to Cook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com
      Rosemary Buttermilk Rolls

      Rosemary Buttermilk Rolls

      Rosemary Buttermilk Rolls bake up perfectly soft and speckled with fresh rosemary.  This makes them absolutely perfect along side your baked ham or golden roasted turkey.  There’s almost nothing better than freshly baked bread, filling the kitchen with an amazing aroma.  The kind that sparks a memory and elicits a feeling of comfort. 

      These lovely rolls are easier than you think, requiring no fancy equipment and use everyday ingredients. When making bread, it’s important to distribute the yeast evenly, whether you’re using fresh yeast or dry yeast.  Because I’m using dry yeast, I bloom it with the liquids and sugar prior to mixing. This not only ensures the yeast will be evenly dissolved and distributed but also gives it a head start in the production of carbon dioxide which helps make the bread rise. 

      You won’t be disappointed, and neither will your guests.  Rosemary Buttermilk Rolls are delicious and simple and will make your holiday table the best it can be.  Enjoy!

      Rosemary Buttermilk Rolls
      Print Recipe
        Servings Prep Time
        12 rolls 30 minutes
        Cook Time Passive Time
        18-20 minutes 105 minutes
        Servings Prep Time
        12 rolls 30 minutes
        Cook Time Passive Time
        18-20 minutes 105 minutes
        Rosemary Buttermilk Rolls
        Print Recipe
          Servings Prep Time
          12 rolls 30 minutes
          Cook Time Passive Time
          18-20 minutes 105 minutes
          Servings Prep Time
          12 rolls 30 minutes
          Cook Time Passive Time
          18-20 minutes 105 minutes
          Ingredients
          Servings: rolls
          Instructions
          1. Whisk together buttermilk and 1/4 cup water. Warm to 95℉-110℉ in the microwave using 30 second intervals.
          2. Combine warmed liquids, sugar and yeast in a stand mixer bowl fitted with a dough hook (see note). Allow yeast to bloom for 10 minutes
          3. Stir in 1 1/2 cups of flour, rosemary and salt. Start kneading and add the butter chunks a few at a time, along with additional flour until the butter has been incorporated and the dough is starting to pull away from the sides. Continue to add flour by the tablespoon until the dough is smooth and no longer sticks to the side of the bowl, about 8 minutes.
          4. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap or kitchen towel. Allow dough to rise in a warm, draft-free area until doubled in size, approximately 60 minutes.
          5. Preheat oven to 400℉. Remove dough from bowl to a clean work surface. Knead two or three times by hand to remove the air. Divide dough into 12 equal portions of 55-58 grams each. Roll into balls and place on a parchment lined baking tray 1/4" apart. Cover with oiled plastic wrap or kitchen towel and allow to rise for 45 minutes.
          6. Whisk egg and 1 tbsp of water with a fork and brush evenly onto rolls. Bake in preheated oven for 18-20, rotating tray half way through baking time. Remove from oven and slide onto a cooling rack, removing the parchment paper. Allow rolls to cool to slightly warm or room temperature for serving.
          Recipe Notes

          -If kneading by hand, bloom yeast as instructed and stir in the first portion of flour, rosemary and salt.  Turn the wet dough onto a work surface and add a few chunks of butter and 1/4 cup additional flour.  Knead by hand, adding remaining butter and flour by the tablespoon until dough is smooth and no longer sticks excessively to the work surface. Proceed as the recipe indicates.

          -Spacing buns 1/4" apart will result in tray style rolls that you have to pull apart.  For more individual rolls,  increase spacing to 1 1/2" between rolls.

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          Mustard Herb Skillet Bread

          Mustard Herb Skillet Bread

          One could say I have a mild obsession with making bread as it’s rare that I don’t make it weekly and usually feel guilty buying store bread. Most often I make variations of my favourite doughs, because I’m also guilty of liking familiarity and convenience. So, in keeping up with my obsession I thought I’d share this lovely Mustard Herb Skillet Bread. It’s thick and soft with a golden, crusty coating of mustard, herbs and cheese. It’s great for dunking but what I find even better is to split the bread and make a nice sandwich out of it with sliced ham or turkey. And don’t worry about the next day, because it’s almost better when it’s toasted or grilled. The mustardy coating gets even crunchier and that’s when you hit it with a fried egg, cause it’s true, everything is better with a fried egg!!

          The mustard rub topping is just a slight variation of my go to mustard rub that I really do put on everything. I simply omitted the lemon juice and added the addition of parmesan cheese. In my humble opinion, bread and cheese are just meant to be together. Plus, the cheese lends to a nice chewy crust. Don’t be skimpy on the mustard rub either, it’s the star of the show. Enjoy!

          Recipe source for Mustard Herb Skillet Bread:  Compelled To Cook

          Mustard Herb Skillet Bread
          Print Recipe
            Servings Prep Time
            12-16 wedges 25-30 minutes
            Cook Time Passive Time
            20-22 minutes 80 minutes
            Servings Prep Time
            12-16 wedges 25-30 minutes
            Cook Time Passive Time
            20-22 minutes 80 minutes
            Mustard Herb Skillet Bread
            Print Recipe
              Servings Prep Time
              12-16 wedges 25-30 minutes
              Cook Time Passive Time
              20-22 minutes 80 minutes
              Servings Prep Time
              12-16 wedges 25-30 minutes
              Cook Time Passive Time
              20-22 minutes 80 minutes
              Ingredients
              Bread
              Mustard Topping
              Servings: wedges
              Instructions
              Mustard Topping
              1. In a small bowl whisk together all ingredients except for cheese and set aside until ready to use.
              Bread
              1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook stir together water, yeast and sugar. Allow to ferment for 5-7 minutes. Stir in 1 cup of flour, olive oil and salt. Begin kneading, adding additional flour by the 1/4 cup until dough starts to pull away from the sides. Continue to knead until dough is soft and silky, about 5-7 minutes.
              2. Turn out dough into a large greased bowl, cover and allow to rise in a warm, draft free area until double in size, about 1 hour.
              3. Preheat oven to 425℉. Oil a 10" cast iron skillet and push dough evenly into pan with oiled fingers, creating dimples as you go. Allow dough to rest a few minutes to relax dough if having trouble pushing it out to the edge. Cover and allow to rise for 20 minutes.
              4. Brush dough with mustard topping and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Bake in preheated oven for 20-22 minutes until golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool a few minutes in pan before lifting out onto cooling rack. May be eaten slightly warm or at room temperature.
              Recipe Notes

              Recipe yields approximately 490 grams of dough.

              Everyday Lunch Buns

              Everyday Lunch Buns

              Everyday Lunch Buns are just that, used everyday, almost! Since I’m a shift worker who packs up to 4 meals a day when including my husband, I need a reliable go to option for our everyday lunches. While I will generally take frozen leftovers for my main meals, my husband does’t always have the luxury of a microwave or a way to heat frozen meals. That’s one of the reasons a cold lunch is best for him. The other is because he likes to run errands over his lunch and is often driving while eating…..I know, distracted driver for sure!! For these reasons I make bread and buns regularly, and my go to recipe is tender, yet sturdy enough to fill will shaved meats or tuna salad. They’re also made with multigrain cereal and whole wheat flour for added fibre and nutrition.

              I believe these buns are the reason I got a new 7quart, 1.3HP KitchenAid Stand mixer for Christmas this year. I can now make multiple batches at once, it’s fantastic to say the least. This recipe also falls into a new, fun category called “Mark’s top ten”. My husband’s favourite recipes, some of which are not mine in their entirety but HIS favourites. You’ll see them make an appearance every so often, for fun and good food to eat if nothing else.

              You’ll notice that I use a dry multigrain cereal as apposed to multigrain flour. As USUAL, I cannot always find multigrain flour in my community, so I took matters into my own hands and decided to add my own multigrain mix from dry cereal. The solution really works well, as I cook a pot of cereal, allow it to cool, then wrap and freeze in individual portions for future use. No more hunting for the flour, just grab a little bundle from the freezer when getting ready to make a batch of buns. I believe it’s also a cheaper option than the flour as well. It’s one more step to the recipe, however if you make bread and buns often, it’s a great way to do it. Enjoy!

              Recipe source for Everyday Lunch Buns:  Compelled To Cook

              Everyday Lunch Buns
              Print Recipe
                Servings Prep Time
                12 Buns 30 minutes
                Cook Time Passive Time
                23-25 minutes 1 3/4-2 hours
                Servings Prep Time
                12 Buns 30 minutes
                Cook Time Passive Time
                23-25 minutes 1 3/4-2 hours
                Everyday Lunch Buns
                Print Recipe
                  Servings Prep Time
                  12 Buns 30 minutes
                  Cook Time Passive Time
                  23-25 minutes 1 3/4-2 hours
                  Servings Prep Time
                  12 Buns 30 minutes
                  Cook Time Passive Time
                  23-25 minutes 1 3/4-2 hours
                  Ingredients
                  Servings: Buns
                  Instructions
                  1. In a small sauce pan combine dry cereal and 2/3 cup of water. Bring to a simmer and cook for approximately 5 minutes until visible moisture is gone. Remove from heat and set aside to cool to 95-110℉
                  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, stir together buttermilk, 1/2 cup water, honey and yeast. Allow to ferment for 5-6 minutes until frothy. Add whole wheat flour, 1 cup bread flour, cooked cereal, butter and salt. Stir to combine. Add 1/2 cup bread flour and begin kneading until flour is absorbed. Continue adding bread flour by the 1/4 cup until dough is supple and pulls away from the bowl, approximately 7-9 minutes.
                  3. Grease a large bowl with oil or non stick spray. Remove dough from mixer and form into a ball, placing into greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap or kitchen towel and allow to rise in a warm draft free area until double in size, 60-80 minutes.
                  4. Line a large baking tray with parchment. Remove dough from bowl and knead 3-4 times to remove air. Weight out dough into 12 equal size portions of approximately 85grams. Arrange dough balls with even spacing 4x3 on baking sheet. Cover with greased plastic wrap or kitchen towel and allow to rise until puffed and double in size, approximately 45 minutes.
                  5. Preheat oven to 400℉. Bake buns for 18-20 minutes until golden. Remove from oven and slide buns onto cooling rack. Brush with melted butter if desired. Allow to cool to room temperature.

                  Multigrain Pumpernickel Rye Bread

                  Multigrain Pumpernickel Rye Bread

                  So what gives this fantastic Multigrain Pumpernickel Rye Bread its rich chocolatey colour and deep flavour? It’s the combination of coffee, cocoa and molasses. Not all breads labelled pumpernickel will include all three elements, they may only have the cocoa and molasses for example. I personally like the bold rich flavour and deep colour that using all three ingredients provide. I also like the addition of caraway seeds to give it more of an authentic deli rye bread taste.

                  Today’s modernized version of pumpernickel breads use the combination and variation of these three ingredients (coffee, cocoa, molasses) to mimic the colour and flavour of true pumpernickel bread which gets its colour and flavour from course rye flour, rye berries, sour dough starter and a very long slow baking process. Once known as a peasant bread, pumpernickel bread has now become a sought after bread for hors d’ oeuvres, appetizers and deli sandwiches. I like to enjoy mine piled high with pastrami or smothered with cream cheese and smoked salmon.

                  Recipe source for Multigrain Pumpernickel Rye Bread:  Compelled To Cook

                  Multigrain Pumpernickel Rye Bread
                  Print Recipe
                    Servings Prep Time
                    1 large loaf 30 minutes
                    Cook Time Passive Time
                    30 minutes 1 1/2-2 hours
                    Servings Prep Time
                    1 large loaf 30 minutes
                    Cook Time Passive Time
                    30 minutes 1 1/2-2 hours
                    Multigrain Pumpernickel Rye Bread
                    Print Recipe
                      Servings Prep Time
                      1 large loaf 30 minutes
                      Cook Time Passive Time
                      30 minutes 1 1/2-2 hours
                      Servings Prep Time
                      1 large loaf 30 minutes
                      Cook Time Passive Time
                      30 minutes 1 1/2-2 hours
                      Ingredients
                      Servings: large loaf
                      Instructions
                      1. In a small pot combine dry cereal and 3/4 cup of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 8 minutes until all visible water has been absorbed, stirring occasionally. Set aside and allow to cool to 85-110℉.
                      2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook stir together coffee, remaining 1/2 cup of water, sugar and yeast. Allow to ferment for 5-8 minutes. Stir in rye flour, whole wheat flour, cooked cereal, molassess, cocoa, oil, vital gluten, caraway seeds and salt. Begin kneading and add bread flour by the 1/4 cup, incorporating each before adding more. When dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl reduce the addition of bread flour to 1 tbsp at a time and continue to knead until supple and no longer sticky, approximately 10 minutes total.
                      3. Form dough into a ball and place in a large greased bowl. Cover with greased plastic wrap or kitchen towel and allow to rise in a warm 85℉ draft free area until doubled in size, 60-80 minutes.
                      4. Preheat oven to 375℉
                      5. Punch down dough and shape free form into a boule or elongated loaf 11-12" long. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and cover with greased plastic wrap or kitchen towel and allow to rise for 30-40 minutes in a warm draft free area. Make 4-5 large slashes along the boule or loaf with a sharp knife or bread lame. Brush with egg wash and bake for 30-35 minutes until golden and an internal temperature of 195-200℉ is reached. Remove from oven to cooling rack and allow to cool to room temperature prior to cutting.
                      Wild Mushroom Herb Bread

                      Wild Mushroom Herb Bread

                      One of my favourite things is freshly made bread.  I enjoy making it, and eating it even more.  While I have my own standard everyday bread and bun recipe that I throw together regularly, a little trip to Banff, AB inspired me to make Wild Mushroom Herb Bread.  Subtle mushroom flavour accented by a speckle of fresh herbs is what makes it interesting and delicious.  A medium dense bread with a soft texture makes it great with chicken salad, eggs or cheese.

                      The road that lead to this bread began with my anniversary weekend to Banff, AB back in January.  Nestled among the main street shops I encountered “evoolution”, a wonderful place filled with flavour infused olive oils and balsamic vinegars.  I was truly in my glory, sampling a vast array of flavour combinations.  When I stepped into the store I knew instantly that it was not a question of becoming a customer but rather how much I was going to purchase.  It was quite difficult to narrow it down to the 6 pack that I bought as the choices were plenty.  They also had a nice selection of salts, rubs and spices, again making it hard to pick only a couple.   Now, some of you who live in larger cities may be thinking “what’s the big deal” it’s an olive oil tasting bar, but I had never seen nor been to one and the experience of being able to taste each and every one was awesome. You can check them out at www.evoolution.ca .

                      Among my little bundle of goodies purchased was wild mushroom and sage olive oil, which lead me to purchase an obscene jumbo size container of dried wild mushrooms from Costco.  I then set to work on a little something delicious like this Wild Mushroom Herb Bread.  Enjoy!

                      Recipe Source:  Compelled To Cook

                       

                      Wild Mushroom Herb Bread
                      Print Recipe
                        Servings Prep Time
                        1 boule 15 minutes
                        Cook Time Passive Time
                        35 minutes 130 minutes
                        Servings Prep Time
                        1 boule 15 minutes
                        Cook Time Passive Time
                        35 minutes 130 minutes
                        Wild Mushroom Herb Bread
                        Print Recipe
                          Servings Prep Time
                          1 boule 15 minutes
                          Cook Time Passive Time
                          35 minutes 130 minutes
                          Servings Prep Time
                          1 boule 15 minutes
                          Cook Time Passive Time
                          35 minutes 130 minutes
                          Ingredients
                          Servings: boule
                          Instructions
                          1. Rinse mushrooms well with warm water. Submerge and soak mushrooms in 1 1/4 cups boiling water for 20 minutes. Drain, reserving liquid for recipe and mushrooms for another use. You should be left with a generous cup of liquid. Allow to cool to 100℉-110℉.
                          2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine mushroom liquid not warmer than 110℉, yeast and sugar. Allow to ferment for 5-7 minutes. Stir in 1 cup of flour, olive oil, herbs and salt. Knead dough adding more flour by the 1/4 cup until dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl and is soft and smooth without being sticky. Turn dough into a lightly oiled bowl, cover and allow to rise until double in size. About 60 minutes
                          3. Preheat oven to 400℉ and place a baking stone in the centre of the oven. Place a piece of parchment large enough for the cooked bread boule onto a flat surface with no edges like a turned over baking sheet or a bread peel if you have one. Knead dough gently to deflate to remove any air bubbles. Form into a round loaf and place on parchment. Cover loosely with a kitchen towel or greased plastic wrap and allow to rise until double in size, about 45-60 minutes.
                          4. Slice top with one long slash along the center using a very sharp knife or bread lame. Spritz with water and slide the parchment paper along with the boule onto preheated baking stone. Bake fore 35 minutes, spritzing again with water half way through baking time. Remove from oven and allow to cool prior to slicing.
                          Recipe Notes

                          Use regular olive oil if mushroom infused is not available.