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baked cornbread

Martha Substitutions: Cornbread

Yesterday it was raining all day, which was lucky because I needed to stay in and get some commissioned paintings done. While I had the Christmas music playing and was waiting for the first coat of paint to dry, I popped an easy cornbread recipe from Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook into the oven.

Martha Stewart's cornbread
Martha Stewart’s cornbread

Here’s the scoop:

This cornbread is of the sweet variety (which is my preference) and is extra fun given the lightly charred kernels of corn mixed throughout.

Here’s what I subbed:

  1. Butter in lieu of vegetable shortening (1:1). I didn’t really feel like purchasing a thing of Crisco just for this recipe…and anyway, isn’t that stuff supposed to be bad for you? Not that butter is a health food, but at least it was the organic kind.
  2. Coconut milk in lieu of regular milk (1:1). I was nervous it would give the bread a coconut-y flavor which I don’t think it did.
saute corn until golden brown
saute corn until golden brown
mix cornmeal with dry ingredients
mix cornmeal with dry ingredients

Here’s how it turned out:

Really well in fact! Fortunately or unfortunately Martha says this bread is best served day of baking or¬†maybe the day after is well-wrapped….Sooooo you can guess what I had for lunch yesterday.

Day of baking the cornbread was moist and slightly sweet and slightly salty and I really enjoyed the pop of the corn bits. Day after baking, slightly drier but still delicious covered in more butter ūüėČ

golden crusted cornbread
golden crusted cornbread

Now not ever having made this recipe with the suggested ingredients, I can’t say for sure how these substitutions might detract or improve the original recipe. But I can tell you that the recipe definitely still works and the ease of the mix-batter and bake means I will be bringing this out again next time I’m called on for a pot-luck.

slice of cornbread
slice of cornbread

I’m off to have a¬†lunch of cornbread and roasted acorn squash. A perfectly cozy fall meal!

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hard caramel dots with sea salt

#MarthaBakes Caramel Dots

Wow, it’s been a few months since I’ve written up a Martha Stewart recipe¬†but it always seems a bit too hot to be baking up a storm during the summer. Now that fall is starting to creep in, spending days inside doesn’t seem so blasphemous.

I was recently longing¬†for a sweet treat but didn’t feel like leaving the house to go purchase some cookies or something, so I turned to Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook¬†for an easy recipe.

I came across these caramel dots, which are actually part of a sub-recipe for cake decorations, but who needs a whole cake when you can just eat some caramel?

Additionally, the recipe was super simple: sugar, water, lemon juice!

Step 1: Mix sugar and water and lemon juice.

water and sugar in the pot
water and sugar in the pot

Step 2: Heat until it turns into caramel

bubbling sugar
bubbling sugar

Step 3: Drizzle bits of caramel onto parchment paper* and let cool

*When the caramel was still hot (and PS it was really hot – I burnt my finger and it blistered because the caramel stuck to it and I couldn’t get it off – so don’t touch it!) I pinched bits of black sea salt on top to make a sweet-salty dessert.

stained glass-looking caramel dot
stained glass-looking caramel dot

Thoughts on this recipe:

  1. I don’t have overly processed white sugar, only pure cane sugar which is pretty coarse. I think this resulted in too grainy a caramel.
  2. These dots are super hard candies. Definitely more of a sucking candy. Next time I would add a tablespoon or two of butter to make the texture creamier and try for a chewier caramel.
  3. The ones with sugar tasted a lot more interesting and less overwhelmingly JUST SUGAR than the regular ones.
  4. The caramel dots were quite pretty – almost like stained glass.

This recipe definitely served the purpose of sating a sweet tooth and would look good on a cake, but one or two was enough.

hard caramel dots with sea salt
hard caramel dots with sea salt

Verdict: Have I ever said something was TOO sugary? This might be the first time.

Okay, time to capitalize on this dark rainy day to make chocolate chip oatmeal cookies!! ūüôā

 

one strawberry and one blueberry muffin

Red (White) and Blue Muffins ~ Happy 4th of July!

Phew it’s been a while since I’ve whipped up any Martha Stewart treats in the kitchen, but last week I was inspired by the start of berry season, so I turned my Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook open to blueberry muffins.

Have I mentioned that I’ve been working in a bakery for the past 5 months? Mostly helping customers up front, but it’s afforded me the opportunity to sample some delicious cookies, quick breads, brioche and¬†blueberry muffins.

At the bakery, our muffins typically turn out huge with tops that far exceed the size of the rest of the muffin. And that’s pretty much everyone’s favorite part anyway right, so what’s not to love? (My mind is jumping to Seinfeld: “It’s not, ‘Top of the Muffin TO YOU!'” with flamboyant Elaine hand gestures and then later, “I gotta haul some stumps”…such a hilarious episode.)

ANY.WAY.

In pursuit of using up some strawberries from the fridge, I decided to make a batch of mini blueberry muffins and a batch of mini strawberry muffins. PS I only own a mini muffin tin. New York apartment and all that. PPS I’m not sure I’ve ever come across a¬†strawberry muffin before. Have you? I was really quite excited at the prospect!

I’ve never really made muffins before, but I’m not sure why not since it only calls for very standard ingredients: flour, sugar, butter, milk, baking powder, salt, vanilla extract and eggs. I think I’ve always been scared that my muffins will stick to the tin and I’ve been too lazy to purchase those little paper cups, which also seem sort of a waste to the environment.

So with this, I made to sure to super duper butter the muffin tin, not only in the wells but all along the ridges too because I knew I wanted to try to “overstuff” them to create the large muffin tops. Then I dusted the whole tin with flour and scooped in heaping spoonfuls of batter – first up was blueberry.

Since I was using a mini tin, I thought the cook time should be decreased but I wasn’t sure by how much. So I started with 15 minutes, they were clearly not done, so I turned the tray and put them back in for another 10.

They seemed to be slightly browned on top, so I pulled them out of the oven, let them cool for about 10 minutes and then flipped them over and banged the tray a few times (a new trick I learned at work) so that the muffins slide right out. I only had to manually pull a few out and they ended up breaking, mostly because the berries were at the bottom of the well and had melted and stuck to the pan.

blueberry mini muffins
blueberry mini muffins

I rebuttered, refloured and did the same with the strawberry batter, although I had even more batter to use, so I cooked for 27 minutes instead of 25.

folding strawberries into muffin batter
folding strawberries into the batter

The strawberry muffin tops were much wider than the blueberry ones and they had kind of baked into one another so the flip and tap method didn’t work and I had to use a little knife to help pop the muffins out, but none of them broke.

the bottoms of baked strawberry muffins
the bottoms of baked strawberry muffins

Some tips:

  1. Toss the fruit with flour before folding it into the batter to prevent it from sinking to the bottom of the tin.
  2. Sprinkle sugar on top of the raw muffins before baking for an extra sweet crunch. I did this on the strawberries but not on the blueberries.

    raw strawberry muffins ready for baking
    raw strawberry muffins ready for baking
  3. Bake the muffin tin on top of a cookie sheet (especially with a mini muffin tin) so that you have a wider tray to handle. It’s hard to grasp narrow edges of a muffin tin with oven mitts on.

These muffins were quite addicting and I ate at least 4 warm ones straight away. The blueberry ones were tart (small blueberries) and the strawberry ones were pretty sweet. I LOVED the way the strawberry ones smelled in the oven – like strawberry shortcake – and just like summer.

one strawberry and one blueberry muffin
one strawberry and one blueberry muffin

How perfect for July 4th to have some summer berry muffins that are red and blue and white (the muffin part?) – yum!

out of the oven

Martha Stewart’s Popover Fail

Perhaps it’s been too long since I’ve eaten a popover – a light and crispy eggy bread – but I couldn’t remember how it was supposed to turn out, as¬†I set out to bake Martha Stewart’s recipe.

Some preliminary thoughts:

  1. I don’t have a specific popover tin, which Martha highly recommends, seeing as the tin is designed such that each cup is taller than it is wide to help with the vertical rise of the batter. Subsequent research shows that you can make popovers in any container really.
  2. The popovers are best served immediately out of the oven as they will start to deflate as soon as they are out.
  3. They rise from the interior steam, since the batter is so soupy – leaving a hollow middle and flakey exterior.
  4. Popovers are called Yorkshire Pudding in Britain and usually eaten with a roast or meat and gravy. I made mine for breakfast, but I think they would have been better suited to a meat dish.
  5. Martha Stewart’s recipe calls for powdered sugar, since I guess in the US it’s more typical to have a sweeter version than in Britain. Frankly I couldn’t taste any sweetness in my outcome, and further investigation shows many many recipes that don’t have any sugar…and so if it’s not actually sweet, why bother adding the extra sugar calories? Skip the sugar.

I easily made the batter since it’s very few ingredients: mostly eggs, milk and a bit of flour.

popover batter
popover batter – very liquidy

I tested three different vessels: 1. a mini muffin tin, 2. a larger ramekin (small dish) that I typically use for souffles or chocolate lava cake, and 3. a coffee mug.

all the vessels
all the vessels

Let’s start with the most obvious fail: the coffee mug. Remembering that there are all these “mug microwave brownie” recipes floating around, I thought, maybe I can make the popover in the microwave too!

Well just no.

up and up and over
up and up and over in the microwave

The whole thing rose sky high – almost straight out of the mug! But there was no way that it was going to crisp the outside (duh) and the end result was basically a rubbery omelette.

Now let’s move to the not-so-obvious fail: the mini muffin tin. There is a photo in Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook of the final popovers’ exteriors, but no interior shots. So I thought the insides were supposed to be dry and bread-like, perhaps more like a brioche.

I used 1+ tablespoons of batter in each mini muffin cup, and they rose beautifully. When the tops were golden brown, I took them out of the oven and bit into one. It seemed underdone to me. A definite egg flavor, and even though there was the desired hollowness to the center, I wasn’t quite sure if the whole thing was “correct.”

See how eggy they look even here? Like little omelettes!

So I popped them out of the tin and threw them back into the oven on a baking sheet.

Well, if it wasn’t a fail before, it was a definite misstep at this point. The outsides burned and the insides didn’t seem any more cooked through.

Further research leads me to believe that indeed the insides are supposed to be kind of wet-looking. Maybe it was an unexpected success and I just don’t LIKE popovers? Could be. I have a friend-date to go to an NYC restaurant whose popovers she loves – some hands-on research will ensue and I’ll keep you posted!

And then there was the large popover in the ramekin made with 10 tablespoons of batter – double the suggested amount from Martha. I let it bake 40 minutes – 10 minutes past the normal cook time – just to be sure.

ramekin popover out of the oven
ramekin popover out of the oven – note the burnt minis beside it

The outside looked awesome – toasted and with an odd shape, just like many of the photos in the cookbook and on the internet. The inside was hollow and the dough seemed to be moist but a bit more cooked through, which I appreciated. The downside to this vessel was the fact that the sides and bottom COMPLETELY stuck, even with a liberal butter coating. Hmmmmmm….I’ll have to dig a little deeper here to see what I can do to remedy that. Any thoughts?

I can easily try this out again with some tweaks, given the quick and simple nature of the recipe and ingredients. In the mini-muffin tin, I would probably look to bake them initially a hair longer (maybe 15 minutes instead of 11) to try to dry out the insides a touch. I could also see myself making big ones in ramekins at dinnertime to be served with a roast….once I get a handle on the sticky bottoms.

Popovers to be revisited. Suggestions welcome!

 

ingredients for brownies

#MarthaBakes Brownies

Did you know #MarthaBakes is a well-known and highly used hashtag on Instagram? I didn’t when I started this project, but now I follow it regularly to see what other home cooks are up to as they also delve into baking and cooking adventures with Martha Stewart. And there is always the potential that the folks at Martha Stewart might choose your photo to be featured on their own Instagram feed if you are using their hashtag. But typically only if your food photos are really amazing….I’m working on it.

Needing a pot-luck offering, I turned to Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook for a brownie recipe, and found her “Fudgy Chocolate Brownies” which, as she states in the intro, are meant to be dense and fudge-like and less like a chocolate cake. Well, she nailed it. No surprise though.

After melting the requisite amount of dark chocolate¬†and adding the sugar and seemingly a lotta eggs (4), my arm was pretty much going to fall off from trying to “whisk” this super dense, thick batter.

 

And I hadn’t even added the flour yet.

In terms of the flour, to make the brownies even richer, I subbed out 2 tablespoons of flour for 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder. I did a small amount of research ahead of time to see if I could make the straight substitution or if I would have to add/subtract other ingredients. What I generally found (since there are so many differing opinions out there on the internet) was that if you stick with a minimal amount (under 2 tablespoons), a straight substitution will be fine. It’s once you get into large quantities that you may need to add more moisture (as the cocoa powder absorbs more moisture than flour) or different leavening agents.

Since this recipe had 0 leavening agents (no baking soda, powder, cream of tartar, etc), I decided not to worry about that. The ingredient list was lovely and simple and what one wants in a homemade baked good: butter, sugar, eggs, chocolate, flour, vanilla and salt. Done.

Never having baked this recipe as written, I can’t say whether the addition of the cocoa powder helped or harmed it, but overall the outcome was moist, deeply dark chocolatey brownies. And the crispy corners were definitely the best part, so when I make brownies again, I might have to get one of these contraptions to bake it in: all brownies are corner pieces!!

Martha Stewart's Classic Crumb Cake

Sour Cream Coffee Cake: Part 2

When we last left off, I had completely messed up my measuring of nearly all the ingredients in Martha Stewart’s Sour Cream Coffee Cake from Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook. (Which by the way, when I look back, is actually referred to as a “Classic Crumb Cake.”)

I also decided to use a much smaller bread loaf pan instead of the cake pan the recipe called for, which I do not own and was not willing to buy specifically for this recipe (although which will probably be needed for many a future cake recipe).

sour cream coffee cake going into the oven!
sour cream coffee cake going into the oven!

The coffee cake was in the oven, smelling delicious (although that could have also been the vanilla-scented candle I had going in the apartment). But would be it be okay – taste and texture-wise? TBD.

After 40 minutes of baking and 10 minutes of cooling. I took the plunge and sliced in.

Unfortunately the center of the cake sort of deflated and got a sunken look in the middle. However the overall taste of the cake was pretty good, if not subdued.

coffee cake
coffee cake – note the sunken mid-section

It was very butter accounted for by the butter in all the batter, the topping and the heavily greased pan.

Although overall it was pretty good, a few changes I would make along the way:

  1. If using the same loaf pan again, I would add less flour to the crumb topping and more cinnamon for a bolder flavor.
  2. The cake itself isn’t very sweet, which is fine, but I might actually sub brown sugar in for the white sugar, for a bit richer taste.

And so, as to the measuring goofs? Well, I’m sure the sinking center was caused by some mis-proportion of eggs/leavening/etc. Also, I may be overthinking it, but I feel like I’m getting a little metallic aftertaste…perhaps slightly too much baking soda or the brand which I’ve been using :/

slice of crumb cake
slice of crumb cake
sour cream coffee cake going into the oven!

Baking with Leftover Ingredients in 3 Parts: Part 1

Why does everything take me so much longer than it should?

This morning I realized that I had open containers of both heavy cream (from previously made caramel) and sour cream (from previously made cookies) that I would never use in everyday life (not liking the texture of sour cream or whipped cream and not using cream in my coffee), just sitting in the fridge, waiting to go bad.

So I turned to Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook, which was the root cause of me having these ingredients in the first place, to see what recipes I could make to use them up.

I came across 1. Sour Cream Coffee Cake and 2. Mocha Roulade.

Each of these cake recipes has two parts: 1. Making the actual cake and 2. Making the topping/filling.

Since the Roulade filling needed to chill for a number of hours, I decided to start there, however that will have to come in Part 3, because today, I’m going to focus on the Sour Cream Coffee Cake.

I started with¬†the brown sugar crumble topping for the Sour Cream Coffee Cake. As I typically do, I cut the recipe in half because 1. I never need to eat alllllll the desserts I make and 2. because I didn’t have the right size cake pan so decided to improvise with a standard, smaller, bread loaf pan (9×5) instead of 13×9. We’ll see how that goes.

What overall should take me 30 minutes somehow takes me at least an hour and a half, every time. I’m not sure why because I feel like I’m moving methodically and with purpose, but when I look up at the clock, so much time has passed. Maybe it’s the inordinate amount of hand-washing I do while baking? (Who wants raw egg on their hands?)

I made the crumble topping which basically amounts to flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and lots of butter to form buttery chunks (FYI this topping would also be great on an apple crisp).

coffee cake crumble topping
coffee cake brown sugar crumble topping

Then I made the cake batter. Or….and maybe this is what slowed me down….I had an incredible brain fart. What I understood to be a 1/4 cup measuring spoon was really a 1/2 cup measuring spoon. So while all my other ingredients (baking powder, baking soda, salt) were properly measured, I had inadvertently used WAY too much flour. Crap.

And since I had already mixed up the dry ingredients, I couldn’t think of a great way to salvage what I had mixed into the proper proportions.

So I started over.

I did, however, put the mis-measured mixture into tupperware to use for some future recipe.

After redoing the dry ingredients, I whipped up the butter and sugar. And darn it again. I used too much butter. Seriously, my brain is mush right now.

So I amped up my sugar, vanilla, eggs, and wouldn’t you know it, flour mixture, to compensate. Argh.

At this point, I’m fairly certain I have no idea what I’m doing or how this thing will even turn out because the ratios are probably out of whack, but oh well, pressing on because I’m not willing to start over again.

Adding the final touch – the leftover sour cream – a perfect amount left in the carton by the way – I spoon the batter into the loaf pan and top with about 1/2 of the topping because clearly even half the recipe was way too much. Making me nervous about the lack of surface area I have created on top of my cake….

sour cream coffee cake batter
sour cream coffee cake batter

It’s in the oven. 20 minutes left. Smells good. Wait for Part 2 to see if it’s gonna be okay. *grimace face emoji*

sour cream coffee cake going into the oven!
sour cream coffee cake going into the oven!
Martha Stewart coconut pecan caramel cookies

Me & Martha: Pecan Caramel Cookies

Really these are called Coconut Pecan Caramel Sandwich Cookies in Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook (that I’m baking my way through), but since I couldn’t¬†really taste the coconut and actually¬†forgot I had put coconut in the cookie dough, I’m leaving that descriptor out as it could be misleading.

Yes, I followed the directions pretty thoroughly this time through, apart from¬†cutting the recipe in half, yet again. (Either this book is written specifically for people who entertain or have large families, or they create recipes to fall into convenient¬†quantities…like 1/4 cup of coconut…since an 1/8 cup of coconut hardly seems worth mentioning, right?)

Well anyway, I toasted up my unsweetened shredded coconut (actually the recipe calls for sweetened so maybe that’s why I can’t taste anything in the finished product) and pecans, pulverized them and mixed them into the shortbread dough.

pecan and coconut cookie dough
pecan and coconut cookie dough

After the multiple rounds of chilling, cookie cutting, and rechilling, my pecan shortbread hearts were on the wire rack cooling and I could get down the best part: the Caramel Filling!

final caramel sauce!
final caramel sauce!

I never use a candy thermometer, preferring instead to rely on my senses and sense of timing…which is probably why I don’t make a lot of candy products.

So I love that this recipe doesn’t instruct with a candy thermometer, but rather just color and texture cues.

In the end, making this caramel sauce was quite easy. Here’s what I did:

  1. Boil water and and about 4x more sugar until it starts turning a deep amber color, not stirring. [And this part from Martha I really like: continually “wash down” the sides of the pot with a wet pastry brush to avoid crystallization. It ensures that you are paying a lot of attention to not let the caramel burn or create a nasty mess on the sides of your pot.]
  2. Remove from heat and slowly pour in some heavy whipping cream.
  3. Then quickly stir in little chunks of butter until the whole thing becomes creamy and smooth and glossy.
  4. Really keep stirring to avoid clumping.
  5. Once it’s totally smooth, let it cool just a bit before drizzling over your cookies.

In the book, the cookies were adorable spring flower shaped with holes punched out of the middle so that the caramel sauce would peek through the top of the sandwich cookie.

In my reality, I only have a heart cookie cutter and, as I learned from the Linzer Heart Cookies, cutting a hole out of the middle of shortbread cookies is a time-consuming and pain-staking task that I was not up for doing again. So my cookies are straight up sandwich cookies, no cute hole. And frankly, I only made half of them into sandwiches…the other half I’m dunking into my bowl of caramel sauce. And that is perfect.

caramel sauce over pecan cookies
caramel sauce over pecan cookies

Even the cookies on their own are delish – they remind me of the Pecan Sandies that my mom used to love back when she could eat nuts.

Chai tea with a smidge of milk works really well with these. And now I’m going to buy ice cream so I have a reason to keep making this yummy caramel sauce!

final cheesecake thumbprint cookies - fully baked

Martha Stewart Cheesecake Thumbprint Cookies

As I bake my way through Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook¬†this week’s cookie is the cheesecake thumbprint. Sugary (but not overly sweet) and tangy – combining the silky creaminess of cheesecake and the easily edible size of a mini cookie into one delicious bite.

I’m not one to typically have cream cheese or sour cream in the house (since Mark and I both shun¬†most creamy food of this texture…i.e. mayonnaise), so these were some specialty purchases specifically for the cookies.

Overall the cookies were fairly straightforward, however this is another one of those multi-step process confections.

After making the cream cheese filling in the stand mixer and putting it in the fridge to chill, I had to wash out the mixer to then use it for the bottom cookie part.

You make the cookie, which is a standard butter/flour/sugar/egg yolk kind of flaky-crumbly cookie, slightly indenting the top prior to baking, which is where the cream cheese filling will go.

thumbprint cookies with indentations prior to baking
thumbprint cookies with indentations in between baking stints

Bake for 10 minutes, pull out of the oven and RE-indent, and bake for another few minutes.

THEN you have to bring the cookies out to allow to cool.

Fill with the chilled cheesecake batter and pop those suckers back in the oven for a few more minutes until fully baked.

filled cookies ready for baking
filled cookies ready for baking

Et voila! Oh wait, not quite yet, you then have to chill the cookies for at least 4 hours, or even better, overnight, before serving.

Store in a container with wax paper in the fridge.

In these end, these were fairly easy and straightforward, but it is one of those recipes where you are moving and shaking and need to be on top of the baking. Definitely not a set it and forget it drop cookie.

I would definitely make these again for a March Madness party or potluck dinner since you can quickly and easily churn out a fair number. They don’t take up a lot of space and they don’t spread when baked so you can pop them out in a tiny kitchen no problem!

final cheesecake thumbprint cookies - fully baked
final cheesecake thumbprint cookies – fully baked

Black coffee and cheesecake thumbprints sound like a perfect breakfast for me! Enjoy.

final "bread"

Martha Stewart Cinnamon Raisin Bread Fail

I’ve never really tried to make bread before. Sure there were childhood forays with the electric bread maker craze (which churns out deliciouuuuuuus bread that we consumed within minutes after waiting hours upon hours for it to cook), and quick breads like banana bread, pumpkin bread, scones and the like.

But I’ve never made yeast breads (except I guess pizza dough which is super easy).

To start this adventure, I chose the Martha Stewart recipe for cinnamon raisin bread, mainly because it called for all-purpose flour and not bread flour (which I need to purchase but haven’t yet) and because I had all the other ingredients on hand.

Suffice it to say, I don’t know what happened, but it didn’t work out. I kind of knew it wasn’t going to turn out well when the dough barely rose, but I kept going anyway.

Here are some of the ways in which I may have failed:

1.¬†I used the Rapid Rise Yeast which I use for pizza dough. This type of yeast is typically added to the dry ingredients, as opposed to active dry yeast which is typically added to the warm wet ingredients (and bubbles up before everything else is added). The recipe called for active dry yeast, but I didn’t have any of that at home. Following the instructions (but subbing the rapid rise yeast instead), I added the yeast¬†to the wet ingredients. So maybe the bread didn’t work because I used the wrong type of yeast.

But this is a head scratcher because on the yeast company’s website it does say you can make this substitution; you just can’t substitute the opposite way (active dry yeast in place of rapid rise). Hmmmm….

Also when I added the yeast, I did get that bready smell right away, which I took as a good sign.

Maybe I killed the yeast? Maybe it was old? I didn’t take the temperature of my warm milk (as instructed) before I added the yeast….so maybe it was too hot?

2. I used stale raisins. I don’t see why this should matter but the little buggers were like sticky pebbles.

rolled bread dough sprinkled with cinnamon and raisins
rolled bread dough sprinkled with cinnamon and raisins

3. I let the bread rise twice as called for in the recipe: the first time for an hour and the second time for 40 minutes or so after shaping the loaf. Perhaps I didn’t put it in a warm enough place? I just left it covered on the counter.

bread dough rising
bread dough rising

4. My “filling” wasn’t quite right. Once the cinnamon raisin dough has risen, you were supposed to roll out the dough and “sprinkle” the filling over top. I don’t really see how sprinkle was the correct word though since you were to mix cinnamon and sugar with water. Mine was more of a paste. And so that egg wash to help it stick was probably unnecessary.And so the interior of the dough was really really wet and soggy. See my photo versus the pic in the cookbook.

All these minor errors probably added up to the undercooked and unrisen center. I mean, it still tasted yummy what with the oozy cinnamon sugar core. It was kind of like a cinnamon roll and some icing would have been appreciated. But it was not bread. Le sigh. I will try again one of these days. Maybe with the correct (and newly purchased) yeast.

final "bread"
final “bread”