The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

BBA Cinnamon, Raisin, Walnut Bread

OldWoodenSpoon's picture

BBA Cinnamon, Raisin, Walnut Bread

It seems like everyone is baking Raisin-Walnut bread of one kind or another.  Me too!  With the holidays drawing to a close, we are generally "sweeted out", and wanted a flavorful loaf that is not full of sugar, to go with morning coffee and all.  This seems to fill the bill nicely.  The recipe calls for minimal sugar, and gains most of it's sweetness from the natural sweetness of the raisins.

I followed the BBA formula with only a couple of exceptions.  I am still trying to use up some powdered buttermilk from the fridge, so I substituted that here and adjusted the water accordingly.  Also, Mr. Reinhart does not instruct to plump the raisins for this loaf, but I prefer the results I get when I do so.  I soaked the raisins in about 1/2 cup of brandy and enough hot water to cover them over in the bowl.  I thoroughly drained them before hand-kneading them and the walnuts into the dough.  I hand-kneaded the nuts and raisins so they would not get torn up by the Bosch, where I did the main work of mixing the dough.

I baked the dough as two panned loaves, in 8.5" x 4.5" pans, prepared with my pan release.  The house has been much cooler these past few day, so proofing took an extra 45 minutes or so.  Baking, however, was done a bit sooner than expected, probably because I left my baking tiles in the oven.  The crust is not adversely affected, however, and the crumb is very nice.

As you can see, I did not do a perfect job of shaping these loaves for the pan.  The crumb does not seem to show the obvious lines you might expect, given the exterior appearance.

These two loaves are the end of my 2010 baking year.  Tomorrow starts a new year, and I have the rye sour working already for the BBA Pumpernickel to kick off the new year.  That is another story though.

Thanks for stopping by, and Happy New Year!


MichaelH's picture

This is one of my favorite breads, I usually plump the raisins in water, the brandy would be a nice touch.

This is a good recipe for variations; my favorite is apricots and pecans, but figs, prunes and cranberries work well too.


SylviaH's picture

What a classic..always delicious and it does look delicious!  Great looking crumb!


wally's picture

A little brandy surely spices things up.  Nice looking crumb you achieved and I can bet very flavorful loaves.

Good baking in 2011!


OldWoodenSpoon's picture

Michael, I agree this loaf is an excellent candidate for substitutions.  It is very versatile that way.

Sylvia, I agree with you, too, on the "classic" nature of this loaf.  Raisins, nuts, cinnamon...  There is nothing not to like about it.

Larry, you are right that the brandy lends some character, but it really only lingers on the fringe of the taste, so it does not overpower.  All in, with the cinnamon, raisins with their brandy overtone, and walnuts; this bread is fragrant and flavorful.  It makes excellent morning toast, and is equally good wrapped around peanut butter and jelly (and banana, my wife would add).

Thank you all!

GSnyde's picture


Nice bake.  This is one of my favorite breads, and my wife's very favorite for toast.

I use half pecans and half walnuts.


OldWoodenSpoon's picture

Thank you Glenn.  They don't last long around here, what with breakfast toast, elevenses, PBandJ/PBandB for lunch, and there they go.  My wife and yours are on the same wave length on the toast thing.


EvaB's picture

that calls for the raisins to be brought to a boil in 1/4 cup of rum (use what you want and how much you need) then taken off the stove and let to cool in the pot with the lid on, the rum is totally soaked up into the raisins, and the cookies are wonderful with the flavoured raisins in every bite!

This is a great way to plump up those raisins that you find in the back of the cupboard, you know the ones that weren't enough for a recipe 2 months ago, so you got a new bag, fully intending to use the old bag up next time! I actually have some that are a couple years old, just plump up and bake, they work fine.