Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Cinnamon Apple Raisin Dutch Oven Bread

What a week, what a week.  There was tons of work and just a little bit of fun, followed by a relaxing weekend back in DC.  Last week I got to hangout in Dallas, work a lot, run a bit and be part of the crossing off an item on a bucket list.

Welcome to Dallas!  One of the best parts about being a runner sometimes is getting to run around new cities.  To see parts of a town I normally wouldn't get to see when traveling for work.

This is part of my real job...dinner seating that is more like a puzzle..no competitors at the same table and preferences matter.

The world from above and a dinner with a great view.  Sometimes my real job has some fun perks.

This is not part of my real job...I lasted maybe 4 or 5 seconds on the bull the first time, but got up and tried again. (Not that I did any better the second time.)  There might even be a video of this ridiculousness, but we had a great time and James got to cross something off of his bucket list.

Then I got home and baked.   I made the dough in the morning and left it to rise while I went for hike.  This would also be great to do at night and let rise until the morning.

I have it admit that making bread always scares me a bit.  I get worried I will somehow mess completely mess up the recipe, but this is easy.  I promise.  This is a warm hearty bread that works on your schedule.  The bread comes back tender, the raisins are plump and juicy, and the nuts add great crunch.  The apple, well the apple melts into the bread adding wonderful flavor, and the cinnamon ties it all together.  Have the bread at breakfast, make an awesome grilled cheese sandwich with goat cheese or serve it with dinner.  Enjoy!

Apples, toasted walnuts and raisins prepped.

Dry ingredients waiting for the water to bring everything to life.

Fold in the extras and then cover and let rise.

While the oven and dutch oven are heating, form the dough in to a ball and cover.

Into the Dutch oven and time to bake with just a light sprinkling of cinnamon and sugar.

Cinnamon Apple Raisin Dutch Oven Bread: (recipe adapted from Simply so Good)
3 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon yeast
1 1/2 cups water
3/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup (about 1/2 red apple) apple, chopped
1/2 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
3 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1.  In a Pyrex measuring cup, heat water for 40 seconds, until warm.

2.  In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and yeast.  Add water, raisins, chopped apple, and nuts, and mix until a shaggy mixture forms.  Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for 6-8 hours.  Overnight works great (or mix in the morning and bake that night after work). 

3.  Heat oven to 450 degrees.  When the oven has reached 450 degrees place a cast iron pot with a lid in the oven and heat the pot for 30 minutes. 

4.  Meanwhile, pour dough onto a heavily floured surface and shape into a ball.  Cover with plastic wrap and let set while the pot is heating.  Remove hot pot from the oven and drop in the dough.  Cover and return to oven for 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes remove the lid and bake an additional 15 minutes.  Remove bread from oven and place on a cooling rack to cool.

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