raisin bread with pecans and cinnamon


And a lot of brown sugar mixed right into the dough and that changes things beyond feeding the yeast food that is faster than wheat, the surface caramelizes and darkens considerably.

The dough is for a brioche, a bread fortified with milk and egg and butter, so all those things plus a lot of brown sugar, and raisins mixed right in, cinnamon mixed throughout and pecans studded along dough flattened as if a rectangular stretched pizza, then rolled into a log. All this without deflating too much, stretching does collapse bubbles as the unraveled wheat molecules reconnect and repair the yeast cells continue producing CO2 gas and alcohol, but there is no "punching" down, just stretching. 

See, the wet dough is stretched and so are the gaseous spaces. The yeast cells are redistributed and made available to new neighbors. When the dough is sufficiently wet then the internal bubbles become like tiny balloons made of the same dough as the larger balloon that contains them with its outer skin toasted.

This bread is different. The last time I did this, not too long ago, I decided I want the bread to be heavier. I do not want a light fluffy bread. I know what I can get away with as far adding inert material, so this batch contains 1/4 cup dry beans turned to powder. When I do this again I'll remember to cook the beans in twice the volume of water to boiling, otherwise they never will reach that heat by baking, the point where they change in water. I wanted the beans weight, not its crunch, plus cooking it first makes it more readily available to the yeast. Luckily I used Anasazi beans and those break down most easily of all of them.






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