As you may already know, I love my breadmaker. I do make bread from scratch, but like most people, I just don’t have time to do it most of the time, and this fantastic little gadget means that I rarely have to buy store bought bread. That has to be a good thing because homemade bread not only tastes better, but it is better for you. I know exactly what goes into my bread, and it isn’t a lot of additives, salt or flavour improvers. It also makes the house smell fabulous when it is baking, especially when you bake a spiced bread like this.
I’ve been making this recipe for some time using ordinary bread flour but when I was at Masterchef Live last autumn, I found a new flour supplier who makes an Apple Cinnamon flour. Wessex Mill offer a huge range of speciality flours and each bag of flour is completely traceable. The farms the grain has come from are listed on the back. I love this, and I had such good results from the Apple Cinnamon variety, I can’t wait to try some of the others (which include spelt, pumpernickel and rye).
But back to the recipe. Be sure to use “strong” or “bread” flour when you make bread as it makes a huge difference to how your loaves will turn out.
1¼ cups apple juice at room temperature
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (walnut oil for preference)
3 cups strong white bread flour (or Wessex Mill’s Apple Cinnamon Bread Flour)
2 teaspoons cinnamon (omit if using Wessex Mill’s flour)
2 tablespoons milk powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons white sugar
2 teaspoons instant or fast acting dried yeast
½ to ¾ cup nice juicy raisins
Pour the apple juice into the breadmaker bucket. Add the oil and half the flour. Sprinkle with the milk powder, cinnamon, salt and sugar. Cover with the remaining flour and mound the yeast in the centre.
Fit the bucket into the breadmaker. Put the raisins in the raisin and nut dispenser if you have one - if not you will have to listen out for the ‘raisin beep’ part way through the cycle and put them in then.
Set the breadmaker to the programme recommended in your manual - usually the ‘Raisin bread’ setting. (I have to select the “Basic” setting on mine and then choose the option for “Raisins”.) Turn the bread maker on. And if you don’t have a raisin dispenser remember to listen out for the beep!
When the bread is done, remove the bucket from the bread maker using oven mitts and carefully shake the bread out on to a cooling rack. Wait until it has cooled off a bit before attempting to remove the paddle if it has become stuck - and also before slicing. You can slice this when it is still warm, but if you don’t let it cool off for at least 30 to 40 minutes it will be very difficult and possibly ruin your bread. Be careful, because the apple cinnamon smell is very seductive, so if you do give in before then don’t way I didn’t warn you!
This loaf is really delicious spread with some real butter. It’s also nice with a touch of honey. You can serve it plain or toasted.