Scrambled Eggs with Vegetables and Cheese

Spiced Raisin Bread with a hint of maple

Cinnamon raisin bread with a hint of maple

I find myself craving bread for breakfast in February and March.  Slightly sweet, warm and oozing with butter; it is pure comfort as winter drags on.  This recipe has evolved quite a bit over the years.  I love the addition of our Chinese 5 Spice rather than simply using cinnamon.  The subtle addition of a hint of pepper tantalizes and warms the heart on a cold and drizzly day.

In a mixing bowl, stir together warm water, maple sugar and yeast. Set aside for 5 to 10 minutes. Stir to melt butter. When the yeast mixture is bubbly, add 3 cups flour, salt and raisins to the yeast mixture. Mix on low speed until incorporated. Keep adding flour ½ cup at a time until the dough comes together and is only slightly tacky to the touch. The dough will be very soft and somewhat sticky. Place dough in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm place to rise until double in size (about 40 to 60 minutes).  Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead the Chinese 5 Spice in by sprinkling a little in top, kneading and turning dough, and repeating the process until all the Chinese 5 Spice is used. Place the ball of dough into a heated pan that you can cover (cast iron is best) and place it in a warm place to rise. When the dough has risen about 2” put it into a preheated 400ºF oven and bake, covered, for about 30 minutes. The crust will be golden brown. If the internal temperature is 200ºF it is ready.  If it is not return to the oven, uncovered for another 10+ minutes as needed.  Remove from pan and place on a cooling rack.


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Photo Credit:  Julie Cecchini




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