By Adding Cinnamon and Raisins to the Oatmeal Bread formula that precedes this one, two significant things happen: First, the spice of the cinnamon and the sweetness of the raisins change the flavor markedly. Second, the cinnamon (specifically the chemical compound cinnamic aldehyde) greatly impairs the yeast’s activity, so a higher percentage of yeast is necessary to overcome it. (Tree-bark spices in general, such as mace, allspice, nutmeg, and cinnamon, have compounds that inhibit yeast activity when used in appreciable amounts.) In the present formula, the 3.5 percent yeast used is notable, and is directly related to the effect of the cinnamon in the dough. An alternative method of making the bread is to roll scaled-out dough pieces to a rectangular shape, egg wash the surface, sprinkle on cinnamon (and sugar if desired), then spread on the raisins, roll the dough up, and place in loaf pans. When using the cinnamon in this fashion—sprinkling it onto the dough rather than incorporating it into the dough—the yeast is not impeded, and the percentage of yeast in the formula can be reduced to 1.75 to 2 percent. The raisins should be soaked in warm water for at least 30 minutes before mixing (or overnight if more convenient), and well drained prior to the mix. If not soaked first, those on the surface tend to burn.
|Raisins, Soaked and Drained (see headnote)|
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