Whole Wheat Cinnamon Raisin Bread… and the resulting pudding.

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Raisin Bread… and the resulting pudding.

If I close my eyes and avoid every mirror –
I’m 35, Svelte, and athletic.
I’d embrace every new food trend and be an ambassador for healthy eating.
I’d be a bastion of good will and charity
… and I’d like whole wheat bread.

…none of those things are particularly true.
I’m no spring chicken, and haven’t been an an inordinate amount of time… I’m 50 – plus (ish). And while I’m quite possibly in the best physical shape of my life, I wouldn’t win any contests. There aren’t any awards given out for middle aged men that don’t pass out when they stand. Then there’s that whole “eat things that aren’t really food ” stance. I can’t be bothered on how good they are for you, Chia seeds belong on a terra cotta head (so you can grow funny hair)… not in baked goods. I don’t want things that aren’t caviar chemically altered to make them look like caviar. Sauces should be sauces and not loosely aerated froth, I want my leafy greens sauteed in butter not in a beverage, and for Pete’s sake.. cook meat over fire of some sort.

Yes, I know there’s nothing trendy or odd about whole wheat. It is what it is, and I do like a variety of whole grains. Since I’ve been playing around with the no knead bread recipe as of late, and since I thought that this might be just the ticket to make a wholly delicious version of whole wheat bread because I truly adore the no knead recipe, and since I’m over 50 plus (ish), I really should be eating more whole grains – I should give it a try.

I still hate whole wheat bread.
Not that the loaf was bad… by any means. It was – in fact – quite tasty. It came out perfectly beautiful, it had a nice texture, a perfect chew, and a delightful cinnamon-y / raisin-y aroma.
I just can’t eat it, the mouth feel (for me) is all wrong. I really do not care for the feel of coarser grained bread in my mouth…unless it’s cornbread.

some people DO like the whole grained stuff. so I would be amiss by not letting you have it.

Whole Wheat
Cinnamon ~ Raisin
No Knead Bread
Makes 1 9″ Round Loaf
2 Cups AP Flour
1 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Sugar
1 Package Dry Yeast
1/2 Cup Self Rising Flour
1/2 Cup Currants
1/2 Cup Golden Raisins
1/8 Teaspoon Nutmeg
2 Teaspoons Cinnamon Sugar (1/2 cinnamon and sugar blended together)
Dutch Oven
Large Mixing Bowl

Remember – this, like all no knead recipes, takes a minimum of 12 hours to make.
The day before:

In the large mixing bowl, mix together the AP and WW flour, sugar, salt, nutmeg, 1/2 of the cinnamon sugar, yeast and 2 1/2 cups of very hot water; stir well to combine. the resulting mix will be a hot mess – don’t worry about it. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for a minimum of 8 hours to 12 hours.

The next day:

Uncover the mix, and sprinkle the self rising flour and the remaining cinnamon sugar over the top.
Working quickly, shape the dough into a loose ball by tucking under and pinching the dough into shape
Place on floured parchment paper and cover with a towel for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven AND dutch oven to 450
Picking up the parchment paper, slide the dough ball into the dutch oven and cover with the lid
Bake at 465 for 30 minutes
Remove the lid and continue baking for another 15 minutes to set the crust and give it a nicely browned top
Cool on a rack.

Since I’m not one for letting perfectly good food go to waste, I realized the firm coarse texture of the loaf would probably make just about the best bread pudding possible…. I was right.

Cinnamon~ Raisin Bread Pudding
Makes 1 – 9″ x 13″ pan
3 Cups Cubed Whole Wheat Cinnamon Raisin Bread
2 Eggs (I use extra large as a rule, if you use something smaller, add an additional egg)
2 1/2 Cups Milk
1 Cup Brown Sugar – Divided
1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
1/4 Teaspoon Nutmeg
1/2 Cup Butter
Large Mixing Bowl
9″ x 13″ Pyrex Baking Dish

Lightly grease the baking dish with a little of the butter
Mix together the eggs, milk, 1/2 of the brown sugar and the spices
Add the cubed bread to the mix and let sit for 1 hour
Preheat the oven to 325
Transfer the mix to the baking dish and dot the top with the butter
Evenly coat the top with the brown sugar
Bake at 325 for 1 hour
Serve hot with heated cream or ice cream.

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