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You’ll go weak in the knees from the smell of this bread baking.  Well, any baking bread really.  I’m lazy, so this is a half bread machine-half oven recipe, though it can be done completely by hand.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup warm water
  • 1 teaspoon  white sugar
  • 2-1/4  teaspoons or 1 packet of dry active yeast
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1/3 cup of pack brown sugar or raw sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups crushed bran cereal with raisins
  • 2-1/4 cups bread flour and some for dusting
  • 1/2 cup of raisins (optional)

Stir 1 teaspoon of white sugar into lukewarm water until it’s dissolved. Stir in yeast until it’s partially combined with the sugar water or looks like this:

Let it activate approximately 4-7 minutes or until it’s frothy. It should look something like this:

Neat huh!

Now here’s where you should follow your bread machine manufacturer instructions and pour in your ingredient accordingly, but I just follow the liquid (starting with the yeast mixture), to dry goods, to fats rule.  That is, I pour in everything wet first, then everything dry, and finally the butter.  In the end it should look something like this:

Put the machine on the dough cycle, and walk away for about an hour and a half.  If you want to add more raisins (or orange zest or anything else) you can do so when the machine beeps or in the last 5 minutes of the final kneading cycle.

Here’s the finished dough.  I know, nothing to write home about… unless you get fantastically excited about dough.

I’m warning you that this is a sticky dough.  A really sticky dough. “I’m not gonna come off your fingers” kind of sticky.

So be prepared.

Grease your loaf pan that the bread will be baked in, dust it with flour and set aside.  I tend to spray it down with a butter flavored cooking spray and sprinkle flour over that, not because I’m trying to be healthy. I told you, I’m lazy and it’s a great shortcut.  Once it’s floured, set it aside.

Scrape your dough out onto a floured surface and flip it over to lightly flour the entire dough ball. Viola, no more stickiness!  Press the dough into an approximately 3/4 inch thick rectangularish shape,  like so

It doesn’t have to be perfect, notice the hand prints?

Roll the dough into a long tube and put it into the pan, seam side down. Then cover with piece of plastic wrap

and put in a warm place to rise. After 35  minutes, turn on your oven to 350 degrees.  Let your dough finish rising while the oven heats up for another 10-15 minutes.  Take off the plastic, and hopefully it will look something like this

You can slash the top if you’d like at this point (I don’t=lazy). Pop that bad boy into the oven and bake for 50 minutes.   Cool the bread for 10 minutes before removing from the pan.  Finish cooling on a rack or an upside down muffin tin (the rack was dirty) if you can resist cutting into it while it’s still warm.

I understand if you can’t.  I’ve been there, believe me.

If you want to, you could just cook this bread directly in your bread machine under the wheat bread cycle. Now how’s that for a shortcut!

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