I've been waiting months to make this. Ever since the Retail Bakers Association conference last summer where I heard about cinnamon chips as a way to add a burst of cinnamon flavor to breads and other baked goods.
At lunch, a guy started talking about his hummingbird cake recipe, and how he used cinnamon chips instead of ground cinnamon for pockets of concentrated cinnamon flavor.
When someone asked him where he got them, he replied "Wal-Mart."
And that's where it started.
We've made cinnamon bread in the past, but the cinnamon was either mixed into the dough (and the flavor was somewhat lost in the yeast and flour) or rolled in (which requires way too much effort to mix the cinnamon, sugar and butter and have a loaf folks can afford). We also make an outstanding cinnamon roll (which I wouldn't dare mess with). The cinnamon chips sounded like a great alternative.
And I figured it would be easy.
Our local Wal-Mart had semi-sweet chips, milk chocolate chips, peanutbutter chips, white chips and toffee chips. But no cinnamon chips. Publix? No. Target? No. Winn Dixie? No. Brunos? No. Food World? No. I was getting tired.
I even called my suppliers, but they had never heard of them.
Ok, I know Hershey's is not REAL chocolate. And their cinnamon chips are probably not real cinnamon. But the bakery buys refined sugar, bleached flour, shortening, margarine, corn syrup and food colors galore. I am hardly going to get all snobby about cinnamon chips.
In our defense, we DO use lots of real butter, real cream and real chocolate.
Back to the supplier, who said they would try to order them. That was in August.
They arrived Tuesday, December 6.
And today I dusted off the recipe for cinnamon nut bread, doubling it for Rosie, our new gigantic 60-quart mixer.
Got all the ingredients mixed, adding the cinnamon chips, nuts and raisins last.
We sprinkled a little sugar on the tops of the loaves and we all stared at the oven for the last few minutes of baking. We even had customers in the shop who waited for the bread to be done so they could take some warm loaves home.
It looked a little plain right out of the oven, and I could't resist drizzling some glaze over the top.
Simply yummy comfort food.
And it will make the perfect toast tomorrow morning.
Here's the recipe (you will have to do your own math if you don't want to make 30 loaves).
Rosie's Cinnamon Nut Raisin Bread
- 14 lbs. bread flour
- 5 quarts water
- 6 oz. instant yeast
- 2 lbs. sugar
- 1/2 cup salt
- 5 lbs. cinnamon chips
- 2 lbs. pecans
- 2 lbs. raisins
Combine first five ingredients in mixer. Using dough hook, mix 8-9 minutes. Watch dough and add additional flour or water if needed within the first three minutes. Add cinnamon chips, pecans and raisins at end and mix until incorporated.
Oil dough and transfer to large bowl. Bulk proof at room temperature until doubled. Divide into 1-pound loaves and place in oiled loaf pans. Proof again until doubled. Brush tops with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.
Bake at 350oF until done, approximately 35-40 minutes.
Drizzle with sugar glaze when cool.