Before I begin this post, I have something to admit. We purchased bagels from the grocery store last week… Gasp!! I don’t think I’ve purchased a highly processed ‘bread product’ of any type since our bread machine arrived way back in March! Well…it wasn’t actually me who bought them, my husband did. However, he did so with my blessing (and even encouragement??)…because, well, I was having a moment of panic due to my upcoming half marathon. As my long runs were getting longer, I needed to start paying more attention to what I ate before I headed out the door. As a long time runner, my go-to breakfast before a race has usually been a cinnamon raisin bagel with peanut butter and a banana. This is a pretty standard, solid, pre-race meal: carbs and protein to keep me fueled for the long haul. However, I’m not quite ready for attempting to make homemade bagels…yet. After my husband brought the bagels home, the first thing I did, of course, was turn the package around and read the ingredients. Ugh. Yeah, I felt guilty right away. And also annoyed. They’re bagels, for goodness sakes, yet it sounds like the ingredients from a chemistry project! Without listing ALL of the 20 plus ingredients in the Kroger ‘cinnamon swirl’ bagels, these are the ones that concerned me the most (and there were several others I’m not listing): unbleached enriched flour (empty calories), high fructose corn syrup (a cheap, highly-processed sweetener), caramel color (some studies link this to cancerous tumors), azodicarbonamide (used to make foamed plastics), and artificial flavors. Not what someone eating only ‘real foods’ at home eats… Well, not wanting to waste food or money, we ate the bagels (and I’ll admit, enjoyed them)…but I already knew that couldn’t happen again.
With only two weeks until my half marathon, I wanted to come up with a ‘cinnamon bread’ recipe that would compare to my favorite pre-race bagels. Last week, I attempted to make a modified version of a recipe I found on www.realfoodonthetable.com, but I missed my bread machine’s “beep” to add the raisins and then it baked a little too long in the machine. The result was kind of ‘blah,’ though I could still tell there was a good flavor in there somewhere! I adjusted some ingredients and amounts and then tried again yesterday afternoon…this loaf was perfection! I had some last night and again for breakfast this morning. The kids are eating it for breakfast right now and I’ve already served up several slices! That is always a good sign. I can tell you that this is an awesome ‘real food’ bread recipe (no white flour, no refined sugar) and I no longer have to worry about “needing” overly processed bagels before a long run again. That makes me so happy!
Mmm…so good. Especially right out of the oven with some butter spread on it…
Whole Wheat Cinnamon Raisin Bread
- 3 cups white whole wheat flour (14 3/4 oz on a food scale)
- 1 cup oatmeal
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 1/3 cup warm water
- 1 T coconut oil, melted
- 1/4 cup honey (I use local raw)
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup (local)
- 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
- 3/4 cup organic raisins
Put all ingredients (except raisins) in the bread machine in the order recommended (mine is dry first, then wet). Select Whole Wheat, Raisin, Dough cycle. Wait. When the machine beeps, add the raisins. Wait. When the dough is done, put it into a greased loaf pan (I use coconut oil spread with a small piece of paper towel) and cover with a dish towel. (Note: if the dough is too sticky when putting it into the pan, I sometimes sprinkle a little additional flour onto it and pat it in.) Let rise until doubled (this took a little over an hour). Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes. Turn out of pan and let cool. Slice and enjoy! (Note: If you don’t plan to eat the entire loaf within a couple of days, slice what you aren’t going to eat and freeze it. Since homemade bread isn’t filled with preservatives, it doesn’t last anywhere near as long as the store-bought versions. You can then take out slices as you need them and pop them into the toaster!)
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