Hey guys, I was wondering if you were up for another major comfort food item, because I have to tell you, they’re my favorite things to share!
On a sidenote; Remember me mentioning our Spanish teacher friend, well he’s getting here later today and we are all getting ready to make him feel as at home as we can while he’s staying with us. So I’ve been genuinely trying to focus on some Spanish skills recently but I kind of feel like I’m never going to get it down…..ever…..in a million and 12 years…….. I’m excited though, because Diego is going to be here now and he’s going to help me learn it, yay! Of course, that means I’m working on getting over my embarrassment for how terrible my current knowledge of the language is. It’s pretty lame and I really hate trying to actually use what I know since I butcher almost every sentence I say.
Okay, I know that I’m always going on about the different things (mostly foods) that my family misses from living in the US. Hopefully it’s not too annoying but it’s something that influences many of the recipes I share here on the blog so it’s hard not to mention it often. Which brings me to how much the gang loves and misses raisin swirl toast. Okay, so it’s possible that you could search really hard and find somewhere to buy a decent loaf around where we live, but up until now we still haven’t. As far as I can tell, they don’t make raisin swirl bread anywhere near my little town. What a shame, I know.
Of course, that’s where I got my inspiration for these so I guess it’s not too much of a loss. Liv has been
not so subtly hinting about how much she needs some pretzels. Oh yeah, that’s another thing you won’t find here (Ugh, they have no clue what they are missing!). I’ve been trying to bridge over into “Autumn Food” territory with my recent recipes and I thought this one was a really great fit for that. It’s got all the warm fuzzy flavors of home and nostalgia but I don’t feel like it’s completely confined to a specific season either. It’s still versatile enough to make year round since the ingredients aren’t too seasonal.
I don’t know about you, but it’s almost indescribable how happy the smell of these wafting through the house can make me. MMMMMmmm! All that warm yeasty goodness mixed with cinnamon spice is enough to make me giggle with childish glee! It’s an aroma of favorite childhood memories. (Note to self; figure out how to bottle and sell the stuff as a perfume ’cause it would be dynamite!)
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons (neutral) oil
- 1 egg yolk
- 3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
- 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) butter, softened
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup raisins (or craisins)
- 2 tablespoons baking soda
- 1/2 cup hot water
- Stir water, sugar, and yeast together until yeast is dissolved and allow to sit for about 5 minutes. Pour into a large mixing bowl and whisk in egg yolk and oil until combined. Add flour and mix until dough comes together. Turn out onto lightly floured surface and knead for a few minutes, adding a little more flour until the dough doesn't stick to your hands. It should spring back when you press your thumb into it. Place in oiled bowl and cover bowl with plastic or a damp towel, then place in warm place to rise until doubled in size.
- While bread is rising, mix together the ingredients for filling. Stir the butter, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, and salt together in a medium mixing bowl until smooth, then add raisins and stir until mixed.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 C) and line a baking tray with parchment. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough into a rectangle, about 1/4 inch tall. Spread out your filling on top in an even layer and then, starting from a longer edge, roll the dough into a "log" shape. Make a cut down the center to divide in half, then start gently twisting one half to stretch it into a thinner rope, about 1 inch in diameter. Divide the rope into 4 equal pieces and repeat this step with the other half of your log until you have 8 ropes.
- Twist each rope into a pretzel (you can do spirals if that is simpler) and place on parchment tray.
- Stir together the hot water and soda until dissolved, then brush over pretzel (you can also sprinkle with a bit of pretzel salt if desired). Bake for 18 to 20 minutes until golden brown. Serve warm.
- P.S. If you feel like living in the edge, these are amazing dipped in vanilla frosting!.....just sayin'