Part of moving overseas means making sacrifices. You have to give up some things, and sometimes, it’s pretty painful. The whole three months we spent in Thailand, I never had a kitchen. That was a HUGE sacrifice, even though I could eat amazing food for pennies, it just wasn’t as fun when I couldn’t cook.
I was prepared to have no oven when we moved to Korea. I’d heard it was extremely rare for the kitchens here to have them, and the idea of not being able to bake for an entire year almost made me cry, but it was a sacrifice I was willing to make for the experience of living in a new country. When we walked into our apartment for the first time, I was absolutely thrilled to discover we did, in fact, have an oven.
Asian cuisines have a lot going for them, but bread is not their forte. In fact I don’t think I had a decent loaf of bread anywhere in Thailand or Korea. I know I could have probably found a good bakery if I had really looked, but it kind of seemed like it wasn’t worth the trouble. Then, in the same week I heard about the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day concept, and my mom sent a care package that included yeast and raisins. I took that as a sign that I needed to make some bread. And not just any bread, cinnamon raisin bread!
This bread isn’t sweet, but it has a nice hint of cinnamon and the raisins contrast nicely with the almost-sour flavor of the dough. I may play around with adding a little honey to the dough next time, but for now, this is just what I crave.
3 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups warm (110 F) water
3/4 tbsp yeast
3/4 tbsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup raisins
Combine the flour, water, yeast, and salt and stir well.
Cover, and leave on the counter for about 3 hours.
Stir in the cinnamon and raisins and transfer to the refrigerator.
After anywhere between 5 hours and 14 days, your bread will be ready to bake.
Sprinkle some flour over the surface of the dough, and sprinkle a little more on the counter.
Pull off a piece of dough, or use the whole batch, and shape into a loaf on the counter.
Let rise anywhere from 30 mintues to an hour, then bake at 400F until golden, and the bottom sounds hollow when tapped.