I know. The internet is exploding with pumpkin everything right now, but I’ve got a few recipes coming that are pumpkin-filled, so just hold on to your hat. It’s fall – it’s what we expect every year, but somehow, there’s always more pumpkin recipes than I’m ready for.
Plus, this is bread! Bread is good, bread is always, always good.
A few weeks ago, I flew out one weekend to Fresno, California to meet everyone from the California Raisin Board . I’m so happy to be one of their Ambassadors this year, and I can’t wait to share more background and recipes with you guys.
My California Raisin experience started very early in life. My great Aunt Carolyn has a collection of California Raisin figurines, hand puppets, and little toys on the shelves in her grandfather clock. Whenever we went to visit when I was younger, we would always play with all her California Raisin toys and make them dance around, singing “I heard it through the grapevine..”.
So it seemed like everything had come full circle when I finally got to see the grapevines themselves.
I had no idea there were so many types of raisins! We had a tasting and had the chance to try 12 different raisins. One of my favorites tasted like a glass of red wine – that’s the best way to describe it, and it was definitely different than the normal raisins I get on the shelves in my local store.
The best thing about being an Ambassador with such a great group of bloggers is that I’m branching out from my normal raisin recipes like trail mix or granola bars.
And since it’s fall, and because my pantry is full of pumpkin, I wanted to do a spin on cinnamon raisin bread.
It’s cinnamon raisin bread, kicked up with pumpkin in the dough and pumpkin in the spice filling.
If you’re looking for a new twist on your favorite raisin bread, give this one a try.
In the bowl of a stand mixer (or other large bowl), mix the yeast and warm water together and let it sit for 5 minutes until the mixture looks creamy.
Blend the pumpkin, warmed milk, beaten eggs, oil, maple syrup and salt into the yeast and water.
Pour the 3 cups of bread flour into the pumpkin mixture and knead together. Add the whole wheat flour 1 cup at a time until the flour is completely mixed in and the dough is soft and silky. If it still feels really sticky, add a little more flour.
Dump the dough into an oiled bowl, then cover it and let it rise for about an hour or until it’s doubled.
Punch the dough down and divide into 2 equal halves. Roll one piece out into a rectangle.
Mix the 2/3 cup pumpkin together with the brown sugar, cinnamon, and ginger. Spread half of the pumpkin spice mixture over the rectangle of dough and sprinkle with half of the raisins.
Roll the rectangle up and place in a greased loaf pan. Repeat with the second piece of dough, using the rest of the filling and chocolate chips.
Cover the loaves and let them rise for another 30-45 minutes.
Bake at 375 for 35 minutes until the top is golden and they sound hollow when you tap on them.