Product: Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Cinnamon Raisin Bread Mix – $5.79+
I have a confession to make.
Originally, I didn’t pull out the Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Cinnamon Raisin Bread Mix for me. Nope. You see, I have an amazing podiatrist who has gotten me back on my feet and running better than I did prior to the injury that put me on crutches for three weeks. And after setting two new PR (that’s personal records for the non-running lingo peeps) in my last two races, I wanted to bake them something as a thank you. I have quite a few of these Bob’s Red Mill Cinnamon Raisin Bread Mix bags in my pantry (thank you Big Lots!), so I thought…why not?
Prep work was easy because I do my bread baking in a bread machine. Yes…this takes awhile, but it takes all the ‘let it rise after kneading it’ hassle out of the equation. Following the simple instructions on the bag, I simply took room temperature water, two eggs, and 1/4 cup of canola oil and placed it into the pan of my bread maker. Then…the mix was added. Finally, the yeast packet that came with the bread mix was added. Now, my bread maker is not specifically designed for gluten-free bread making, but it is a dedicated gluten-free bread maker. So…I set it for the basic setting on a medium crust, hit start and let it run for the 3 hours it takes.
And at first, I was less than excited about the little glob of dough that was being worked by the machine. In fact, I let it run while I settled in on the couch and watched “Thunderball” (the James Bond film…mmm…Sean Connery!). I even wandered into the kitchen to air pop some popcorn at some point and was still set on just baking this up for my podiatrist and his staff.
But then, the baking part kicked in around the end of the movie. Suddenly, my entire apartment smelled like fresh-baked cinnamon raisin bread. It was making my mouth water. And despite having just snacked on popcorn…there was nothing more that I was craving than taking a slice of that and trying it. After the movie, I only had a few more minutes left on the bake cycle, and the aroma was making both myself and my roommate really want to dive into the bread. We were going to try it regardless…just a slice split between us. Then I was going to cut it up and package it up for my podiatrist with a couple of icing options.
But after the bread machine beeped to alert me that the cycle was done and my bread was ready, I eagerly took the pan out of the machine, overturned it to let the bread easily slide out onto my cooling rack, and then…let it sit and cool. That only lasted 10 minutes. I had to try it. Onto the cutting board it went.
It was still probably too early to slice into it…but I needed to try it. It smelled so fantastic. So, my bread knife glided through the still fresh bread loaf and sliced off the end piece. I saw the rise of fresh steam as the slice fell away and I let it sit for a moment to cool. But that was just long enough for me to snap a picture. Then…out came the margarine. I sliced the one slice of bread in half and gave a little spread of the Smart Balance spread over each slice. I handed one to my roommate and I took the other.
One bite…and the first words out of my mouth were…
“I don’t want to share this! I want to keep this here for us!”
She totally agreed.
Good. We were on the same page.
So, aside from making my entire apartment smell like a bakery (and a delicious, gluten-free bakery at that), how was the bread?
Well, the loaf is not going anywhere if that indicates anything. Most gluten-free breads (even those made from mixes), have the tendency to be very heavy and very dense. Not Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Cinnamon Raisin Bread. Nope. This was light and soft. The inside was moist without being heavy. And the Smart Balance spread that I spread across the sliced part melted right into the bread like a cinnamon-raisin sponge of awesomeness™ just begging to be devoured in seconds. I savored it as much as I could, but the half of a slice that I had was disappearing quickly. The crust on this bread baked to a perfect golden brown and has this amazing flakiness to it. The inside is moist and soft. And the raisins aren’t just an afterthought. Raisins explode from every bite of this bread. They aren’t just randomly scattered. There are plenty to go around and plenty to fill up the bread. No need to even add extra. In addition, the cinnamon flavor is there without overpowering and taking away from the bread. It adds a sweetness to the bread that really compliments the raisins.
So, apologies to my podiatrist’s office, but this bread is staying here with me. In fact, it’s my post-workout snack this morning after hitting up the gym. I’m taking some of my vegan vanilla cream cheese icing in because I think this bread could easily make me no longer miss cinnamon rolls if I dress it up like one. I can’t wait to give this bread a little warming at the office and spread it with some vanilla icing love. Epic breakfast at the office. I hope the aroma of the bread makes others inquire as to what I’m eating. My office is so anti-gluten-free anything that I love being able to make something and get them to try it (few often do) and fall in love with it.
Gluten-free baking and cooking doesn’t get the respect that it deserves. Too many people go into it with a closed mind.
Well, if they were able to try the Gluten-Free Cinnamon Raisin Bread that the Bob’s Red Mill mix created, I bet their minds and mouths would both be open…and ready for more.
I know mine is.
The trick is getting through my workout before devouring my slice for breakfast.
If cinnamon raisin is your thing, if you miss cinnamon rolls, or if you just want to give gluten-free bread making (by hand or by machine…there are instructions for both on the bag of the mix) a try, I encourage you to give Bob’s Red Mill mixes a try. I haven’t been disappointed yet. It’s another one of those, “No way this is gluten-free!” moments…which I love.