Cinnamon Raisin Bread

Cinnamon Raisin Bread
I have been getting into baking bread recently (without the use of a bread making machine). I love Dove’s Farm Malthouse Flour, and often make bread by adding rosemary, sundried tomatoes or other flavours. I have some cream cheese that needs using up, so decided to make cinnamon and raisin bread (I love anything to do with cinnamon!). So here goes:

Cinnamon and Raisin Bread
In a bowl I put 200g Malthouse flour, 1 level tsp yeast, pinch of salt, pinch of sugar, and some cinnamon. I mixed it all together then slowly added around 150ml warm water (I add a bit, mix it in, add more if it needs it and so on).
While the dough was still “craggy” I put it on the board and kneaded it for ages. Then I left it to rise covered with a tea towel. Meanwhile I put about 30g raisins in a bowl and poured on warm water (to plump them up) and also sprinkled some cinnamon in there for good luck. You can never have too much cinnamon.
Once the dough had risen (about an hour or so) I kneaded in the drained raisins. I added a little more flour as the raisins made it go a bit soft. Then I left it to rise once more while the oven warmed up.
It baked in an oven (around 200C) for 25 minutes, making the whole house smell amazing.
Once cooled I sliced it and spread with cream cheese. It tastes similar to a bagel- yum.

Peanut Banana White Chocolate Cupcakes

Cupcakes
Since Christmas I have been working my way through the recipes in the The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook. There has been a banana lurking on the side of the fruit bowl getting browner and browner (and I only like bananas that are still green) so today decided to try the banana and chocolate cupcakes. When I read the recipe I noticed that the only chocolate element was the chocolate frosting, so I have adapted it a bit and made even more delicious:

Peanut butter, white chocolate and banana cupcakes.

In a bowl I mixed 120g plain flour, 140g caster sugar, 1 tbs baking powder, cinnamon (lots) and ginger with a pinch of salt. Then added 40g sunflower spread and 40g peanut butter and mixed up until it looked like sand. Then I poured in 120ml semi skimmed milk, 2 whisked eggs, vanilla extract and that banana (mashed up). Finally I added in 50g white chocolate chips. I spooned the mix into silicone baking cases (all pretty colours) and into the oven (170C) for 22 minutes.

They are cooling on the wire rack now and smell amazing!

Easter weekend running

Monday 5th April

After my long run yesterday I didn’t know if I would manage a run at all. I had jobs to do in the morning, plus some work this afternoon. But the weather has stayed fine (well, if cloudy skies and lots of wind is fine) and I won’t be able to run again until Sunday, so decided on a short one this afternoon. It was hard work! I managed 4 miles but why is it that 4 miles when I am tired is harder than 8 miles when I am rested?
Anyway have had a shower now, and am looking forward to dinner and maybe a peanut banana cupcake later on.

Sunday 4th April

After breakfast I got ready for my long run (as I am training for my second half marathon in the summer). I had planned 8 miles and took a nak’d cocoa orange bar with me in case I needed a snack. It looked like it was about to pour, so I was not sure if I would make the whole route or cut it short. I have a loop which is around 6 miles; I was planning on running to the 4 mile mark and then re-tracing my steps, but having the option of only 6 miles if the weather turned awful. As it was the weather was fine; sunny at times, cloudy at times but it didn’t rain. I managed the run in 89 minutes which I was pleased with as 11 minute miles is a good pace for me to maintain for that time. Once I got home I had a trek mixed berry bar (as I didn’t eat my nak’d bar en route) and spent the day pottering about at home (in the kitchen making cupcakes) and in the garden. Even managed a walk after dinner, although I am feeling very stiff now!

Saturday 3rd April

The weather had forecast rain, including thundery showers (and before I have been caught in a hail storm and didn’t want that repeated), so when I woke up and saw that it was dry I decided to go for a quick run around the block. I managed 3.5 miles in 35 minutes, then home for muesli and a shower. Of course it didn’t actually rain all day! I could have taken my time and had a long run on Saturday! Oh well. Instead I did some gardening and went for a walk- making the most of the good weather.