Cinnamon-Craisin English Muffin Bread

     These easy-to-make yeast-based loaves boast the same texture as English muffins; their flavor is reminiscent of cinnamon rolls but without the fat and excess sugar. You could leave out the craisins and walnuts, but we love the added flavor and texture. Slice it thin and toast for breakfast. A loaf also makes a nice gift.

Cinnamon-Craisin English Muffin Bread     Makes 2 (9” x 5”) loaves
½ cup water
2 cups milk
5 cups all-purpose flour, divided (could use part white whole wheat for a nutrition boost)
2 tablespoons active dry yeast
¼ teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 cup craisins or substitute raisins
¾ to 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, optional

1.     Spray or grease 2 (9” x 5”) loaf pans, and sprinkle with cornmeal. Set aside. 

2.     Combine water and milk in a saucepan (or in a microwave safe bowl); heat until just hot (120 to 130°). 
3.     Combine 3 cups flour, yeast, baking soda, salt, sugar and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl.  Gradually add liquid mixture to flour mixture, beating at high speed with an electric mixer. Beat 2 more minutes at medium speed. Stir in craisins and walnuts.  Gradually stir in remaining 2 cups flour to make a soft dough.
4.     Spoon dough into prepared loaf pans (use your fingers to push the dough into the shape of the pan). Sprinkle top with cornmeal. 
Before rising . . .
5.     Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 45 minutes or until doubled in bulk. 
After rising; ready to go into the oven.
6.     Preheat oven to 400°. Bake bread for 25 minutes. 
7.     Remove bread from pans immediately; cook on wire rack.

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