Can anyone say “Cinnamon Raisin Bread” without feeling all warm and fuzzy? Or able to hold back a ”mmmm” with just the mere thought of it? If you said yes, then you must also hate puppies, babies and sunshine.
I don’t know what it is but I really enjoy the whole process of making bread. I relish the days I actually have time to make bread, which hasn’t been the case lately. But this past weekend, the Mister was working, I was all caught up on chores, the dogs were napping on a somewhat unusually cool day in late May.
I ended up using a recipe from allrecipes.com since it seems once again, of all my bread books, not 1 CRB recipe. (A good excuse to buy another bread book!) Technically there are 2 recipes that were the same (Cinnamon Raisin Bread I and Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Bread), one that includes some of the adjustments reviewers had suggested. So I chose the latter as a guide since the extra filling made more sense for the amount of bread this recipe makes. I also substituted the granulated sugar with brown sugar.
Note this recipe makes 3 standard loaves. I love CRB but we would be hard pressed to eat all 3 before they go bad. But I decided that I would try freezing some of the dough for later and share the extra with friends and coworkers. I’ll do a follow-up post on the frozen dough and how that turns out. I think the recipe can be halved but I recommend keeping the filling ingredients the same amount. It might seem like a lot but it’ll give a much better cinnamon flavor.
I used my stand mixer to do all the mixing and kneading but a big warning here. This is a lot of dough and will take any mixer to its limits. So make sure you check the user manual on your mixer before attempting this recipe. And do NOT go above low-med (usually 2-3) once all the flour has been incorporated. I added both by hand and stand mixer instructions below.
I’m glad I went with the modified filling because even with it doubled, I thought the bread could have used even more cinnamon flavor, like some of the reviews mentioned. What’s actually nice about this bread is the bread isn’t sugary sweet like some other ones I’ve tasted. Could have been that I used brown sugar. Probably would make great French toasts. I also liked the use of milk to keep the filling in, which prevented the swirl from separating when baked. Things I would adjust next time is using a mixture of the two sugars and adding a little bit of lemon zest to the filling to help enhance the flavor. Maybe even increasing the amount of cinnamon in the dough. Overall, this is a solid 3 paws out of 4!
The Mister brought it in to work and it was gone in 5 minutes. He didn’t even get a chance to grab a piece. He set it out for a meeting, turned his back to do something, turned around to a wadded-up piece of foil and a crumpled sticky note. Guess it’s a good thing I still have some at home for him to try.
Adapted from Allrecipes.com Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Bread
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup warm water (110 -115 degrees F, 45 degrees C)
2 (1/4 oz) packages active dry yeast
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup raisins
8 cups all-purpose flour
3 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoom butter, melted
1 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
Soak raisins in hot water for at least 30 minutes. Drain and pat dry with paper towel and set aside. This really made the raisins plump and juicy. Who wants hard, bitter raisins in their bread?
Warm the milk in a small saucepan until it just bubbles, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Let cool until lukewarm, about 115 degrees F, 45 degrees C.
In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water, and set aside until yeast is frothy. Mix in eggs, sugar, butter, salt and 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon. Stir in cooled milk slowly. Add the flour gradually, about a half cup at a time, to make a stiff dough. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for a few minutes until smooth. Add raisins and knead until the raisins are distributed throughout the dough.
If using a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, combine eggs, sugar, softened butter, salt and 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon. Turn mixer on low and slowly pour in cooled milk. Add half of the flour slowly (4 cups) using the paddle attachment and mix for 2 minutes. Switch to the dough hook and on low speed (1 or 2), gradually add the remaining flour 1/4 cup at a time until the dough starts to pull away from the bowl. Continued kneading for 2 minutes until smooth. The dough should be stiff and a little tacky when touched. Add the raisins and knead until the raisins are distributed throughout the dough. I added the raisins at the end because I wanted to minimize tearing of the raisins during all the mixing. Even so I still had some minor tears but the soaking really helped keep the raisins moist and plump!
Place dough in a large, greased bowl, turning to grease the surface of the dough. Make sure the top of the dough is greased. Cover with a damp cloth or plastic and allow to rise until doubled, about 1 – 1 1/2 hour. I typically put it in my oven with just the oven light on cool/cold days. Here’s what it looks like after an hour. Ready to burst out of bowl!
Roll out on a lightly floured surface into a large rectangle 1/2 inch thick. Moisten dough with 2 tablespoons milk. Mix together the filling ingredients and sprinkle mixture on top of the moistened dough.
Roll up tightly lengthwise, the roll should be about 3 inches in diameter. Cut into thirds, and tuck ends under and pinch bottom together.
Place loaves into well greased 9 x 5 inch pans. Lightly grease tops of loaves. As you can see below, I decided to make 4 loaves. I only had 2 regular sized loaf pans and decided to divide one of the 3 sections to fit into smaller (8×4) foil pans, which are the ones I froze for later.
Let rise uncovered for 1 hour. Here’s what they looked like after an hour.
Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 40-45 minutes, or until loaves are lightly browned and sound hollow when knocked. Internal temperature should read 190 degrees F. I recommend checking it about the 40 minute timeframe, which is what it took in my oven. Remove from oven and let cool on rack. Brush top of loaves with melted butter. Here’s a shot after I brushed on the butter, giving it a nice rich color.
Let’s take a closer look at that crust! Come here you delicious thing!
After 10 minutes, remove loaves from pans and cool before slicing. It was really really hard waiting for it to cool, especially since the whole house smelled like cinnamon bread. I did slice it when it was still slightly warm because I just had to. It sliced beautifully without compressing like some bread do when still warm. The crust had a slight flakiness to it, which was wonderful.
This turned out pretty moist and was great toasted with some margarine! Hmm, think I’ll toast up a piece now and put some jelly on it!
Hope everyone has a wonderful week!