Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Bread

Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Bread

What is it about flavored breads that make them so dang irresistible?  What is it about bread in general that is irresistible!?  I don't know, but I am definitely a carb lover.  If I could get away with it, I'd eat bread for every meal.  And ice cream.  We can't forget about ice cream.  But that's in a perfect world where health doesn't matter.  I digress. This bread is fabulous.  It is slightly sweet, moist, full of raisins and just down right delicious.  It is perfect when toasted and slathered with butter.  I was honestly giddy with excitement to have it for breakfast.  And maybe for a mid morning snack.  I wish I had doubled the recipe to make two loaves!  This bread is fairly straight forward, to if you are new to bread baking, this is a great place to start.

Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Bread

Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Bread

Yield: 1 9 x 5-inch loaf

For the dough:

  • 1 1/8 teaspoons instant (rapid rise) yeast
  • 1 cup warm milk (105-110˚ F)
  • 17 oz. (3 1/4 cups) all-purpose flour*
  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup raisins

For the filling

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 egg

Directions

In the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl, combine the yeast, warm milk, flour, butter, sugar, egg, salt and cinnamon.  Mix briefly until a dough forms (or use a wooden spoon if you don't have a mixer) . Switch to the dough hook and knead on low speed until the dough is mostly smooth and clears the sides of the bowl, about 3 minutes (or knead by hand).  Add in the raisins and allow to continue kneading about 3 minutes more, until the dough is smooth and supple and the raisins are evenly incorporated.

Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, turning once to coat.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1-2 hours.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface.  Pat into a round.  Fold the bottom third of the dough up and fold the top third down, in a business-letter fashion. Then fold the right and left sides into the center in thirds, forming a rectangle. Press down to seal.  Return to the bowl, cover and let rise again until doubled, about 1 hour.

Grease a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan.  To make the filling, combine the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and whisk until well combined.  In a small bowl, beat the egg and 1 tablespoon water together.

Return the dough to a lightly floured work surface. Roll the dough into a 10 by 12-inch rectangle.  Brush lightly with the beaten egg (reserve the remaining beaten egg for later)  Sprinkle with the cinnamon-sugar mixture, leaving a thin border around the edges.  Fold in the edges of the long sides of the dough about 1 inch.  Beginning with one of the short ends, roll the dough up into a tight spiral log, gently pressing as you go.  Pinch the seam shut, and place the loaf seam side-down in the prepared baking pan.  Cover loosely with plastic wrap or a clean towel and let rise until the dough rises just above the edge of the pan, about 30-60 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425ºF.  When the loaf has risen, brush the top of the loaf lightly with the remaining beaten egg.  Bake, rotating the pan halfway through, until the loaf is golden brown, and hollow sounding when tapped on the bottom, about 35-40 minutes.  If the bread seems to be browning too quickly, cover loosely with foil.  Let cool in the pan 5 minutes, then turn the loaf out and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.

*Weighing your flour yields the best results, but don't sweat it if you don't have a kitchen scale!

Source: adapted from Annie's Eats, originally from Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook