Cinnamon Raisin Bread

When I have the time, I really enjoy making bread.  It’s an opportunity to purge stress and tension during the kneading process.  But I understand just how dangerous the practice can be.  Years ago decades ago,we were given a recipe for food-processor French bread.  That loaf was really our first effort and it quickly became a habit.  The aroma while baking was beyond overwhelming.  Out of the oven, it just called us to taste – with a good schmeer of butter, of course.  Nothing like hot fresh from the oven bread.  Well, several loaves later we saw the light – or the weight – and decided that we needed to moderate our behavior.

That French bread was a quick make with one rise and then into the oven.  Just perfect or detrimental for weeknights.  These days, I reach for bread recipes that are more complex with two, maybe three sessions in the warm bowl.  Worth the time investment?  You bet.

And for your time spent, this is a first prize.  This Cinnamon Raisin Swirl rewards you with a nicely sweet and moist interior with a tender, golden brown crust.  The sweet is actually quite subtle, so go ahead and make this bread your sandwich foundation.  Toasted? Man, oh man.

Cinnamon Raisin Bread

Yield 1 large loaf

1 cup milk

 cup butter, salted

2 ½ teaspoons active dry yeast

2 eggs

 cup sugar

3 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons butter, room temperature

 cups sugar

2 tablespoons cinnamon

½ cup raisins

1 egg and milk

1 tablespoon milk

Heat the milk in a small sauce pan over medium-low heat, melt the butter into it without boiling, remove from heat and let cool until it is luke warm. Mix in the yeast and let sit for 10 minutes.  Mixture will foam.  Mix the eggs and sugar in a large bowl.  Mix in the milk.  Mix the flour and salt and beat half of it into the milk mixture until combined.  Beat in the remaining flour until combined.  Knead the dough until smooth, adding more flour if it is too sticky.  Place the dough in a large greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm place until it has doubled in size, about 2 hours.

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Pans Set

GreenLife Soft Grip Healthy Ceramic Nonstick 16 Piece Cookware Pots and Pans Set, PFAS-Free, Dishwasher Safe, Turquoise

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Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and roll it out so that it is as wide as your baking pan and about 18 to 24 inches long.  Spread the softened butter over the dough.  Mix the sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle it over the dough.  Sprinkle raisins over the dough.  Roll the dough up into a log.  Place the dough into a grease loaf pan, cover again with plastic wrap and let it rise in warm place until it has doubled in size, about 2 hours.  Mix the egg and milk and brush it over the top of the loaf.

Bake the loaf in a preheated 350° oven until golden brown on top, about 30 – 40 minutes.

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