March 27, 2013
Cinnamon Raisin Bread
Ahhh, cinnamon raisin bread. Just the smell of it cooking makes me smile. I haven't had it in so long, I think I forgot for a brief time how much I love this bread. So good straight out of the oven, but really you can use this bread for many things - toast, french toast, and for an endless array of sandwiches. For me, since I am a sweet & savory kinda girl, so I love using it for sandwiches - the weirder the combination, the better (tuna, chicken salad, turkey, egg salad, etc.)
I have tried different recipes and methods, all producing slightly different results. Sometimes the recipes I tried didn't rise so well, or took very long to rise. After doing some research I discovered a theory that the cinnamon in the dough counter-acts the rising agent of the yeast. I don't know if this is true or not because I haven't tried making it without the cinnamon mixed into the dough, but it is next on my list of experiments for this recipe.....just so I can see for myself if it really matters.
For now, here is the recipe I use - it is a compilation of different recipes I've collected and tried. It's delicious. It makes me want to curl up on the couch in front of a fire, wrapped up in a blanket and sipping some coffee while munching on this bread all toasted up and slathered with butter. Mmmmm.....too bad I don't have a fireplace, but you get the idea ☺
Cinnamon Raisin Bread
1 1/4 tsp instant yeast
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 egg, beaten
1 3/4 cups bread flour
1/4 cup whole milk (or buttermilk)
1/3 cup warm water
1 tbsp shortening, room temp
1/2 cup raisins
1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp water
1/2 cup sugar mixed with 2 tsp cinnamon
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, fitted with a dough hook, stir together the yeast, sugar, salt, cinnamon and flour. Add the milk, water, egg and shortening and mix on medium-low until it comes together to form a ball. Mix for 5 minutes, add the raisins then mix for another 2 minutes. Sprinkle a little flour on the counter and turn out the dough. Knead it for a couple of turns by hand just to make sure the raisins are well incorporated.
With a rolling pin roll the dough out into a 10" x 12" rectangle. Brush with the egg wash, then sprinkle the sugar & cinnamon mixture on to cover the entire surface. Roll the dough up to form a loaf and place into a loaf pan that's been coating with cooking spray. Spray the top of the dough lightly with cooking spray and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Place pan in a warm area of your kitchen and let it rise for 3-4 hours. Once it's risen high enough (to the top of pan or higher), place in oven that's been preheated to 350. Bake for 20 minutes, rotate pan and cook another 20-30 minutes. If you tap on the top (or some say the bottom) of the loaf it should sound hollow, and it should be a nice golden brown. Remove bread from pan and cool completely on a wire rack.