Cinnamon Raisin Bread
I’m officially back home 🙂 Normally on a Tuesday morning I would be back at work replying to emails and voicemails and following up on appointments from over the weekend. This morning I cuddled with my kids, dressed them and ate breakfast with them. My son and I then sat on the steps talking about “choo choo trains” while we waited for the girls to get on the bus. It’s actually been a little bittersweet which sounds weird after reading the last three sentences. The latter is definitely more appealing but I worked with some awesome people which made the day fun and I miss them already 🙂 So instead of counting bookings at work I’m counting the cereal the kids dropped on the floor and for now, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
To treat the kids (OK, myself) I baked cinnamon raisin bread for breakfast! Say what you want but there is absolutely nothing like warm fresh baked bread when the weather starts to get that chill in the air. I used to only make bread using my standing mixer but now I do everything by hand and I enjoy the process more. It’s a bit more work but I can really tell when the dough has reached the stage it’s supposed to be at.
Cinnamon Raisin has always been a favorite. I love to cut it in thick slabs, toast it and slather with butter. I could seriously eat an entire loaf of home made bread, it’s a problem.
Cinnamon Raisin Bread
Recipe from Joy of Cooking with minor changes
1 packet (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
3 tablespoons warm (105-115 degrees F) water
1 cup whole milk
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, at room temperature
2 cups bread flour
1 1/2 – 2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup raisins (packed tight)
2 1/2 tablespoons sugar, divided
2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, divided
3 tablespoons melted butter, divided
pinch of salt
1. Warm the milk in a small saucepan just until it begins to bubble, then remove from heat. Whisk in 3 tablespoons sugar and 1 teaspoon salt; stir in the 5 tablespoons softened butter until melted and let cool to lukewarm.
2. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in 3 tablespoons warm water. Let stand until fully dissolved, about 5 minutes.
3. In a large bowl or the bowl of a standing mixer, combine yeast mixture, milk mixture, and egg. Gradually stir in 2 cups bread flour a half cup at a time. Stir with a wooden spoon or mix with paddle attachment just until combined. With a wooden spoon or with the mixer on medium-slow speed add remaining 1 1/2 – 2 cups all purpose flour, 1/2 cup at a time, making sure each addition is fully combined and the dough is moist but not sticky.
4. Knead the dough by hand (or switch attachment to dough hook and knead on medium to medium-high speed) for about 10 minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic. If you are kneading by hand you will feel the dough get cooler as you knead.
5. Move dough to a lightly oiled bowl, and turn to coat in oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in volume, anywhere from 1-2 hours.
6. While the dough is rising place the raisins in a small saucepan and add enough cold water to cover them by a 1/2 inch. Bring the water to a boil then turn off the heat, drain the raisins well and set aside to cool. Stir together 2 tablespoons sugar with 2 teaspoons cinnamon.
7. Oil an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch loaf pan. When the dough has completely risen (a good test is to make an indentation in the dough with your finger. If it bounces right back it’s not done. If it holds it’s shape it’s ready!) sprinkle a work surface lightly with flour and roll the dough out 8 inches wide and a 1/2 inch thick. Brush with 1 1/2 tablespoons melted butter, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and then spread the raisins out evenly across the surface. Starting from one 8 inch side roll up the dough (as you would a jelly roll), pinch the seam and ends closed. Place seam side down in the loaf pan and cover loosely with oiled plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled in volume 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
8. Preheat oven to 375 degrees (F). Stir together the remaining 1/2 tablespoon sugar with 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Whisk the egg with the salt and brush over the top of the loaf. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar evenly over the surface. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the crust is a deep golden brown and the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when tapped. Remove the bread from the pan and place on a wire rack. Brush with the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons melted butter and let cool. Serve warm, cold, room temperature or toasted 🙂