Cinnamon-Raisin Swirl Bread
Cinnamon raisin bread has always been one of my favorite things to eat. It’s always been considered a luxury in my household (it costs like twice as much as regular bread!), and whenever it made an appearance during my childhood, it was gone in the blink of an eye. Thankfully, I’ve found a good recipe to make it myself whenever I get a craving.
I decided to go step-by-step on this one. First, you mix your dough and let it rise once. Then you plop it onto a floured counter:
Second step: don’t be an idiot like me. Don’t wear a black hoodie while working with floury bread, please. Oh yeah, you should also pat the dough into a rectangle so that it keeps being a rectangle when you roll it out.
Using a rolling pin, roll it into a 9 x 15 rectangle.
Sprinkle a very generous amount of cinnamon-sugar mixture onto the rolled out bread, leaving about an inch of clearance around the edges. If you want a clear swirl in your bread, err on the side of too much cinnamon-sugar. (As if there were such a thing…)
Next, roll up your dough lengthwise, pinching the seam to keep it from unrolling itself.
Place your loaf seam-down in the loaf pan and allow it to rise, lightly covered with plastic wrap or a damp tea towel, until it’s just peeking over the edges of the pan.
As you preheat the oven–that is, just before baking–sprinkle the top of the loaf with even more cinnamon sugar, until it looks so delicious that you have to talk yourself out of eating some dough (not a good idea, people.)
Once it’s baked, remove the bread from the pans and allow it to cool on wire racks. When you slice it open, you should see a beautifully swirly swirl and densely-textured bread dotted with raisins. And check out that cinnamon-sugar on top!
While it’s decent fresh out of the oven, I actually prefer this bread toasted, with a light layer of salted butter or cream cheese on top. It will make your breakfast special, I promise. Enjoy!
Cinnamon-Raisin Swirl Bread
Yield: 2 9×5 loaves
2 Tbsp butter
2 1/2 c. lukewarm water
5 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
2 c. quick-cooking oats
2/3 c. nonfat dry milk powder
1/4 c. packed brown sugar
1 Tbsp salt
2 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast
1 large egg
1 c. raisins
1 c. granulated sugar
1 Tbsp cinnamon, or more if desired
1. In a large microwave-safe mixing bowl, heat the butter in the microwave just until melted. Add the water, followed by the yeast, allowing the yeast to dissolve.
2. Add 2 cups flour, oats, milk powder, brown sugar, and salt. Beat just until moistened. Add the egg and beat until smooth; then stir in enough remaining flour to form a firm dough. Stir in the raisins.
3. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8-10 minutes. Place in a bowl coated with nonstick spray and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
4. Meanwhile, combine the sugar and cinnamon; set aside. Grease 2 9×5 loaf pans; set aside.
5. Once dough has risen, punch down and divide into two equal pieces. On a lightly floured surface, roll half into a 9×15 rectangle. Setting aside 2 Tbsp of the cinnamon-sugar mixture, sprinkle half of the mixture on each rectangle to within 1 inch of the edge. Roll up jelly-roll style, starting with the short side; pinch seam to seal. Place seam-side down in prepared pans. Cover and let rise until double in bulk, about 30 minutes.
6. Sprinkle the loaves with the remaining cinnamon-sugar mixture and bake at 375º F for 35-40 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.