A quality recipe like this is hard to find. I knew what I was going to make when I saw that our friend made this. The recipe title pretty much speaks for itself. In the original recipe, walnuts are also called for, but I decided not to include them this time.
Overall, I was pleased with my first loaf of bread. The smell of it as it baked was terrific – so comforting and homey. It was the perfect way to end a relaxing weekend at home for my husband and I. We made it together on a Sunday afternoon.
Due to my dissatisfaction with how the kitchen aid was working, I had to hand knead this the majority of the way. Usually, my husband does hand kneading, but this time I did most of the kneading myself and was very proud of myself. With the help of the book’s excellent picture tutorial, I also shaped the loaf myself. Hooray!
Despite being a tad overbaked, the bread had a wonderful crumb and was delicious. It came back to life after a light toasting in the oven once it was sliced. Simply toasted, my slices were delicious, but I’ve no doubt they’d be even better with melted butter. There are some options for this recipe, and I chose to include a cinnamon swirl in the center and a cinnamon sugar crust after baking. The cinnamon swirl in the middle, and the sugary crust adds a nice crunch to this bread. Raisins were generously sprinkled through it, too.
Cinnamon Swirl Raisin Bread
Makes one 1/2 pound loaf
For the dough:
1 3/4 cups of unbleached bread flour
Sugar, 2 tbsp / .33 oz
Approximately 3/4 tsp / .15 oz of salt
.11 ounces / 1 teaspoon instant yeast
Cinnamon, 1 1/8 teaspoon / .08 ounce
.825 ounces / less than one egg, slightly beaten
1 tbsp/ .5 ounces of melted lard or shortening
1/4 cup buttermilk (I used low fat) / 2 oz., at room temperature
Water, at room temperature, plus 1/4 cup plus two tablespoons
Rinsed and drained 3/4 cup / 9 ounces raisins
To make the cinnamon swirl:
Sugar, 1/4 cup
Cinnamon, 1 tbsp
In a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour, sugar, salt, yeast, and cinnamon. Combine the egg, buttermilk, lard/shortening, and water. Mix the ingredients with a wooden spoon or the paddle attachment until they form a ball. The dough can be adjusted by adding flour or water if it seems too sticky or too dry and stiff.
Put flour on your counter, transfer the dough and knead (or use the dough hook while mixing on medium speed). A soft and pliable dough, tacky but not sticky, is what you are looking for. If necessary, add flour while kneading (or mixing) to achieve this texture. Knead by hand for around 10 minutes (or knead by machine for 6 to 8 minutes). Check that the dough passes the windowpane test. As soon as it passes the test, evenly distribute the raisins by hand. Roll the dough in the oil to coat it, then place it in the bowl. Lightly oil a large bowl and transfer the dough. Cover with plastic wrap to keep it from drying out.
Let the dough ferment for approximately two hours at room temperature or until it has doubled in size. For me, it took one hour.
Spread the dough into a 5 inch by 8-inch rectangle about 1/3 inch thick. Sprinkle generously with cinnamon sugar. Working from the short side of the dough, roll the dough up one section at a time, pinching the crease with each rotation to strengthen the surface tension. Once rolled up, the loaf will reach a length of 8-9 inches. Pinch the final seam shut. You should rock the loaf around to even it out and push the ends in so they are not tapered. Maintain an even top surface. In an 8 1/2 – 4 1/2 inch pan, lightly oil the bottom, mist the top with cooking spray, and cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel.
The dough must be proofed for 60 – 90 minutes or until it is nearly doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the loaf pan in the middle of the oven after it has proofed. The loaf should be baked for 20 minutes, rotated 180 degrees, and baked for another 20-30 minutes. 190F should be recorded in the center of the loaf, and the top should be golden brown. A thump on the bottom should produce a hollow sound.
Remove the pan from the heat immediately. Sprinkle some more cinnamon sugar on top if desired to create a sugary crust. Spread 1 tbsp of melted butter on the top and sprinkle some more cinnamon sugar.
Let cool for at least an hour before slicing or serving. Have fun.
Delicious dough ball:
Approximately one hour after proofing in an oiled bowl:
Incorporating the cinnamon swirl:
Rolled up and ready for proofing and baking:
Served hot with a crunchy cinnamon-sugar butter crust:
I couldn’t decide which pictures to keep from the bread, so some extra ones of the bread were included. From every angle, it looks lovely.