There's not much of a story behind this post. But just for fun, let's see how much I can say about it. I woke up one morning this week and decided I had to have cinnamon-swirl bread. I parked my butt on the carpet in front of the bookcase and started browsing the index of all 5 million of my baking books. After about 11 books, I finally found a recipe for cinnamon raisin bread in Joy of Cooking. The basis of the recipe was their milk bread, which I use for hamburger buns, so I already knew it was good. I made the recipe sans raisins because I have to be in the mood for raisins.
The end result was this incredible-smelling, light as a feather, beautiful loaf of cinnamon-swirl bread. It was exactly what I was craving. My mom can't ever stand to wait the proper time for bread to cool. She forces me to ruin my breads all the time by slicing into them while they're hot. But this time, I was so glad she did! This is the loaf of my dreams! Slightly sweetened, cinnamon-y, with a nice crust. Ohhhh I LOVE IT! :D :DCinnamon Raisin Bread (from Joy of Cooking)
Yields 1 loaf
1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
3 tablespoons of warm (105º to 115ºF) water
1 cup whole or low-fat milk, warmed to 105º to 115ºF (I used skim)
5 tablespoons of melted unsalted butter
3 tablespoons of sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon of salt
3 1/2 - 4 cups all-purpose flour or bread flour
1/2 cup raisins
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
Pinch of salt
Mix yeast and water together in a large bowl or bowl of heavy-duty mixer and let stand for five minutes until yeast dissolves.
Add the remaining ingredients except for the flour and mix for 1 minute on low speed. Gradually add 3 1/2 cups of flour. If needed, slowly add remaining 1/2 cup flour, 2 tablespoons at a time, until the dough is moist, not sticky. Dough should clear the sides of the bowl but stick to the bottom. Knead for about 10 minutes on low to medium speed until the dough is smooth and elastic.
Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl and turn it over once to coat. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until doubled in volume.
While the dough is rising place raisins in a small saucepan with enough cold water to cover by 1/2 inch and bring to a boil. Drain well and let cool. Stir together sugar and cinnamon.
Grease an 8 1/2”x4 1/2” loaf pan. Punch dough down. Roll the dough into an 8”x18” rectangle about 1/2” thick. Brush the surface of the dough with 1 1/2 teaspoons of melted butter. Sprinkle all but 2 teaspoons of the cinnamon mixture over the dough and spread the raisins evenly over the surface. Starting from one 8” side, roll up the dough and pinch the seam and ends closed. Place seam side down in the pan. Cover loosely with oiled plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in volume, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Whisk egg and salt together and gently brush over the top of the loaf. Sprinkle the top of the dough with the remaining cinnamon mixture. Bake until crust is deep golden brown and the bottom of the sounds hollow when tapped, 40 to 45 minutes (or until the internal temperature reaches 195ºF or above). Remove loaf from the pan onto a cooling rack. While the bread is still hot, brush the top with: 2 teaspoons of melted butter. Let cool completely before slicing.