A partially whole-wheat loaf swirled with sweet cinnamon sugar and raisins, ideal for toasting!
As of about a week and a half ago, I finally joined Pinterest (follow me!). I wasn’t totally sold on it for a while as a way of organizing web links, but I’m beginning to see its merits. I’ve spent far too much time in the last few days trying to add to my boards and figure out the best way to keep everything in order. Right now my boards basically reflect the bookmark folders I had saved to my browser.
I’ve been adding quite a few pins to my “Bread” board. Initially I didn’t make any New Year’s Resolutions, but I’ve come up with one: bake lots and lots of bread. I almost wish I could do a Project 52 for bread, with a new loaf every week, but seeing as it’s no longer the first week of January, it’s already too late for that. Instead, I’m just going to go for trying as many new bread recipes as I can.
This is my first bread of the year: Cinnamon-Raisin Bread. I love cinnamon-raisin toast (or bagels!) for breakfast. I know there are lots of raisin-haters out there, including plenty of my extended family members, but I just don’t understand why. I see nothing offensive about the sweet little dried fruits.
In order to make this, I had to go out and buy a loaf pan. So far I’ve been getting by in my baking with one cookie sheet and two 7 x 9 inch pans. There were just too many things I wanted to make that needed some other sort of form, so I decided I would either buy those silicone reusable cupcake/muffin forms or a loaf pan, but I came across a decently priced loaf pan first. So cupcakes and muffins will have to wait a little longer. Like, maybe until June or July. Or until I give in and buy a muffin tin.
Makes one 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch loaf
Adapted from Joy of Cooking via The Purple Spoon
- 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
- 3 T warm water
- 1 cup milk (I used skim)
- 5 T butter, at room temperature
- 3 T granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt (**increase to 1 tsp if using unsalted butter)
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 2 cups bread flour
- 1 – 1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour, plus more flour for kneading (or use regular)
- 1/2 cup raisins, tightly packed (I used sultanas)
- 2 1/2 T ground cinnamon
- 2 1/2 T granulated sugar or demerara sugar
- 1 1/2 T melted butter
- egg wash (1 egg beaten with a pinch of salt)
In a large bowl, mix yeast with warm water. Let proof for about five minutes to allow the yeast to activate.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, warm the milk (do not boil! it just needs to be hot enough to melt the butter dissolve the sugar). Remove from heat and add the sugar, salt, and butter. Stir until both are completely incorporated. Once the yeast is proofed, stir milk mixture and egg into the yeast. Stir in flours, adding about 1/2 cup at a time.
Turn dough onto a clean, lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes. Try not to add too much extra flour. Place dough into a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a warm towel. Set in a warm place and let rise until doubled in size, one to two hours. Mine took an hour and 15 minutes.
While dough is rising, place raisins in a small saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat and drain. Stir together cinnamon and sugar. Set aside. Oil your loaf pan.
When dough has finished rising (an indentation in the dough should fill itself very slowly but never quite disappear), turn out onto a lightly floured surface and roll out. It should be 8 inches wide and about a 1/2 inch thick. Brush with the melted butter, then sprinkle on the cinnamon sugar mixture, reserving 1 tsp for later. Spread raisins evenly across the dough. Roll up so you end up with an 8-inch wide loaf. Pinch the seam and ends shut. Place in your loaf pan, seam side down. Let rise until double in size, one to one and a half hours.
Preheat the oven to 375ºF. When done rising, brush the loaf with the egg wash, then sprinkle with the remaining 1 tsp of cinnamon sugar.
Bake for about 40-45 minutes. The crust should be a deep golden-brown and the loaf should sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. Let cool for a few minutes in the pan, then remove from the pan and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
Note: I was perhaps a little over-ambitious with the number of swirls I made, as I rolled out my dough a little longer than necessary. This means you just have to be careful when toasting, as it is more likely to fall apart.