I took a bread baking class yesterday, which inspired me to make these loaves of CINNAMON RAISIN BREAD this morning. Although time consuming, they’re worth it. There’s nothing like the aroma of fresh bread baking in your kitchen, and when you have the aroma of fresh Cinnamon Raisin bread baking, and if you love cinnamon, they way I do; you’re gonna be in heaven. It’s a satisfying feeling, knowing that YOU made that, I know, that every time I try a somewhat complicated recipe, there’s a satisfying feeling for me. Give this recipe a try; make it on a weekend and enjoy the scents as it wakes up your whole family….. 😉
CINNAMON RAISIN BREAD
3 3/4 cups Bread flour
1/3 cup Sugar
3/4 cup Non-fat Powdered Milk (I used Carnation)
1 Tbsp. RAPID rise Yeast
1 1/2 cups WARM water (I used warm water from the tap)
1 large Egg, room temperature and beaten
1 1/2 tsp. Salt
1 1/2 cups Raisins, optional
1 stick UNSALTED Butter, softened and cut into cubes
1 cup Powdered sugar
3 Tbsp. ground Cinnamon
2 tsp. Vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 Egg, beaten (for glazing)
Begin by cutting the softened butter into cubes. Measure out your bread flour into a large mixing bowl and remove 1 Tablespoon from it. Sprinkle this 1 tablespoon of flour over the butter cubes and toss to coat. Set this aside.
Now, to the remaining bread flour in the mixing bowl; which I just used my stand mixer’s bowl for this, add the powdered milk, sugar, and yeast to the bowl of flour. Using a large whisk, combine these ingredients together well.
Using the mixer’s dough hook, add the water to the mixture and mix for about 5 minutes. Add the beaten egg and continue to mix, making sure to incorporate the flour into the egg thoroughly, this usually takes about 3 – 5 minutes.
Make sure to scrape down the sides often. You should achieve a “sticky” dough. This usually takes about 3 – 5 minutes to come together, using the dough hook on somewhat a higher speed. Once the dough has come together, DO NOT ADD any more flour! It will be sticky! Take a large piece of plastic wrap and cover the bowl, just leave it attached to the mixer because we’re not done with it. Allow the dough to “rest” for about 20 minutes. Make sure there is no draft in the area.
After resting for 20 minutes, it should have risen just a bit; but still very sticky; as pictured to the left below. Sprinkle in the salt evenly over the dough and run the mixer on Medium Low, for about 8 – 10 minutes. Dough should start pulling away from the sides of the bowl.
Once this is done, add the butter cubes a few at a time. Allow the machine to work the butter into the dough, beating it for about 5 more minutes or until a smooth dough forms; it will still be slightly sticky. Add the raisins and work it into the dough
Now, butter a large glass bowl and pour the dough into it. The dough will be a bit hard to work with since it is slightly sticky, but if you butter your hands, it’ll allow you to work with the sticky dough easily. Now turn the dough in the bowl, coating ALL sides. Cover with a piece of plastic wrap.
Now, using a small baking pan, pour some hot boiling water into it and place it at the very bottom rack of the oven. The steam it provides will help hydrate the dough and allow it to rise better. Place the covered bowl of dough onto the middle rack and allow to rise and proof for about 1 – 1 1/2 hours.
While the dough is rising, make the filling by combining the ingredients together. Stir and set aside.
Now dust the counter top with additional bread flour. Turn the dough out onto the floured surface, it will be sticky. DO NOT KNEAD the dough into the flour. This is only used to help prevent it from sticking. Flip the dough over so that the other side is also coated in the flour. Now with a serrated knife, using a back and forth motion, split the dough into half as pictured below.
Working with only one half of the dough, with your fingers, spread the dough out flat as much as you can. Now take a rolling pin and using more flour (ONLY IF NEEDED TO PREVENT STICKING), roll the dough to about an 8 x 14-inch rectangle as pictured below.
Now take the left side of the dough and fold it over half way, as pictured. Do the same on the right side as pictured below.
Now take one end and start rolling the dough towards the other end, as pictured below.
Now, using your fingers again (these are very handy tools, lol) flatten the dough down slightly. Then take your rolling pin and start rolling the dough out into another 8 x 14-inch rectangle.
Now in order for the filling to stick to the dough, wash you hands in water. Now, with the water left on your hands, rub it onto the dough, do not add more than that! You just want to moisten the dough enough for the filling to adhere to it. Sprinkle HALF the filling mixture over the dough covering up to the edges.
Now, washing your hands again; sprinkle some water VERY LIGHTLY over the filling, just enough so that it’ll adhere to the dough when rolled, as pictured below.
Starting with the SHORT end, roll the dough somewhat tightly, but not so much that the dough will crack. Continue rolling until done, finishing with seam side down. Once you’re done rolling, pinch or tuck the ends on the short side, so that it seals. Do this very same process with the other half of the remaining dough.
Now, using a serrated knife again, carefully cut the rolled dough into half again. Use a back and forth motion when cutting. It’s alright if the cinnamon filling is exposed.
Now you’ll end up with 2 separate sections. Take one end of the dough and PINCH it together with one end of the other piece as pictured below.
Now, flip the right side over the left side and continue doing this until you can’t do it anymore. Somewhat of twisting them or swirling them together.
Now pinch the ends to seal them so that they do not unravel.
Generously grease two loaf pans with softened butter and place the bread into it. Continue the process with the second loaf. Now cover the loaves with a plastic wrap, loosely! Place the pans into the oven to rise, make sure to leave the pan of hot water in the oven to steam and aid with the rising of the dough. Allow the dough to rise and double for about 1 hour – 1 1/2 hours.
Once the dough has risen beautifully, carefully remove it from the oven, allow it to continue to rise COVERED on the counter, while you preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Leave the pan of water at the bottom of the rack. It will benefit the bread while baking.
Once the oven has preheated, Beat one egg. CAREFULLY remove the plastic wrap from the loaves making sure to not pull hard and disturb it or it will deflate! Carefully, using a pastry brush, brush the egg over the bread.
Now place the loaves into the middle rack, in the preheated oven, and bake for about 30 – 35 minutes. Turn the pan around half way through the baking time for even browning. Allow the bread to rest a bit before removing from the pans. Cool completely on cooling rack.