Saturday, February 12, 2011

Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Bread

When I'm doing my weekly grocery run, I'll occasionally pick up a loaf of cinnamon raisin swirl bread for my husband as a special treat. He can devourer the entire loaf in 1 weekend. So when I found this recipe for Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Bread on, I wanted to see how the home made version fared against the store bought version. As expected, it was no competition whatsoever. 

I'm usually not a fan of raisin's but I could not stop eating this bread!  Neither could my husband, of course. It didn't take long for the loaf to be completely gone between my husband and I. In fact, my husband asked me to make a 2nd loaf almost immediately! The bread turned out crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. The flavor of the cinnamon, sugar, and raisins are perfectly matched and don't overpower each other.

I was sort of nervous because I haven't worked with yeast before and I've heard it can be temperamental but the instructions are simple to follow and if you follow them correctly, your outcome will be a beautiful loaf of Cinnamon Raisin bread. 

Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Bread
Adapted from
Yields 1 loaf


Bread Dough:
1 1/8 tsp. instant (rapid rise) yeast
1 c warm milk
3 1/4 (17oz) all-purpose flour
4 T butter, at room temperature
1/4 c sugar
1 large egg
1 1/4 t salt
1 1/2 t ground cinnamon
1/2 c raisins
Vegetable oil 

Cinnamon Filling:
3/4 c sugar
1 T ground cinnamon
1 T water
2 T butter, melted

1 egg, lightly beaten
In a stand mixer or food processor, mix all of the ingredients except for raisins and vegetable oil until dough forms, about 30 seconds. If you're using a stand mixer, switch to the dough hook and knead on low until the dough is smooth and clears the sides of the bowl. This will take approximately 3 minutes. If you're kneading by hand, knead on a floured surface until the dough is smooth and is no longer sticking to your hands, about 4 minutes. The dough will be very sticky after you first combine it, so it would be a good idea to flour your hands and sprinkle a little flour on the top of the dough as well. 
Combine the raisins and knead the dough for another 3 minutes making sure the raisins are evenly dispersed. Form the dough into a ball and add it to an oiled bowl. Turn the dough around in the oiled bowl so it is lightly covered in the oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a clean clothe and let it rise in a warm place until doubled in size. This took an hour and a half for me, but the original recipe only calls for an hour. Just keep an eye on it. 

 Before rising
After rising

Once the dough has doubled, put the dough onto a floured surface and pat it into a round about 10 to 11 inches in diameter.

Fold the round in thirds, like a business letter. 

Then fold into thirds again using the short ends of the dough. Press down on the dough so it sticks to itself and return to your oiled bowl. Allow the dough to double again, roughly an hour. 

Using butter or cooking spray, grease a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan and set aside. Then in a medium sized bowl, mix all of the filling ingredients except for the egg. The filling should be thick. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface until it's formed a 10 x 12 rectangle. Brush lightly with the beaten egg and then spread out the cinnamon-sugar mixture evenly, leaving an inch around the sides uncovered.

Fold the uncovered sides over onto the sprinkled surface.

Starting with one of the short ends, roll the dough into a log pressing as you go. Once your log is formed, pinch the ends and the seam along the side.

Place the dough in your greased bread pan, seam side down, and cover loosely with plastic wrap or a clean towel. Allow the dough to rise until it's just barely risen above the top of the loaf pan. This will take roughly 3o minutes. Preheat your oven to 425 degree Fahrenheit while your dough is rising.  

Once your dough has risen, brush with the beaten egg and bake for 40 minutes. Rotate the loaf pan halfway through baking. If the top of the bread has sufficiently browned before your bake time is up, loosely cover the pan with foil. I had to do this about 15 minutes into baking. Some of the filling oozed out of the sides of my pan when I was baking it. You may want to put your loaf pan on top of a baking sheet to avoid a mess in the bottom of your oven.
Take your bread out of the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring out of the pan and onto a wire rack to cool. Once on the wire wrack, allow the bread to cool until it's cool enough to manage with your hands. It's easiest to slice with a serrated edge knife.

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