Cinnamon Raisin Bread Recipe
Happy New Year!!!
On a recent cold, snowy Sunday afternoon, I had a hankering for cinnamon-raisin bread, and I found that I actually had all the ingredients in the house (don’t you love when that happens?), so I made a loaf. It’s kind of like a cinnamon roll, but not quite so sweet, chock-full of raisins but with the heartiness of whole-wheat flour. And oh boy, did it make our apartment smell good! The bread keeps for a few days and toasts beautifully — and I bet it would make delicious french toast, though it didn’t last long enough for us to try it. But the best way to have it, of course, is warm from the oven.
So here’s the recipe, hope you enjoy it!
Hearty Cinnamon-Raisin Bread
Makes 1 9-inch loaf
1 cup raisins (plus boiling water to cover, if necessary)
3/4 cup warm water (100 to 110ºF)
1 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
7 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/4 cup warm milk (100 to 110ºF)
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
1 Tbsp. old-fashioned oats (optional) OR 1 Tbsp. turbinado sugar (optional)
1. If your raisins are hard, place them in a bowl and cover them with boiling water for 10 to 15 minutes, until softened, then drain and press down to extract any excess water. Set aside. (I also tossed an orange teabag in the bowl with the raisins and water while they soaked — not sure if it added anything or not.)
2. In a large bowl, mix 1/4 cup warm water and yeast. Let the mixture sit until yeast is foamy, about 10 minutes. Add both flours, 2 tsp. sugar, salt, 4 Tbsp. melted butter, remaining water and milk. Mix with a wooden spoon or with an electric mixer on low speed until a sticky dough forms. Turn out onto a lightly floured countertop and knead for 10 to 15 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Knead in raisins, a small handful at a time.
3. Lightly mist a large mixing bowl with cooking spray. Transfer dough to bowl, turn to coat with spray, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours.
4. In a small bowl, mix together 1/4 cup sugar and cinnamon. Butter or lightly mist a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured countertop and press or roll it into a 9-by-12-inch rectangle. Brush with 1 Tbsp. melted butter, sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar mixture, and drizzle with another 1 Tbsp. melted butter. Use the back of a spoon or an offset spatula to mush the butter and cinnamon-sugar together, so all of the cinnamon-sugar is lightly moistened. Carefully but tightly roll up the dough, pinching together at the end to seal. Roll the dough on the countertop a few times, then pinch the ends to seal. Transfer loaf to the prepared pan, seam side down. Cover loosely with plastic wrap that’s been lightly misted with cooking spray. Allow to rise in a warm place until doubled, 45 to 50 minutes. Twenty minutes before the second rise is done, preheat oven to 425ºF.
5. Brush top of loaf with remaining 1 Tbsp. melted butter and sprinkle with oats or turbinado sugar, if using. Bake 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 400ºF and bake 15 minutes longer. Let bread sit in pan on wire rack to cool for 15 minutes, then turn out loaf onto rack to cool for at least 15 minutes longer before slicing. Enjoy it warm from the oven, or let it cool completely, then wrap it in plastic and foil. Bread will keep at room temperature for up to 4 days.
Beth Lipton combines her backgrounds in journalism and culinary arts as the food editor of All You magazine, published by Time Inc. Her first cookbook, “You Made That Dessert?”, is coming out in fall 2009. She lives in Brooklyn, NY, with her husband, Mark — and will become a first-time mom in March.