Well this was adorable.
Sam doesn't like/can't make yeast breads. Elyse loves/is awesome at making yeast breads. So we had a cooking lesson!!! We each donned on our own little aprons and Elyse did some teaching.
...and it was worth it. We'll both be making lots of breads now. Look at this! It was amazing to watch the loaves go through two risings, and fill the inside with sugar and then see the swirls of sugar when we ate them...everyday...for only a few days (because then it was gone).
These loaves were puffy, perfect, sweet, really hit a spot that only homemade bread can hit.
I mean, honestly. Who isn't a sucker for that?
Trust me, in keeping with the name of this blog - this cinnamon raisin bread isn't some wimpy white bread loaf with some raisins in it! It's sweet, it's sugary, it is dessert bread. It is worth making! Dare I say, eat it with a glass of warmed apple cider? Perfect fall snack!
Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Bread
Makes 2 loaves
For the bread
2/3 cup warm water (110 degrees F)
1-1/4 (0.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
1/3 cup butter, melted and slightly cooled
1 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
5-6 cups flour (half of which should be bread flour)
1 cup raisins
For the cinnamon sugar filling
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
3 tablespoons butter, melted
Combine 2/3 cup water with yeast and a couple tablespoons of the sugar. Set your remaining sugar aside for later. Set your yeast aside and watch it puff up and grow! This will take about 10 minutes depending on how warm your kitchen is. Meanwhile, combine eggs, 1 cup water, and melted butter. Combine 3 cups of flour, the rest of the sugar and salt. Add in your yeast mixture, which should be nice and frothy by now. Mix in the egg and butter mixture and stir in the rest of your flour until you have a pliable dough.
Knead for 5-10 minutes and allow your dough (which you can divide in two) to rise to about twice it's size in a warm place. Try the microwave! This should take about an hour.
Once your dough has doubled, punch it down and knead the raisins into the dough. This way you get beautiful raisins all throughout the bread, not just in the swirls! Roll dough balls into a rectangle so that the width side of the rectangle matches the length of your bread pan. We went for about 1/2 inch thick and it worked perfectly.
Spread the melted butter onto the rectangles and sprinkle liberally with cinnamon sugar. If you really like your bread sugary you can always add more! Roll your dough up from the width side until you reach the other end of the rectangle (think like a jelly roll, or a ho ho!). For pictures, see Elyse's post: here
Throw these guys into your bread pans that have been coated with some butter and let them rise one more time!
Finally, bake for about 30-40 minutes in a 350 degree oven until golden brown and sounds hollow! IT IS SO GOOD!!!! If you want you can drizzle with some confectioner's sugar glaze too, as you can see we did (depends on your sweet tooth).
Elyse & Sam