Cinnamon Raisin Bread - You will never buy store-bought again. It's perfect toasted and slathered with butter.
Course: Bread, Breakfast, Brunch
Keyword: bread, cinnamon, loaf, raisin
Author: Don't Sweat The Recipe
1tablespoonactive dry yeast
1/4cupunsalted butter, melted
5 1/2 - 6cupsall-purpose flour
1/2cupgranulated white sugar
1large egg, beaten with 2 teaspoons water
Put the raisins in a small bowl and cover them with 1 cup hot water. Let the raisins plump for at least 10 minutes. Drain, reserving the water and set aside. Allow the reserved water to cool to 110 to 115 degrees.
Pour 1 cup of the reserved soaking water into the bowl of a standing mixer or large mixing bowl. Add the yeast and stir to combine. Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes until foamy.
Stir the milk, melted butter, and salt into the water. Add 5 1/2 cups of the flour and stir to form a shaggy dough.
Knead in your mixer on low speed with a dough hook or knead by hand for 8-10 minutes to form a smooth, slightly tacky dough. Check the dough halfway through; if it's very sticky, add a little more flour. The dough is ready when it forms a ball without sagging and quickly springs back when poked.
Toss the raisins with 2 tablespoons of flour to absorb any residual moisture from when they were plumped. With the mixer on gradually add them to the bowl and continue kneading until they are evenly distributed.
If kneading by hand, turn the dough out onto your work surface and pat it into an oval. Sprinkled about half the raisins over the top and fold the dough like a letter. Pat it into an oval again, sprinkle the remaining raisins, and fold it again. Knead the dough by hand for a few minutes to distribute the raisins through the dough.
Place the dough in a greased bowl, turn over once and cover. Let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about an hour. Meanwhile, combine the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and beat together the egg and water in a second bowl.
Divide the dough into two pieces. Working with one piece at a time, roll the dough out on the counter. It should be slightly less wide than your baking pan and as long as you can make it. The thinner the dough, the more layers cinnamon swirl you'll end up with. If the dough starts to shrink back on you, let it rest for a few minutes and then try again.
Beat the egg with 2 teaspoons of water. Brush the entire surface of the dough with egg wash, leaving about two inches clear at the top. (Refrigerate the remaining egg wash for use later.) Sprinkle generously with cinnamon and sugar. Starting at the end closest to you, roll up the dough. When you get to the top, pinch the seam closed. Transfer the loaf to your loaf pan seam-side down. Repeat with the other half of the dough.
Let the loaves rise until mounded over the top of the pan and fluffy, 30-40 minutes. Halfway through rising, preheat the oven to 375° F.
Brush the top with some of the remaining egg wash.
Bake for 40-45 minutes until golden brown. Let cool in the pans for at least 10 minutes.
Remove the loaves from the pans and allow them to cool completely before slicing. If you can! Baked loaves can also be frozen for up to three months.
Use hot water to plump the raisins, allow it to cool to about 110 to 115 degrees and use it to proof the yeast in the recipe.