At times cinnamon raisin bread may just top my love for cookies. I’m not a fan of the store bought kind, but rather the kind fresh from the bakery with all that swirly cinnamony raisiny goodness!! So while I had some extra time on my very last weekend of spring break I set out to make my own. The best part about this was I could add even more cinnamony goodness to the swirls!
Which leads me to my challenge…..
I found a recipe for cinnamon raisin swirl bread in a wonderful cookbook I received for Christmas called The America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Cookbook. It is a wonderful cookbook with all your favorites made healthy and more! I’ve used it as a guide before here and here. So my challenge is to cook or bake 1 recipe per week from this book. I rarely use cookbooks and I have a gazillion of them for someone my age, so I’ve decided to start cooking my way through and this is my first culprit! Stay tuned for some new recipes!!
BUT FIRST! Go make some of your own cinnamon raisin swirl bread, it’s amazing! I’ve nearly eaten the entire loaf in the past 3 days. I love it with some peanut butter, what’s you favorite topping on bread?
Cinnamon-Raisin Swirl Bread
Adapted from The America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Cookbook
1 cup warm milk, 110 degrees (it says use whole, I used skim)
1/3 cup warm water, 110 degrees
3 Tablespoons honey
3 1/2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 3/4 cups bread flour
1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour ( it called for wheat germ, I didn’t have any)
2 1/4 teaspoons (1 envelope) instant or rapid rise yeast
2 Teaspoons salt
1/2 cup raisins
Vegetable oil spray
3 Tablespoons light brown sugar
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1 Tablespoons cinnamon
Whisk the milk, water, honey, and 3 Tablespoons of the melted butter together in a large liquid measuring cup. Combine the whole-wheat flour, 1 1/2 cups of the bread flour, wheat germ, yeast, and salt in a bowl or standing mixer fitted with a dough hook. With the mixer on low speed slowly add the milk mixture and mix until dough forms. Increase mixer to medium speed until dough is smooth. I do not own a stand mixer so I just continued to mix with a wooden spoon until it was all blended into a ball. Then I kneaded it with my hands above the bowl. Add the raisins and continue to knead to mix in the raisins.
Turn the dough on to a floured surface and knead to form a smooth round ball. Place dough ball into a lightly greased bowl and cover with greased plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size (1 to 1 1/2 hours). I turned the oven on low and left the door open a crack as my warm place, but there are other options… be creative!
Spray a 9×5 in loaf pan with vegetable oil. Mix the filling together (sugars and cinnamon) in a small bowl. Press the dough into a 20 x 8 inch rectangle with the small side facing you (picture below). Spray the dough lightly with water. (I put a small amount in a bowl and used my fingers to sprinkle it on top, but a spray bottle would work well.) Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture evenly over the bread with about a 2 in border on each side. Sprinkle with water again and roll dough up tightly forming a cylinder. and pinch the seam closed.
Place the loaf (seam side down) in the pan. Spray loaf with vegetable oil and sprinkle once again lightly with water. cover loosely with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot to rise again, it should nearly double in size. about 45-50 min.
Preheat oven to 350. Brush loaf with 1/2 TB melted butter, and sprinkle with water one last time. Bake until the crust is golden brown (and/or inside temp of bread is 200 degrees). approx 40 to 50 min, rotating half way through baking.
Cool loaf in pan for 10-15min, then flip out on to a wire rack to completely cool. Wait 1-2 hours before slicing.
**Unfortunately mine is not very pretty because I did not have a large enough pan, so it spilled over the top quite a bit (to quote Andrew when he opened the oven “now that is what I call a muffin top”! BUT it is DELICIOUS!***
What is one thing you love, but have never baked?
Cinnamon raisin bread, until now!!! I think pudding will be next, or carrot cake!
What is your favorite bread topping?
I LOVE peanut butter on anything, so usually peanut butter. When I was a kid I used to like cream cheese on my cinnamon raisin bread and butter and jam on toast.