I am a sucker for anything cinnamon. Thus, when I saw this sweet tasting bread on Annie's blog, I knew it was a must-try. I didn't even wait around for days or months; I got right in the kitchen and got that yeast working. This bread is irresistible--especially warm and toasted and topped with butter. *drool*
p.s. If you want to achieve the gooey center swirl like Annie did, be liberal with the sugar-cinnamon and butter. I skimped a bit, resulting in a not-as-gooey-but-just-as-delicious center.
Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Bread
recipe adapted from Annie's Eats.
make 1 loaf--16 slices
For the dough
1 1/8 tsp. instant yeast
1 cup warm milk (105-110˚ F)
3-1/4 cup flour
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1-1/4 tsp salt
1-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup raisins
For the filling:
3/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
2 Tbsp water
1 egg, lightly beaten
Combine the yeast, warm milk, flour, butter, sugar, egg, salt and cinnamon in the bowl of a stand mixer (may be done by hand as well.) Use the beater blade to combine until a dough forms. Once the dough begins to come together, use the dough hook to begin the kneading process. Continue kneading on low speed for about 3 minutes. The dough should be smooth and pulling away from the edges of the pull. Sprinkle in additional flour as needed (1 Tbsp at a time) until dough comes together smoothly.
Add in the raisins and knead another 3 minutes. The dough should be smooth and raisins evenly distributed.
Lightly oil a second large bowl. Move the dough to the oiled bowl and roll it to coat lightly with the oil. Cover bowl with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. (If the room is cool, heat 2 cups of water to boiling in the microwave. When the 2 minutes is up, leave the water in place and add the dough bowl to the microwave. Close the door and let rise about 1 hour. The warmth and humidity will aid in rising--just don't turn on the microwave! :D)
Once doubled in size, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. (check out Annie's step by step photos.)
1. Shape into a round.
2. Fold the dough like you would a business letter--take the bottom third of the dough up and fold the top third down.
3. Repeat this patter with the right and left sides of the dough, forming a rectangle. Press down to seal. Return to the bowl, cover and let rise again until doubled, about 40 minutes.
Generously butter a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan.
To make the filling, combine the sugar, cinnamon and water in a small bowl and whisk until well combined.
Return the dough to a lightly floured work surface. (the following steps are Annie's.)
1. Roll the dough into a 10 by 12-inch rectangle. Brush lightly with the beaten egg.
2. Sprinkle with the cinnamon-sugar mixture, leaving a thin border around the edges
3. Fold in the edges of the long sides of the dough about 1 inch.
4. Beginning with one of the short ends, roll the dough up into a tight spiral log, gently pressing as you go.
5. Pinch the seam shut, and place the loaf seam side-down in the prepared baking pan.
Cover loosely with plastic wrap or a clean towel and let rise until the dough rises just above the edge of the pan, about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425˚ F. When the loaf has risen, brush the top of the loaf lightly with the remaining beaten egg. Bake, rotating the pan halfway through, until the loaf is golden brown, about 45 minutes. If the surface seems to be browning too quickly, tent loosely with foil (halfway through baking.) Cool in the pan 5 minutes, then turn the loaf out and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.