After my recent success with my first time working with yeast (NY style bagels — if you haven’t tried these yet you’re doing something wrong with your life, I can’t stop making them!) I figured it was time to try my hand at bread. I really wanted to do a sourdough with chunks of cheddar baked in, but after realizing the process of making a sourdough starter, I figured I should try something a little more basic first. This cinnamon raisin bread turned out so soft and delicious, I was super pleased with the results!
You will need:
1/2 cup whole milk
1/3 cup warm water
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 tsp salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup raisins
2 2/3 cups all purpose flour
2 tbsp milk
1/3 cup sugar
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
2/3 tbsp butter, melted
Start off by warming your milk in a sauce pan until it starts to bubble, stirring occasionally, and remove from heat. Allow this to cool until it is lukewarm. Place your yeast and warm water in a small bowl and allow to activate (about 5-10 minutes sitting, until frothy — I added a little sugar to mine, but I’ve been told that’s an old wives tale and doesn’t help the process at all). Combine the eggs, sugar, butter, salt, and raisins, then add the activated yeast. Slowly add the warm milk, mixing slowly so the eggs do not begin to cook. Add the flour gradually to make a stiff dough.
In your mixer or by hand, kneed your dough for about 6 minutes, until smooth. Place in a large, greased bowl, cover with a clean towel, and allow to rise for 1.5 hours.
Once dough has risen, punch it down and roll it out onto a lightly flowered surface, about 1/2 inch thick. Moisten the dough with milk, then mix together your sugar and cinnamon and spread over the dough. Tightly roll your dough and place it into a well butter loaf pan. Cover and allow to rise again for about 1 hour.
When you’re ready to bake, preheat to 450 and bake for about 40-45 minutes, until golden brown. It will sound hollow when tapped. Remove from oven and allow to slightly cool, then brush melted butter over the top. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar if desired, and allow to cool completely before slicing… I made the mistake of getting too excited and slicing while warm, and it wasn’t quite as beautiful as it could have been! Equally as delicious, though 🙂