At my house, its the season for baking. One of our favorite breakfasts is Cinnamon Swirl Raisin Bread. It is so yummy, I just can't stand it. We have friends who beg for it and one of Hubby's lieutenants who asks for it every time he sees me. This stuff is good toasted, or not, with butter, cream cheese, or plain. It's just good.
My trusty helper was on her chair ready to help as soon as she heard the baking cart come out. Her new favorite thing to do is to hand mix as much as possible. She hates having to use the stand mixer, it's too much fun to play with it. This is a bread that I have always made with all white flour, but I've been thinking of trying it with whole wheat.
Cinnamon Swirl Raisin Bread
3 C milk
1/3 C oil
1/3 C honey
1 T salt
2 T yeast
7-8 C flour (I use King Arthur)
1 1/2 C raisins
2 C brown sugar
2 T cinnamon
Heat the milk until about 115-120 degrees. In a mixing bowl combine milk, oil, honey, salt, yeast and 2 C flour. Beat for 2-3 minutes until well combined and creamy. Add remaining flour and raisins and knead for 8-10 minutes. I do this in my kitchen aid with the dough hook, but it could certainly be done by hand. The dough should be soft and rather smooth. Place in an oiled bowl and cover with a kitchen towel. Put the bowl in a warm place ( by the fridge is good at my house) and allow to rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
Punch down dough and transfer to counter. Lightly press the dough out into a large square and cut into 2 pieces, leaving 2 rectangles approximately 8 inches wide by 12-16 inches long. Mix together brown sugar and cinnamon. Divide between loaves and spread on each half. Spread it evenly, leaving 1-2 inches at one end without sugar. Start rolling from the end that is fully covered in sugar, ending with the end without sugar. Tuck in the ends and place in well oiled bread pans. Cover with a dish towel and allow to rise for another hour or so, until loaf is puffing nicely out of the pan.
Bake at 375 for 40-45 minutes, covering with foil if the loaves are getting too dark. Immediately remove to a cooling rack. Do not slice for at least 15 minutes, this is a soft bread and will crush easily. Try not to gobble the whole thing up immediately.
I hope you enjoy this as much as we do. I'll add that when my mother used to make a similar bread she would glaze it with a powdered sugar and water glaze. In my mind that is just overkill and the glaze tends to burn in the toaster, so I skip it.