About a month ago I moved and so I obviously didn't have much time to bake for a few weeks. Well I definitely made up for that near the end of August - I went on a bit of a baking frenzy, and this cinnamon raisin loaf was what started it off. I made a couple of healthy things, obviously this loaf, way too many cookies, delicious brownies, and a cake. I wish I could bake that often all the time, though it would be really hard to resist eating all the fresh baked goods! Anyway, so I found this loaf when I was flipping through Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook which I haven't baked anything from in a while.
I've now made this loaf two times but that's because the first time I made it, the top browned too quickly (and I forgot to let it rise one of the three times) and I didn't have any aluminum foil to tent it with. With that loaf, I scooped out the uncooked middle and baked that by itself so I was left with something resembling monkey bread and the shell of the cinnamon raisin bread. It was delicious though! But I had to make it again and see it turn out right. I might actually prefer the first time I made it becaused it seemed more gooey.
This bread is actually more like a cinnamon roll loaf (so you can imagine how much I loved it). The second time I made it it rose like crazy, especially when it was baking, so I would highly recommend putting a baking sheet underneath it otherwise you'll end up with a nice big pool of caramelized sugar stuck on the bottom of your oven. And you MUST resist cutting a slice until it is completely cool unless you want a big oozy pile of cinnamon sugar (which might sound good but it means the rest of the loaf will lose it). And looking at the pictures now I see that I need to work on rolling things tightly so I can get a more even swirl throughout the bread. At least I figure that's what I need to do to make it better?
Aside from the delicious cinnamon sugar swirl in the loaf, the bread itself is just perfect. It's a dense slightly chewy loaf (similar to brioche but with less butter). So what's better - cinnamon rolls or this cinnamon loaf? Well as delicious as this loaf is, cinnamon rolls have to win. But really, what can beat cinnamon rolls?? On the plus side, with this loaf you can get that cinnamon roll vibe with a lot less effort. I know I'll be making this again. I think it'd be the perfect thing for a big family breakfast or lazy weekend brunch.
If this sounds good, you might also like:
Candied Maple Walnut Pancake Loaf
Pecan Honey Sticky Buns
bill's Coconut Bread
Cinnamon Raisin Bread
Adapted from Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook
Whenever I see someone post a recipe and it says "modified/adapted from" I always am curious to see the original recipe so from now on I'm going to mention what I changed. In this recipe I added the cinnamon directly to the dough with the flour, rather than kneading it in with the raisins. And I didn't use an extra egg to brush the top of the dough or the inside of the dough before sprinkling with the filling. I also halved the recipe (and have written it out as such) but of course just double what I wrote to make 2 loaves.
Makes one 9x5 inch loaf.
For the dough:
1 1/8 tsp active dry yeast
1 cup warm milk (about 110F)
1 lb 1 oz (about 3 1/4 cups) all purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into pieces, plus more for pan
1/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 tbsp ground cinnamon
For the filling:
3/4 cups sugar
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp water
Make the dough: In the bowl of an electric mixer, sprinkle the yeast over the warm milk; whisk to combine. Add the flour, butter, sugar, cinnamon, egg and salt. Attach bowl to mixer fitted with the dough hook. Mix on low speed until all the ingredients are well combined, about 3 minutes. Raise the speed to medium-low, and continue to mix until the dough is uniformly smooth and pulls away from the sides of the bowl, about 3 minutes more.
Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Pat out dough into a 9 inch round, about 1 1/4 inches thick. Sprinkle with raisins and knead unitl they are just incorporated. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, and cover with a tea towel; let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
Return the dough to a lightly floured work surface, and pat into a round. Fold in the following manner: Fold the bottom third of the dough up, the top third down, and the right and left sides over, tapping hte dough after each fold to release excess flour, and pressing down to seal. Return the dough to the bowl, seam side down, and let rise again until doubled in bulk, about 40 minutes.
Make the filling: Combine sugar and cinnamon with water in a small bowl. Return the dough to a lightly floured work surface. Roll out to a 12 by 10 inch rectangle and sprinkle with the filling.
Generously butter a 9x5 inch loaf pan; set aside. With a short end of the rectangle facing you, fold in both long sides of the dough, about 1 inch. Then roll the dough toward you, gently pressing as you go to form a tight log. Gently roll the log back and forth to seal the seam. Place the loaf in a prepared pan, seam side down. Cover pan loosely with a tea towel, and let rest in a warm place until dough rises just above the rim of the pan, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425F.
Transfer pan to a rimmed baking sheet. Bake, rotating pan halfway through, until loaf is golden brown, about 45 minutes. (If the tops begin to brown too qucikly, tent with aluminum foil.) Turn out the bread onto a wire rack to cool completely before slicing. The bread can be kept at room temperature up to 4 days, in a tightly sealed container.