Saturday, August 23, 2014
Best Cinnamon Raisin Bread
I have been playing with lots of different cinnamon raisin bread recipes trying to find the perfect one! Most of the recipes I have found are for swirl breads, but they pull apart along the swirl when baking which allows hot air pockets to dry out the bread in the oven.
I wanted a bread that was moist, sweet, and packed with raisins. Last week's attempt ended up going entirely to the chickens (they are always glad to get snacks when I fail!). But this weekend, I think I finally found the magic mix!
Put the warm water in a bowl and sprinkle the yeast over it. Let it sit for ten minutes until the yeast is completely dissolved and frothy. If the yeast doesn't get bubbly and frothy, the yeast is old and will not rise in the dough later.
Knead the dough on a floured surface until you have a smooth dough with the flour mixed evenly throughout.
Place the ball of dough in a greased bowl, cover with a cotton cloth, and set in a warm moist place to rise for an hour and a half. For us in Louisiana in August, the back porch is the perfect place!
The dough should at least double in size if not more. As you can see, the dough that easily fir in the bowl before is now over flowing! Punch the dough down in the middle, separate into three loaves and place in greased loaf pans.
Cover the loaf pans and set them out covered to rise again for another hour.You can see here the amount that the dough will continue to rise over the next hour.
After baking the bread for 45 minutes at 350 degrees, you will know that the loaf is cooked all the way through if it sounds hollow when tapped on top.
Cinnamon Raisin Bread Recipe (makes three loaves)
1 cup warm water
5 tsp. active dry yeast
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cup skim milk
2 cup raisins
4 cups white bread flour
4 cups whole wheat flour
3 tbsp. cinnamon
Put the warm water in a bowl and sprinkle the yeast over it. Let it sit for ten minutes until the yeast is completely dissolved and frothy. Mix eggs, sugar, butter, salt, raisins, and cinnamon in a separate bowl. Add milk and the water and yeast mixture to the bowl. Mix in flour one cup at a time to form dough. Knead on a floured surface until a smooth dough is formed. Form dough into a ball and placed in a greased bowl, covered with a cotton cloth, in a warm moist place to rise for an hour and a half. Punch in dough, split into three equal parts, form into loaves and place in greased loaf pans. Set out the loaf pans covered to rise for another hour. Bake the loaves at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. You will know they are baked all the way through if they sound hollow when tapped on top. Freeze any loaves that you do not plan on eating immediately. Store loaf covered at room temperature.