Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Bread

Remember when I first blogged about making bread from scratch?  Well, I am at it again.  This time I asked my husband to suggest the type of bread. His sweet tooth answered for him–Cinnamon Raisin.  Why was I not surprised? Maybe because this is the same man that has the nerve to tell me my Pecan Pralines need more sugar! Mind you… they are nothing BUT sugar.  I still ♥ him.

Today as the baby napped I started on his whole wheat Cinnamon Raisin Swirl bread.  I used what Troid, owner of Floating Island Gift Shop, taught me.  She is a fabulous woman who taught me (and some other mamas) how to make bread from scratch using her very low-tech method.  We didn’t use a breadmaker or even an electric mixer.  Everything is done by hand using a bowl, a whisk, a wooden spoon, and of course your hands!  The recipe she gave us is very open to interpretation.  It gives you the basics of understanding breadmaking and then you can make any kind of bread you want!  It’s fabulous!
Using her basics, I created this recipe as I went and was very delighted with the outcome. I hope you will try it and maybe add your own swirl twist to it.

Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Bread

–  Bread flour (I use King Arthur brand)
–  1 cup of whole wheat flour
–  1 1/2 cup of warm water (104-108 degrees F)
–  3 tablespoons of sugar
–  1/2 a packet of Fleischmann’s Rapid Rise yeast
–  1 cup of raisins
–  1 tablespoon of canola oil
–  1/2 teaspoon of salt
–  1 egg
–  Butter
–  Cinnamon sugar (ground cinnamon and sugar mixed together)

1.  Add the water to a warmed bowl (run it under some hot water so it will keep the temp. )
2.  Add the 3 TBL of sugar. Stir briefly to dissolve.
3.  Sprinkle the half packet of yeast over the top. DO NOT STIR. Cover bowl with towel and let rest for a few minutes.
4.  Check yeast to see if it’s puffing up.  If the yeast is still grainy and not puffy, throw it out and start all over.  Inactive yeast will cause your bread to flop.
5.  Add 1 cup of whole wheat flour and stir vigorously with a whisk for a minute.
6.  Add the salt and the canola oil.  Stir vigorously again.
7.  Add 1 cup of bread flour and stir with a wooden spoon.
8.  Stir in raisins.
9. Continue to add the bread flour 1/2 cup at a time until it is too stiff to stir and is hardly sticky at all.
10.  Dump dough onto a floured surface and knead with your hands.
11. Add light sprinklings of flour as needed and continue to knead until the dough is nice and tight and feels like a baby’s butt. (Troid’s own words! LOL)
12. Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a towel and let it rise until doubled in size. (at least 30-40 minutes)
13. Punch down the dough to release the air bubbles, cover again and let it rise again.
14. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface and roll it out just to make about a medium sized pizza round.
15. Spread some butter over the top and sprinkle a generous coating of your cinnamon sugar.
16.  Roll the dough up like you would a scroll and tuck the ends under.

17. Place your loaf with seam side down into a greased loaf pan and allow to rise for about 20 minutes. Now preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.

18.  If you want a nice sheen to the top of your loaf this is the time to brush on some egg wash.  Scramble the 1 egg in a bowl with about a 1/4 cup of water and brush this mixture over the top of your loaf.
18. Bake loaf 35-45 minutes.  Check for doneness by pulling the loaf out and tapping it on the bottom.  If it sounds hollow- it’s done.  If it still sounds dense put it back in for a few more minutes and check again.
19.  When it’s done, immediately remove it from the pan and place on a cooling rack to to rest.
20.  Cut it and eat it!  Just remember not to wrap the bread while it’s still warm because it will get soggy.  Let it come to room temperature before storing it in a zip loc bag.  It stores well in the fridge and the freezer.

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