Friday, January 22, 2016

Cinnamon Swirl Raisin Bread

There's something about the aroma of cinnamon and sugar that always makes me feel warm, comforted, and hungry. When I saw this cinnamon bread recipe (courtesy of Tasting Table), I just knew it would be the perfect thing for my craving.

Before I started making the dough, I re-hydrated raisins in a little water. This way they would be plump and juicy. 

The dough preparation got underway by combining yeast, sugar, and water and letting it sit until foamy.

Milk powder, salt, re-hydrated raisins and flour were added and mixed together with a wooden spoon, until a shaggy dough formed. Then small pieces of softened butter were incorporated.

The dough was turned out on a lightly floured counter and kneaded for about 10 minutes. I formed the dough into a ball and put it into a lightly buttered bowl. Some plastic wrap went on the top and the dough was left to rise and double in size for an hour.

While the dough was on the rise, I combined some cinnamon and sugar and took a deep sniff. Immediate happiness. 

When the dough was ready, I flattened it out into a rectangle, then sprinkled the cinnamon and sugar combo on top.

Starting at the short end, I rolled the dough into a log, pinched the seam, and placed the dough log into a lightly greased loaf pan.

The plastic wrap was placed on top, and the dough rested for about another hour.

The now ready loaf was scored down the middle, brushed with some melted butter, and placed into a pre-heated 350-degree oven for 55 minutes.

The aroma coming from the oven was swoon-worthy and I want our kitchen to smell like that on a regular basis.

The recipe calls to let the bread rest for 30 minutes before cutting. Those were some of the longest 30 minutes of my life. But in the end, it was worth the wait. The outside has a lovely crunch and inside there are airy layers where the raisins and cinnamon sugar come together in a magical way. 

As tempting as it was to devour the whole loaf in one go, I wrapped the remainder in foil and put it in the fridge. The next day, we decided to have a couple slices for breakfast. When cutting the bread it felt almost on the stale side, but never fear. Once those slices were toasted all was well. 

I have a funny feeling this bread will become one of my regular, weekly baking items. YAY!

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