Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Cinnamon-Raisin Swirl Bread

I am really enjoying baking fresh bread. I love the texture of it and the fact that I made it with my own two hands and didn’t buy it from a bag at the grocery store. For the last week, one of my coworkers has been toasting cinnamon-raisin bread for breakfast and that delicious aroma has been wafting down the hallway to my office. I looked through my starred recipes on my RSS feed and found this recipe from Annie’s Eats. It is a little time consuming while waiting for each step to rise, but trust me its well worth it. I had the ingredients I needed in my pantry except raisins, but I picked up a box while I was grocery shopping this weekend and spent Sunday making this bread.


Dough ingredients:

1 1/8 tsp instant yeast
1 cup warm milk (105 – 110 degrees F)
3 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
¼ cup sugar
1 egg
1 ¼ tsp coarse salt
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
¾ cup raisins

Vegetable oil

Filling ingredients:
¾ cup sugar
1 Tbsp cinnamon
2 Tbsp water

1 egg, lightly beaten

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the yeast, milk, flour, butter, sugar, egg, salt and cinnamon. Mix briefly until the dough starts to form. Switch to a dough hook and knead on low speed until the dough is mostly smooth and clears from the sides of the bowl, about 3 minutes. Add in the raisins and continue kneading the dough for another 3 minutes or until the dough is smooth and supple and the raisins are evenly incorporated.

Transfer the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, turning over to coat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Pat into a round. Fold the bottom third of the dough up and then fold the top third down, similar to folding a business letter. Next, fold the right and left sides into the center in thirds forming a rectangle. Press down to seal. Return to the bowl, cover and let rise again until doubled about 40 minutes.

Generously …and I mean GENEROUSLY (learn from my experience!) butter a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan, set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the sugar, cinnamon and water for the filling. Whisk together until well combined.

Return the dough to a lightly floured work surface. Roll the dough into a 10 x 12 inch rectangle. Brush lightly with the beaten egg. Sprinkle with the cinnamon-sugar mixture, leaving a thin border around the edges. Fold in the edges of the long sides of the dough about an inch.

Beginning with one of the short ends, roll the dough up in a tight spiral log, gently pressing as you go. Pinch the seam shut and place the loaf seam side down into the prepared baking pan. Don’t forget to pinch the seam shut or most of your filling will ooze out of the bread…another chance for you to learn from my mistakes. Cover loosely with plastic wrap or a clean towel and let rise until the dough has risen just above the edge of the pan, about 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. After the loaf has risen, brush the top of the loaf lightly with the remaining beaten egg. Bake, rotating pan halfway through the cooking until the bread is golden brown, about 45 minutes. If the crust is browning too quickly, tent a piece of foil loosely over the top (I did this when I rotated the bread).

Cool in the pan for 5 minutes and then turn out bread onto a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.

Recipe from: Annie’s Eats
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