Growing up, we used to devour this stuff. I can remember my younger brother popping two slices into the toaster, waiting for that mechanical “pop,” and then throwing a slab of butter between the warm slices as he placed them on his plate. After which, he put two more slices into the toaster.
This past Thanksgiving, I showed my youngest brother how to make scrambled eggs. Saturday night we went to the Kroger, picked up a pan, a whisk, a dozen eggs, and a DVD from the Red Box. After a quick tutorial, we settled down on his dorm couch to scrambled eggs, raisin bread, and The Girl Who Played with Fire.
My mind must have wandered to that night. That, combined with my love of bread-baking, inspired me to search out a recipe for this staple of our childhood refrigerator. I still can see that bright, firetruck-red bag, sitting on the second shelf, the top part of the plastic tied tight with a worn, yellow twisty-tie. And opening the bag, all I find is a single piece of bread, bookended by the two unwanted heels.
I found this recipe from a fellow food-blogger and, minus a small alteration, loved this recipe as written! The recipe was easy to follow, and the bread was absolutely delicious, complete with that trademark cinnamon-sugar swirl. Thanks Pete!
Cinnamon Raisin swirl bread
Recipe from Pete Bakes!
PREP TIME: 30 minutes
DOWN TIME: 2 hours
COOK TIME: 30 minutes
YIELD: 2 Loaves
WHAT TO GRAB:
2 1/4 teaspoons yeast (1 package dry instant yeast)
2 1/4 cups warm water
3 tablespoons and 1/4 cup sugar, divided
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
3 tablespoons butter, divided
6 to 7 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup raisins
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 loaf pans, greased
HOW YOU DO IT:
1. In a small bowl, stir together 1/2 cup warm water (105-115° F), the yeast, and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Let it stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. (If the mixture doesn’t foam, you’ll have to discard it and start over with new yeast).
2. Stir in the remaining 1 3/4 cups warm water. Add 2 tablespoons sugar, the Kosher salt, 2 tablespoons of melted butter, 3 1/2 cups of the flour, and all of the raisins. Mix until smooth (either by hand or a stand mixer), adding the remaining 3 cups of flour until the dough is easy to handle (not too sticky but still moist).
3. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Place the dough in a greased bowl, roll it around so all the dough is coated, and cover with a towel. Let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled (about an hour).
4. Combine the remaining 1/4 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon of cinnamon in a small bowl. Mix well.
5. Punch down the dough, divide it in half, and roll out each half on a lightly floured surface, so that each half measures about 16 x 8 inches. You may need to roll, let the dough rest, and roll again so you get the right size. (You can obviously roll one at a time).
6. Sprinkle each rolled out loaf with 1 tablespoon of water and half of the cinnamon-sugar mixture.
7. Roll the dough from the short end and pinch the seams shut. You should have an 8-inch long rolled up piece of dough. Place each loaf into a greased loaf pan. Brush the top of each loaf with about 1/2 tablespoon of melted butter. Cover the loaves and let them rise for 1 hour.
8. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the loaves have a dark, golden-brown top. Remove the loaves from the pans and place on a wire rack to cool. (You can freeze the loaves, although I don’t know how long they will keep, since I’m bad about deferring gratification when something is this good!).
9. Slice, lightly toast, and serve with butter or cream cheese!