Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Bread

Knowing something and actually putting it into practice can be two completely different monsters.

In my last post, I wrote about setting realistic expectations for myself.  It was something I knew I wanted to work on, but this past week the application smacked me square in the face.

You know the saying, “when it rains, it pours?”

Well, the past couple of weeks have been TORRENTIAL downpours.  Thankfully, they have been downpours of blessings.  However, they have kept T and I very busy none the less.  (I’ll save the details for a future posts.)  As things got more and more busy, time got more and more scarce.  As much as I wanted to keep up with my regular posting schedule, it became an unrealistic expectation.

I was incredibly humbled by the number of you who stopped by on Wednesday to see if there was anything new.  (Maybe it gave you a chance to browse some archived posts?)  I’m back now and will try my best to stick to my regular postings.  But, if you miss me now and again in the next few months, you’ll know why.

I went on a baking spree literally days before the crazy hit.  As a break from the batches of muffins, I made this bread for this month’s Fresh From the Oven challenge.  Sarah from La Cuisine de Sarah challenged us to make a Breakfast Fruit Bread.  Once again, FFTO gave me the push I needed to try something that I have wanted to make for a while.

This bread has been a lifesaver for quick breakfasts (and dinners).  It is just sweet enough to satisfy my breakfast sweet tooth and very filling due to the inclusion of white whole wheat flour.

This was my first time using white whole wheat flour, and I really liked how hefty it made the bread while still keeping a nice and light consistency.  You would never know this bread has wheat flour in it.  (T was very surprised when I told him.)  It’s great as is or toasted, topped with apple butter or peanut butter if you need an extra protein kick for those busy days.

Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Yield: 1 large 9×5 loaf

Ingredients

1 c (8 fl oz) milk
¼ c (2 oz) butter
½ c (3.5 oz) sugar
1 tsp salt
¼ c (2 fl oz) warm water (105°F/40°C)
1 Tbsp active dry yeast
2 eggs, beaten
1 ½ c (6.3 oz) white whole wheat flour
3 ½ c (15.75 oz) all purpose flour

1 Tbsp butter, softened
¼ c (4 Tbsp) sugar
2 Tbsp cinnamon
1 c (8 oz) raisins

Directions

1. Scald milk by heating in a small saucepan over medium heat until it begins to steam and a skin begins to form on the top.  Watch carefully, you don’t want it to boil.  Remove from heat, add butter, 1/2 c sugar and salt to the saucepan and stir until dissolved.  Let cool in the fridge until room temperature.

2.  In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water.  Add cooled milk mixture, beaten eggs, and wheat flour.  Stir to mix well.  Add all purpose flour slowly, mixing until a soft dough forms.

3.  Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, 10 minutes.

4.  Place dough in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm, draft-free area until doubled in bulk (45 min-1 hour).

5.  Knock back dough by kneading slightly.  Turn onto a lightly greased counter top and let dough rest while you combine ¼ c sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.  In another small bowl combine raisins with 2 cups of water and let soak to plump while you prepare the dough.

6. Roll dough into a ½ inch thick rectangle (about 9 inches x 13 inches).  Brush with softened butter, sprinkle with ½ of cinnamon sugar mixture.

7.  Drain raisins and pat with a towel to dry.  Toss raisins with the remaining cinnamon mixture.  Sprinkle over dough.

8.  Starting from one of the short ends, roll dough gently, but tightly, jelly-roll style.  Place in a greased 9×5 loaf pan, seam side down.  Brush the top of the dough with butter.

9.  Cover and let rise until doubled (about 45 minutes).  Near the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 400F (205°C) and bake for 30 minutes.   Check bread after 15 minutes to see how the top is browning.  If it is getting dark, tent loosely over it with aluminum foil.  The bread should register an internal temperature of around 180°F (83°C) and sound hollow when tapped when it is done.

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You can check out what all the other Fresh From The Oven bakers made at the end of the month on the roundup hosted by Utterly Scrummy Food for Families.  And if you want to join in the baking fun, you can learn more about FFTO and participating in challenges here.  We’d love to bake with you!

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I’m also submitting this bread to YeastSpotting.

We love to hear your thoughts!