Cinnamon raisin bread is a wonderful gift during the holidays, or enjoyed any time of year as a light dessert. It is also great for breakfast. When served warm, the bread can be buttered lightly for an additional treat, or simply reheated for a warm cinnamon flavor.
You will need:
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 pack rapid rise yeast
- 1 pack regular yeast
- 3 ½ cups warm water
- 3 tablespoons oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 8 cups flour
- Rolling pin
- Butter for greasing
- ½ cup raisins
- 1 tablespoon water
- Bread pan
- Damp dish towel
- ¾ cup cinnamon sugar
- Colored plastic wrap in red or green (If giving as a gift)
- A box or basket with tissue paper
Step 1: Combine ½ cup of sugar and both packages of yeast in 3 ½ cups of warm water in a bowl. Add in the 3 tablespoons of oil and 1 teaspoon of salt and stir until completely absorbed. Allow this mixture to stand in the bowl for about 5 minutes.
Step 2: Begin adding the flour gradually, and knead the dough after every cup added. This creates a soft dough. Once the dough is solid, remove it from the bowl and place on the counter. Knead until no dough is still flour colored.
Step 3: Grease the entire outside of the dough and then place back into the bowl. Cover this with a warm, damp dish towel and allow the dough to rise for no more than 1 hour in a warm and dry area. The dough should double in size when it is time to remove it from the bowl.
Step 4: Remove the dough from the bowl and punch down on the counter, then cut into 4 equal pieces. Now flour the surface while rolling out the dough with a rolling pin. The area to roll out to will be about 9 inches by 13 inches when complete. Rub 1 tablespoon of water onto the entire surface.
Step 5: Sprinkle cinnamon sugar over the entire area, being quite generous. Sprinkle the raisins on top and then roll the dough into a loaf. To do this, grab the end farthest from you and pull toward your body to begin rolling. Roll until all the dough is in this form.
Step 6: Place the loaf into the greased bread pan and pinch the ends down to seal in the filling. Grease the entire upper surface of the loaf with butter. Allow the dough to rise until it is again doubled in size. Bake in a 400 degree Fahrenheit oven for 25 minutes, in the center of the oven.
Step 7: If you are giving the loaf as a gift, allow it time to cool after you take it out of the oven and then use a colored plastic wrap to seal it in. You can also use a basket lined with tissue paper or a box with tissue paper to make it look festive before you deliver it.