We are a family that loves all sorts of breads. Sweet, savory, traditional or newly created – they’re all mmm mmm good to us!
For this cinnamon raisin bread, I use our French bread recipe which was passed down from my step-mom, to me and now I’ve shared with my children and grandchildren. But for this recipe, we added cinnamon and raisins along the way.
2 1/2 cups of hot water
2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp dry yeast
1 Tbsp salt (I use Kosher salt but I’m sure regular table salt will work too)
1 Tbsp cinnamon
2 Tbsp oil (I use olive oil when just making French bread, but for this, I recommend vegetable oil)
6 cups of all purpose flour
1 egg beaten
First, you want to allow the yeast to bloom. In the stand mixer bowl, add 2 1/2 cups of hot tap water ( about 115*) 2 Tbsp of sugar and 2 Tbsp of yeast. Let this sit until the mixture appears foamy (this is when it’s bloomed) Depending on the temperature and humidity of your home, it could take up to 10 minutes
Add the dough hook to your stand mixer (or you can do this in a bowl and mix with a wooden spoon until your dough forms a ball)
Stir in the salt, oil and 3 cups of the flour. Turn the mixer on 2 and let the dough hook mix the ingredients. Add the remaining 3 cups of flour (1 cup at a time) Patience is key here as it can take a little while. Allow the mixer to work it’s magic and it forms a ball.
Once the ball forms, shut the mixer off. Get a kitchen towel (big enough to cover the top of the bowl) and get it wet with warm water. You don’t want the towel dripping wet, just damp. Place this damp towel over the top of the mixer bowl and around the dough hook, bringing the two towel ends together to completely cover the mixture. Yes, leave the dough hook still attached. Let it sit like that for 10 minutes. Once the 10 minutes is finished, remove the towel, turn the mixer on to 2 and only mix a couple turns of the bowl to help “punch the dough down”. Turn the mixer off and cover again with the towel and let sit for another 10 minutes. You will do this a total of 6 times (1 hour). I find doing it this way, creates a lighter, airy bread. You will notice the dough rises each time you do this.
Once it’s done, remove the bowl from the stand, remove the dough hook and place dough on a floured surface. Cover with towel and let rest for 10 minutes. This allows the glutens to form.
Divide the dough in half. On a floured surface, roll each half into a 9 x 13 rectangle and about 1/2 inch thick. (doesn’t have to be exact, rustic is good too) Sprinkle the surface with some cinnamon (we like cinnamon so we used quite a bit). Then add raisins. Be sure to leave a 1 inch border so you have room to seal the loaves.
Starting with the long side, roll the dough into a log. Pinch the ends to seal them and tuck underneath. Then pinch the long edge together to seal the dough and create a seem. At this point you can place the logs onto a greased cookie sheet or into a greased loaf pan. I used a loaf pan for mine.
Cover with the damp towel and place in a warm area to let it rise until doubled in size (about an hour)
If your home is on the cold side, you can turn your oven on to warm it up (use the lowest temp your oven will go to) then place the covered dough in the oven (leave the oven door cracked open) and let it rise.
Pull the pan out of the oven and preheat your oven to 375*. Cook your bread for 25 – 30 minutes.
Once you remove it from the oven, brush softened butter on top (this gives shine and flavor to the crust)
Allow to cool for 15 minutes, then devour or let completely cool before storing.
We love using this for French toast too! Hope you enjoy!