Who can resist the aroma of homemade bread and the sight of that signature cinnamon swirl? Definitely not us and neither you with this foolproof recipe.
The ingredient list is short and sweet, but note that it calls for dry milk powder—admittedly not a staple in every pantry. In this bread, it adds moisture, aids gluten development and helps produce a more tender crumb with a rich crust. If you still want to use good ol' liquid milk, scald it first, then let it cool slightly and substitute for the milk powder.
To learn more, read "Boy Meets Swirl."
Cinnamon Swirl Raisin Bread
Recipe adapted from Dawn Perry, Tasting Table contributor
Yield: One 9-by-5-inch loaf
Prep Time: 40 minutes, plus rising and cooling time
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour and 40 minutes, plus rising and cooling time
2¼ teaspoons (¼-ounce envelope) active dry yeast
4 tablespoons sugar, divided
1 cup lukewarm water
2 tablespoons nonfat dry milk powder
1 tablespoon kosher salt
¾ cup raisins
4 cups bread flour, divided
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, plus more for greasing the pan
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1. In a large bowl, combine the yeast and 2 tablespoons of the sugar. Add the water, stirring to dissolve the yeast, and set aside until foamy, 5 minutes.
2. Add the milk powder, salt, raisins and 3 cups of the bread flour, and mix with a wooden spoon until a shaggy dough forms. Mix in the softened butter, adding a few small pieces at a time, and adding more flour if needed to incorporate the butter.
3. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured kitchen surface and knead until smooth and elastic, adding more flour as needed if the dough becomes sticky, 10 to 15 minutes. Form the dough into a large ball, tucking and pinching the edges underneath.
4. Lightly brush a medium bowl with a little of the melted butter and place the dough ball inside, turning to coat, and lightly brush the top with melted butter. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm, draft-free spot until almost doubled in size, about 1 hour.
5. In a small bowl, combine the cinnamon and the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar. Lightly butter a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Gently press and stretch the dough into a roughly 9-by-12-inch rectangle. Sprinkle the dough evenly with the cinnamon sugar. Starting at the short end, roll the dough up into a 9-inch log and pinch the seam to close. Place the log, seam-side down, in the prepared loaf pan and cover lightly with plastic wrap. Let the dough rest until it rises about 1 inch above the rim, 60 to 75 minutes.
6. Preheat the oven to 350°. Score the loaf lengthwise down the center of the top, about ½ inch deep, and brush with any remaining melted butter. Bake until the bread is deeply golden and sounds hollow when tapped with your fingertips, 50 to 60 minutes. Turn the bread out of the pan and onto a wire and let cool at least 30 minutes before slicing.