Cinnamon Raisin Bread
This bread is good right out of the oven or stored for several days and used for toast.
- 2 cups plus 1 1/2 teaspoons warm water (100 degrees to 110 degrees)
- 2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 5 3/4 cups bread flour, plus more for dusting
- 2 tablespoons nonfat powdered milk
- 4 teaspoons sugar, plus more for sprinkling
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 2 cups dark raisins
- Canola oil, for bowl and plastic wrap
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 7 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1 large egg white, beaten
In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine 1/4 cup warm water and yeast. Let sit until yeast is foamy, about 10 minutes. Add flour, powdered milk, sugar, salt, 3 tablespoons melted butter, and 1 3/4 cups warm water. Mix, using the paddle attachment, on low speed for 1 minute. Change to dough hook, and mix on medium-low speed for 7 minutes. Or knead by hand, 15 or 20 minutes. Add raisins, and mix on medium-low speed until dough is firm but not dry, 3 minutes.
Transfer to a lightly floured surface, and knead by hand into a ball. Place dough, smooth side up, in a large, lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap; let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours.
Butter two 9-by-5-inch loaf pans generously, and set aside. In a small bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon, and set aside. Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface, and cut in half. Cover one piece of dough loosely with lightly oiled plastic wrap.
Press the other piece of dough into a 10-by-12-inch rectangle. Brush with half of the beaten egg, sprinkle with half the cinnamon sugar, and drizzle with half the melted butter. Rub the surface with the back of a spoon to blend butter and cinnamon sugar. Starting at a short end, roll up dough tightly, and pinch together along crease. Roll the dough back and forth to make it cylindrical, and pinch the ends together. Transfer to a loaf pan, seam side down, and cover loosely with lightly oiled plastic wrap. Repeat process with second piece of dough. Let loaves rise in a warm place, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Thirty minutes before this final rise is completed, place a baking stone, if using, in the lower third of oven. Heat oven to 425 degrees.
Brush tops of loaves with egg white, and sprinkle each loaf with 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar. Bake 15 minutes; lower oven to 400 degrees, and bake 15 minutes more. Remove from oven; cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes before slicing.