This was my first time making any type of bread other than my fail attempted at making naan many years ago. Part of one reason I love baking (other than eating my desserts) is the idea of challenging myself to learn and try new things. Working with yeast and making bread was something new to me and instead of taking a huge leap and trying to make something such as sourdough bread, I decided to start with something a little bit more simple. Although this was a tasty bread, it was more bread than cake and knowing me and my sweet tooth I was a bit disappointed. However, making this cinnamon bread was a fun experience and I hope to use yeast more often in the future. I brought this along our road trip down south as another travel provision. Between LA my friend Emily and I began munching on this, me feeding her as she drove us to Roya’s apartment. Recipe from Joy of Cooking.
Note: Being not the biggest fan of raisins I omitted them.
1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
3 tablespoons of warm (105º to 115ºF) water
1 cup whole or low-fat milk, warmed to 105º to 115ºF (I used skim)
5 tablespoons of melted unsalted butter
3 tablespoons of sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon of salt
3 1/2 – 4 cups all-purpose flour or bread flour
1/2 cup raisins (I omitted)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
Pinch of salt
1. Mix yeast and water together in a large bowl or bowl of heavy-duty mixer and let stand for five minutes until yeast dissolves.
2. Add the remaining ingredients except for the flour and mix for 1 minute on low speed. Gradually add 3 1/2 cups of flour. If needed, slowly add remaining 1/2 cup flour, 2 tablespoons at a time, until the dough is moist, not sticky. Dough should clear the sides of the bowl but stick to the bottom. Knead for about 10 minutes on low to medium speed until the dough is smooth and elastic.
3. Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl and turn it over once to coat. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until doubled in volume.
4. While the dough is rising place raisins in a small saucepan with enough cold water to cover by 1/2 inch and bring to a boil. Drain well and let cool. Stir together sugar and cinnamon.
5. Grease an 8 1/2”x4 1/2” loaf pan. Punch dough down. Roll the dough into an 8”x18” rectangle about 1/2” thick. Brush the surface of the dough with 1 1/2 teaspoons of melted butter. Sprinkle all but 2 teaspoons of the cinnamon mixture over the dough and spread the raisins evenly over the surface. Starting from one 8” side, roll up the dough and pinch the seam and ends closed. Place seam side down in the pan. Cover loosely with oiled plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in volume, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Whisk egg and salt together and gently brush over the top of the loaf. Sprinkle the top of the dough with the remaining cinnamon mixture. Bake until crust is deep golden brown and the bottom of the sounds hollow when tapped, 40 to 45 minutes (or until the internal temperature reaches 195ºF or above). Remove loaf from the pan onto a cooling rack. While the bread is still hot, brush the top with: 2 teaspoons of melted butter. Let cool completely before slicing.
This was a very delicious tasting bread however I expected the cinnamon bread to be more sweeter and more of a dessert rather than a loaf of bread. However I made stuffed banana french toast the next day and it worked out perfectly!