You need this bread in your life right now.
I used to LOVE store-bought cinnamon raisin bread—toasted and slathered with creamy peanut butter. YUM. But this is better. Sooo much better. Yes, it takes some time. But if you're like me, I find baking bread incredibly rewarding. Returning to dough to see it's doubled in size? Yes! That means I'm on the right track :) Plus, this recipe makes 2 loaves, so you'll have one for yourself and one to gift. Bring it to the office for a Friday morning treat. Send it to your mom for Mother's Day. Serve it for brunch this weekend. You can't go wrong.
What makes this recipe particularly delicious is the use of maple sugar—which is the crystallized result of boiling sugar maple sap. It's mixed with cinnamon and sugar and swirled through the bread, resulting in a bakery-style loaf that’s addictive when warm.
Slather it with butter, peanut butter, or cinnamon-sugar. Use it to make the best French toast of your life. Eat it plain as it comes out of the oven. Enjoy!
Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Bread
Makes 2 loafs
- 1 cup whole milk
- 3/4 cup water
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup granulated maple sugar (I bought mine at Whole Foods)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
Spray 2 (9x5-inch) loaf pans with cooking spray and set aside.
In a medium saucepan, heat the milk, water, and brown sugar until just warm. Remove from heat and add the yeast. Stir gently and let the yeast dissolve. Pour mixture into a large bowl.
In a medium bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, wheat flour, and salt. Starting with 2 1/2 cups, slowly add the flour mixture to the milk mixture. Using a hand mixer, beat for about 3 minutes or until thoroughly combined. Gently stir in the egg, oil, and raisins, then add the remaining flour to make a moderately soft dough. If the dough is too sticky, add more whole-wheat flour.
Spray a surface (or section of your counter) with cooking spray and lightly sprinkle it with flour. Turn the dough onto the counter and knead for 8-10 minutes. Spray the mixing bowl with cooking spray and return the dough to the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for about 1 1/2 hours, or until doubled.
In a small bowl, combine the maple sugar, granulated sugar, and cinnamon. Set aside.
Divide the dough in half and return to the lightly floured surface. Using a rolling pin, roll each portion into a large rectangle shape. Brush each rectangle with 1/2 tablespoon melted butter, then sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture. Each rectangle should have an even coating of cinnamon sugar, but you will not use the entirely of the sugar mixture (save it for later and sprinkle it onto toast!).
Beginning at the narrow end, tightly roll the dough into a log, pressing the ends to seal and folding them under the loaf. Place dough into pans, then brush each loaf with remaining melted butter. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let them rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until golden. If the loaves begin to brown too quickly, cover with foil and return to the oven. Allow to cool 5 minutes on a cooling rack, then remove from bread pans and cool. Enjoy!
Recipe adapted from New England Farmgirl.