Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Bread

Weekends seem like they’re the perfect time for baking bread, but for me they actually aren’t. I started this bread on Saturday afternoon. Instead of letting it rise for an hour and a half like I was supposed to, I put it in the fridge so we could go and get coffee and browse at a bookstore (it took MUCH longer than an hour and a half…really glad I didn’t keep it on the counter!)

Sunday morning I had to run 15 miles, so I took it out of the fridge pre-run, figuring it would definitely rise a lot while I was gone.

Side note… my knee didn’t hurt AT ALL on the run. And it was BEAUTIFUL…there was snow in the Marin Headlands! That doesn’t happen very often. I know it’s kind of hard to see in this picture, but those hills right under the clouds had snow on top!

After the run I was all set to continue with the bread (even though the dough barely rose), but we both had an urgent need for some Thai noodles. So the dough went back in the fridge while we headed up to the Inner Richmond to satisfy our craving.

King of Thai Noodle House No. 2 (346 Clement St, San Francisco) is one of the only Thai places I’ve found that has all the noodle soups we loved in Thailand. I got the Guay Tiaw Jae and it was absolutely delicious. A huge bowl of flavorful broth, thin rice noodles, and plenty of vegetables. I was in heaven.

After we came home I was FINALLY ready to actually bake the bread. I let it sit out for awhile, then mixed together the ingredients for the filling. Brown sugar, raisins, cinnamon. YUM.

I was recently sent some vanilla and cinnamon from Singing Dog Vanilla. They’re based in Eugene, Oregon, where I lived for a couple of months during college. Their products are fair trade and organic, and I have been really impressed with the quality. Plus I gotta support businesses from my beloved home state! The Red Ape Cinnamon was perfect in this recipe.

I rolled out the dough, which finally seemed to have risen a little bit, and spread the filling over it.

After 40 minutes in the oven (which probably should have been 45 – it was a little doughy inside), I had a beautiful loaf of cinnamon raisin swirl bread, which by the way, is a perfect vehicle for cream cheese. And today, while typing up the recipe, I realized why the dough barely rose. As you’ll see, it calls for 2 TABLEspoons of yeast. I used 2 tsp. Brilliant. And they trust me to teach the youth of America.

(adapted from Steph Chows)

2 tablespoons dry active yeast
1 teaspoon granulated sugar + 1/4 cup
3/4 cup warm milk (not hot)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons agave or maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 1/4 cups bread flour, plus additional for rolling
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided
2/3 cup raisins

Combine the warm milk, yeast, and 1 tsp sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Let stand 5 minutes, then stir in 1/4 cup sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, salt, butter, vanilla, agave, and egg and mix well. Add the flours gradually, then mix with the dough hook on medium speed for 10 minutes.

Cover the bowl and let the dough rise for about an hour and a half.

Roll the dough out to a rectangle about 10″ by 20.”

Combine 1 tsp cinnamon, the brown sugar, and the raisins in a small bowl. Spread evenly over the dough then roll up and pinch the ends closed. Put in a greased loaf pan, cover, and let rise for about 45 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Bake the bread for 40-45 minutes, until golden brown on top. Cool in the pan for about 20 minutes, then turn out of the pan and cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.

6 Responses to “Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Bread”

  1. 1 courtney @ the granola chronicles February 21, 2011 at 11:55 am

    I’m not the biggest fan of raisins in baked goods (it’s a texture thing), but I think I would love this sans raisins. I just love cinnamon – and bread! 🙂

  2. 2 Kate February 21, 2011 at 1:23 pm

    There is so much I want to comment on in this post, but will widely bite my tongue for a bit. However, I will ask your trick for getting the raisins in your bread to stay in. mine always fall out once I start slicing.

    • 3 Cate February 21, 2011 at 4:41 pm

      Kate – A few fell out but most seemed to stay stuck in the brown sugar that’s part of the swirl. Plus the fact that the dough didn’t rise as much as it should have might have helped keep them squished in there, but that may be a stretch…

  3. 4 bobbi February 21, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    I need to make these before I go on my REAL FOOD challenge 🙂

  4. 5 branny February 22, 2011 at 4:24 am

    Well the reduced yeast amounts probably kept the dough from overtaking your fridge while you were out and about.

    I’ve been reading a lot about cinnamon impostors – it is good to have a reliable source.

    Glad your run was spectacular!

  5. 6 stephchows February 23, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    How fun! I just clicked through from tastespotting and you found it on my blog! LOL sorry you didn’t get it to totally rise, I love this recipe!

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