Once you’ve baked this raisin-studded and cinnamon-swirled bread, the possibilities for using it are nearly endless. Make a peanut butter sandwich or slather a thick toasted slice with salted butter. Leftovers will make excellent French toast or bread pudding.
Slideshow:More Cinnamon Recipes
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups bread flour
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 cups plus 1 tablespoon whole milk
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 teaspoon honey
2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups raisins (we use a mix of Thompson and golden)
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch slices and softened, plus more for greasing
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg yolk
How to Make It
In a medium bowl, whisk both flours with 1 tablespoon of the cinnamon, the nutmeg and cloves. In a microwavable liquid measuring cup, heat 1/2 cup of the milk at high power until warm but not hot, about 30 seconds. Stir the yeast and honey into the warm milk and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.
In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk, beat the yeast mixture with 1 1/2 cups of the milk, the brown sugar, salt, lightly beaten eggs and vanilla at low speed until just combined. Replace the whisk with the dough hook. Add the dry ingredients and raisins and beat at low speed until nearly combined, scraping down the bowl as needed, about 2 minutes. Increase the speed to medium-high and continue beating until the dough clings to the hook and pulls away from the side of the bowl, about 3 minutes. Add 6 tablespoons of the butter a few pieces at a time, beating well after each addition. Continue beating at medium speed until the dough is smooth and silky, about 5 minutes longer.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead until it’s smooth and springy, about 5 minutes. Shape the dough into a ball and transfer to a lightly buttered bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
Uncover the dough and punch it down. Cover with the plastic and let stand at room temperature until it doubles again, about 1 hour longer.
In a small bowl, whisk the granulated sugar with the remaining 1/4 cup of cinnamon. In a microwavable bowl, melt the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter and let cool slightly.
Generously butter two 5-by-10-inch loaf pans. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface, punch it down and divide it in half. Roll 1 piece of the dough to a 10-by-15-inch rectangle. Brush it generously with about 1 tablespoon of the melted butter, then sprinkle with half of the cinnamon sugar, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Drizzle with 1 more tablespoon of the melted butter. Working from a short side, tightly roll up the dough and pinch the seams together. Carefully transfer seam side down to one of the prepared loaf pans. Repeat with the remaining dough, melted butter and cinnamon sugar. Cover the pans loosely with plastic wrap and let stand until the loaves double in bulk, about 45 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350°. In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolk with the remaining 1 tablespoon of milk. Brush the tops of the loaves generously with the egg wash and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until the tops are golden brown and the loaves sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.
Transfer the loaf pans to a wire rack and let cool for 20 minutes. Carefully unmold the bread and let it cool completely on a wire rack before slicing and serving.
The cinnamon-raisin bread can be wrapped tightly in plastic and foil and kept at room temperature for 3 days.
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