Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Bestestestest Raisin Cinnamon Swirl Bread

One of the most satisfying things (for me) is ticking another item off the list of things I no longer have to purchase from the supermarket. Added to this list now is Raisin Toast/Fruit Loaf/Cinnamon Toast.
This recipe is a perfect balance of spiciness, sweetness, softness, fruitiness and so many other nesses. It's great to have as a bread with butter or as toast with butter and honey or however you would normally eat it. It's ridiculously cheap to make, it makes 3 full sized loaves, one for now and 2 to freeze uncooked for a quick and easy breakfast, and it is far and away THE most eye-glazingly stupefying wodge of comfort food you could hope to stumble across in your kitchen. Get to it, you can thank me later!

The Bestestestest Raisin Cinnamon Swirl Bread
* 1 1/2 cups milk
* 1 cup warm water (blood temp)
* 4 teaspoons active dry yeast
* 3 eggs
* 1/2 cup white sugar
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 cup butter, softened
* 1 cup raisins (more if you want, or mix it up with dried figs/stewed apple/choc chips etc)
* 8 cups plain flour (bread flour is better)
* 2 tablespoons milk
* 3/4 cup white sugar
* 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

1. Warm the milk in a small saucepan until it bubbles, then remove from heat. Let cool until lukewarm.

2. Dissolve yeast in warm water, and set aside until yeast is frothy. Mix in eggs, sugar, butter or margarine, salt, and raisins. Stir in cooled milk. Add the flour gradually to make a stiff dough.

3. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface for a few minutes. Place in a large, greased, mixing bowl, and turn to grease the surface of the dough. Cover with a damp cloth. Allow to rise until doubled.

4. Roll out on a lightly floured surface into a large rectangle 1/2 inch thick. Moisten dough with 2 tablespoons milk. Mix together 3/4 cup sugar and 2 tablespoons cinnamon, and sprinkle mixture on top of the moistened dough. Roll up tightly; the roll should be about 3 inches in diameter. Cut into thirds, and tuck under ends. Place loaves into well greased 9 x 5 inch pans. Lightly grease tops of loaves. Let rise again for 1 hour.

5. Bake at 175C for 30 minutes, or until loaves are lightly browned and sound hollow when knocked. Remove loaves from pans, and brush with melted butter or margarine. Let cool before slicing.

(Just wrap up and freeze 2 of the uncooked loaves before the 2nd rising. Thaw out and let them rise then cook as above.)