Sweet cinnamon goodness! That’s really what I should have titled this post because this cinnamon raisin bread is simply delicious. A filling and healthful whole wheat dough with a sweet secret hiding in the curves within. While this bread mimics the cinnamon rolls that my family loves so much, it’s much less time consuming, and creates two loaves in one batch. One loaf is ready to eat while the other can be quickly frozen to take out another time.
The delicious bread is a quick and easy breakfast for crazy school mornings, a special Saturday treat when it’s dipped for French toast, or a sweet Christmas morning loaf drizzled with vanilla glaze. The possibilities truly are endless, and I know it will become a staple in your home as well.
There’s nothing incredibly special about the bread dough itself. In fact, you can use your favorite everyday bread dough recipe if you have one. This dough is unbelievably versatile; I use it for rolls, buns, and most rolled breads. (I do have a favorite whole wheat cinnamon roll recipe I’ll share later!) The more uses for a recipe, the more I love it!
You’ll also notice that I make my bread dough in a bread machine, but if you don’t have that option available, no worries. I’ll show you how to create the dough without one. For machine users, you’ll only be taking your bread through the dough cycle anyway. The baking is done in regular loaf pans in the oven.
The Recipe (Makes 2 Loaves)
- For Bread Machine users, place water, oil, egg, and honey in machine loaf pan. Then add flour, gluten, and salt. Create a well in the top of the dry ingredients and add yeast. Set machine to dough cycle and start. (Skip ahead to step 3.)
- For Non-Bread Machine users, combine warm water and yeast in small bowl; let sit for 5 minutes. While yeast dissolves, combine flour, gluten, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Set aside. Mix egg, oil, and honey in a small bowl. Create a well in the center of the flour mixture and add egg mixture and yeast mixture. Mix until a soft dough forms and pulls away from the side of the bowl. (Add more flour, a little at a time, if dough is too wet.) Once dough comes together, knead for 10 minutes either by hand or with a dough hook on a mixer. (Here’s a great video on how to knead dough by hand.) Place kneaded dough in greased bowl, cover with a clean kitchen towel, and let rise in a warm place for 45 minutes. (I use our above-range microwave for rising dough since it’s not drafty and stays pretty cozy.)
- Take dough out of bread pan or bowl and place on lightly floured surface. Divide dough in half. Working with one half at a time, roll dough out into a 12×8 in. rectangle. Use a spreader to place a thin layer of softened butter over the rolled out dough. Use a spoon to sprinkle and spread brown sugar on the dough, followed by cinnamon, then finally raisins.
- Time to roll! Remember that your dough is going to rise again, so you want to roll your loaf as tightly as possible. Along the 8 inch sides, fold dough over 1/2 an inch or so to create an edge, then begin rolling the long (12 in.) side of your dough tightly, like a burrito. It’s okay if some of the sugar is falling out, this makes for a lovely, sweet crunch on the bottom of your loaf.
- Roll until you reach the end of the dough, then pinch the end of the dough to the roll itself. This seals the cinnamony-raisin goodness inside. And this will be on the bottom of your loaf, so no one will be the wiser.
- Place rolled loaf seam-side down in an buttered bread pan and roll your second loaf. Once both loaves are in pans, place in a warm spot and allow to rise for 40 minutes. (Set a timer for 30 minutes, and begin preheating your oven while they’re finishing their rise.)
- Bake loaves at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. The tops will be deep golden brown. Cool in pans for 5 minutes, then remove from pans and cool completely on a wire rack. Try to restrain yourself from eating immediately, since burned mouths are certainly not fun!
This is a perfect loaf to share with a neighbor or friend, and since the recipe makes two, you can be generous! Want to change things up? Here are some easy variations:
- Use canned pumpkin instead of butter for a pumpkin cinnamon loaf.
- Substitute cranberries and walnuts for the raisins.
- Substitute semi-sweet chocolate chips and omit the cinnamon for a sweet treat loaf.
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