Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Bread

by Carrie on January 11, 2011

I made a goal for 2011, to get over my fear of yeast. I have made VERY few things with yeast and some turned out others not so much. I know it is the temp with the water when adding the yeast. So I decided I need to get over the fear and teach that yeast who is boss this year.

Then I learned the January Whats Baking? Theme was try something new for the new year. What better time then this month to get a jump start on my own goal. I decided on this recipe as the yeast was mixed in, no worrying about the temp of the water. I spend most of Sunday on this bread. I pulled it out right before dinner and once we got the little one down for bed I cut into it. Adam got the first piece. I asked him what he thought…

“It’s horrible you shouldn’t have some just give it to me. When can you make more?”

I replied “Well there’s two loaves here, no good huh?”

“Nope horrible just give it to me, but seriously when can you make more”

I call that success!!! Now on to searching for the next recipe!

Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Bread (From: Smells Like Home)


  • 3½ cups (16 ounces) unbleached bread flour
  • 4 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1¼ teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1¼ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 large egg, slightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) shortening, melted or at room temperature
  • ½ cup (4 ounces) buttermilk or whole milk, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup (6 ounces) water, at room temperature
  • 1½ cups (9 ounces) raisins, rinsed and drained

For the swirl (optional):

  • 1 egg and 1 tbsp water, lightly beaten together
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar mixed with 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

For the topping (optional):

  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

Stir together the flour, sugar, salt, yeast, and cinnamon in a mixing bowl (or in the bowl of an electric mixer). Add the egg, shortening, buttermilk, and water. Stir together with a large spoon (or mix on low speed with the paddle attachment) until the ingredients come together and form a ball. Adjust with flour or water if the dough seems too sticky or too dry and stiff.

Sprinkle flour on a counter, transfer the dough to the counter, and begin kneading (or mixing on medium speed, switching to the dough hook). The dough should be soft and pliable, tacky but not sticky. Add flour as you knead (or mix), if necessary, to achieve this texture. Knead by hand for approximately 10 minutes (or by machine for 6 to 8 minutes). Sprinkle in the raisins and walnuts during the final 2 minutes of kneading (or mixing) to distribute them evenly and to avoid crushing them too much. (If you are mixing by machine, you may have to finish kneading by hand to distribute the raisins and walnuts evenly.) The dough should pass the windowpane test and register 77 to 81 degrees F. Lightly oil a large bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling it to coat it with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.  Ferment at room temperature for approximately 2 hours, or until the dough doubles in size.

Divide the dough into 2 equal pieces and form them into loaves if you don’t opt for the swirl.  If you want the swirl, roll out one of the pieces of dough into an 12 by 10 inch rectangle, brush lightly with the egg wash, then sprinkle with half of the cinnamon sugar mixture.  Roll up the dough and form a loaf; repeat with the second piece of dough and remaining cinnamon-sugar mixture. Place each loaf in a lightly oiled 8½ by 4½-inch pan, mist the tops with spray oil, and cover loosely with plastic wrap.  Proof at room temperature for 60 to 90 minutes, or until the dough crests above the lips of the pans and is nearly doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F with the oven rack on the middle shelf. Place the loaf pans on a sheet pan, making sure they are not touching each other.  Bake the loaves for 20 minutes. Rotate the pan 180 degrees for even baking and continue baking for another 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the oven. The finished breads should register 190 degrees F in the center and be golden brown on top and lightly golden on the sides and bottom. They should make a hollow sound when thumped on the bottom.  Immediately remove the breads from their pans and allow them to cool completely on a rack before cutting.

For the optional topping: Mix together the granulated sugar and ground cinnamon for the topping in a shallow plate. Brush the tops of the loaves with melted butter as soon as they come out of the bread pans, and then roll them in the cinnamon sugar. Cool loaves on a rack for at least 1 hour, preferably 2 hours, before slicing or serving.

© 2011, Carrie. All rights reserved.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Cassie January 11, 2011 at 10:16 am

What a gorgeous loaf of bread that is!

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2 Stina January 11, 2011 at 11:09 am

So glad it went so well… It looks awesome!

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3 branny January 11, 2011 at 6:59 pm

Nice picture, Carrie.

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4 Jen @ BeantownBaker.com January 11, 2011 at 8:44 pm

So glad I could help push you to get over your fear of yeast. Your bread looks great!

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5 Adam H January 11, 2011 at 10:19 pm

I have to admint I am really proud of my wife for taking a shot at making bread at home. I know most of the time she’s tried it the issue has always been having the water at the right temp for the yeast. This seemed to go pretty easy and straight forward for her and it turned out really good. I really did just about polish off one whole loaf by myself that night. It’s really tasty so I would say to try it.

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6 A. Rivera January 31, 2011 at 9:40 am

Carrie, this looks so yummy! You have inspired me as I also would like to get over my fear of yeast!

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7 Tara @ Smells Like Home February 2, 2011 at 9:35 pm

You did such a great job with this bread, Carrie! So glad it was so well-received. 🙂

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