Homemade Cinnamon Raisin Bread is so tender and fluffy, with swirls of cinnamon, butter and raisins throughout the rich bread. It is perfect to enjoy right out of the oven and also makes excellent toast, French toast or bread pudding.
- 1 1/2 cups warm milk (105–110 degrees Fahrenheit)
- 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 4 Tablespoons butter, melted
- 3 egg yolks
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 1/4 cups bread flour or all purpose flour
- 3/4 cup raisins
- 2 1/2 Tablespoons butter, softened
- 1/4 – 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 3/4 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 Tablespoon all purpose flour
- In a large bowl, mix the milk, yeast and sugar. Add the melted butter, egg yolks, salt and mix to combine. Add the ground cinnamon and vanilla extract.
- Add the flour, 1 cup at a time, until all the flour is incorporated. Knead for at least 5 minutes. If you are using a standing mixer, the dough should pull away from the sides of the bowl. The dough will be soft and somewhat sticky. Try not to add more flour, or the bread will turn out denser and not as soft and fluffy as it should. When the dough rises, it will be easier to handle.
- Meanwhile, pour boiling water over the raisins and let them stand for about 5 minutes. Discard the water, drying the raisins somewhat with a paper towel or a clean kitchen towel. This will help to plump up the raisins and make them extra soft and juicy.
- Add the raisins to the bread and mix for another minute, until the raisins are incorporated into the dough evenly. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a towel. Set aside to rise until the dough has doubled in size.
- Plastic wrap works a little bit better. Since it covers the bowl tightly, it creates kind of a steam in the bowl, keeps the dough from forming a dry skin and helps it rise better.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- When the dough has doubled in size, sprinkle flour on kitchen counter and roll out the dough into a rectangle, about 18-20 inches by 9 inches. Spread the softened butter over the surface of the bread.
- Combine the brown sugar, ground cinnamon and all purpose flour. Use 1/4 cup brown sugar if you want it to be less sweet and 1/3 cup if you want it to be sweeter. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture over the butter.
- Roll up the dough as tightly as possible, kind of like a jelly roll, starting from the short side.
- Place the bread into a buttered bread loaf pan, a standard bread size, about 9 inches X 5 inches. Set aside to rise for another 30-40 minutes.
- Two Options: You can make the bread into one large loaf or divide the dough in half and make two smaller loaves of bread.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 40-50 minutes, if making the large loaf, or 25-35 minutes if baking the smaller loaves.
- The Top Crust: You also have several option of what to do with the outer crust. To make if very shiny and glistening, brush the risen loaf(ves) with an egg wash (1 egg+1 Tablespoon water) before putting it in the oven to bake. For a more matte crust, brush the risen loaves with melted butter before baking it. You can also brush the top of the baked bread with melted butter, which will soften the crust. You can also omit all the toppings and leave it the way it is:).
- Turn bread out onto rack and cool to room temperature. Slice as desired.
For the yeast dough, you can mix it by hand or use a standing mixer with a dough hook attachment. You can also use a bread machine, set to the “Dough” setting.
One of my favorite tricks is to wrap the bowl in a towel and place it inside a heated blanket. The bread dough rises evenly and very quickly.
Bread can be kept in airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. Baked bread freezes really well too. If you make 2 loaves, you can freeze one of them or freeze slices, however you want.
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