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Cinnamon-Swirl Raisin Bread

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Yields 2 loaves

Packed with plump, juicy raisins and rich cinnamon swirls, this easy-to-make bread is guaranteed to please, especially when slathered in Homemade Butter and served warm with a cup of freshly brewed coffee.

  • 2 cups dark raisins
  • Canola oil, for the bowl
  • 18 oz. (4 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour; more for dusting
  • 6 Tbs. granulated sugar
  • 6 Tbs. ground cinnamon
  • 1 packet (1/4 oz. or 2-1/4 tsp.) instant yeast
  • 2 tsp. fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 3-1/2 oz. (7 Tbs.) unsalted butter, softened; more for the pans
Make the dough:

Put the raisins in a small bowl and add enough hot tap water to cover them. Let sit for 5 minutes; drain and set aside.

Lightly oil a large bowl. In a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the flour, 2 Tbs. each of the sugar and cinnamon, the yeast, and salt. Combine on low speed, about 1 minute. Add the milk, egg, 3 Tbs. of the butter, and 3/4 cup room temperature water; mix on medium speed, scraping the bowl as necessary, until the dough comes together, about 1 minute. Increase the speed to medium high and continue to mix until the dough is smooth, slightly sticky, and clinging to the hook, about 5 minutes. Scrape down the dough hook with your hand, and remove the bowl. Gently knead in the raisins by hand, just until incorporated.

Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface, roll it into a ball, and put it in the oiled bowl. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature until the dough looks slightly puffy, about 30 minutes.

On a well-floured surface, use your hands to flatten and spread the dough out until it’s about 3/4 inch thick. Fold the dough in half from top to bottom, then in half again from left to right. Return the dough to the bowl, cover, and let sit until it has risen slightly, about 30 minutes more.

Shape and bake:

Generously grease two 8-1/2x4-1/2-inch loaf pans with butter. In a small bowl, combine the remaining 4 Tbs. each cinnamon and sugar; set aside. In a small saucepan over low heat (or in a bowl in the microwave), melt 2 Tbs. of the butter; set aside.

On a lightly floured surface, divide the dough in half and use a rolling pin to shape each half into an 8-1/2x16-inch rectangle that's 1/4 inch thick. Use a pastry brush to spread the melted butter on the dough. Sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar mixture evenly over both rectangles.

Starting from the short side, gently roll each rectangle into an 8-1/2-inch-long cylinder. Put the cylinders in the pans, seam side down. Cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let rest at room temperature until the dough has risen slightly and springs back when pressed lightly, 1 to 1-1/2 hours.

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 375°F. Bake the loaves, rotating and swapping the positions of the pans halfway through baking, until dark brown and hollow-sounding when thumped on top and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center of the loaves registers about 190°F, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer the loaves in their pans to a rack.

In a small saucepan over low heat (or in a bowl in the microwave), melt the remaining 2 Tbs. butter. Brush the top of each loaf with the butter.
 

When cool enough to handle, remove the loaves from the pans.

Make Ahead Tips

To have freshly-baked loaves in the morning, make and shape the loaves the night before, cover them loosely with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, let them sit at room temperature for about 1 hour to finish their rise before baking.

The bread will keep in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Let the loaves cool completely before storing them.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 120; Fat (g): fat g 3; Fat Calories (kcal): 30; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 2; Protein (g): protein g 2; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 1; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 23; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 0; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 140; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 15; Fiber (g): fiber g 2;

Photo: Scott Phillips

Editor’s Note: We’re glad many of you have enjoyed this recipe. The amount of cinnamon is correct, but to clarify a bit: There are 6 Tbs. cinnamon total, for two loaves. Two Tbs. go into the dough; the remaining 4 Tbs. get divided between the filling for the two loaves, so the filling for each loaf has 2 Tbs. cinnamon total. Hope that helps.
 

I have not made this bread but have some suggestions on making it due to the problems reviewers have had. Always proof the yeast first in a small amount of water. 1/4th cup will do. If the dough is particularly heavy, mike the liquids and a cup or two of flour and allow to rise until bubbly. This creates a sponge and lightens the dough. Proceed with the recipe as written. Hope this helps and good luck. I intend to make this recipe.

I am a rookie, so please don't judge me harshly. I loved the taste of this bread, but ran into two problems. The dough did not come together until I added quite a bit of water. Even then, it was extremely thick and difficult to knead. It took almost 50 minutes for it to reach 190 degrees. The final product was dense and very dry. Does anyone have any thoughts on what I did wrong? Thank you.

Hey every1, this smells and tastes amazing. Mine didn't rise but im sure its my yeast (pretty old pack) and for the sugar and cinnamon amount I really think its just perfect.

Very unhappy with this recipe. Dough is very heavy and didn't rise in the 30 minute intervals. Didn't see cinnamon and sugar were divided, so all the cinnamon and sugar was in the dough. Way too much cinnamon. I didn't check internal temperature of bread while baking. Baked for 35 minutes and it looked done, but could have used a little more time. I think the birds will like it.

Pretty good bread. I didn't have as much cinnamon as was called for, so I added in some other spices (allspice, ground ginger, and cardamon) it was very fragrant and tasty.

FABULOUS, FABULOUS bread! I followed the recommendation of previous reviewers and adjusted the amount of cinnamon in the filling, though I left the amount of cinnamon in the dough the same. (I used the called-for 2 Tbsp. in the dough, and for the filling, I used 2 Tbsp. cinnamon and 6-8 Tbsp. sugar.) I can't rate the recipe as it is written, because I did adjust the amount of cinnamon, but as I adjusted it, my gosh - it is an absolutely incredible bread! It is moist and delicious, it rose just fine (and I used a 9" loaf pan). At first, 2 c. raisins looks like a ton - but it spreads out just right throughout the dough. I am not even a big fan of cinnamon raisin bread (my husband is, and I adore him, so I made it for him) and I quickly ate two warm pieces. I also made the recommended homemade butter, and though I couldn't tell a huge difference between it and purchased butter, it was certainly a nice touch. Husbands like that kind of thing. :) In all, with the recommended adjustments, it was a fabulous recipe and has already replaced my previous cinnamon bread recipe! I am a relatively novice breadbaker and had a perfectly easy time with this recipe.

Amazing recipe! I live in an extremely dry winter climate and I had to add a ton of extra water to make the dough pliable (I forgot to initially reduce the amount of flour). Usually when I do that the dough ends up being tough and dense but not so with this recipe. It was still perfect, delicious and not at all dense. I used the written amount of cinnamon and it was sooooo good, my whole family loved it. I think the people who complained about too much cinnamon either doubled the amount (like the editor's comment thinks they did) or they have no clue what cinnamon bread should taste like. I'll be making this recipe over and over again.

I agree with other reviewers, too much cinnamon! Plus, a very leaden bread. I tested my yeast beforehand and it was active, but the recipe as written didn't rise very much. Won't make again.

I made this bread today for the first time. I followed the recipe exactly but as one other poster said, it didn't rise much at all and I found it very heavy. I also checked it after about 25 min and found the internal temp only about 150. I put it back in until the required 190 but perhaps that's why it was so heavy. I'm going to try it again and go by the time more so than the temp. Other than that, very easy and is tasty slathered with butter.

I love the fact that the raisins and some cinnamon are incorporated directly into the dough. I do think that the filling is heavy on the cinnamon and that spice could be reduced by half and still create a heavenly cinnamon swirl bread. But, it's a fantastic recipe nonetheless. You can read my full review at: http://bit.ly/zG3nRD

This raisin bread recipe is fantastic! So much better than commercial raisin bread. Instead of making two loaves I made one big loaf and did not use all the cinnamon that was asked for because like everyone else I thought it was too much and it turned out perfect.

Well I am going to keep it real the recipe as written has way too much cinnamon. I am actually miffed I wasted flour/time on it and yet people are giving it 5 stars even if a.) They havent even made the recipe? or b.) They have reduced the cinnamon? Rate recipes as written

Sorry, I confess I didn't try this recipe yet. However after reading the reviews, I had to both thank reviewers and make a comment as well. After seeing the amount of cinnamon, I checked over @ Fleischmann's Yeast.....in their 2 pound machine made cinnamon-raisin bread they call for 2 tsp!!!!! I am always so thankful for other reviewers....I've avoided several mishaps from reading other's comments. Also, to the lady without an instant read....go get yourself one - they are VERY useful not only in bread baking, but also when frying/broiling a steak or chicken breast and don't want to use a leave in style. Good tool to have. ***UPDATE: So glad Fine Cooking has this feature! Just returned to get the recipe so I can make some tomorrow. BTW CINNAMONSPICE....you are quite welcome! It was pretty neat to see a thanks and especially by accident! Hope you were able to get the instant read! Also, thanks again to everyone who said to stick with all the cinnamon....I love it, but did not want to waste it with the current spice $$$ being so high. Will follow as directed!

What a fantastic bread! The texture was amazing and the flavor perfect! And easy! For you doubters on the cinnamon amount....I thought it was a lot of cinnamon sugar to go on the bread before rolling up so I didn't use quite all of it, and I definitely will the next time because it wasn't as sweet as I would have liked. But the flavor was great and we loved every bite. I did slice it and put two slices together in plastic wrap, then in freezer bags and put it away so we can have it at our fingertips when we want. I will be making more next weekend!!!

I too thought the amount of cinnamon might be a typo. I made the recipe exactly as written and although tasty, it is too much cinnamon...it does have a grainy mouthfeel. To modify I would try 2T. cinn in the filling...which would be generous. Besides that the recipe is easy and quite good.

Just had a slice drizzled with honey. My husband and I both loved it and may never eat store bought raisin bread again! This was my first time baking bread from scratch & it was actually easy to make. Followed recipe exactly as written, maybe a tad less cinnamon based on previous reviews. Already plan on making again next weekend.

I made this with the ingredients as listed and had no problem with the amount of cinnamon, however I think you could reduce it and still have a great tasting bread. The family loved it, the hardest part was waiting for it to cool enough to eat!

I thought at first the 6 Tbs. was a gaffe still I tried the recipe. It was way better than what I’m used to but nutria-delicious. Yum! Also try to site - skip on www.Everything-bread.com, you can find recipes that can help you master the craft.

I made this recipe as it was printed and it was delicious! I wouldn't change the cinnamon, although I like cinnamon! I have tried and made many cinnamon bread recipes and so far this is the best!

This was delicioius bread, loved by kids and adults alike! One of my daughters thought it was heavy on the cinnamon, while another enjoyed the recipe as-is. The bread toasts nicely. Though this recipe is easy to carry out, be aware that the multiple rise times increase the time needed. If you want it for breakfast, make it the day before. Also, I don't have what I would call an instand read thermometer, so after baking as directed for 30 minutes in my convection oven, I used my digital meat thermometer to check the temp. It read only 140 degrees, and the bread was perfectly done. So either I used a wrong type of thermometer, or the target temp is high. But not to worry, the directions for checking for doneness without a thermometer are just fine. / Update 1/3/12 I wanted to mention that the cinnamon flavor is most pronounced in the fresh-from-the-oven loaves. After standing for a day or two (yes, it keeps wonderfully wrapped in plastic wrap), the cinnamon flavor mellows. Having said that, if the cinnamon were reduced to teaspoons rather than tablespoons, the filling would be a sugar swirl rather than a cinnamon swirl. I think I'll try this recipe in the future reducing the cinnamon a slight bit to my taste, but I don't think I'll be cutting it in half. It's an interesting bread as is. Thanks, jackie2830, I think I'll get an instant read -- sounds useful!

I made this following the recipe to a "T". First, WAAAAY too much cinnamon! It made the bread very dark and the excess cinnamon was a bit off-tasting. Second, this has a much denser crust than other cinnamon raisin breads I've made. It was a bit heavy and did not rise as desirably as other recipes I've used. I may try this again with a LOT less cinnamon...probably adjusting from tablespoons to teaspoons. One plus, it does toast up very well and the taste improves with a good schmear of butter!

This is my grandchildren's favorite bread! As you know, Grandmas do anything for their grandkids, so I'm stocking up on raisins, rolling up my sleeves and baking!!!

I haven't made this yet ... just found the recipe, but will enjoy this on the weekend!

This made very tasty bread, but is that amount of cinnamon a typo?? I halved it and it was plenty? If you are using cinnamon that is even moderately fresh, 6 Tablespoons is a TON-- that's about 1/3 cup for 2 loaves of bread. Otherwise a good recipe. I substituted 1 cup whole wheat flour too.

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