Here’s The One Bread That I Allow Raisins To Be In

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By Alex Chung
Writer for Pro Home Cooks

raisin bread cross section

There are two people in this world. One that loathes raisins and one that loves them and to be completely honest, I absolutely despise raisins. I would rather have a grape and so help me if I see a raisin in my rice. I believe that raisins are only allowed to be in two things. One is an oatmeal cookie and the other is cinnamon raisin bread. Anything else is blasphemy. All this results in my being immensely picky about my cinnamon raisin bread.

With cinnamon raisin bread, there’s harmony that exists between cinnamon & raisin. They help each other out. The warm welcoming cinnamon is sweetened up by chewy raisin but not just any raisin will do for me. My preferred raisins are actually golden raisins. They are softer, chewier, sweeter and juicier than a typical thompson raisin so if you can find them I would totally recommend using them. I did a mixture of the two just to get a nice mix of color & texture.

The really awesome thing about cinnamon swirl raisin bread is the technique behind it. It’s different from other breads because you really want a balance of flavor. Nothing overwhelming, nothing too sweet, not too many raisins, and please please please let that swirl be swirly. In order to produce what I think is the best cinnamon raisin bread, I mixed in some whole wheat flour to the dough, used an egg wash to act as a glue to keep my cinnamon mixture from breaking up the tight swirl, and I kept my raisin amount below a cup.

Cinnamon Swirled Raisin Bread

Ingredients:

  • 1 cups of milk or 240g 
  • 2 tablespoons or 30 grams of water
  • 2 teaspoons or 7g of rapid rise yeast
  • ⅓ cup or 67g of sugar 
  • 3 – 3 ¼ cups or 360- 400 grams  of flour*  
  • Pinch of salt 
  • ⅔  cup or 110 grams of raisins (thompson or golden raisins work well) 
  • 3 tablespoon of butter

Cinnamon Mix & Finishing Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons of cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoons of all purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon of butter, to finish 

 

Instructions:

  1. Line a 8×4 inch loaf pan with parchment paper or grease the pan with butter.
  2. In a large bowl combine the milk, water, yeast, and sugar. Give it a good stir to combine everything.
  3. Sift in 3 cups of flour, ⅔ cup of raisins, 1 teaspoon of salt. Knead until a dough forms. If the dough is too dry, you can use a 1-2 tablespoon at a time. 
  4. Next, knead in 3 tablespoons of butter until the butter has been absorbed and then let the dough rest for 1 – 2 hours or until it doubles in size.
  5. In the meantime, Mix together the cinnamon and flour. Set aside. 
  6. Punch down the dough and shape into a 8 x 8 inch square. 
  7. Brush the bread with egg wash and sprinkle over the cinnamon mixture. Lastly, spray some water right on top of the cinnamon mixture. This will help give you a tight swirl. 
  8. Then starting from the shorter end, tightly roll the loaf closed. As you roll it closed, pull back at the same time. This backward tension is the secret to success — it gives the dough a tight swirl.
  9. Place the loaf into a greased 8×4 inch pan and let them proof for about 45 minutes to 1 hour or until they have doubled in size again.
  10. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and give the loaf a quick egg wash.
  11. Bake them for 20-25 minutes. Then lower the oven to 350 and bake for another 20 minutes or until golden brown. 
  12. Once they come out of the oven, brush them with a little bit of butter! Let cool until warm. 

Notes:


Straight up… don’t soak the raisins. I feel like someone out there will want to soak the raisins in some liquid. Whether it be for more flavor or because you have dry ass raisins. My tip to you is go buy new raisins or use an extract in the dough to impart more flavor. The reason being that extra water content will mess the dough up. It wont have structure and will be a nightmare to work with but worse it wont cook up properly.

¾ cup of raisin is the most you want to put into the dough. I think its plenty and anymore would make the dough too sweet. However, if you like less raisin in your bread you can lower it down to ½ a cup. It’s really your preference on how much raisins you want in your bread.

I ended up using a total of 400 grams of flour. I used a combination of 340 gram of bread flour & 60 grams of whole wheat flour. I like what a little bit of whole wheat flour does to the color and flavor of the final dough. However, you can use less or more whole wheat flour to your discretion.

Rolling the raisin bread tightly is very important because it ensures that your cinnamon swirl doesn’t get gaps in between each layer. The way that I do it is to roll the dough like usual but with each roll I pull the dough back a bit. Not enough to tear the dough or break the gluten structure but just enough that it creates tension.

You might have noticed that I used an egg wash on the dough before I sprinkle on cinnamon sugar. Well, good eye! I use an egg instead of the typical melted butter because egg will act as a glue whereas butter will act as a divider between the layers of dough. This is the second insurance I take to make sure that when I cut into this bread that the swirl WILL be there.

I love an egg wash and finishing butter combination. I give the first egg wash 15 minutes before it goes into the oven and then I give another egg wash right before it goes into the oven. A double egg wash is my way to go because I love a dark golden brown bread baby. A little brush of butter once it comes out and it’s a glistening dark golden brown bread baby.

By Alex Chung
Senior Food Writer at Pro Home Cooks
2 COMMENTS
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  1. anne-3 says:
    anne-3

    You omitted the sugar in the ingredient list for the cinnamon-sugar mixture.

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