For me, many mornings for breakfast are nothing more than a cup of coffee and a piece of fruit, but occasionally I also love to have a piece of toast along with it. It does not matter to me if it is an English muffin, a bagel, a roll or a piece of any kind of bread, I just really like to have a piece of toast, particularly with an egg, for breakfast. Ever since I was a kid I always really enjoyed cinnamon raisin bread as a piece of toast. That warm bread with the warm, plumped up raisins and the hint of cinnamon across the bread just smells great while it is toasting and tastes even better with a little bit of soft butter on it. This made me want to try to make my own cinnamon raisin bread so we could have some for Christmas morning this year after we opened presents. I found this recipe from Williams-Sonoma and it seemed to fit everything perfectly, so I gave it a try.
Cinnamon-Raisin-Swirl Breakfast Loaf
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature, plus 2 tablespoons melted butter for brushing
1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) quick-rise yeast
3 cups bread flour, or as needed
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 cup raisins
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine 1/2 cup of cold water, the milk, 1/4 cup of the sugar, the 4 tablespoons of room temperature butter and the yeast. Add 2 1/2 cups of the bread flour and the salt. With the mixer on medium-low speed, add enough of the remaining to make a soft dough that does not stick to the bowl. Remove the paddle attachment and fit the stand mixer with the dough hook attachment. Knead the dough on medium-low speed, adding more flour if needed, until the dough is smooth but soft, about 6 to 7 minutes. Shape the dough into a ball.
Lightly butter a large bowl and add the dough and turn to coat it with the butter. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise in a warm spot until it doubles in bulk, about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours.
Lightly butter a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan. Punch down the dough and turn it out onto a floured work surface. Dust the top of the dough with flour. Roll out the dough into a 9-inch square. In a small bowl, mix together the cinnamon, the raisins and the remaining 1/4 cup of the sugar. Sprinkle the cinnamon mixture evenly over the dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border around all sides. Roll up the dough into a log and pinch the seam to seal it. Transfer the dough to the loaf pan, seam side, and lightly press the top of the dough to evenly fill the pan. Loosely cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough stand in a warm spot until the dough rises to the top of the pan, about 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Brush the loaf gently with the melted butter. bake the bread until the top of the loaf is golden brown and the bottom, when the loaf is carefully removed from the pan, sounds hollow when rapped on the bottom with your knuckles, about 35 to 40 minutes. Transfer the loaf to a wire rack and allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Invert the loaf onto the rack, then invert it again and let it cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing.
The bread came out perfectly and let it sit overnight, wrapped, before slicing it on Christmas morning and it sliced perfectly. There was a nice swirl throughout the bread and the bread had great chew and texture with a nice crust. Of course, the true test for me was when it was toasted and it was perfect. I loved the smell of the bread as it was baking in the oven, but it seemed even better in the toaster and made great toast for Christmas morning. I would make this bread any time as it was pretty easy to do and turned out a great loaf.
That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!