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Monday, February 24, 2014

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Bread

cinnamon raisin bread
Whole Wheat Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Bread
Oh goodness. Where do I even begin with this bread? It will forever be known as the McLaury family obsession of January 2014. Cinnamon raisin bread is one of my all-time favorites and yet I rarely buy it. To be honest, if I'm making toast at home, I'm toasting frozen waffles and slathering them with peanut butter & jelly. 
Pin Itwhole wheat bread
Still, I've been wanting to make homemade cinnamon raisin bread for forever and now that I've done it, I can't go back. The recipe makes two loaves. Loaf #1 was gone in less than forty-eight hours. I forced us to slow down our consumption and loaf #2 maaaaybe took seventy-two before it was nothing but a memory. 
homemade bread
At this point we were full on obsessed and before I knew it, Loaves #3 and #4 were in the oven. I wisely froze Loaf #4 to pull out on a day when the craving was particularly strong, but Loaf #3 was savored over breakfast for a few days! 

As far as homemade bread goes, this is certainly not as easy as a quickbread, but it isn't difficult at all. Most of the time is hands-off while the bread is rising and if you have a stand mixer, the kneading is done for you. The most difficult part is tightly rolling the bread up, but if you've ever made homemade cinnamon rolls you already have this skill mastered.
homemade bread
Toasted with butter, I'll definitely take this over my pb & j waffles! Even if you decide to skip the cinnamon raisin swirl, give the base bread recipe a try. It is the ideal bread in terms of taste and texture, and you'd never know it was whole wheat!

One Year Ago: Banana Coconut Mini Loaves
Two Years Ago: Reese's Fudge Pie and Almond & Coconut Macaroon Granola 
Three Years Ago: Slow Cooker Spicy Vegetable & Chicken Sausage Stew and Blueberry Sour Cream Coffee Cake 
Four Years Ago: Peanut Butter Chip Brownies 

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Bread
slightly adapted from Ellie Krieger - Food Network

-1 cup bread flour
-1 cup all purpose flour (or use 2 cups bread flour)
-2 cups whole-wheat flour
-1/4 cup nonfat dry milk powder
-1 1/4 cups water
-1 large egg
-2 tbsp canola oil
-3 tbsp honey
-2 tsp salt
-1 package fast-acting yeast
-2/3 cup raisins
-1 tbsp cinnamon
-1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar

1. Measure water in a glass measuring cup and heat in microwave for 1 minute. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine flours, dry milk, egg, canola oil, honey, salt, yeast, and water. Mix with the dough hook for 3 minutes on low, then increase speed to medium and mix for 5 more minutes.
2. Transfer dough to a large bowl coated with cooking spray. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and allow to rise at room temperature, for 1 hr 30 minutes or until dough has doubled in size.
3. Soak the raisins in boiling water for 30 minutes or until plump. Drain and pat dry. Set aside.
4. Once dough has risen, transfer to a floured work surface. Per Ellie's instructions: "Picture it as a loose square. Lift up one side of the dough and fold about 1/3 of it across. Press down on the dough to remove any air bubbles. Repeat with remaining 3 sides of the dough."
5. Grease two 9 x 5-inch bread pans with cooking spray and set aside. Divide dough in half and roll each half into an 8-inch square. Brush each square with canola oil, then sprinkle with cinnamon, brown sugar, and raisins.
6. Roll up each square of dough into a tight cylinder and place seam-side down in prepared pans. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 1 hour and 30 minutes.
7. Preheat oven to 375F. Bake bread for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown. Remove bread from pans and allow to cool completely on wire racks. Store wrapped in plastic wrap and ziploc bags at room temperature.