Whole wheat cinnamon raisin bread
Holiday aromas vary from home to home, but one of the most enticing fragrances associated with the season is cinnamon. As it wafts through the house, mouths start to water and everyone weighs in on what treat is making them heady and hungry.
Whole wheat cinnamon bread is the perfect way to start the day, whether your plans include a day of shopping, picking out a tree or sled riding. It’s healthy and hearty, and it will keep your energy levels high for whatever the day has in store.
Whole wheat cinnamon raisin bread
Makes 2 loaves (Freeze one for later... if you can salvage it before the family gets to it!)
- 2 cups bread flour, plus a little extra for dusting and rolling
- 2 cups whole-wheat flour
- 1/4 cup nonfat dry milk
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons canola oil, plus more for brushing the bread tops
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1-1/2 teaspoons instant dry yeast
- Cooking spray
- 2/3 cup raisins
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
- Heat 1-1/4 cups water in the microwave or on the stove top to 120-130 degrees F. You can use an instant-read thermometer to check the temperature.
- Combine the bread flour, whole wheat flour, dry milk, egg, canola oil, honey, salt, yeast and water in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook.
- If you don't have a dough hook, use the flat beater and mix well on the lowest setting for 3 minutes and then knead by hand.
- If using a dough hook, mix 3 minutes on the lowest setting. Increase the speed to the next highest setting and mix 5 more minutes.
- When the dough is soft and sticky (but manageable), place it into a large bowl that has the inside coated with cooking spray.
- Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let it rise undisturbed until it has almost doubled in size, around 1 hour and 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, soak the raisins in boiling water for about 30 minutes until they're plump and pliable. You can do this in the microwave or on the stove top. Drain well and set aside.
- Spray the inside of two 9 x 5-inch loaf pans.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly-floured board or counter. Punch it down to remove the air bubbles and divide in half.
- Roll each half into an 8-inch square. The squares don’t have to be perfect but come as close as possible.
- Brush each dough square with canola oil and evenly top each with cinnamon, brown sugar and raisins.
- Roll each square tightly into a cylinder, taking care to keep the filling inside the dough. Pinch the seams closed and place one loaf into each pan, seam side down.
- Tightly cover each loaf pan with plastic wrap and place in a warm (not hot), draft-free place to rise again.
- When the dough rises and fills the pan (about 1 hour and 30 minutes), gently brush the tops with canola oil.
- While the dough rises, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and place the oven racks in the center position.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the tops of the loaves are golden brown.
- Remove the loaves from the pan and let them cool on racks before slicing.
- If you can find Makara cinnamon, use it. It has the best aroma and flavor.
- To make the plastic wrap adhere tightly to the outside of the bowl and loaf pans during rising, lightly moisten the outside of the container.
- Besides toast, whole wheat cinnamon bread is great for sandwiches either at room temperature or grilled... try some leftover turkey or ham for a sensational taste experience.
What's your favorite topping for cinnamon raisin bread? Share in the comments below!