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Saturday, September 16, 2017

Cinnamon Raisin Bread

Prep time:  20 mins Cook time:  3 hours 40 mins Total time:  4 hours
Serves: 3 loaves

1½ cups milk
1 cup warm water (between 110-115 degrees)
5 teaspoons active dry yeast
3 eggs
½ cup white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup raisins
9 cups all-purpose flour + more for kneading
2 tablespoons milk
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter, melted (approx.)
3 9x5 inch loaf pans

Warm milk (in the microwave or stovetop) to a luke-warm temperature (120-125 degrees F).
Dissolve yeast in warm water and set aside until yeast is frothy, about 10 minutes or so.
In the bowl of your stand mixer (or a large bowl) add in eggs, sugar, butter salt and raisins. Next, add room temperature/warm milk. Mix slowly to combine. Add water/yeast mixture. Mix slowly to combine.
Add the flour gradually to make a dough.
On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough for a few minutes until smooth. I usually finish my dough on the counter since my stand mixer is not a huge one and it tends to overfill. Depending on the time of the year, my dough might need closer to 9 cups. For this reason, I add 8 cups to the bowl and slowly add as I need it while kneading the dough.
Place dough in a large, buttered, mixing bowl and turn to grease the surface of the dough.
Cover with a warm, damp cloth and let rise. I usually turn my oven on for a couple of minutes while I am mixing the ingredients, turn oven off and let my dough rise in there. It's warm enough but not hot that it will cook it.
Allow to rise until doubled, usually about 1½ hours.
Roll out on a lightly floured surface into a large rectangle ½ inch thick.
Moisten the dough with 2 tablespoons milk and rub all over the dough with your hands.
Mix together 1 cup of sugar and 3 tablespoons cinnamon and sprinkle mixture evenly on top of the moistened dough.
Roll up tightly (the long way). The roll should be about 3 inches in diameter.
Cut into thirds, and tuck under ends and pinch bottom together.
Place loaves into 3 well greased 9 x 5 inch pans and lightly grease tops of loaves with the melted butter.
Let rise in warm place, uncovered, again for about an hour.
Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until loaves are lightly browned and sound hollow when tapped.
Remove from oven and let cool on rack. Take melted butter and spread over tops of loaves (totally optional).
After about 20 minutes, lay loaves on their sides and remove from pans. Allow loaves to cool before slicing.
I bake all 3 loaves at once, cool and slice. I freeze 2 of them for later use.
Whole wheat option: no more than 3 cups of all purpose flour can be swapped for whole wheat without getting a more dense loaf.

Don't have 3 9x5 pans? you can use a 9-inch round pan and make a rounded bread too. Make sure it rises in that pan.

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