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Cinnamon Swirl Bread



 Ever since I conquered my first loaf of perfect white bread I have been keen to branch out and try something else.  I wanted to really master the white loaf first.   I have made it every week for about a month now and it has turned out lovely each time.  Today was the day, I felt, for something completely different.

 
Back home I always loved the Cinnamon Swirl Raisin Bread you could buy at the shops.  I wondered if I could replicate it.  It was lovely with a cinnamon flavoured dough  . . .  studded with sticky raisins and then a swirl of cinnamon inside so that when you cut into it you got a nice cinnamon swirl through every slice.


 
I used the basic recipe for the perfect white bread but added some ground cinnamon, some vanilla and lots of raisins to the recipe.  As you can see it rose beautifully.


I tried not to overdo it with the raisins and they all stayed inside the loaf so we did not end up with any burnt raisins sticking out here and there.  I was happy about that.  When I was ready to shape it, I patted it out, spread it with butter, topped it with some brown sugar and cinnamon and rolled it up tightly.


I don't think that I actually needed the butter, the cinnamon and brown sugar would have probably worked well in any case.  But it did make the filling a bit gooey, which was nice also.  This is an almost to the end piece that you are looking at . . .


I can promise you it is a lot more swirled in the centre of the loaf than what you see here, and it is absolutely flipping gorgeous toasted!


*Cinnamon Swirl Bread*
Makes 2 loaves
(can be halved)
 
A riff on my favouite bread recipe stogged full of sticky raisins and a delicious cinnamon swirl.  Try it toasted for a real treat! 


4 1/2 tsp instant yeast (bread machine yeast)
178ml (3/4 cup) + 630ml (2 2/3 cups) warm water divided
50g white sugar (1/4 cup)
1 TBS salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 TBS unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into bits
9 (1.3kg) to 10 (1.4kg) cups strong flour (bread flour)
150g raisins (1 cup)
3 TBS melted butter, for brushing

For the swirl:
softened butter for spreading
200g soft light brown sugar ( 1 cup, packed)
2 tsp ground cinnamon


 
Dissolve the yeast in the 178ml (3/4 cup) of warm water, stirring.  Let sit for 5 minutes.  Add the remaining water, vanilla, 2 tsp ground cinnamon, sugar, salt, room temperature butter and 625g (5 cups) of the flour, and the raisins, stirring to combine.  Using a wooden spoon stir in the remainder of the flour a little bit at a time until the dough is soft and tacky, but not sticky.  Continue to knead until a soft ball of dough forms that clears the side of the bowl. This will take about 10 minutes.  Not a problem. Just put some music on that you love listening to and lose yourself in the music as you knead.  Shape into a smooth ball and place in a lightly greased bowl.  Cover with a clean tea towel and set aside in a warm draft free place for  45 minutes to 1 hour until the dough has doubled in size.  A finger inserted into the dough should leave a hole that doesn't fill back in.  Tip out onto a lightly floured surface.  Gently press all over to remove any air pockets. 

Divide the dough into two.  Pat each half into a 9 by 12 inch rectangle.   Spread each half with softened butter.  Mix together the brown sugar and cinnamon.  Sprinkle half over each loaf, leaving a border around the edges. Working from the short edge, roll tightly into a cylinder.  Pinch any seams shut and tuck in the ends.  Generously grease two  9 by 5 inch loaf tins.  Place the cylinders of dough into them seam side down.  Cover loosely and place into a draft free place to rise, once again until doubled in size.  30 to 45 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 200*C/400*F/ gas mark 6.  Place the oven rack to its lowest position in the oven. 
Brush the loaves with some melted butter.  Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, rotating it halfway through the bake time until the loaves are golden brown all over and the bottom sounds hollow when lightly tapped.  Let stand for 10 minutes, tip out onto a wire rack and turn right side up, brush with the remaining melted butter and allow to cool completely before slicing.  Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days.  Alternately it can be frozen for up to one month.


I am really enjoying this bread baking learning curve I am on. I was quite pleased with the results of this experiment, although I probably could have rolled it a bit tighter I think, but no matter . . .  it tasted fabulous!  Bon Appetit!
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Marie Rayner
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