It’s already more than a week into 2018! Do you have any new year’s resolutions?
In the past, I’ve never really set resolutions, but this year, I’ve set some general goals for myself.
Now that I have kids, I’ve realized that I need to work at carving out time for self-care. And self-care to me means doing the things that I want to do, bringing joy to myself. One of those things is learning to play the guitar. Before having kids, I bought an electric guitar on a whim, and taught myself to play some chords, but never focused long enough on learning it properly. Some of you may not know that I trained in classical piano for many years during my childhood, so while the guitar is a musical instrument, it’s a little different than what I learnt in piano.
Some other things I want to work on in 2018 are my honing in on my food photography, being more present with my kids, trying more ambitious recipes that require more skill, connecting with more creative cooks/foodies, and lastly, do more yoga.
Speaking of more ambitious recipes… I recently had cinnamon raisin bread from a commercial bakery and was disappointed at how bland it tasted. Not enough cinnamon, or raisins, and the flavour of the bread was one-dimensional.
Cinnamon raisin bread was one of those novelty items I remember having it once or twice as a child — and to me, it was such a treat. Looking back now, it’s just really bread with some raisins and cinnamon. But the scent of the cinnamon and biting into the little pops of sweetness from the raisins made eating it just that much more special.
For 2018, I want to spice up my baking repertoire. In the 2-3 years I’ve been baking, I’ve dabbled with different types of bread: French baguette, sandwich bread, even a coconut swirl bread, but I never attempted a cinnamon raisin one, oddly enough.
For this bread, I used King Arthur Flour’s recipe and it turned out great. (As most of their recipes are!) I tweaked it by adding an egg to the dough to give it a slight brioche take on it.
Soft and tender fresh out of the oven, and perfectly golden brown, this cinnamon raisin swirl bread will instantaneously kick up your regular sandwich bread. Have it toasted with a slab of butter, or some Earl Grey Milk Jam and say HELLO BREAKFAST! If you love bread and cinnamon, you may also enjoy my Cinnamon Pumpkin Rolls.
Let me know if you make this cinnamon raisin swirl loaf! Tag me on Instagram @siftandsimmer or leave me a comment! Happy baking!
Cinnamon Raisin Bread
Yield: 1 x 8.5″ by 4.5″ loaf
3 C AP flour
2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
3 T sugar
3 T oil
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg, beaten
3/4 C warm milk
1/4 C raisins
2 T brown sugar
1 T cinnamon
1 tsp oil or melted butter to brush over top the dough
In a bowl, add 1 T sugar, 1/2 C warm milk and active dry yeast. Let sit to activate the yeast.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour, salt, 2 T sugar, 3 T oil, remaining 1/4 C milk and egg. Turn the mixer on and add the activated bubbly yeast into the flour mixture.
Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, which will take approximately 7 minutes in the stand mixer. If the dough appears too dry, add in 1 T of water at a time. If it’s too wet, add a little flour at a time. Keep in mind that adding more flour will result in a drier and denser loaf.
Lightly grease a large glass bowl and place the dough into the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and place it in a warm area to let double in bulk.
While the dough is rising, prepare the filling. In a small bowl, add raisins, sugar, and cinnamon and mix together. Set aside.
When the dough has doubled in size and is quite puffy, remove it from the bowl and transfer it to a clean work surface. With a rolling pin, roll it into a 6″ by 20″ rectangle.
Brush the top of the dough with melted butter/oil and sprinkle the cinnamon raisin filling evenly.
With the short end facing you, roll the dough into a log, like a jelly roll. Pinch the seams and place it seam side down into a parchment lined loaf pan.
Cover the loaf with plastic wrap and let it rise for another hour, until the dough has risen past the top by about 1 inch.
Preheat the oven to 350F and remove the plastic wrap. Bake for 40-45 minutes, and lightly cover with aluminium foil after 15 minutes have elapsed. Bread will be done once it has reached 190F on an instant-read thermometer.
Remove loaf from the oven, remove from pan and let cool on a wire rack. Let the cinnamon raisin bread cool completely before slicing.
Serve warm with a slab of butter, or sliced bread can be frozen for up to 2 months in an airtight container.
Recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour.