With only a handful of ingredients, this rustic cinnamon raisin bread makes for an easy breakfast delight.
I find this bread recipe fills your kitchen with the aromas of your grandma's house on a cold, snowy winter morning. The limited ingredients featured in this recipe likely reside in your fridge and pantry right now.
It's a real upgrade from the breads you can buy at the store! However, it remains easy enough for anyone to make with confidence.
Notes of cinnamon, raisins and light brown sugar partner perfectly with your favorite brewed coffee or hot tea. Savor the moment with a hot or toasted slice of bread. A plentiful pat of melted butter adds that extra spark of flavor.
Why this recipe works
- I utilize the power of cornstarch. When cornstarch combines with flour, it softens the proteins, which results in a light and chewy baked good. Yum!
- It is all in the mist. Misting the dough with water provides the moisture necessary to limit cracking. Additionally, the misting process creates that angelic, golden brown glow we all love on the crust.
- Using a thermometer to check the temperature of the milk in the recipe prevents the yeast from dying off. When the yeast fails to flourish, the bread will not rise.
Cinnamon raisin bread recipe
The beauty of this recipe is you probably already have the ingredients in your home. There are no rare or unique ingredients. You won't have to worry about something only getting used once or taking up space on your shelves.
I find accessible ingredients are typically more budget friendly. Of course, this helps you provide quality, homemade comfort foods to your family.
You'll find that not many bread recipes will utilize cornstarch like this one. I learned the secret of cornstarch in baked goods from one of my favorite shows, America's Test Kitchen. When cornstarch and flour combine, it softens the proteins resulting in a light and chewy bread.
- Flour: I prefer bread flour for this recipe, but you can use all-purpose flour if that's what's in your pantry. However, it may cause the dough to feel softer and the swirls may separate.
- Sugar: You'll want to use light brown sugar for this recipe. It adds sweetness and depth to the flavor of the bread. However, if you are out of light brown sugar, you can create a similar mixture. Combine 1 cup of granulated sugar and 1 tablespoon of molasses.
- Cinnamon: As a strong spice, cinnamon adds a bittersweet, woody flavor to the bread. You could substitute with allspice, pumpkin pie spice, apple pie spice or nutmeg to achieve a similar flavor. You may need to use less nutmeg since the flavor can become quite potent.
- Yeast: Instant yeast works best with this recipe. Yeast causes the bread to rise by releasing carbon dioxide.
- Milk: The fat content in the whole milk gives this recipe a notable richness. You could use a milk alternative like almond milk, soy milk, or oat milk. Keep in mind this will have a slight effect on texture and flavor.
- Egg: The egg inside the dough adds richness and acts as a binding agent.
- Vanilla: Smooth sweetness flows from the vanilla extract and into the recipe.
- Butter: The fat content of butter acts enriches the dough similarly to the eggs. This makes it fluffy and light.
- Raisins: Make sure to soak your raisins as indicated in the recipe. Doing so softens the raisins and increases their juiciness. Dried cranberries or other dried fruit can be an alternative to raisins.
- Mixer: Channel your inner Betty Crocker and grab your favorite stand mixer! You'll need the paddle attachment and the dough hook to effectively make this bread recipe.
- Loaf Pan: Make sure to prepare your loaf pan with butter. Otherwise, line it to prevent the loaf from sticking to the pan.
How to make cinnamon raisin bread
Homemade breads are just the best! This simple-ingredient bread recipe takes minimal effort when broken down into three main tasks.
The Filling - Simply, mix together the light brown sugar and the cinnamon. Set it aside for later.
The Bread Dough - Soak those delicious raisins, then set aside. Mix the yeast, then set aside. Utilize your stand mixer to mix ingredients and knead the dough. Mix the raisins in last.
Let rise, then roll it out. Put the filling in and roll it up like a log.
The Oven - Place rolled dough in the prepared pan. Let rise. When the cinnamon raisin bread is ready to bake, lightly mist with water.
Remove from oven upon reaching 190°F. Finally, let the bread sit in the pan for a while, remove and enjoy!
Step 1: Make the filling
First, combine sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Set it aside for later.
Step 2: Soak the raisins
Next, in a small saucepan, boil 2 cups of water. Remove the pan from the heat and add in your raisins. Leave the raisins in the water for 3-5 minutes. After that time, drain them well and set aside.
Step 3: Make the dough
Now that the raisins are prepared, warm your milk. Then, stir in the yeast and set aside.
Find your paddle attachment, and then, fit it into your stand mixer. Add the flour, cornstarch, sugar and salt. With mixer on low speed, mix until well blended or about 1 minute.
Then, add the yeast mixture, egg and vanilla. Continue to mix on low speed until well blended.
Now, it's time to change attachments. Put the dough hook on the mixer and knead on medium speed until the dough reaches 75°F.
Slowly add in the butter and continue kneading until the dough is fully developed. This means it should pass the windowpane test.
Next, place plastic wrap over your bowl. Place in a warm environment until it has doubled in size. This usually takes 45-60 minutes.
After the dough has doubled in size, punch it down and shape into a ball. Then, place plastic wrap over the bowl. Allow it to rest for 5 minutes.
Step 4: Shape the dough
After the cinnamon raisin bread dough has rested, preheat your oven to 375°F. To prevent sticking, prepare the loaf pan with generous amounts of butter or line with parchment paper.
Let's roll! Create a 10x6 rectangle by rolling out the dough. Take the beaten egg and brush it on the top of the rolled out dough. Then, sprinkle evenly with the cinnamon and sugar mixture you set aside earlier.
Now, start with the short end and tightly roll the dough into a log. You will need to pinch the seam closed.
Then, place the loaf, seam side down, in your loaf pan. After that, cover it loosely with plastic wrap. Let it rise in a warm environment. This will take approximately 45 minutes or until you notice the loaf has increased in volume by 75%.
Step 5: Bake
Finally, lightly spritz the top of the loaf with water. Put your loaf in the oven. Then, bake for 30-35 minutes or until browned and internal temperature reaches 190oF. If your bread appears to be browning too quickly, intervene by putting aluminum foil over the loaf.
Then, allow the loaf to cool in the pan for 30 minutes. After that, transfer your loaf to a wire rack where it can cool completely.
Tips for success
- Avoid over baking the cinnamon raisin bread! Have your favorite instant-read thermometer handy to check the internal temperature of the bread. Once it reaches 190°F, the bread is ready to come out of the oven.
- Prepare your loaf pan. Of course, you do not want to be fighting a stuck loaf. Remember to generously butter or line your loaf pan.
- Properly measure the flour by using the spoon and level method or by weighing it. Accidentally using too much flour will cause the bread to be dense and dry.
Storing & Freezing
To store: Once completely cooled, store in a bread box or other vented container. Bread may be stored in this manner at room temperature for up to 4 days.
To Freeze: First, slice the bread. Then, store slices in a zip-top bag for up to 1 month in a freezer. As a result, you can thaw individual slices as you need them. This is perfect for an impatient toddler or just a kid at heart!