Homemade cinnamon-raisin swirl bread

This beautiful cinnamon raisin swirl bread is a treat for all the senses!

Homemade cinnamon-raisin swirl bread

Bread recipe

Makes two loaves

  • 30 ml (2 tbsp) sugar
  • 250 ml (1 c) lukewarm whole or 2% milk (40°C to 46°C/105°F to 115°F)
  • 2 packets (8 g/1/4 oz) active dry yeast
  • 550 ml (2 1/4 c) lukewarm water (40°C to 46°C/105°F to 115°F)
  • 75 ml (5 tbsp) butter or ­margarine, melted
  • 10 ml (2 tsp) salt
  • 1.5 to 1.65 kg (6 to 6 1/2 c) all-purpose flour
  • 250 g (1 c) dark seedless raisins, soaked in hot water 15 to 30 minutes, drained wellCinnamon swirl filling
  • 45 ml (3 tbsp) butter or margarine, melted
  • 125 g (1/2 c) sugar
  • 15 ml (1 tbsp) ground cinnamonIcing
  • 500 g (2 c) sifted confectioner's sugar
  • 30 ml (2 tbsp) water1. In a large bowl, combine 15 millilitres (one teaspoon) sugar with the milk and yeast. Stir until the solids are dissolved. Let stand until the mixture bubbles, five to 10 minutes. In a medium bowl, combine 275 millilitres (1 1/4 cups) warm water, 60 millilitres (four tablespoons) butter, the salt and the remaining 25 millilitres (five teaspoons) sugar. Stir the butter mixture into the yeast mixture.

    2. Beat in the flour, 250 grams (one cup) at a time, until a soft dough forms. Continue to beat at moderate speed until the dough is elastic, seven to eight minutes. If mixing by hand, knead on a floured work surface for eight to 10 minutes.

    3. Pour the final 15 millilitres (one tablespoon) melted butter into a five litre (20 cup) bowl. Shape dough into a ball and place it in the prepared bowl, turning it until its surface is completely coated. Cover the bowl with a cloth and set in a warm, draft-free place until the dough doubles in size, about one hour.

    4. Lightly butter two 23 x 12 x 7.5-centimetre (nine x five x three-inch) loaf pans. Lightly flour a work surface. Punch down the dough and turn out onto the work surface. Knead the dough gently for two minutes. Divide the dough in half, cover and let rest for five to 10 minutes. Working with a half at a time and using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a 23 x 38-centimetre (nine x 15-inch) rectangle. Sprinkle 125 grams (1/2 cup) of the raisins over each portion of the dough and gently knead until the raisins are evenly distributed. Cover the dough and let rest for 10 minutes.

    5. Prepare the filling: In a small bowl, combine 30 millilitres (two tablespoons) butter, the sugar and cinnamon; stir until the ingredients are well blended. Using a rolling pin on a floured surface, again roll each dough half into a 23 x 38-cm (nine x 15-inch) rectangle. Spread each half with half of the filling. Beginning on a short side, roll up the dough, jelly-roll-fashion, to make a loaf; repeat with the remaining half. Place each loaf, seam side down, in a prepared pan, cover with a cloth and let rise for one hour.

    6. Preheat the oven to 205°C (400°F). Brush the tops of the loaves with the remaining 15 millilitres (one tablespoon) of butter. Bake until the bread is brown and sounds hollow when tapped, 35 to 40 minutes. Remove the pans to wire racks and let the bread cool for 10 minutes. Using a knife, loosen the edges of the bread from the sides of the pans, turn out the bread and set on wire racks to cool.

    7. Prepare the icing: In a small bowl, combine the confectioner's sugar and water, and stir until the icing is smooth. Brush, pour or drizzle over the cooled loaves.

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