Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Cinnamon Swirl Bread

I had a craving for some good cinnamon raisin bread, so I turned to my King Arthur Flour cookbook for their recipe.  They had several neat tips for a successful loaf, which worked quite well.  This loaf was so delicious - and it has streusel.  Nuff said.


3 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/3 cup potato flakes
1/4 cup Dry Milk
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup water

1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 cup raisins
2 teaspoons King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
Egg wash, made from 1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water

2 tablespoons butter (room temperature, not melted)
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

For the dough:
In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the dough ingredients, mixing till the dough begins to come away from the sides of the bowl. Knead (about 10 minutes by hand, 5 minutes by machine) until the dough is smooth and satiny. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and set it aside to rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours; it'll be puffy, if not doubled in bulk.

For the filling:
Pulse filling ingredients expect the egg wash in a food processor. (I used my Magic Bullet!) :)
Tip: this makes the raisins smaller and the bread will be easier to slice cleanly.

To Assemble:
Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled work surface, and shape it into a long, narrow rectangle, about 16 x 8 inches. Brush the dough with some of the egg wash (set the rest aside in the fridge) and pat the filling gently onto the dough. Beginning with a short edge, roll the dough into a log. Pinch the side seam and ends closed (to keep the filling from bubbling out), and place the log in a lightly greased 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan.
Tip: Use an egg wash instead of melted butter for the filling. The fat in the butter prevents the rolled up dough from cohering and gives you a bread that unravels when you cut it. The egg will act as glue to keep the bread together.

Cover the pan with lightly greased plastic wrap or a dough-rising cover, and allow the bread to rise for about 1 hour at room temperature, or until it's crowned about 1 inch over the rim of the pan.

For the topping:
In a small bowl or mini processor, combine the streusel ingredients, cutting in the butter until the mixture is crumbly. If you're using a mini processor, watch carefully; streusel will go from crumbly to a cohesive mass in just a second or so. Brush the loaf with some (or all) of the remaining beaten egg, and gently press on the streusel.

Bake the bread in a preheated 350°F oven for about 45 minutes, tenting the loaf lightly with aluminum foil for the final 15 minutes or so if it appears to be browning too quickly. Remove the loaf from the oven, and after about 5 minutes, gently remove it from the pan.

Tip: To remove the bread from the pan, run a knife around the edges, and place the aluminum foil back on the top. Then tip the loaf on it's side and, holding the foil on top to keep the topping in place, gently ease it from the pan and onto a wire rack to cool.

Yield: 1 loaf.

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