cinnamon raisin walnut bread

I love cinnamon-raisin bread, especially in the form of toast, smeared with butter.  When it's in the toaster you can smell it all throughout the house, and you know you're in for a treat.  I had been eyeing this recipe up for a while, so I finally gave it a go on Friday.  Let me tell you, the smell of cinnamon-raisin bread baking is even better than the smell of toast.  In fact, you should make this bread just so your house smells delicious.  

Cinnamon Raisin Walnut Bread

  • 3 1/2 cups (16 oz.) bread flour
  • 4 tsp sugar
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp instant yeast
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tbsp melted butter, slightly cooled
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup water, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups (9 oz.) raisins
  • 1 cup (4 oz.) chopped walnuts
  • 1/ 2 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp cinnamon

This recipe makes 2 loaves

Add the flour, sugar, salt, yeast and cinnamon to the bowl of the stand mixer and stir together with the paddle attachment at low speed.  Add the egg, butter, buttermilk and water and mix at low speed until the dough comes together into a ball.  Add more flour or water if the dough seems too sticky or stiff.

Switch to the dough-hook attachment and knead with the mixer on the lowest speed for 8 minutes (or by hand for 10 minutes).  The dough should be should be soft and tacky, but not sticky, so add more flour if necessary.  Add the walnuts and raisins to the mixer and mix for another 2 minutes.  Turn the dough out onto the counter and knead by hand to evenly distribute the walnuts and raisins.

Put the dough into a large lightly oiled bowl, then turn the dough to coat the dough and cover it lightly with plastic wrap.  Allow the dough to rise in a warm place for 2 hours, or until the dough has doubled in size.

Divide the dough in half.  Pat each half into a rectangle about 5" by 8".  Mix the 1/2 cup sugar with the 2 tbsp. cinnamon, then sprinkle half of the mixture over the dough.  Roll the dough (starting from the small side of the rectangle) then pinch the seam closed.  Try to make sure the loaf is the same thickness all the way through.  

Put the formed loaves into greased loaf pans.  Allow the dough to proof at room temperature for 60-90 minutes, or until the loaf rises just above the lip of the pan. 

Preheat the oven to 350 F.  Bake the loaves on the middle rack for 40-50 minutes.  The top of the loaf should be lightly golden and the bread should sound hollow when tapped on the top.  After you take the loaves out of the oven, immediately remove them from the pan and place on a rack to cool.  Allow the loaves to cool for 1-2 hours before cutting.  (If you can resist!)

Recipe adapted from The Bread Baker's Apprentice