Friday, September 2, 2011

Raisin Cinnamon Swirl Bread

I have seen different versions of this bread circulate the internet and every time I came across one it made me mouthwater. It looks so good. So I finally decided to give it a try. I remembered I had a recipe in Baking, from my home to yours and since that book has yet to let me down I thought it a good recipe to start with. It is not a complicated recipe, but it is time-consuming, so I suggest making this on a lazy day. The reason it is time-consuming is of course the yeast-based dough. It needs to rise a couple of times.

But if you have a lazy day coming up, be sure to make this bread, because it is good. It is soft and sweet and absolutely delicious. It makes your home smell like a bakery. The minute it was cooled down enough we devoured about half of it.

Don't let the recipe scare you. If I can make this bread succesfully on the first try, anybody can!


Yield: 1 loaf


For the bread:
1 packet (2 1/4 teaspoon) active dry yeast
1/4 cup + a pinch sugar
1 1/4 cup just-warm-to-the-touch whole milk
1/2 stick butter, at room temperature
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch grated nutmeg
3 3/4 to 4 cups flour

For the swirl:
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup raisins
3 tablespoons butter, softened to a spreadable consistency


Put the yeast in a small bowl, add the pinch of sugar and stir in 1/4 cup milk. Let rest for 3 minutes, then stir.

In a standmixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the remaining milk, the butter and the 1/4 cup of sugar and mix on low speed for two minutes.

Add the salt, egg, vanilla and nutmeg and mix again for one minute.

Add the yeast mixture and beat on medium-low speed for one minute.

Turn the mixer off and add 2 3/4 cup of the flour. Mix on low speed just until the flour is worked into the mixture. Switch to the dough hook. Don't worry. It's supposed to be sticky!

Add another cup of flour and mix on medium speed for a couple of minutes. If the dough does not come together and away from the sides of the bowl, add up to 1/4 cup of flour more, 1 tablespoon at a time.

Keep the mixer at medium and continue to knead the dough for 3 minutes, until it is smooth and has a buttery sheen. The dough will be very soft.

Butter a large bowl and put the dough into the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm place until it has doubled in volume, about 1 1/2 hours.

Put the dough onto a large piece of plastic wrap, wrap it and put it into the freezer for 30 minutes.

Butter a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan.

Whisk together the sugar, cinnamon and cocoa.

Make sure the raisins are nice and moist. If necessary you can put them in hot water for a few minutes. Drain them and dry them on paper towels.

Put the dough on a large lightly floured surface. Lightly flour the top of the dough. Roll the dough into a rectangle of about 12x18-inches.

Spread two tablespoons of the softened butter on the surface of the dough.

Sprinkle over the sugar-mixture and scatter the raisins.

Starting from the short side of the dough, roll the dough up. Make sure to roll snugly.

Fit the dough into the buttered pan, seam down. Tuck the ends under the loaf.

Cover the pan loosely with wax paper and set in a warm place. Let rise for 45 minutes until the dough comes just a little above the edge of the pan.

Preheat the oven to 190˚C (375˚F).

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.

Melt the remaining tablespoon of butter and brush the top of the loaf with it.

Put the loaf pan on the baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes cover the loaf loosely with foil and bake for another 25 minutes until the bread is golden and sounds hollow when the bottom of the pan is tapped.

Transfer the pan to a rack and cool for 5 minutes.

Unmold the loaf and let the loaf cool, right side up, to room temperature on the rack.


Source: slightly adapted from Baking, from my home to yours by Dorie Greenspan


  1. What a gorgeous loaf of cinnamon bread! It looks difficult, but you do make it sound relatively easy. Thanks for the detailed instructions!