One Loaf Basic Bread and One Cinnamon-Raisin Swirl

I like when recipes offer variations like this one – it’s like two for the price of one 😉  It was just me and the kids this week as M was off checking out an IBM convention for work. When he’s away I like to take advantage of not worrying if he will like something I make or not. See – he doesn’t like onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, mustard or raisins. He says he’s not picky, and believe me I have met some picky eaters – but those foods he refuses are often main components to so many recipes! It really ruins meal planning for me at times. The kids and I love raisins and I don’t often get to make a loaf like this one. Besides, it had been a couple of months since last I made French toast.
These loaves came out nicely with a tight, but not dense crumb – perfect for hearty sandwiches, grilled cheese or toast. I will make this one again with my modifications. I can’t justify using all white flour in any of my loaves, and I find if I substitute one-third of the flour with white whole wheat, my family doesn’t complain 🙂
Walter Sands’ Basic White Bread and Cinnamon-Swirl Variation – adapted from King Arthur Flour
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 2 tablespoons raw sugar
  • 1 packet active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup Bakes’s Special dry milk (71 grams)
  • 2 tablespoons soft butter
  • 4 cups (500 grams) AP Flour
  • 2 cups (240 grams) white whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt

cinnamon-raisin swirl – (I used half this amount)

  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

1) Pour the warm water into a mixing bowl. Add and let dissolve the sugar or honey and then the yeast.

2) When the yeast is bubbling, add the butter, 3 cups of flour, the dry milk, and salt. Mix together.

3) Stir in another 2 1/2 cups of flour, keeping the last 1/2 cup in reserve. Knead the dough for 3 to 4 minutes, until it begins to behave as if it belongs together. Cover and let the dough rest while you clean and grease the mixing bowl.

4) Continue kneading for 3 or 4 more minutes, until the dough feels smooth and springy.

5) Place the bowl in the greased bowl, turn it over to coat both sides, and cover the bowl. Let it rise in a draft-free place until doubled, 1 to 2 hours. Deflate the dough, and divide it in half. For cinnamon-swirl bread, roll each piece of dough into a rough 9″ x 15″ rectangle. Spread each piece with half the melted butter, then sprinkle with half the raisins, sugar, and cinnamon. Starting with a short edge, roll into a cylinder. Place the loaves in the pans, seam-side down, and let rise and bake as directed at right., and place in greased 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ pans. Cover with greased plastic wrap and let rise until the dough domes an inch above the rim of the pans.

6) After the dough has been rising for 20 minutes, preheat the oven to 350°F. When the loaves are sufficiently risen, bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until nicely browned and the center of the loaves reads 190°F when measured with an instant-read thermometer. Remove from the oven and tip the breads out of their pans. Place on a rack to cool completely before slicing.

This is our favorite recipe for custard and I have been using it for years. I have tried others, but this is the best in my opinion. Dry out your bread slices overnight, or spread the pieces on a cooling rack placed on a sheet pan at 350 degrees for 5 minutes. I soaked the raisins in hot water before I put them on the dough, but I didn’t have time to let them drain for very long. That’s why the loaf didn’t stay together at the top. All that steam built up underneath and created a big air bubble all the way through. Thankfully, it tastes better than it looks! Thanks for reading, enjoy 🙂


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