Cinnamon Raisin Yeast Bread

I love to bake bread.  I love it because when I make bread I know what is in it and you can pronounce everything!! There are no chemicals and all the many things that are on the label and we have no idea what they all are or what purpose they really serve. Interestingly enough it is amazing how long it keeps too. My 10 year old granddaughter Katie visited today so we baked.  This is my very favorite homemade bread because it always turns out beautifully and is delicious.  This makes 2 large loaves.

Cinnamon Bread with Raisins:

1 scant T. Instant Yeast
2 C. milk at 110 degrees F
6 1/2 - 6 3/4 C. All Purpose flour
(I always use King Arthur) plus more for the board
1/2 C. room temperature butter plus more to butter the pans
1/2 C. sugar
2 large eggs plus 1 large beaten egg
2 1/2 t. kosher salt
1 C. raisins
1 T. cinnamon
oil for bowl and plastic wrap or a clean towel to cover during rise

Heat the milk to 110 degrees, no more than that or you will be killing the yeast.  Place the milk in the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl.  Sprinkle the yeast over the milk and  whisk it together. Add the flour, butter, sugar, 2 eggs and salt and using the dough hook mix on low speed for about 3-4 minutes.  Increase to med-low and mix another 3-4 minutes.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and pat it out to a round 9" by 1 1/4" thick.  Sprinkle the raisins and cinnamon over the circle and knead until they are incorporated.  Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover, let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.  Return the dough to the floured surface and pat to a round.  Fold the bottom 1/3 rd up, the top 1/3 rd down, and the right and left sides over to the inside,  pressing to seal the seams.  Return the dough to the bowl again and cover.  Let it rise til double about 45 minutes.

Make the filling by combining:

1 1/2 C. sugar
2 T. Cinnamon
2 T. water

Stir together in a small bowl and set aside.

Return the dough to the floured work surface.  Divide the dough in half and using the first half, roll and pat it to a 12" x 10' rectangle.  Brush the surface with the beaten egg.  Sprinkle with half of the filling.  Repeat for the second half.

Generously butter 2,  9" x 5" loaf pans and set aside.  With a short end of the rectangle facing you, fold both long sides in about 1".  Then roll the dough towards you pressing as you go to form a tight log.

Place in the prepared pans seam side down.  Cover and let rise in a warm place about 45 minutes to an hour.  Meanwhile preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.  Brush the tops of the bread with soft butter and bake on a sheet pan for about 45 minutes.  I usually tent with foil the last 20 minutes to keep from over browning.  Cool completely before cutting.

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