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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Cinnamon Raisin Bread

I LOVE CINNAMON RAISIN BREAD. It makes the best toast. I made 3 loaves of this a few weeks ago and my friends and family and I pretty much ate this and only this for a week straight. It freezes well, it makes a great gift... its just wonderful. Even though making bread takes time, don't let that discourage you. Its worth the time!

1 3/4 cups lukewarm water
1 1/2-2 packages of yeast (not quick rising)
8 cups unbleached flour (about)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
2 sticks butter
5 eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla

1 stick melted butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1/2 cup raisins

1. Mix water and 3/4 cup of sugar in a very large bowl. Add the yeast and 3 cups of flour. Stir with a fork and cover with plastic wrap, letting it rise for about 30 minutes in a warm place.

2. Meanwhile, in another bowl measure and mix together 5 cups of flour, salt, cinnamon, and 3/4 cup sugar. Add the butter and cut with a knife or pasty blender until the mixture resembles coarse meal.

3. In a small bowl, beat 4 eggs with a fork and add vanilla. Add to yeast mixture and mix well. Add flour gradually to yeast mixture, stirring with a spoon.  When all the flour is added, dump onto a floured counter and knead for about 7 minutes. (be sure your hands are floured).  If sticky, add more flour. Dough should be smooth and elastic.

4. Oil a large bowl and return the dough to it. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 2 hours, or until doubled in size. Punch down dough and knead lightly.

5. Divide dough into 3 parts and roll eat part out into a flat rectangle (each about 8x15inches). Baste with melted butter (as much as you can put on there without it spilling over). Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar (you can use light brown or white sugar). Sprinkle raisins on top and roll into a load. Pinch edges closed and place in oiled loaf pan. Let rise.

6. Baste with remaining (beaten) egg and bake in 350 degree oven until golden brown (30-45 minutes). Remove from oven and let cool. Remove from pans, eat and enjoy!

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