I forgot what it felt like to bake a bread: just because! I mean, I bake focaccia quite often and of course, I bake for my #TwelveLoaves baking group once a month. But it seems somewhere along the line, I forgot to bake an occasional “just because” bread.
I have to say I felt inspired by one of my friends I found through my blog. Arlee will sometimes tweet a photo to me of something she’s baked of mine. I’m a huge fan of Arlee and all she does. She’s so creative and has most fun lunch ideas for her gorgeous kids! Now that we found each other on Instagram, I will also get a tag from her to show me what’s baking. It just makes my day…seriously. Thank you, Arlee!!
So…Arlee was up to some baking again and this time she was baking a cinnamon raisin challah. I made this one a while back. I thought it was time to try to change the recipe a little…maybe the shape? I had the thought of braiding the bread and then twisting it into a round shape.
Each strand is filled with some fantastic goodness: cinnamon sugar and plenty of raisins…oh, yes! Can I tell you? There is nothing like freshly baked bread!
I may have left my dough to proof a bit long. But, no fear…this dough was so easy to work with!
I pinched the sides and ends of the ropes together. There were some that were sneaking open and some butter making its way out. I persevered!
Cinnamon Raisin Bread
- For the dough
- 1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
- 1 cup warm water (no more than 110°F [43°C])
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 4 1/2 to 5 cups bread flour, or 5 1/2 to 6 cups bleached all-purpose flour
- 3 eggs
- 1/4 cup peanut, corn, or canola oil
- 2 teaspoons salt
- For the filling:
- 1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup white granulated sugar
- 1/2 to 1 cup raisins, according to taste
- 4 Tbsp melted butter
- For the egg wash:
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon sugar
a mixer, with a dough hook attachment, add the warm water and yeast.
Mix until blended. Add the sugar and mix about a minute. Slowly mix in 1
cup of the flour until combined. Mix in the eggs one at a time until
they are combined. Add another 2 cups of the flour, oil, and salt. Mix
together on medium-low speed stopping the machine to scrape down the
sides of the bowl. Slowly add the rest of the flour (the remaining 4
cups) and mix until combined. Stop the machine as you add each cup of
the flour to scrape the sides of the bowl and incorporate the flour. Mix
on low speed for 12 minutes until dough is incorporated. Be sure to
give your mixer a break and as you don’t want to burn it out. Add flour
if needed 1 tablespoon at a time. The dough will be a little sticky but
dough out of mixer bowl. Form the dough into a ball and place into an
oiled bowl (when I put the dough in the bowl I swish the dough around
the bottom of the bowl and then flip it over so all of the dough is
covered in a light film of oil. I use vegetable oil). Cover with plastic
wrap and let it rise at room temperature until doubled in size (about
1-1 1/2 hours).
down the dough. Divide the dough into 6 equal portions. Shape each
portion into a ball, and allow it to rest with plastic wrap on it for
3 of the dough balls and let them rest. Roll 3 of the dough balls into
long piece and then flatten to form a rectangle. Brush the top with
melted butter and sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar filling. Top with
raisins.Pinch together to form 3 filled strands.Carefully move the 3
filled strands onto a sheet of parchment paper. Braid the strands
together to form a loaf. Carefully twist the braid around into a round
loaf. Rip the parchment paper around the sides of the loaf and leave a
little to be able to lift the bread up. Lift up the loaf, and place into
a spring form pan that has been sprayed with baking spray.
process with the other3 dough balls. Cover and let rise in a draft free
place for about 30 minutes (I let mine rise for just about 15). While
resting, preheat oven to 350 F.
- When ready to bake, brush with egg wash.
making one large loaf, bake the challah for 30 minutes (on 350 F).
Lower the heat to 325 F and bake for about another 25-30 minutes. If
making two round loaves, the bread may be done in about 45 minutes. You
still could lower the heat after the first 30 minutes.
- The bread should be golden brown. Ovens may vary so check your challah
see how it’s doing. If the top is browning too much, cover with foil
for remainder of baking time. Let it cool and serve slightly warm or at