Cinnamon Raisin Round Challah Bread is light airy and soft. Each strand is filled with warm cinnamon-sugar and sweet raisins. A special bread baking project that is worth all the effort!
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.
Originally posted September 24, 2014 and updated on March 9, 2020.
Hi, my friends. I was exploring some of my favorite bread recipes and I came across a favorite. I find baking bread very comforting and I think we all could use some comfort.
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 my 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!
When the dough is ready, divide into three portions. Use your scale to weigh and make sure they are exact weight.
After you portion out the dough, roll each one into long strands. Spread the cinnamon sugar mixture on each strand and sprinkle on the raisins.
Next step is to pinch the sides and ends of the ropes together. There were some that were sneaking open and some butter making its way out. I persevered!
Once you have the long strands formed into ropes filled with the cinnamon-sugar and raisins, you braid into a loaf (for this bread, I did one large loaf).
There was no way I would give up on this bread. You dedicate so many hours to making it with the high hopes of soon having the most heavenly smell come out of the oven.
I thought it best to carefully lift it into a 9-inch spring form pan (I did spray it with baking spray). The bread was braided on top of parchment paper. I ripped the paper around the sides and left it only right underneath the form of the bread (a circle of parchment paper with a little overhang for me to carefully lift).
Some tips on how to make the best cinnamon raisin challah bread
- Be sure to take the time to let your yeast bloom. No rush. Take your time.
- Also take your time and letting the dough come to the first rise.
- When you form your loaf, make sure you let it take the time to rise.
- The dough is really enough to do 2 breads. If you’d like to make 2, use 2 round spring form pans (or a 9 inch cake pan). I lowered the temperature after 30 minutes because it wasn’t quite done in the middle. I kept on baking for about another 30 minutes on 325.
- Check your bread because you don’t want it to get too brown. If you aren’t as daring as me and want to try to braid and then twist into a round shape,keep it as a long braided cinnamon raisin challah.
What to do with leftover cinnamon raisin round challah bread?
French toast! Yes, this makes killer French toast!! Trust me, it’s worth making it to just have the French toast!
Some other wonderful challah breads I think you’ll enjoy:
- Red Beet Challah
- Pumpkin Challah Bread
- Chocolate Chip Challah Bread
- Honey Challah Bread
- Poppy Seed Challah
Cinnamon Raisin Round Challah Bread
- 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 (about 680 grams) or 5 1/2 to 6 cups (about 750 grams) bleached all-purpose flour
- 3 eggs
- 1/4 cup peanut corn, or canola oil
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup white granulated sugar
- 1/2 to 1 cup raisins according to taste
- 4 Tbsp melted butter
- EGG WASH
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- In 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 3 cups) and mix until combined. If using AP flour it's about 6 cups (about 750 grams) of flour. If you use bread flour, it's about 5 cups (about 680 grams) of flour. 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 also firm.
- Take 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 and 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 (about1-1 1/2 hours).
- Punch 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 5-10 minutes.
- Cover 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.
- Repeat process with the other 3 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.
- If 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 room temperature.