I wanted to hit the ground running so to kick off the beginning of my serious blogging about a month ago I did a little neighbor giveaway. I handed out a jar of fresh salsa to a few close by neighbors that were home at the time and asked them to check out my blog, become a follower, spread the word to friends and they would be entered into a giveaway for a loaf of this yummy sweet bread. I had a couple that responded to the call and the winner was Stacey B. I hand delivered this loaf of fresh sweetness last week, with a thank you note for participating. I really hope she and her family enjoyed it toasted and smothered in butter.
1 Tbsp. Active Dry Yeast
3 Tbsp. Granulated Sugar
1 1/4 c Warm Water (110° - 119° F)
1 c Warm Milk (110° - 119° F)
3 Tbsp. Unsalted Butter, Melted
1 Tbsp. Salt
6 - 6 1/4 c Bread Flour, plus more as needed
3/4 c Golden Raisins
3/4 c Dark Raisins
For the Filling:
2/3 c Firmly Packed Light Brown Sugar
4 1/2 Tsp. Ground Cinnamon
In a small bowl, add the yeast, a pinch of sugar and a 1/2 cup of the warm water, stir and let dissolve. You want to let this yeast mixture proof until it gets foamy. 1. is of the mixture when it's first starting out... 2. is of the mixture when it's ready to use. Now I've gone to change diapers, or clean up a mess and have come back to the foamy mixture spilling over the side of the bowl. I still used it and the bread turned out fine.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, combine the remaining 3/4 cup water, the milk, melted butter, granulated sugar, salt, egg and 2 cups of the flour. Sift the flour as it's going into the mixing bowl. Beat on medium speed until the mixture has a creamy consistency. Then add the foamy yeast mixture and 1/2 cup of flour and beat for about a minute more. 4.-5. Add the raisins. 6. Then beat in the remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time.
7. When the dough starts to pull away from the sides of the mixing bowl switch to the dough hook that came with your mixer. 8. This is where you let the machine knead on medium speed. If the dough is sticking to the bowl add flour 1 Tbsp. at a time. 9. The dough needs to be smooth and elastic. That's when you know to take it out and put it into a large, greased bowl, cover the bowl lightly with saran wrap and allow the dough to rise for about an hour and a half. 10. The dough is ready when it has more than doubled in size.
11. Combine the brown sugar and the cinnamon in a small mixing bowl. Prepare 2, 9 x 5" loaf pans by coating with a non-stick spray. Turn your dough onto a lightly floured work surface. 12. Use a large, sharp knife and cut the dough right down the middle. 13. Take the first half and roll it out into an 8 x 12" rectangle. 14. Spread half of the sugar mixture onto the rolled out dough. Make sure to keep it a 1/2" from the left, right and bottom so the dough doesn't have problems sealing when you roll it up.
15. Begin tightly rolling the dough towards you being sure not to lose the mixture or seal in any air pockets. 16. When you're done rolling pinch the seams. 17. Follow the same process with the second half of the dough and then put them both in the prepared bread baking pans. 18. Cover with a clean, light, cotton dishcloth and let rise until doubled in size. The photo marked (18) shows the dough ready to go into the hot oven. When the dough is just about finished rising begin preheating the oven to 350°.
Bake in the 350° F oven until the loaves are golden brown and pull away from the sides of the pan. 35- 40 minutes. When you pull them out of the oven turn the loaves out onto wire racks to completely cool. Don't leave them in their hot pans because that will continue to cook the bread. This is what they look like when pulled out of the oven. YUM!
This is what they look like when they're turned out onto wire racks. YUM! YUM!
...and finally this is what the loaves look like when you slice into them. YUM! YUM! YUM!
Take my word for it... this is one of the BEST sweet, swirl breads you can make, now don't hesitate and go bake!