You probably have memories of Sunday mornings, or family breakfasts, traditions that warm your heart as much as tantalize your taste buds. When I was a child, my family occasionally visited a famous local bakery while on camping trips, and they had amazing pull-apart bread that was coated in cinnamon glaze, and sometimes came with raisins. My sister doesn’t like cooked raisins (or even uncooked ones, I think), so I suspect there was a family decision made to try to appease everyone’s tastes with this treat. Sometimes at home we would get cinnamon bread from the raisin company, but it was never the same. The warm gooey goodness of fresh baked bread simply cannot be topped.
Cinnamon Raisin Bread
2 packages active dry yeast (4 1/2 tsp)
1/2 cup warm water (105º to 115º)
1 3/4 cups warm water
3 T sugar
1 T salt
2 T shortening
6 to 7 cups flour
1 cup raisins
1/4 cup sugar
2 t cinnamon
2 T water
butter or margarine, softened
Dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup warm water. Stir in 1 3/4 cups warm water, 3 T sugar, salt, shortening and 3 1/2 cups of the flour. Beat until smooth. Mix in raisins and enough remaining flour to make dough easy to handle.
Turn dough onto lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Place in greased bowl. Turn greased side up. Cover; let rise in warm place until double, about 1 hour. (dough is ready if an indentation remains when touched)
Punch down dough; divide into halves. roll each half into rectangle, 18×9 inches. Mix 1/4 cup sugar and the cinnamon. Sprinkle each half with 1 tablespoon water and half the sugar mixture. Roll up, beginning at 9-inch side. With side of hand, press each end to seal, fold ends under. Place seam side down in greased loaf pan, 9x5x3 or 8 1/2×4 1/2×2 1/2 inches. Brush lightly with butter. Let rise until double, about 1 hour.
Heat oven to 425º. Bake until deep golden brown and loaves sound hollow when tapped, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from pans. Brush loaves with butter; cool on wire rack. 2 loaves
*if using self-rising flour omit salt
Note: unbleached flour can be used in this recipe
High Altitude: rising time may be less