Raisin Bread is wonderful with your breakfast coffee. Serve it with butter and your favorite preserves. You may even wish to make cinnamon sugar butter to use on fresh warm toast to add more cinnamon flavor. Simply mix 1/2 cup of butter with 1/2 cup of sugar, and 1 teaspoon (or to taste) cinnamon.
Cooking Time: 30 - 35 minutes approximately
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm milk
3 cups bread flour
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
3/4 cup raisins (I prefer to use golden raisins in mine)
Pre heat oven to 350 F
In a small bowl; mix together the warm milk, brown sugar, and yeast. Let rest for 5 minutes or until yeast is bubbly.
Put salt, bread flour, and ground cinnamon in a large bowl and stir to combine. Add the yeast mixture and butter to the flour mixture and combine. Stir until the dough starts to leave the sides of the bowl and form a ball. Dough should be soft but firm enough to knead.
Turn out the dough to a lightly floured surface. Lightly dust your hands with flour, and knead it for 6 to 8 min., or until it begins to become smooth and supple. During the last minute of kneading your dough add the raisins.
Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl turning the dough over to coat all sides. Cover with a warm damp cloth. Allow the dough to rise between 1 to 2 hours. Dough should be close to double in size. I place bread dough on top of my stove where it will stay warm. This decreases the proofing time.
Punch down the dough and shape it into an 8" log. Place the dough into a lightly oiled 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" loaf pan; cover the pan loosely with lightly oiled plastic wrap. Let the bread to rise for about 1 hour more. It will be ready to bake when it is about 1" above the rim of the pan.
Place the loaf of bread into the oven. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. The Raisin Bread will sound hollow when tapped when it is ready.
Remove the Raisin Bread from the oven, and turn it out of the pan onto a cooling rack or clean dry cloth. If you would like a softer crust rub the top of the loaf with butter while still hot.
This is a delicious bread eaten warm out of the oven or cooled and toasted.
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