Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Bread

from Baking From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan


For the bread:

  • 1 packet active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup sugar plus a pinch
  • 1 1/4 cups warm milk
  • 1/2 stick 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 3/4 to 4 cups all-purpose flour

For the swirl:

  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter softened to a spreadable consistency


To make the bread:

  1. Put the yeast, pinch of sugar, and 1/4 cup of the warm milk in a small bowl. Let sit for 3 minutes then stir.
  2. Working with a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the remaining 1 cup of milk, the softened butter, and 1/4 cup of sugar. Mix on low speed for a minute before adding the salt, egg, and vanilla; mix for another minute. The mixture will likely look curdled but that's okay. Add in the yeast mixture and beat on medium speed for 1 more minute.
  3. Add 2 3/4 cups of the flour and mix on low speed just until the flour is moistened. If you have a dough hook for your stand mixer, switch now. Add 1 more cup of flour and increase the mixer to medium; beat the dough until it comes together and starts to clean the side, adding the remaining 1/4 cup of flour as needed. Keep the mixer at medium speed for about 3 minutes or until the dough is smooth and has a buttery sheen. The dough will be very soft.
  4. Turn the dough into a greased bowl; cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours.
  5. Scrape the dough onto a large piece of plastic wrap, wrap tightly and put in the freezer for about 30 minutes or until it is firm enough to be rolled easily.

To make the swirl and shape the loaf:

  1. Butter a 9x5-inch loaf pan.
  2. Whisk together the sugar and cinnamon.
  3. Put the dough on a floured work surface and lightly dust the top of the dough with flour. Roll the dough into a 12x18-inch rectangle.
  4. Gently spread 2 tablespoons of the butter over the surface of the dough. Sprinkle the sugar mixture over top and scatter on the raisins. Starting from a short side of the dough, roll it up tightly, jelly-roll style. Fit the dough into the prepared pan, seam side down, and truck the ends under the loaf.
  5. Cover and let rise in a warm place for about 45 minutes or until the dough comes just a little above the edge of the pan.

Getting ready to bake:

  1. Preheat oven to 375F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment.
  2. Melt the remaining tablespoon of butter and brush the top of the loaf with it. Place the loaf pan on the parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes. Cover loosely with an aluminum foil tent and bake for another 25 minutes until the bread is golden and sounds hollow when tapped. Transfer the loaf pan to a wire rack and cool 5 minutes before turning it out. Cool to room temperature before slicing.