Grandma’s Cinnamon Bread

February 10, 2013

Cinnamon Raisin Bread from My Pantry ShelfMy first grade son was recently asked to write up a favorite family recipe to share with his class.  The minute I heard this my mind began scanning the many recipes that he might deem worthy.  While selecting just one recipe seemed daunting to me, he quite simply stated, “I will share the recipe for Grandma’s Cinnamon Bread.” The special bread that my mom makes for him when he stays at her home.

Spreading CinnamonThis made me think, it is the children of the family that ultimately decide which recipes will live on. Perhaps this is because in childhood every moment seems larger than life.  The meals we eat, the people who prepare them for us, the experiences we have in our youth become the foundation of our life.  In truth, if I think of my own favorite family recipes, they are the ones fell in love with as a child, the Swedish Cardamom Bread at our holiday table,  my grandmother’s Royal Danish Soup, or my mother’s spaghetti sauce that I could never get enough of.  Now matter how much I might enjoy a new recipe that I develop or come across as an adult, they never hold the same place in my heart as those I loved as a child.  And also, without the enthusiastic blessing of my children, the recipe never will become a new family favorite.

Roll the cinnamon dough

Grandma’s Cinnamon Raisin Bread is a not too sweet bread with a perfect cinnamon spiral through the center.  It is delicious on its own, but my favorite way to eat it is toasted with butter.  It also makes a special French Toast.  The recipe makes two loaves.  The bread freezes well.  If you slice the bread first, it is easy to grab a slice to toast for an easy breakfast.

So, what is your favorite family recipe?  Tell us in the comments below and leave a link if there is one!  This post was submitted to Yeastspotting.

Grandma’s Cinnamon Raisin Bread

adapted from Grandma and The Bread Bible
makes 2 loaves

the sponge

1 cup nonfat milk
3/4 cup warm water
3/4 teaspoon yeast
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon honey

Pour the milk in a small saucepan and scald (bring to steaming). Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Sprinkle the yeast over the warm water and set aside for five minutes to proof the yeast. Combine the cooled milk, yeast mixture, flours and honey in a mixing bowl. Stir vigorously until the mixture is very smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and cover with a plate or plastic wrap. Allow to sit at room temperature for at least an hour and up to 1 day.

the dough

2 cups plus 3 tablespoons unbleached flour
3/4 teaspoon yeast
9 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
2 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 cup raisins

Whisk together the flour (reserve 1/4 cup flour if kneading by hand) and yeast. Pour the flour mixture over the sponge, cover once more, and allow to sit for 1 to 4 hours. The sponge will begin to interact with the flour mixture and may bubble through in a few places.  Add the butter, raisins (if using), and salt to the bowl.

  • If using a mixer, knead with the dough hook on low speed until mixture is well incorporated. Continue kneading for another 5 minutes.
  • If kneading by hand, use the reserved flour to flour a cutting board. Transfer the dough to the cutting board.  Knead for 8 – 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and stretchy.

Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl to rise. Cover the container and set in a warm place for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until the dough has doubled in size. Once doubled, take dough from the bowl and set on a floured board. Gently flatten into a rectangular shape, taking care not to press all the air bubbles from within the dough. Fold the dough in thirds and place back in the bowl for a second rise. Allow to rise for 1 hour in the refrigerator. This will firm the dough and make it easier to roll.

the cinnamon sugar spiral filling

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoon granulated sugar
4 teaspoons sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten

shape the dough

Generously butter two 4 x 8 inch bread pans. Set aside. Place the dough on a floured board. Cut it in half and set one half aside. Roll one piece of dough into a rectangle 7 inches wide by 14 inches long. Use your fingertips to gently dimple the surface of the dough. Brush the dough with egg, leaving a 3/4 inch border around the edge of the dough. Sprinkle the dough with 1/2 of the cinnamon mixture. Tightly roll the dough from the shorter side until the entire rectangle is part of the spiral. Tightly pinch the end onto the roll to attach. Place the rolled dough seam side down in one of the prepared pans. Repeat with the other piece of dough. Loosely cover the loaves with a floured towel or plastic wrap. Set in a warm place to rise for 1- 2 hours until the dough is 1 1/2 inches above the sides of the pan. Brush tops with beaten egg. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Slide bread pans into the oven. Bake for 50 minutes or until bread is medium brown. Remove from oven. Unmold the loaves and allow to cool on a wire rack until barely warm. Slice and enjoy.

Print this recipe:  Grandma’s Cinnamon Raisin Bread

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8 Responses to “Grandma’s Cinnamon Bread”

  1. myninjanaan Says:

    I LOVE cinnamon bread! And you and your family’s version looks absolutely delicious!


  2. wow looks like a fun project. its so cold here in croatia. you have given me a project to undertake :)

  3. Janice Says:

    What a lovely compliment to share!

  4. Sara Ann Says:

    This looks so good! I will totally have to try!

  5. Hannah Says:

    Family recipes are so special! This cinnamon bread looks scrumptious and I can see why your son chose it. One of our favorite family recipes is my mother-in-law’s peach dumplings which we make a few times during peach season every year. http://www.bluekaleroad.com/2011/08/peach-dumplings-and-homecoming.html

  6. Annie R Says:

    Thanks for sharing your grandma’s recipe! I made it last week and it took FOREVER (I’m used to sponge-less, two rise recipes) but it was totally worth the time! Sara and I loved it. The extra time really made a complex, tasty bread that was nicely balanced by the sweet raisins and sugar. I think I used too much cinnamon/sugar or didn’t roll my dough into a big enough rectangle because the top of the loaf separated at the swirl. It didn’t matter! It was excellent and that sponge got me started on sourdough. Thanks! (BTW, the ingredients for the cinnamon sugar spiral filling should say 4t cinnamon instead of 4t sugar.)


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