When I was young, my mom would take my sister and I on pilgrimages to a local Pepperidge Farm outlet. Oooh how I LOVED those trips! I remember it like yesterday. Standing in the aisles, salivating over shelves of breads and the neatly folded white bags of cookies – each emblazoned with a photo of its contents. I grew up eating Pepperidge Farm breads. The thin sliced white for sandwiches and (my favorite) the cinnamon raisin bread for breakfast toast. This recipe is my take on that beloved raisin bread. Salt free and scrumptious, complete with authentic swirl.
Yields one king-size loaf (approximately 20 slices).
SODIUM CONTENT: 13.3 mg per slice
4 1/2 t. (2 pkgs) dry active yeast
1 c. warm milk
1 c. warm water
3/4 c. honey
1 t. ground cinnamon
1 egg, at room temperature, beaten
4 T. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
6-7 c. all-purpose flour
1/3 c. sugar
2 t. ground cinnamon
1 c. seedless raisins
Measure yeast into a large mixing bowl. Add water and let sit for a moment. Add milk, honey, cinnamon, egg and butter and stir. Add in the flour gradually, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring to combine. Once dough begins to form (after about 6 cups of flour), turn out onto a floured surface, and if additional flour is needed, add just enough so that dough no longer sticks to your hands. Work dough into a ball and begin to knead. Knead about 8 minutes, until dough is smooth and elastic. Butter the inside of a large mixing bowl, place dough inside and cover well (I like to use plastic wrap secured at the top with a rubber band). Place bowl in a warm spot and allow to rise until the dough has doubled in size (about 1 1/2 – 2 hours).
To make the filling, combine sugar, cinnamon and raisins in a small mixing bowl and stir well. Set aside.
Once dough has doubled, remove cover from bowl and punch down the dough. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll dough out into a large rectangle. Sprinkle filling evenly across the surface of the dough. Starting at the shorter end, gently roll up the dough. Once you reach the end, pinch the bottom closed and tuck/roll ends under and pinch shut. Butter a large king-size loaf pan. Place loaf in pan and cover loosely with some lightly oiled plastic wrap. Allow to rise until doubled in size (about 1-2 hours).
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Break egg into a small bowl and beat well. Add enough water to double contents (1/2 egg-1/2 water) and stir well. Lightly brush loaf with the egg wash. Place pan on middle rack in oven and bake about 40 minutes. Bread should be a beautiful brown and sound hollow when tapped. Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool. Allow bread to cool before cutting.