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Whole Wheat Cinnamon Raisin Bread

It has been a while since I have posted a yeast bread recipe. This isn’t because I haven’t been baking them, however. I have simply been sticking to old favorites for a while, like Sourdough and Country White Bread, and have been working on a new baguette recipe that I really like (not ready for prime time yet, sorry!). What this all boils down to is that I have been in a bit of a rut and was finally kicked out of it by a box of cinnamon raisin granola. The granola was so good that after running through a box of it for breakfast (and snacks), I decided that I needed to make some cinnamon raising bread for toasting in the morning as a replacement.

Cinnamon and raisins obviously played a role in the bread, and I went for a fairly plain loaf, rather than doing the slightly more traditional cinnamon spiral. Since granola is a whole-grain product, I also decided to go with whole wheat in my bread. I used both whole wheat flour and white whole wheat flour, as I wanted to maximize the amount of whole grain in the bread but didn’t want the texture to be too coarse, which can be a fault of whole wheat-only breads. I used honey, instead of regular sugar, to add some sweetness to the bread, and I used both buttermilk and butter to ensure that the finished loaf had a hint of a buttery taste to it. The buttery taste is a good feature in bread meant for toasting.

All in all, the bread turned out to be very satisfying. It wasn’t too heavy or dense because I gave the bread a long time to rise a develop small air pockets as the yeast did its thing. The final loaf also had the tenderness that the relatively low gluten (lower than regular flour, anyway) whole wheat flour provides. The cinnamon was mild in the untoasted bread, but came out beautifully in the finished product. I wish now that I would have tried a few slices of french toast with the loaf, but the call of the toaster was just too tempting and just about every single slice ended up there.

Butter, jam and peanut butter (not necessarily together) are my top three toppers for toast made with this bread, but use whatever strikes your fancy. But be sure to toast it. It’s well worth it!

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Raisin Bread
1 tbsp active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (approx 110F)
1 1/4 cups buttermilk, room temperature or a bit warmer
1/4 cup honey
2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 – 2 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
2/3 cups raisins

In a large bowl, combine yeast and warm water. Let stand for 5-10 minutes until foamy.
Mix in buttermilk, honey, salt, cinnamon and whole wheat flour. Stir well. Gradually mix in white whole wheat flour, stirring with a wooden spoon until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface, adding a bit more flour as you go to keep it from sticking, and knead until smooth and elastic, about 5-7 minutes (it won’t get quite as smooth as breads made with other flours, but it will still be a bit stretchy). Place in a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let stand for 1 1/2 – 2 hours, until doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 375F.
Turn bread out onto a lightly floured surface and gently deflate. Shape into a rectangle, then form into a log by folding the short ends into the center, then pulling the long ends up and pinching them together. Place dough seam-side down into a greased 8×4 inch loaf pan. Let rise for 45-60 minutes.
Bake at 375F for 35-40 minutes (until an internal-read thermometer inserted into the bottom of the loaf reads approx 200F). Remove from pan and cool completely on a wire rack before slicing and toasting.
Makes 1 loaf.

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  • Amber
    March 10, 2007

    Hi–I check you site periodically, as I’m a fellow baker… This recipe looks like a keeper! I’m trying to use more whole wheat and my kids will eat the white whole wheat stuff better. Thank you so much for the recipe! -Amber (http://berlinswhimsy.typepad.com)

  • Lydia
    March 11, 2007

    When I first started baking yeast breads, I worked my way through Beard on Bread, and it was a great way to learn. The cinnamon-raisin spiral loaf was delicious, but a bit too sweet. Distributing the cinnamon and raisins throughout the loaf sounds like a bread I will like better than the traditional spiral one, so I’m definitely saving this recipe!

  • Susan
    March 11, 2007

    Mmm…warm cinnamon bread reminds me of home, as my mom used to make it all the time. I like your addition of buttermilk; I think it adds flavor and moistness. Thanks for a great recipe!

  • Helene
    March 11, 2007

    I have been looking for a recipe for whole wheat cinnamon bread for a while and I really like this one. Looks very wholesome.

  • Anuhea
    March 12, 2007

    I also look at your stuff often…and i love to bake! I actually just posted pic on my blog of pear streusel muffins which were modeled after your apple streudel muffins (but I didn’t have apple).

    I love your bread recipes…I don’t have a bread maker and most of the normal bread recipes I see call for one. And all your desserts look sooo good. <3

  • Julie
    March 12, 2007

    I’m running out of things to post on my own blog because I’ve been wrangling with a whole wheat bread recipe that just isn’t working. I decided to throw in the towel. I’m glad your raisin bread worked so well…good tip on the rising time. I’m looking forward to your baguette recipe.

  • bettybaker
    January 1, 2008

    I noticed that in your recipe instructions you did not say when to add the raisins in. would this be before it rises, or after it rises and when you shape it into a loaf? I’m making it right now so it would be nice to know. Thank you!

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