It’s been extra snowy of late, and rather than venture out into the cold today, I’m cozying up at home to bake this delightful loaf of bread. Laden with raisins and dried cranberries and swirled through with ribbons of fragrant cinnamon sugar, it’s the perfect antidote for a case of the mid-winter blues.
Cinnamon Swirl Bread with Raisins & Cranberries
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/3 cup warm water (approximately 100F to 110F)
1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
1 large egg
3 tbsp granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup dried cranberries
2 2/3 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp melted butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1 tsp orange zest (optional)
Warm milk until boiling. Remove from heat, and add 1/4 cup unsalted butter, stirring until butter is melted. Let cool at least until lukewarm.
In a large bowl, mix together water and yeast.
Add egg, sugar, butter, salt, vanilla, raisins, and cranberries.
Add the milk and butter mixture.
Add flour gradually, stirring and folding until flour is incorporated and the dough comes together.
Turn out onto a clean surface, and knead until dough is smooth.
Cover dough and let rise till doubled, approximately 1 1/2 hours.
Divide the dough in half and roll out each half to a 1/4″ thick rectangle.
Brush each rectangle lightly with melted butter.
Mix together sugar, cinnamon, allspice and orange zest (if using); distribute this mixture evenly over dough.
Roll up each rectangle, then with a pair of kitchen shears, snip the dough at 1″ intervals.
Arrange dough randomly into a greased loaf pan.
Cover dough again, and let rise for 1 hour.
Uncover dough and bake at 350F for 45 minutes.
Remove from oven, and brush the remainder of the melted butter over the top of the loaf.
Remove bread from pan after at least 20 minutes of cooling.