Cinnamon-raisin bread has a long history in the making.
Similar breads are usually served around Christmas and include stollen, a German fruit bread with spices and candied fruits, kulich, a tall Easter bread served in the Russian and Slavic regions, and panettone from Italy. Let's not forget about the Easter cousin, the hot cross bun.
The spread of these fruit breads helped fuel the idea of a raisin-filled cinnamon in England. Soon it became a house staple in parts of England and the colonies, and as it spread, made its way into homes in a many parts of the globe as a staple part of people’s breakfast.
Cinnamon and Raisin Loaf
A big part of the challenge with enriched doughs is using the correct flour.
All the extra fat, sugar and other ingredients weigh the dough down. They have an effect on the fermentation, structure and gluten development.
Sometimes you need to combine flours to sum the benefits. For the month of June's "White" & "Variety" flour boxes, we have combined Eureka Mills white bread flour and cake flour in a 50/50 ratio for this recipe.
We have a chosen a buttery brioche dotted with soaked raisins and lightly spiced with cinnamon for an indulgent winter treat for the June box.
185g Motherdough, refreshed
460g Flour of the month, or 230g Eureka Cake flour + 230g Eureka White bread flour
150g Full cream milk, cold from the fridge
120g Egg white
90g Castor sugar
5g Ground Cinnamon
65g Egg yolk (from about 4 eggs)
Zest of 1/4 lemon (optional)
150g Unsalted butter, soft bit still firm, cut in 2cm cubes
150g raisins, rinsed and soaked overnight.
Blitz the motherdough with the milk and egg white.
Add the Motherdough mixtures to the flour and sugar slowly to incorporate, mixing to a shaggy mess. Leave the mass to rest for 30 minutes.
Knead with the mixer to get a smooth dough with good gluten development, about 10-15 minutes until the dough is very elastic and passes the window pane test.
Add the salt and cinnamon, and then start to add egg yolk slowly, one spoon at a time and knead on a medium speed until each spoon of egg is just absorbed.
Add the butter a couple cube at a time and knead on a medium speed until it is just absorbed.
Knead at a medium-high speed for about 3 minutes to completely incorporate the butter. This dough will be very soft and sticky.
Remember sticky dough won't stick to wet or oiled hands and utensils. For enriched doughs the best option is to butter your hands.
Remove the dough and place in a plastic container with a lid.
At a temperature of 25 deg C, execute a coil fold the dough every 15 minutes, 4 times. At each fold add some of the 1/4 of the soaked raisins. This is a gentle way to add the soft soaked raising to the dough. Make sure that the raisins have been patted dry with a tea towel.
Divide the dough into two and shape into two loaves. Place the dough into buttered loaf pans.
Option A: Leave the pans to prove until doubled in size and bake. (If you start in the morning early you can bake same day in warmer conditions)
Option B: Leave the pan at 25 deg C for 30 minutes and then place in the fridge at 6 deg C for 12 hours. Remove from the fridge and allow fo double in size and then bake. (This proof will take several hours at 25 deg C).
Bake in a preheated oven at 180 deg C fan on for 40 minutes. Internal temperature when done will be 96 deg C.
Remove from oven and brush with melted butter while still hot.
Allow to cool in the pan.
You need to use refreshed Motherdough no more than a few hours after her feed to ensure that she is as strong as possible and up to this tough job.
In order to work the butter into the dough properly you really should use a planetary mixer with a dough hook attachment. You can do it by hand, but a mixer will make life 1000 times easier. Otherwise you are in for a very long, very arduous process because of the extensive amount of mixing that's required to develop the gluten properly and the slow, gradual addition of butter, with fridge rests in-between to stop the dough from getting too warm.
NB: When adding dried fruit to any dough, make sure they are free of any preservative. If you are unsure rinse in water and soak in orange juice to remove this chemical. If you don't, your culture won't perform and your bread won't rise.