Cinnamon Swirl Bread

I had a craving for French toast made with old-fashioned cinnamon swirl bread. After a few minutes in my local market looking for the bread all I found was this tiny loaf with skinny little slices. I checked out the bakery and they didn’t make what I was looking for either. I wanted a big hearty loaf of buttery sweet bread with spirals of cinnamon and big fat plump raisins. I wanted to be able to cut thick slices when I was making French toast, so I decided to bake my own. Here is the recipe I developed. I hope you will try it some chilly fall day, it is so good.


3 ½ cups bread flour

1 tsp salt

¾ cup warm water (about 110 degrees)

1 package active dry yeast

½ cup whole milk

¼ cup salted butter

¼ cup sugar

¾ cup raisins

1 large egg


¼ cup salted butter

½ cup sugar

3 teaspoons cinnamon

Combine flour and salt in a bowl and set aside. Place water, yeast and 1 tsp sugar in a small bowl stir and set aside. Using a small sauce pan scald milk (do not boil).  You should just start seeing tiny bubbles on the side of the pan. Remove pan from heat then add butter, sugar and raisins to the pan. Stir until butter melts. Allow milk to cool until you can comfortably stick your finger in the pot. Then whisk egg into milk mixture. At this point retrieve the yeast mixture; it should have a layer of foam on top if your yeast is good. Strain milk mixture into yeast mixture. Reserve the raisins on the side. Whisk yeast and milk for 1 minute to combine. Pour liquid into bowl of a stand up mixer (use paddle attachment) set on low and gradually add the flour until fully combined. Remove dough from bowl to a floured counter and knead for 5 minutes adding more flour if dough is too sticky. Spread out dough on counter to a 10 x 10 square. Top the dough with the reserved raisins. Fold dough in half onto itself and then fold in half again. Knead dough a few more times to incorporate the raisins. Roll dough into a ball and place in a buttered bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 1 ½ hours or until doubled in size. Roll out the dough to 9” x18”. Melt butter and brush ¾ of the melted butter on the top of the dough. Combine sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Sprinkle ¾ of the cinnamon mix on top of the buttered surface of the dough. Starting from the 9” end, roll  the dough like a jelly roll. Place roll in a buttered 9” bread pan (seam side down). Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 1 hour. Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. After 1 hour remove plastic wrap, and brush top with remaining butter then sprinkle with remaining cinnamon mixture. Bake the bread for 35 minutes then remove from the oven. Remove bread from the pan and allow the bread to cool on a rack for 1 hour before slicing.

To make French toast I slice the bread the day before. The next day I dip slices of the bread into an egg, milk, cinnamon and vanilla mixture and pan fry in butter until golden brown. Nothing says “Good morning” like French toast made from scratch. The Raisin bread also tastes great toasted with butter.


About Renee Lalane
I was born and raised in New York. Later in life I moved to Central Florida. I am of Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Puerto Rican and Cuban decent. I have been working in the restaurant business for most of my life and have owned five along the way. Recently I became aware of the fact that as my elders passed away their recipes passed with them. I call these recipes "Heirloom Recipes" I am dedicating this site to saving recipes from extinction. Not only recipes from my family but from yours. Do you have a unique recipe that needs saving? Send it to me along with a name and picture of your relative and I will review it and possibly post it as an Heirloom Recipe.

One Response to Cinnamon Swirl Bread

  1. Pingback: Doodle Page #2 + French Toast, My Way « Klacenklai Illustrates

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