There is approximately a million recipes for this delicious bread, which was quite daunting when I first set out to try making this myself. However, this particular one I used with a few tweaks turned out very good. I was actually quite surprised at how well it turned out, if I have to be honest – my terrible photography skills don’t do this loaf justice!
This bread is delicious just eating it on its own or toasting and buttering it. If kept in good and dry storage it should last at least a couple of days (although mine didn’t last that long due to how good it tasted, but I’m just guessing some of you have this self-control thing I’ve heard so much about). Anyway, on with the recipe! This will make one loaf, and will take about 3 and a half hours with 1 and a half hours of active time.
- 1/2 cup milk (plus another 2 teaspoons later on)
- 1/3 cup warm (110F/45C) water (warming it up on the stove top is the easier way – alternatively, boil the kettle and let the water rest a while)
- 2 teaspoons dry yeast
- 1 egg
- 3 tablespoons of white sugar (plus another 1/4 cup (about 4 tablespoons) more later on)
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt
- 3 tablespoons of softened margarine or butter (I used margarine)
- 1/3 cup raisins
- 3 cups of all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons of completely melted butter or margarine
- Warm the milk in a small saucepan until it bubbles, then remove and set aside until it is only lukewarm.
- Dissolve the yeast in warm water in the bottom of a mixing bowl and set aside until it is frothy. Mix in egg, 3 tablespoons of white sugar, 3 tablespoons of softened margarine/butter, salt and raisins. Stir in cooled milk. Add the flour gradually, the dough should be fairly stiff in the end.
- Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for a few minutes. Place in a large, greased mixing bowl and turn to grease the surface of the dough. Cover with a damp cloth. Leave to rise until roughly doubled in size (maybe an hour or two).
- Roll out onto a lightly flowered surface so that the dough is a large rectangle about 1/2 inch (bit over 1 cm) thick, and one side is roughly the length of your loaf pan that you’ll be baking it in. Using a brush, moisten the dough with the 2 teaspoons of milk.
- Mix together the 1/4 cup of sugar and two teaspoons of cinnamon. Sprinkle the mixture evenly on top of the moistened dough – it should thoroughly cover just about the whole thing. If you feel like you’re putting too much on, you’re probably not. Don’t panic. Once done, roll up tightly – the roll should be about 3 inches (7.5 cm) in diameter. Tuck under the ends (or just smoosh them together like I did), then place into a well greased loaf pan. Grease the top of the loaf, then let rise for another hour.
- Bake at 350 degrees F (175 C) for 45 minutes, or until the loaf is lightly browned and sounds hollow when knocked. Remove loaf from pan, brush it with melted butter or margarine, then let it cool a little before slicing. Although, don’t let it cool too much – eating it while it is quite warm and fresh is when it’s the best!
And that’s it, really! It sounds hard, it might even look a little hard, but it’s not hard. Time consuming, maybe, but I think the end result is well worth it.
Let me know if you try it, or if you have made something similar to this – I’d love to hear from you!