There is something incredibly appealing and comforting about the aroma of freshly baking bread, especially if you’re baking a loaf or two of this Cinnamon Raisin Walnut Bread. I found the recipe in a wonderful bread making cookbook entitled The Bread Baker’s Apprentice by Peter Reinhart.

Mr. Reinhart LOVES baking bread and it becomes truly evident while reading his amazing book. This Cinnamon Raisin Walnut Bread is a beautiful warm cinnamony yummy treat. The raisins and walnuts add great flavor and texture, but if you don’t like them, leave them out.

When the loaves are fresh out of the oven they are brushed generously with melted butter and sprinkled all over with a Cinnamon Sugar mixture to create a fabulous sweet crunchy exterior. I made my bread with a swirl through the center so you get extra spicy-sweet cinnamon flavor with every bite.

You can eat this bread “as is” or toast it up and slather with melting butter or even make delicious french toast for breakfast the next day! This recipe makes two generous loaves, enough to share if you can bear to part with it. While grocery shopping I came across a mass produced loaf of Cinnamon Swirl Raisin Bread for $4.99…hmm…after making my own (probably cost me a couple of bucks to make two loaves) I can honestly say I will NEVER buy it again!

Try it for yourself, here is how you make it:

The recipe for Cinnamon Raisin Walnut Bread can be found here. Spray two 8 1/2 by 4 1/2 inch loaf pans with Pam and set aside.

Whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, yeast (I use Fleischmann’s RapidRise Yeast), and cinnamon in a mixing bowl. Stir in the egg, shortening (I used butter instead of shortening), buttermilk (I used whole milk instead of buttermilk), and water.

Using the paddle attachment on the mixer, mix until a ball starts to form. You may need to add more flour to get the right consistency. Switch the paddle attachment for the dough hook and mix on medium speed for around 6-8 more minutes. Towards the end of the 8 minutes add the chopped walnuts and raisins (I rinsed and drained the raisins before using) and mix until a nice ball of dough has formed.

Oil spray a large bowl and place the dough ball inside, misting the dough with more oil spray to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let double in size, about 2 hours. Divide the proofed dough into two equal pieces and form them into loaves or, if you want a swirl, roll the dough balls out into a rectangle shape.

Mix together around 1/4 cup of brown sugar or granulated sugar and two tablespoons of cinnamon and sprinkle the mixture over the dough. Roll the dough up tightly, pinching the seams closed before transferring to the loaf pan. Spray the tops of the dough with more Pam and lightly cover with plastic wrap.

Set the loaf pans aside to proof, around 1 hour or until the dough crests the top of the pans. During the last 1/2 hour of proofing go ahead and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the proofed pans on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, rotate the pans, and bake for another 20-30 minutes or until the internal temperature of the bread is 190 degrees on a digital thermometer.

The bread should be nice and deep golden brown all over. When finished baking, immediately remove the loaves from the pans and place on wire rack to cool. Melt around 2 tablespoons of butter and generously brush the tops of the loaves while still warm. Sprinkle all over with more Sugar & Cinnamon mixture. Let the loaves cool for 2 hours before slicing.

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