Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Betsy's Raisin Cinnamon Bread

      Here's a recipe for sister Betsy's famous cinnamon bread. She makes six dozen loaves at a time to send to friends and family at Christmas, and can be prevailed upon to make it for other occasions if offered enough chocolate. 

      The recipe for plain cinnamon bread is first; followed by the changes to the recipe needed if you want to make the raisin cinnamon bread.

Cinnamon Loaf

                                                                     Dough recipe from Woman’s Day Encyclopedia of Cookery
1 package active dry yeast or 1 cake compressed yeast
2 tablespoons water*
2/3 cup milk, scalded
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
      Butter or margarine
2 eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons melted butter or margarine

*Use very warm water (105 -115 degrees) for dry yeast; use lukewarm (80-90
degrees) for compressed. 

       Sprinkle dry yeast or crumble cake into water. Let stand for a few minutes; then stir until dissolved. 

       Pour hot milk over 1/4 cup sugar, salt and 1/4 cup butter; cool to lukewarm.

        Add eggs, yeast, and half of the flour. Beat with rotary beater
or electric beater until smooth. Beat in remaining flour with spoon. 

      Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour. Punch down and knead lightly. 

       Roll out on floured pastry cloth or board to a rectangle 18 x 9 inches. Spread with 2 tablespoons butter. Mix the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar with the 1 1/2 teaspoons of sugar, and sprinkle evenly over the rolled out and buttered dough. the cinnamon.

      Roll up tightly from narrow end and put in a greased loaf pan (9 x 5 x 3 inches). Brush with melted butter and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes. 

      Bake in preheated moderate over (350 degrees) for about 30 minutes.

      Remove from pan and cool. 

Raisin Cinnamon Bread 

     The raisin cinnamon bread requires changes in the amounts of some of the ingredients, plus the addition of raisins. Instead of 3 cups of all-purpose flour, Betsy uses 1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour and 1 1/2 cups of whole wheat flour. She increases the milk from 2/3 of a cup to 3/4 of a cup. For one loaf of bread, she uses 1 1/4 cup of raisins (if you double the recipe, a one-pound box of raisins equals 2 1/2 cups).

      Here are her notes for preparing  the bread: "I melt the butter in the milk while I am heating it. Add part of the sugar to the water for the yeast. The yeast will rise well (it feeds off of the sugar). Yeast is ready to use when it is foamy. You can beat the sugar/water/yeast mixture with one half of the flour for several minutes if you want, it can help develop the gluten. 

     Mix in the raisins before adding the second half of the flour. The batter will be moist, not a typical bread batter. When kneading, keep it short. Too much kneading, and the bread will be dry and crumbly. I use clarified butter as I have it handy and the butter separates anyway when melted. Do not apply the butter heavily, just barely there. I do not bother to measure the sugar or cinnamon, just apply thickly enough so the brushed on butter doesn’t soak through. 

     After rolling up, you can use a little cold water to pinch the dough together to keep it in place. Place the loaf seam side down in the loaf pan. Cover with aluminum foil for the first 30 minutes, but remove the foil for last 10-15 minutes of rising in the pan.

      Bake until golden brown. It will take longer because of the raisins and whole-
wheat flour. 

     Be sure to toast and Julia says put on lots of butter."

     More notes from Betsy (May 27, 2011)

     Now that I have a good scale, I have begun to weigh the loaves before rolling them out for the
cinnamon. Each loaf should weigh about one pound, ten ounces. With the more even
weight of the loaves, they seem to bake more evenly.


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