Every now and then, I treat myself to a cinnamon raisin bagel spread thickly with cream cheese. I don’t make this myself. Oh, no. I go to the local bagel place so they can do it right. If I were to make the sandwich, the cream cheese would not be as generously doled out. I’d be too stingy.
If I want a less indulgent version of that sandwich, I bake cinnamon raisin bread with whole wheat flour (mostly) and spread it with light cream cheese. It does the trick! Because really, what is better than freshly baked bread?
When we got married almost ten years ago, Kenny and I registered for (and got, yay!) a bread machine. I had visions of us in a perfectly appointed house with everything tidily in its place, eating bread that we’d made ourselves. With the help of the machine, of course.
And that’s come to pass, except with a lot more mess in the house and a lot lot lot more noise. The thing about bread machines is that some people think they’re cheating, and maybe they’re right. But I honestly don’t care. Bread that comes out of my oven is bread I made myself. And that is that.
Now, if you don’t have a bread machine, you can probably still make this bread using a dough hook attachment on your mixer, or even doing it by hand. It just won’t be so darn easy.
This recipe makes enough for two loaves, one for now and one to freeze. That way, I take out the frozen loaf when we’re having breakfast for dinner, reheat it, and it’s delicious. Because what could be better than cinnamon bread with, oh, just about anything?
This recipe works because even though it uses mostly whole wheat flour, I do put some regular all-purpose flour (or I also use bread flour) into the mix. When the dough is ready, you add the raisins and the cinnamon sugar. It’s very simple. I made this while watching my kids beat each other up.
Just kidding. Sort of. But the bottom line is, I can’t always get out for my cinnamon raisin bagel and cream cheese. When I want something warm, yeasty, and healthy, this bread is the best option. Talk about wish fulfillment!
Whole Wheat Cinnamon Raisin Bread
2 eggs at room temperature
1 cup warm (not hot) water
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup canola oil
2 and 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup sugar
3 and 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup bread flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 and 1/4 tablespoons yeast (if you use a packet, it’s pre-measured)
1 cup raisins (do not put in the bread machine!)
4 teaspoons cinnamon
3 tablespoons sugar
- As recommended by bread machine manufacturers, start with the wet ingredients. Put them into the bread machine in the order listed above EXCEPT for the raisins.
- Once the wet ingredients are in, add the salt and sugar and then pour in the flour and cinnamon.
- Using your index finger, make a small well in the flour. Fill it with the yeast.
- Select the dough cycle on your bread machine and press start.
- Once the dough is done (usually about an hour and a half, depending on your machine), take it out and put it on a floured surface.
- Punch the dough down and let it rest for 5-10 minutes.
- Knead the raisins into the dough, being sure that they're spread throughout fairly evenly.
- Divide the dough in half. Combine the cinnamon and sugar for the swirl.
- Spray two loaf pans with cooking spray.
- On a floured surface, roll one of the dough halves out into a rectangle about 1/4-inch thick. Sprinkle on the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Roll up and pinch the ends. Repeat the process with the other dough half.
- Place each rolled loaf into a pan and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise for about an hour and a half.
- When your dough has risen, preheat the oven to 350. Bake the loaves for 25-30 minutes until browned on top and baked through.