Quick cinnamon raisin bread

These days we find ourselves in the stereotypical craftsman’s dilemma. Just as my dad, a mechanic, never had a car that always worked, this bread baker’s family is not eating bread. Oh they’ll happily chow down if I actually make a sourdough or baguette, and usually eat it all in one day, but most of the time none of them eat it regularly anymore. This recipe is my answer to the dilemma. Just because there’s no cinnamon raisin bread for toast in the freezer or the bread box doesn’t mean we can’t have some warm, cinnamony raisin-ness (is that a word?) in a little over an hour.

We never messed with quick breads in the bakery, mostly because we were too busy with other options. But now that we are seldom eating bread or any treats that used to be around all the time, quick breads provide a simple solution to the hankering for something to satisfy the bread/cookie/bar absence. I’m finding they are just as versatile as any other bread, easily adapted to whatever ingredients I might have in the freezer or pantry. And unlike yeast breads or sourdoughs, these taste even better a day or two after baking.

One hurdle in baking is getting the pan size right. Most recipes will specify the size but it’s always been a mystery to me that every manufacturer makes “bread” pans to his own specifications. In the bakery we handled that by making spreadsheets of all our bread recipes so they’re easy to adjust. Here’s a link to help translate pan size language so that you can adapt recipes yourself to fit the size pan you have. For this bread I used two 4-cup loaf pans. They are 8-3/8″x4-3/8″x2-5/8″ each. That’s just over 96 cubic inches apiece. You may have to adjust baking times. Start with 20-30 minutes and add 10-15 minute increments as needed, till a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

– Joan, 19 October 2018img_0575.jpg

Quick cinnamon raisin bread

  • Servings: 2 loaves, about 2# each
  • Print

For the batter

  • 1½ cups (340 grams) butter, at room temperature
  • 2¼ cups (432 grams) sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1¼ cups (300 grams) sour cream or Greek yogurt
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3¾ cups (450 grams) all-purpose flourimg_0576
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1½ cups (240 grams) raisins, plumped

For the topping sprinkle

  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 medium (4-cup capacity) pans with parchment paper. Pour enough boiling water over the raisins to cover them, set aside for at least 20 minutes, then drain. Mix the sugar and cinnamon together for the sprinkle.

Use a mixer to cream butter with sugar. Blend eggs, sour cream or yogurt, and vanilla, then mix into the butter/sugar. Blend flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon together and mix just until all the ingredients are incorporated. Use a spatula or large spoon to fold in the plumped raisins. Divide the batter between the 2 prepared pans, sprinkle generously with cinnamon/sugar mixture. Bake about 60-75 minutes. You may need to loosely cover the tops of the loaves after about 45 minutes to prevent them from getting too dark. Let the baked loaves sit for 5 minutes before removing from pans and peeling off the parchment. Allow to cool completely before slicing or bagging. A 10-second warm of each slice in the microwave at serving time is a perfect touch to highlight the cinnamon.

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