2 1/2 tsp instant yeast
3 T sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 1/2 c Unbleached AP flour
1/4 c milk (1% for this recipe)
2 T unsalted butter, melted
1 c + 2 T warm water
2 T cinnamon mixed with 2 T sugar
1 cup raisins
2 cups 10X sugar
Enough milk to make a nice drizzle consistency.
Crumb Topping (optional):
Mix up the dough, sprinkle on that cinnamon sugar, roll it, stick it in the pan. BUT, before you give it the final rise, throw together a crumb topping mix of 2 T. butter (the real stuff), brown sugar (uh, I didn’t measure, my guess is about 1/4 to 1/3 cup packed). Sprinkle in some straight-up cinnamon, about 1/2 tsp, and throw in some flour (uh, did I mention that I don’t measure?), I’ll say 1/4 - 1/3 cup.
Cut your butter into little pieces (cold butter is best), then use your fingers to combine this mix. If it’s too clumpy, add flour a little at a time until it is the consistency of crumbs. Brush the top of your
loaf with egg whites and pat-press some crumbs all along the top. If they fall down the sides, rejoice! Because after this bread rises, after it has baked into a dome of golden goodness, those cinammon-buttery-sugar crumbs melt into the sides of the bread and give the bread an awesome praline crunch.
In a bowl of your stand mixer (you do have one, don’t you?) combine all ingredients except cinnamon sugar and raisins. I added everything and put the yeast in last, then waited 2 minutes until the yeast did a little bubbling.
Now mix until combined, cover, and let rest for 20 minutes.
Before I go any further with the this, let me explain a rest period. For dough, a rest period allows time for all the ingredients to be absorbed, in the case of breads, the ingredient you are allowing to absorb is the flour. By doing this you will use less flour as you knead (if you were doing it by hand) and have a richer, higher-rising dough. This period of rest also allows time for your gluten to rest and develop.
At the end of the 20 minutes, mix the dough on medium until well combined and the dough pulls away from the sides. Note: You can either knead by hand, or let your mixer do the work. I opted to let my mixer do the work. For eight minutes, at medium, I let my Kitchen Aid “knead” the dough until it began pulling away from the sides of the bowl. If kneading by hand, sprinkle your surface lightly with flour and grind away for the alloted eight, plus 2 more if ne
eded to make the dough elastic and smooth.
Add raisins to the dough. Stir in. Transfer the dough to a well-oiled bowl and let rise for 1 hour or until noticeably puffy.
Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled work surface and let it rest for 5 minutes. Pat or roll the dough into an 8” x 15” rectangle and sprinkle evenly with your cinnamon sugar mixture.
Starting with the short end of the rectangle, roll the dough up and place, seam side down, into a lightly greased 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch bread pan. For rolls, simply cut into 2 inch pieces and place cut side up into greased round cake pan. Now it’s time for the final rise. If you would like to do the optional crumb topping, now is the time to mix it up and put it on the loaves. If not, simply let the dough rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours in a warm space, or until it’s risen about 1” over the top of the pan.
Bake in a 375 oven for 35 to 40 minutes. After the top starts to get golden brown, tent a piece of aluminum foil over the bread for the remainder of the cook time. Let the bread cool completely before drizzling. Slice and enjoy.