If I ever manage to open my own bakery, I will bake something with cinnamon every day, especially in autumn and in winter. Cinnamon gives the cosiest ever smell… When I baked this semi-sweet bread, the kitchen (and ultimately the whole apartment) smelled so nicely of cinnamon that I could stay inside forever.
This bread is, I wrote above, semi-sweet. Especially the addition of cinnamon-sugar mixture in the end on top of the bread makes it quite sweet. Nonetheless it has also the bread taste still, therefore you can eat it with the regular meals.
If you have some left for the next day, toast the bread and put some butter on it… And you will have a smiling face for the rest of the day, I assure you (got the recipe and this tip from “Brown Eyed Baker”).
3.5 cups flour (you can use bread flour, but I used normal white flour)
4 tsp granulated white sugar
1.25 tsp salt
3 tsp dry yeast
1.25 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp butter
1/2 cup whole milk
3/4 cup water
1.5 cups raisins
1 cup walnut (crushed – but not too powder-like)
1 tbsp vegetable oil
For the top:
1 tbsp butter
1/2 cup granulated white sugar
2 tbsp cinnamon
(makes 2 loaves)
1. In a big bowl, put flour, sugar, salt, dry yeast and cinnamon, and whisk a little.
2. Add egg, butter (in room temperature), milk and water. Start kneading the dough inside the bowl until it comes together to form a ball. If it is too sticky, you can add a bit more flour. On the contrary, if it is too dry, you can add more water. But add those in small amounts if needed.
5. Put the dough again in a bowl and add walnut and raisins. Knead a little bit more, just until raisins and walnuts incorporate the dough. Do not knead too much or too hard at that point, not to crush the raisins especially. Make a ball shape with the dough.
7. When it is doubled in size, divide the dough in 2 equal pieces and put each one in a loaf mould. I only have 1 mould, so I put one piece in it and left the other one inside the bowl with the plastic wrap on (and ultimately, baked the second piece next morning). Put a plastic wrap on the loaf mould and let it ferment even more (I kept it for about 1 hour, until it almost doubled in size inside the mould).
9. Put the bread in the middle shelf when ready and bake for 20 minutes. Then open the oven, turn the loaf 180 degrees and continue baking for 20 minutes or maybe a bit more – until you get a nice golden brown colour on top.
9. While the bread is baking, prepare the topping. Melt 1 tbsp butter in a pan. In a shallow bowl or on a plate, mix cinnamon and sugar evenly. This is important: you should have these ready before the bread comes out of the oven.
10. As soon as the bread is ready and out of the oven, take it out of the mould and put on a plate (or on a cooling rack). Cover the top surface of the bread with melted butter. Take the bread in your hand (I had to use a clean towel to hold it since it was really hot), and turn it upside on the cinnamon-sugar mixture, to cover the buttered surface fully. Let it cool for a while and then eat!!
If you want a less sweet taste, you may skip the cinnamon-sugar part in the end, but in any case I suggest you put the melted butter on top. And I really do recommend you to save some for the next morning!