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Cinnamon Raisin Bread


           There’s something magically homey and wholesome about the smell of baking bread.  Warm from the oven, laced with spicy cinnamon, and studded with plump juicy raisins this loaf is one of my favorites.  Topped with a smear of butter, cinnamon sugar, or whatever you like to use as a spread it makes a great breakfast on the go, or snack.   It’s great for gifting, and seems to just make people happy.  Even Veronica who’s not a fan of cooked fruit, and hardly gives the time of day to raisins appreciates this deliciously classic loaf.  Give it a try and it might become one of your favorites too! <3

1 cup and 2 tablespoons Water
2 Tablespoons butter or margarine (softened)
3 cups Bread Flour
3 Tablespoons Sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons Salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 1/2 teaspoons Bread Machine or Quick active dry yeast
3/4 cup Raisins

By Hand Directions:
1.  In a large bowl add water that is warm but not hot to the touch.  Slowly stir in yeast and continue to stir till yeast is dissolved.
2. Add salt, sugar, and butter to the bowl and stir until well combined.
3.  Add the cinnamon and flour to the bowl and mix until all is combined and has formed a mass.
4.  Pour/roll the dough out of the bowl and onto a lightly floured work surface.
5. Knead the dough for a few minutes before adding the raisins (you’ll want to do this when the dough still has some stickyness), and continue to knead until the dough (adding flour as needed) until it’s smooth, soft, and no longer sticky to the touch.
6.  Put the dough in a buttered (or oiled) bowl, and flip it so the top of the dough-ball has a coating of the butter (or oil), cover and let rise in a warm spot for an hour.  (Try an empty oven, empty microwave, or other place where there’s no possible draft.)
7.  Punch down the dough, and turn back out onto your work surface to knead.
8. Preheat your oven to 375°.
9.  Form your dough into a loaf and set it in a buttered (or oiled) bread pan (or pans if your pans are small).  Cover and let rise for about 30 minutes.
10.  Score a line down the center of your loaves with a sharp knife.  Then place loaf(ves) in the oven and bake for about 45 minutes or until golden brown and delicious.
11.  Remove loaf(ves) from pan, and place on a cooling rack to allow the air to circulate around the bread, and the heat to escape.  You can cut and enjoy it right away, or save your loves for later!  <3

By Machine Directions:
1.  Place all ingredients in the pan per your machine’s instructions.  Typically it goes, water, butter, sugar, salt, cinnamon, flour… make a well in your flour and place the yeast in it.
2.  Select Sweet or Basic cycle with a medium to light crust color.
3.  Add raisins at the fruit/nut signal, or if you don’t have this five to ten minutes before the last kneading cycle ends.
4.  Let your machine do it’s thing, and when the bread’s finished remove it from the pan and cool on a rack or enjoy it immediately! <3


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