1 ½cupwarm water, divided(between 90 and 95 degrees F)
2 ½teaspoonsactive dry yeast(or 1/4 oz yeast envelop)
4cupsunbleached all-purpose flour
1 ½teaspoonground cinnamon
⅓cupolive oil(vegetable oil will work)
In a bowl of a stand-up mixer with a dough hook, add ½ cup warm water, and ¼ cup granulated sugar. Let it stand for 5 minutes until the yeast is activated and foam up. If it does not foam or bloom, restart this step as it may be a sign your yeast is not working due to old yeast or water was too hot. If the yeast is not working this may lead to your bread not rising.
While the yeast is proofing, in a large bowl mix together the flour, salt, cinnamon, and ginger until well combined.
Add the raisins to the flour mixture and mix until all the raisins are coated with the flour. Set aside.
Once your yeast is ready, add remaining granulated sugar, oil, and half of your flour mixture. Mix until all ingredients are blended.
Add the remaining water and remaining flour and mix at slow speed until your ingredients are all incorporated, i.e., no more dry flour.
Knead and Rise
Increase your mixer speed to medium and mix for 5 minutes. Initially, your dough will be sticky but as you are mixing it develops gluten and will form a ball and detach from the wall of the bowl
On a light flour surface, pour the dough and knead 4 to 5 times. Form a ball.
Put the dough in an oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise for 1 hour in a draft-free, warm place.
Butter a loaf pan (9 ¼ x 5 ¼ inches). Set aside
Put the dough into a lightly floured surface (like 1 tablespoon of flour). I like to use my pastry silicone mat.
Flatten out the dough into a rectangle, approximately 9 x 11 inches
Roll the dough into a log starting on the narrow side (9 inches)
Place the rolled dough into the prepared pan.
Loosely cover with a plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm, draft-free place for 30 minutes. (I like to put mine in the microwave)
*OPTIONAL* If you want to make an egg wash at 15 minutes crack your egg into a bowl, add 1 tablespoon of water, and mix. Gently brush over the dough and place it back into the warm, draft-free place for an extra 15 minutes.
Once your 30 minutes has past, start your oven at 350 degrees F
Take the plastic wrap off the bread and place it in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 190 degrees F
Once it is baked, you can take 1 tablespoon of butter and brush it on top for a nice shine.
Let it cool for 2 to 3 minutes in the pan and gently and carefully release the bread and let it cool on a cooling rack for 30 minutes before tasting.
Easy Raisin Bread is a wonderful homemade recipe, fresh baked bread to be enjoyed at home anytime!