Making Cinnamon Raisin Bread for Christmas Presents

This year, I thought I'd add a few goodies to the food baskets I give to friends at Christmas. Cinnamon Raisin Bread sounded good, so I went hunting for a recipe.

I fell for the title of the one at Genius Kitchen:

World's Best Cinnamon Raisin Bread

The site was unknown to me, but I figured it was popular because that recipe, alone, had hundreds of comments and ratings, mostly favourable.

Here is the link to the recipe but be warned: read my comments below before making it, or prepare to be confused.

Here is a photo of my loaves.

My first ever batch of Cinnamon Raisin Bread. Click to enlarge.
World's Best? Not really, but pretty good, especially the next day, when the flavours have had a chance to meld. Not too sweet, and it tastes fluffy though the loaf feels heavy when you lift it. You'd think it hadn't risen properly but it has.

The dough is of the enriched type, that is to say it contains butter and eggs.

Here are my notes


1. Two packages of active dry yeast = 4-1/2 teaspoons

2. I used half golden raisins and half dark

2. 8 cups of AP flour - no indication of weight or how to measure. But since I know that 1 cup = 5 ounces, then I weighed 40 ounces (2 lbs, 8 ounces, or 1138 grams).

That was the perfect quantity when I mixed and kneaded the dough.

With such a huge amount of flour, it's important to know how to measure - do you dip directly into the bag, then level off? Do you scoop into your cup, then level off? To get 5 ounces per cup, the latter is the correct way. I did it the other way and got 50 ounces!


1. Ignore the instructions -- use instant yeast and mix it and the salt with the flour. A hand whisk is the best tool for this.

2. If you have a stand mixer, iignore the directions and put everything in the stand mixer bowl - first with the flat beater - in this order: water, eggs, 1/2 cup sugar, milk, butter, raisins. Then flour with dough hook.

3. Finish kneading on the table. Be careful not to add too much flour.

4. Transfer to buttered bowl, leave to double in bulk.

5. Roll out to 24 inches long (left to right) and whatever width is needed to get about 1/2 inch of thickness.

6. Brush with milk, leaving one inch on both long sides.

7. Sprinkle cinnamon/sugar (1 cup) mixture - LEAVE 1 INCH ON BOTH LONG SIDES.

8. Roll up tightly. Start at bottom, very tight first turn. Watch this video for a way to use parchment paper to help in the rolling if you need it. 

9. Recipe says roll should be 3 inches diameter, and that works.

10. Pinch the seam really well to seal it.

11. Cut ends off (make buns), divide into 3, 8-inch sections, place in buttered pans with seam on bottom, tuck ends in very well for a more attractive finished loaf, and to keep filling from leaking out.

12. Brush tops with melted butter.

13. Leave to double in bulk.

OVEN at 350 degrees.

14. It's a good idea to place the pans on a cookie sheet in case the filling spills over the sides of the pans. This is more likely to happen if your pans aren't the very large ones recommended in the recipe.*

15. Bake until internal temperature reaches 200 degrees F, switching pans around after 20 minutes. The recipe says 45 minutes but my oven is very unreliable, so I always go by the temperature.

* If you don't have those biggies, cut a few slices off each end of the roll and bake them as buns - in buttered muffin tins - or not. In fact, the recipe will work very well for cinnamon buns - just add some brown sugar and butter at the bottom of the muffin or cake tin.

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