BBA#9 Cinnamon “Swirl” Raisin Walnut Bread

Hi all,

How is everybody’s weekend going?? Mine is going pretty good. It’s 115 degrees this weekend in Phoenix but that doesn’t stop me from cranking up the oven for another BBA challenge recipe. This was an interesting bread. I expected it to taste a little like the Artos bread from Challenge #2, only the goodies-to-bread ratio was certainly much higher with this cinnamon raisin walnut bread. PR gives an option of adding a swirl of cinnamon sugar to the bread so I thought I would incorporate this into my loaves as well. Let’s get started shall we?

Today’s line-up:DSC01228

Bread flour, sugar, milk, raisins, water, ground cinnamon, yeast, salt, walnuts, an egg, and shorting


This mise-en-place today is brought to you courtesy of Andrew. I thought i had all my ingredients on hand, except I only had about half of the 4 oz f walnuts that the recipe called for. My selfless boyfriend offered to run to the store for me to pick up another package of walnuts. Such a help! So thanks again Andrew! 

 I have really started to embrace the mise-en-place way of organizing ingredients – it hasn’t kept me from forgetting to add in an ingredient to my dough yet – but it looks pretty!


For the first step, add together the flour, yeast, sugar, cinnamon, andthenget distractedandforgettoaddthesalt. Mix well with dough whisk until the cinnamon is evenly distributed in the flour.


Next combine the water, milk, egg and shortning together in a seperate bowl.


Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry and start mixing until incorporated.


When the dough starts to come together and all the flour is hydrated, turn the kneading operation over to your stand mixer with the dough hook. Let the mixer knead the dough on speed 4 for about 10 minutes. Every few minutes stop the mixer to scrape down the sides of the bowl. After about 10 to 12 minutes start checking for a window pane.


This was pretty close….oops wait – what is this small bowl of white granules sitting on the counter???

Oh swell!

 I forgot to add the salt to the other dry ingredients back in step one.

Stupid mise-en-place….

I assess the situation and remember that I was able to incorporate the malt powder to the dough at about this point, so I add the salt to the mixer, add a little more water and a little more flour and let the mixer work the salt in for about 4-5 minutes.

At about this point, the texture looks right again so I take the dough out of the mixer and move it to the counter to start kneading in the walnuts and raisins.


Using my knuckles I pushed the dough into about and 12 x 12 inch square. I sprinkled 2/3 of the raisins and walnuts to the top. Then taking each side I folded it over on itself and sprinkled the last of the raisins and walnuts on the top of the dough and started to knead.


 At first the goodies fall out of the dough, it rips and tears easily, but after about five minutes of kneading the dough starts to hold on to the raisins and walnuts easier and they become more evenly distributed. The texture changes and the dough is back to one smooth mass. It is ready for the first rise.


I oiled my mixing bowl and let the dough rest for about 90 minutes, which should give it enough time to double.


While I was waiting for the dough, I prepared two loaf pans. I used the spray oil with flour, this is a quick way to keep your bread from sticking to the pans while baking but I find that after the pan is out of the oven, any oversprayed surfaces are very sticky and require major scrubbing to remove the gunk from the handles of the pan.


After 90 minutes the dough had risen.


I turned the dough back out on the counter and split the dough into two pieces of the same weight.


I wanted to add the cinnamon swirl option, since I figured that extra cinnamon sugar is never a bad thing. I rolled out the dough to about 1/4 in thick and then sprinkled about have of the cinnamon sugar mix on to the surface. I then rolled the dough up into a log (similar to the cinnamon sticky buns from last week) and placed it into the prepped loaf pan. Repeat for the second ball of dough.


The dough needs another 60 minutes or so for final proof. While these were puffing back up, I set the oven to 350 degrees and moved the a rack to the middle of the oven.


I could see that they were ready when the dough just crested the tops of the pans.


I waited until the loves were fully proofed, since another challenge member mentioned that this might help keep  the oven spring to a minimum which might keep the cinnamon swirl from splitting apart in the oven. I thought it was worth a try.

Here they are, ready for the oven.


Here are the loaves, out of the oven, and pipping hot! The certainly didn’t have much oven spring but man-o-man  did they smell good!


The next morning I sliced them open to check out the crumb and cinnamon swirl.


Loaf #1


 Loaf #2

Wow! Totally great swirl and I was happy to see that the raisins and walnuts were evenly distributed in the loaf.

Since Andrew doesn’t care for bread with stuff in it, I took both these loaves to work where my work-mates were happy to take them off of my hands. This was a fantastic breakfast bread! The flavors were so amazing that I decided that I liked the bread best WITHOUT butter!! The butter of course was yummy, but I felt it masked the cinnamon in the dough and the slight crunch you felt when you bit into the cinnamon swirl. 

One more note: I was very releaved that I could not taste any of the salt granules, dispite having to add it in at the last minute – win for me!

Overall this was a fantastic bread. I will definately plan on making it again and again. One of my co-workers even suggested that the next time I need to make a coffee-cake, I should just make this instead. It was great and really an easy bread to make from start to finish.

Up Next in the BBA Challenge: Corn bread!


8 responses to this post.

  1. Nicely done!! I am doing mine later this week and I hope I have as much success as you!

    Happy to also hear the salt situation worked out for you!


  2. Awesome. Beautiful swirls. 🙂


  3. Gorgeous! That’s the best swirl I’ve seen!


  4. Love the swirl! Great job.


  5. You get the BBA Challenge best swirl award!! Did you roll it out bigger than PR suggested?


    • I did roll the dough out a little more than PR suggested, I also just remembered that I added a tsp or so extra cinnamon to the cinn/sugar mix to make the cinn show up a little more. The dough was probably rolled out to 1/4 in thick – didn’t want to squash the raisins or walnuts too much.


  6. This is such a gorgeous and tasty bread…yum!


  7. I loved this bread! Great Swirl…Happy baking!


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