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Hey there, foodies! Today’s recipe is Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Challah. When it comes to bread, challah is the king with its rich flavor and gorgeous, braided shape. And today we’re taking that to the next level with a sweet and fragrant twist – cinnamon and raisins. Not only does this give a unique flavor profile to the classic challah bread, but it also looks beautiful with a stunning swirl of cinnamon throughout the dough.
Trust me, this recipe is totally worth the effort it takes to make it from scratch. I’ve made this several times for holidays like Rosh Hashanah or Shabbat dinner, and it always impresses my guests. Your house will smell fantastic while it bakes in the oven.
If you’re looking for a show-stopping baked good to bring to any occasion, look no further than this Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Challah. Let’s dive in!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Are you tired of the same old plain bread? Are you looking for a way to add some sweetness and excitement to your bread game? Look no further than this Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Challah recipe.
This recipe takes your typical challah bread to the next level with a delicious cinnamon raisin swirl that will have your taste buds dancing. The warm, comforting aroma of cinnamon and brown sugar fills the air as you bake this bread. Not only does it taste amazing, but it also looks stunning on any table, making it perfect for special occasions like Rosh Hashanah.
But what really separates this recipe from others is how versatile it is. You can serve it warm out of the oven with a pat of butter or use it to make French toast the next morning. Use it as sandwich bread or enjoy it as an afternoon snack with a smear of cream cheese. The possibilities are endless.
Plus, unlike other complicated bread recipes, this one is easy to follow even if it’s your first time making any type of bread. Simply follow the step-by-step instructions and watch as your dough transforms into a beautiful braided bread with a swirl of sweet raisins and cinnamon.
So next time you want to impress your friends and family with a homemade treat that’s sure to be a hit, give this Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Challah recipe a try. Trust me, once they taste the sweet and savory combination of flavors in this bread, they’ll be begging for the recipe.
Here’s everything you’ll need to make this Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Challah Recipe:
For the Dough:
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- ½ cup raw sugar
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ⅔ cup warm water (110°F)
- 2 large eggs and 1 egg yolk
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- Vegetable oil (for greasing)
For the Cinnamon Raisin Swirl:
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 raisins
For the Egg Wash:
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- A pinch of salt
I recommend using King Arthur bread flour for the perfect texture. Don’t forget to measure and prepare all of your ingredients before beginning the recipe.
The Recipe How-To
Now we come to the best part of the article, how to make this delicious Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Challah recipe! Trust me, it’s going to be worth it. This recipe is perfect for any occasion, whether it’s a Rosh Hashanah celebration or just a weekend brunch. Follow along with me as I guide you step-by-step through the recipe.
Step 1: Dissolving the Yeast
In a bowl, mix active dry yeast, warm water, and raw sugar together until fully dissolved. Let the mixture rest for about 10 minutes to activate and foam a little.
Step 2: Preparing the Dough
In another bowl, whisk together eggs, honey, salt, and melted unsalted butter. Slowly add in the yeast mixture then mix in flour until you have a sticky dough.
Step 3: Kneading and Rising
Prepare a lightly floured surface for kneading. Turn out the dough and knead for about 10-15 minutes until smooth and elastic. Use a little bit of vegetable oil to grease a new bowl before placing the kneaded dough inside. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rise for about 1-2 hours.
Step 4: Adding Flavors
Take the risen dough out and flatten it on your surface. Spread evenly with a mixture of cinnamon and brown sugar, followed by raisins evenly spread over the cinnamon layer.
Step 5: Rolling and Braiding
Carefully roll up the dough tightly into a log shape until you have reached the end. Cut into two equal parts with a knife, then braid each half together into two separate braids, then twist them both together into one loaf of bread.
Step 6: Baking
Place your bread loaf onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush the top with an egg wash and sprinkle more cinnamon sugar over it. Let it rest for another hour then preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175°C) and bake it for around 30-40 minutes or until golden brown all over.
Step 7: Cooling Down
Remove your gorgeous, aromatic challah from the oven and let it cool down before slicing or tearing into pieces to serve.
Congratulations, you’ve made the most amazing Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Challah! You can now enjoy this delicious bread anytime you like!
Substitutions and Variations
Who says you have to stick to the exact ingredients in a recipe? There’s always room for customization and experimentation in cooking, and this cinnamon raisin swirl challah bread recipe is no exception. Here are some substitutions and variations that you can try out:
– Whole Wheat Variation: Want to make your challah bread more nutritious? Swap out half of the unbleached all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour. The bread may come out slightly denser, but it’ll be packed with more fiber and nutrients.
– Raisin Sourdough Bread: If you love sourdough bread, why not combine it with cinnamon raisin swirl challah bread? Use your favorite sourdough starter instead of active dry yeast, and adjust the amount of water accordingly. This version may take longer to rise, but it’ll have a tangy flavor that complements the sweet filling.
– Bread Machine Method: Don’t feel like kneading or braiding dough by hand? You can still make homemade cinnamon raisin challah bread with a bread machine. Simply add the ingredients in the order recommended by your machine’s manual, set it on the dough cycle, then proceed with the recipe as usual.
– Different Fillings: While cinnamon raisin swirl is the classic filling for challah bread, there’s no limit to what you can stuff inside the braids. How about Nutella and chopped hazelnuts for a chocolate twist? Or cream cheese and raspberry jam for a breakfast treat? Experiment with different spreads and toppings to create your own signature twist on this versatile bread.
Whether you’re using this recipe as a starting point or following it to a T, don’t be afraid to put your own spin on it. That’s what makes cooking fun and creative!
Serving and Pairing
When it comes to serving and pairing this delicious cinnamon raisin swirl challah, the options are truly endless. This sweet, decadent bread is perfect for both brunch and dessert.
For a simple breakfast, slice a few pieces and toast them up in the oven until lightly golden and crispy. Slather with some butter or cream cheese, and enjoy with a cup of hot coffee or tea. Trust me; this is the perfect way to kick start your day!
This cinnamon raisin challah bread also makes an excellent base for French toast. Just dip thick slices of the bread into a mixture of egg, milk, vanilla extract, and a pinch of cinnamon. Fry them up in some butter until they are lightly browned on both sides. Serve them hot with maple syrup and fresh berries.
If you’re planning on serving the swirl challah as part of a dessert course, try pairing it with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream or whipped cream. It also goes well with fresh fruit like berries or sliced peaches.
If you want to take things up a notch, try using the cinnamon raisin challah bread to make a delicious and festive bread pudding! The combination of the chewy bread and creamy custard is unbeatable.
But honestly, this cinnamon raisin bread recipe is so versatile that you can pretty much serve it any way you like. Whether it’s slathered with honey butter or transformed into a savory sandwich with some smoked ham and cheese – you can’t go wrong!
Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating
Now, let’s talk about how to handle this scrumptious cinnamon raisin swirl challah bread after baking. You can make the dough ahead of time, store any leftovers for later indulgence, or even reheat it.
If you plan on making the dough ahead of time for convenience, wrap the freshly-baked challah tightly in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for up to a day. Just let it come back to room temperature before re-serving.
For storage beyond one day, place the cooled challah in an airtight container or sealable plastic bag before storing it in the refrigerator. It will keep well for up to 3 days when stored properly.
Reheating your cinnamon raisin swirl challah is easy as pie: Preheat your oven to 350°F, slice off a piece of your round shaped challah and cover it lightly with foil. Place this on a cookie sheet and heat in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until warm.
Tips for Perfect Results
Now that you’ve got your ingredients and recipe instructions ready, here are some tips to get that perfect cinnamon raisin swirl challah.
1. Use Room Temperature Ingredients
Make sure to take your eggs and unsalted butter out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before you start making the dough. This helps the ingredients mix better with each other and create a more cohesive dough.
2. Be Patient with the Dough
Part of what makes challah bread so delicious is its unique texture. To achieve this, it’s important to allow the dough to rise properly. A good rule of thumb is to let it rise until it has doubled in size before shaping and braiding it.
3. Keep the Dough Moist
Adding a tablespoon or two of honey to your dough recipe can help keep the moisture in, preventing your bread from becoming dry and crumbly.
4. Sprinkle Cinnamon Sugar Generously
When adding the cinnamon sugar swirl to your challah bread, don’t be shy! Sprinkle it generously and evenly throughout each layer of dough so that every slice has a sweet swirl in it.
5. Measure Your Flour Properly
It’s easy to accidentally pack too much flour into your measuring cup when baking, which can make your dough too dry and difficult to handle. Instead, sprinkle flour loosely into your measuring cup until it’s level with the top.
6. Experiment with Different Flours
While unbleached all-purpose flour is ideal for classic challah bread, you can experiment with different flours like whole wheat or bread flour for added complexity and flavor.
7. Let Your Bread Cool Completely
After baking your cinnamon raisin swirl challah, resist the urge to cut into it right away! Letting it cool completely on a wire rack for at least an hour will help preserve its texture and flavor.
With these tips, you’ll be able to make a perfectly braided, moist, and delicious cinnamon raisin challah bread every time.
your baking journey with this delicious and aromatic Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Challah recipe. Trust me, after making this bread once, you’ll be hooked and want to make it for every occasion or even just for a nice weekend treat.
This recipe is so versatile that it allows you to customize the recipe to suit your tastes. Whether you prefer a sweeter or more savory bread, or looking to experiment with different flours or fillings, the Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Challah recipe is the perfect base to get creative with.
Make sure you follow my tips and instructions closely to ensure perfect results each time. I also encourage you to try making this bread from scratch even if it’s your first time baking bread. Sometimes trying something new can be intimidating but it’s always worth it in the end!
I hope my passion for baking has inspired you to try out this recipe and make it your own. This Challah bread is so much more than “just a loaf of bread,” it’s an art form that brings people together and brings joy to any meal.
So don’t hesitate, gather your ingredients, turn on some music and let’s bake our way into savouring one of the most delightful types of bread out there. Happy baking!
Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Challah Recipe
- 1 3/4 cups lukewarm water (110 - 115 degrees)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated yeast
- 1 1/2 tablespoons salt
- 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted (or mild vegetable oil such as canola)
- 7 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup raisins
- egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon of water)
- 1 -2 tablespoon raw sugar
- Mixing and storing the dough: Mix the yeast, salt, eggs, honey, and melted butter (or oil) with the water in a 5-quart bowl, or a lidded (no airtight) food container.
- Mix in the flour without kneading, using a spoon, a 14-cup capacity food processor (with dough attachment), or a heavy duty stand mixer (with dough hook). If you’re not using a machine, you may need to use wet hands to incorporate the last bit of flour.
- Cover (not airtight), and allow to rest at room temperature until the dough rises and collapses (or flattens on top), approximately 2 hours.
- The dough can be used immediately after the initial rise, though it is easier to handle when cold. Refrigerate in a lidded (not airtight) container and use over the next 5 days. Beyond 5 days, freeze in 1-pound portions in an airtight container for up to 4 weeks. Defrost frozen dough overnight in the refrigerator before using. Then allow the usual rest and rise time.
- On baking day, whisk the brown sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl and set aside. Butter a loaf pan and set aside.
- Dust the surface of the refrigerated dough with flour and cut off a 1-pound (grapefruit-sized) piece. Dust the piece with more flour and quickly shape it into a ball by stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the ball a quarter-turn as you go.
- On a lightly floured surface, form the dough into a loaf shape. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a 1/4 inch thick rectangle (as close as possible). Use just enough flour to prevent it from sticking. If the dough resists shaping, let it rest for 5 minutes and try again. Sprinkle the brown sugar-cinnamon mixture evenly all over the top of the rectangle, leaving a 1-inch border all around. Top with the raisins. Roll up the dough, jellyroll-style, starting at one of the short ends, being sure to seal the bare edges.
- Allow the bread to rest and rise, covered, in the loaf pan for 1 hour and 20 minutes (or just 40 minutes if you’re using fresh, unrefrigerated dough).
- About 10-15 minutes before baking time, preheat the oven to 350-degrees F. Brush the loaf with egg wash and sprinkle with the raw sugar.
- Bake near the center of the oven for about 25 minutes. Smaller or larger loaves will require adjustments in baking time. The challah is done when golden brown and offers resistance to pressure. Due to the fat in the dough, challah will not form a hard, crackling crust.
- Remove the loaf from the pan and allow to cool on a wire rack.