Whole-grain cinnamon swirl bread

From the Smitten Kitchen

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This weekend, I realized it had been five days since my last baking venture. It felt like a lifetime. Something was missing from my life. Something slightly sweet. Something hearty. Something like this bread.

It was just right for warming up on a bitter cold Sunday. Toasted and with a smear of butter…perfection. Myla and I both enjoyed a fresh piece for our afternoon snack. This bread exceeded my expectations, give it a try, you won’t regret it!

Yield: 2 loaves (in 8.5×4.5-inch or 9×5-inch loaf pans)

Ingredients

Bread
5 cups whole-wheat flour
Approximately 1 1/4 cups mixed whole grains (see link at top if page for suggestions; I used rye flour and cornmeal which tasted great)
2 teaspoons table salt
4 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/4 cups lukewarm water
1 1/4 cups lukewarm milk
1 1/2 tablespoons instant yeast

Filling
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 cup raisins (I used golden raisins)
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water

Directions

Make bread dough: In the bottom of large mixing bowl, combine water, milk and sugar, then whisk in yeast until dissolved. Add egg and oil and whisk until combined. In a separate bowl, whisk together flours, grains and salt, then add this to the yeast-egg mixture. Mix by hand, using a large spoon and stir for 1 minute. The dough will be wet and coarse. Let it rest for 5 minutes.

Mix the dough for 2 more minutes. The dough will seem firm and more smooth, ideally supple and sticky, but if it’s still very wet, add a bit more flour, a spoonful at a time. If it seems excessively stiff, add a little more water, a spoonful at a time. Continue to mix by hand for 4 minutes.

Scrape dough out onto lightly floured counter. Knead a few times, then form the dough into a ball and let it rest, covered by the empty bowl upended over it, for 10 minutes. Repeat this process — kneading a few times, then resting for 10 minutes — two more times.

Proof dough: Transfer dough to lightly oiled bowl with room for dough to at least double. Cover with plastic wrap and let proof at room temperature for 60 to 70 minutes, until doubled in bulk. Or ferment the dough overnight in the fridge (what I did). If proofing in the fridge, remove the dough before the fridge about 3 hours before you plan to bake it.

Prepare filling: Combine the sugar, cinnamon, raisins, and flour in a food processor or blender, processing until the fruit is chopped.

Fill bread and form loaves: Turn out onto a floured counter and divide it into two equal pieces. Roll each into a long, thin rectangle, about 16-x-8 inches. Brush the dough with the beaten egg and water mixture. Sprinkle half the filling evenly over the egg. Beginning with a short edge, roll the dough into a log. Gently press the side seam and ends closed, and place the log in a lightly greased loaf pan. Repeat with remaining dough and filling.

Proof bread again: Cover the pan with lightly greased plastic wrap, and allow the bread to rise for about 1 hour at room temperature, or until it has crowned about about 1-inch over the rim of the pan, about 45 to 60 minutes. About halfway through, heat oven to 350°F.

Bake bread: For about 40 minutes, rotating the loaf once for even color. When done, it will sound a bit hollow when tapped and the internal temperature will read 190°F.