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Homemade Cinnamon Bread (Swirled, Nuts or Raisins)

Homemade cinnamon bread is so soft, sweet and full of heartwarming comfort. Learn how to make it from scratch with all the easy steps to bread baking success. Add raisins or nuts, too!

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a loaf of sliced cinnamon bread on a table

Bagged factory made cinnamon bread is fair enough–if you’ve never had anything to compare it to.

This bread is delicate, not too sweet and perfectly soft. It’s egg free for those of you who have been looking for that option and leaves plenty of room for flexibility to add other nuts or fruits.

It also makes great french toast when it dries out a bit. 🙂

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Where to buy yeast

Yeast is out there. I’ve seen it in a variety of places but you may need to buy a large amount. This 2 pound container is available on Amazon and usually lasts a couple of years.

Where to buy flour and what kind works best in cinnamon bread

I really think bread flour is best for breads–imagine that. All purpose can be used if bread flour isn’t available but it takes more kneading to build the gluten and doesn’t have quite the “lift” or structure that bread flour does when it bakes.

If you can’t find flour in the store go to the source. Lots of mills have flour you can order. I get mine from Lindley Mills in North Carolina. Look beyond your grocery store shelves for what you need.

Can I make cinnamon bread with self rising flour?

Nope. You can’t. Self rising flour has baking powder and salt in it for lift–not yeast and won’t behave as bread or all purpose flour does.

Basic cinnamon bread

I love a good swirl of cinnamon in my bread but if you’d like to just have the flavor of a basic cinnamon bread, simply take the filling ingredients and knead them in to the dough during the last 5 minutes before placing it to rise for the first time.

This will distribute the cinnamon and sugar through the dough itself.

How to make a cinnamon swirl loaf

To make a swirl loaf, roll your dough to a 9×9 square, brush with butter, beaten egg or just a little water and sprinkle a blend of cinnamon, brown and white sugar over the dough (recipe is below) then roll up like a sausage and seal well before rising the second time.

To add raisins to cinnamon bread

To add raisins, mix the dough and begin kneading. The total kneading process will take about 14 minutes. Add the raisins in the last 5 minutes of kneading and work them in before putting the bread on for the first rise.

Nuts can also be added to the dough if you choose at this step or they can be added to the filling itself.

To add nuts

Add 1/2 cup finely chopped nuts of your choice to the filling with the sugars and cinnamon. Walnuts or pecans are a great choice here.

You can also add the nuts to the dough itself with the raisins and knead them in.

Remember that rising dough with fruits and nuts in it will slow the rise times so be patient.

Steps for making cinnamon bread (with a swirl)

Step 1: Activate the yeast in warm water with some maple syrup. I’m using active dry yeast but instant yeast can also be used. I recommend always activating your yeast to make sure its alive. If you need help with activating yeast, click here.

a bowl of yeast beginning to foam in water

Step 2: Add the melted and cooled butter, the flour and salt. Stir to form a shaggy dough.

a bowl of shaggy dough in a bowl

Step 3: Knead the dough on a floured surface for about 14 minutes. You can also knead the dough with a dough hook in a stand mixer but you’ll need to check it often to make sure you aren’t over working it. About 8 minutes in a stand mixer should be plenty. Add any raisins or nuts during the last few minutes of kneading if you are using them.

a ball of dough on a counter

Step 4: Place the dough back in its bowl and cover. Allow to rise until doubled in bulk–about 1 1/2 hours or so (longer if there are nuts and raisins).

a bowl of risen dough

Step 5: Roll out to a 9×9 square, brush with melted butter, egg wash or water and sprinkle with sugar, brown sugar and cinnamon. Roll up like a sausage and pinch the seam shut well on both ends and along the length.

Step 6: Rise again (uncovered) until the loaf is about 2 inches above the rim of the pan. About another hour. Brush with egg wash and bake at 450 for 24-27 minutes until golden. Turn out to cool on a wire rack and glaze if desired.

risen dough in a loaf pan ready for the oven

Other bread recipes to love

The Recipe

a loaf of sliced cinnamon bread on a table

Homemade Cinnamon Bread

Discover the cozy comfort of warm cinnamon bread.
Print Pin Rate
Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Rise Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 644kcal
Author: Rachel Ballard

Ingredients

  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons butter melted and cooled slightly
  • 3 1/2 cups bread flour all purpose works too
  • 1/2 tablespoon fine sea salt

For the cinnamon filling

  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar coconut sugar works too
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon

For the glaze

Instructions

  • To the warm water in a large bowl add the maple syrup and yeast. Allow to sit until starting to foam–about 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Once foaming, add the butter and stir to combine. Add the flour and salt and stir to combine. Transfer to a floured surface and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic–about 14 minutes. If adding raisins or nuts knead them in during the last five minutes.
  • Place it back in the bowl and brush with oil to prevent drying out. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled in size. About 1 1/2 hours. Longer if you added raisins or nuts.
  • Once doubled, transfer to a floured surface and roll to a 9×9 square. In a small bowl blend the brown sugar, white sugar and cinnamon. Set aside. Brush the dough with melted butter, egg wash or just water, and sprinkle on the cinnamon sugar.
  • Startig on one end, roll up and pinch the seam well to seal. Pinch the ends closed as well.
  • Transfer to a greased and parchment paper lined 9×5 loaf pan. Rise uncovered in a warm place until 2" above the rim of the pan–about an hour or so.
  • Bake at 450 for 25 to 27 minutes, tenting with foil if the bread starts to get too dark.
  • Once baked transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  • Blend powdered sugar, vanilla and milk and use a fork to drizzle over the bread.
  • Bread will last up to 3 days tightly wrapped on the counter or may be frozen for up to 2 months.

Nutrition

Calories: 644kcal | Carbohydrates: 122g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 23mg | Sodium: 958mg | Potassium: 155mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 39g | Vitamin A: 262IU | Calcium: 54mg | Iron: 1mg

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