I got this recipe from a friend of mine who's trying his hand at baking. Another selling point is that my dad really likes cinnamon raisin bread. A third selling point? This type of bread goes great with apple butter. :o)
To make one loaf.
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup warm water (between 110-115 degrees) - I added 1/4 cup more warm water.
2 (1/8 ounce) packages active dry yeast (aka 3 tsp)
1/4 cup white sugar
1/3 tsp salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1.3 cup raisins
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour - To compensate for the additional water, I added one more cup of flour.
2/3 Tblspn milk
1/3 cup white sugar
1 Tblspn ground cinnamon
2/3 Tblspn butter, melted
1. Warm 1/2 cup milk in a small saucepan on the stove until it just starts to bubble, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Let cool until lukewarm, about 120-125 degrees.
2. Dissolve yeast in warm water and set aside until yeast is frothy, about 10 minutes or so (make sure your water is at the correct temperature or the yeast won't activate). Then, mix in the egg, sugar, butter, salt, and raisins. Stir in the cooled milk slowly so you don't cook the egg. Add the flour gradually to make a stiff dough.
3. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for a few minutes until smooth. Place in a large, buttered mixing bowl and turn to grease the surface of the dough. Cover with a warm, damp cloth and let rise until doubled, usually about 1 1/2 hours.
4. Roll out on a lightly floured surface into a large rectangle 1/2 inch thick. Moisten dough with milk and rub all over dough with hands. Mix together sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle mixture evenly on top of the moistened dough. Roll up tightly the long way.
5. Place loaf into well-greased 9x5 inch pan and lightly grease top of loaf. Let rise in warm place, uncovered, for about an hour.
6. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit or until loaf is lightly browned and sounds hollow when tapped. Remove from oven and let cool on rack. Take melted butter and spread over top of loaf.
[I didn't really understand why melted butter had to be drizzled on top of the loaf. This ended up being messy for me because I stored the loaf in a gallon-size Ziplock bag. However, if you're going to store it another way that doesn't hinder the top of the loaf, by all means, keep the melted butter. Whenever I make this again, I'm going to skip this step.]
7. After 20 minutes, lay loaf on its side and remove from pan. Allow to cool before slicing.