Why This Recipe Works

Cinnamon-raisin bread is always appealing (at least in theory), but it often falls flat. It is either dry, with a scant amount of filling, or overly sweet and gooey—more like cinnamon buns than bread. We wanted to develop a fluffy, sweet loaf with a soft crumb, plenty of raisins, and a generous cinnamon swirl. That said, we didn’t want something so sticky that slices couldn’t go into the toaster without setting off the smoke alarm. Using our sandwich bread as the base for this recipe, we started by adding an extra tablespoon of sugar, which made the bread plenty sweet. We discovered that the raisins were best added to the finished dough (so they didn’t get blown apart during the kneading process). We then switched our focus to the cinnamon filling. Most traditional recipes mix together brown or granulated sugar, cinnamon, and salt and simply spread this mixture over the dough and roll it up tight. But every time we tried this method, our loaves were marred by gaping holes. After way too many failures, we realized that the layer of cinnamon sugar was too thin and ran out during baking. Switching to confectioners’ sugar and increasing the amount of cinnamon produced a filling that stayed in place. When powdery confectioners’ sugar absorbed water from the dough, it formed a sticky paste. This paste was then thickened by the cornstarch in the sugar and by the cinnamon. Unfortunately the confectioners’ sugar did not completely melt. We needed more moisture than could be supplied by the dough. Lightly spraying the filling with water once it was in place guaranteed that the powdery sugar became a paste, with no dry bits. Our loaf was close to perfect, but to guarantee that our filling could be tasted with every bite, we divided the dough in half, spread the filling over each piece, then stacked the two pieces in a loaf pan. We finally had the bread we were wanting—slightly sweet and evenly streaked with cinnamon sugar, and with no holes.


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2 ounces (1/2 cup) confectioners' sugar
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon coarse salt


2 cups warm water (110 degrees)
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
14 ounces (3 cups plus 2 tablespoons) ATK All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour Blend (see related content)
4 ounces (1 1/3 cups) gluten-free oat flour
1 ½ ounces (1/2 cup) nonfat dry milk powder
3 tablespoons powdered psyllium husk
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 ¼ teaspoons instant or rapid-rise yeast
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 ½ teaspoons Kosher salt
1 cup (5 ounces) golden raisin

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Makes 1 loaf

Do not substitute soy milk powder for the milk powder in this recipe, as it will negatively impact the flavor and structure of the bread. Note that this recipe calls for an 8 1/2 by 4 1/2-inch loaf pan; if using a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan, the dough will not rise as high and the bread will not be quite as tall.

1. FOR THE FILLING: Combine all ingredients in bowl.

2. FOR THE DOUGH: Spray 8 1/2 by 4 1/2-inch loaf pan with vegetable oil spray. Whisk water, eggs, and melted butter together in bowl. Using stand mixer fitted with paddle, mix flour blend, oat flour, milk powder, psyllium, granulated sugar, yeast, baking powder, and salt together on low speed until just combined. Slowly add water mixture and let dough come together, about 1 minute, scraping down bowl as needed. Increase speed to medium and beat until sticky and uniform, about 6 minutes. (Dough will be very sticky.) Reduce speed to low, add raisins, and mix until incorporated, 30 to 60 seconds.

3. Spray large sheet of parchment paper with vegetable oil spray. With wet hands, transfer half of dough to prepared parchment. Clean and wet hands again. Pat dough into rough 11 by 8-inch rectangle. Sprinkle half of filling mixture evenly over dough, leaving 1/2-inch border on all sides; spray filling lightly with water. With short side facing you, use parchment to roll dough into tight cylinder. Pinch seam closed and place seam side up in prepared pan. Repeat with second piece of dough and remaining filling; place in pan, seam side down, on top of first piece of dough. Smooth top of dough and spray with water. Tightly wrap double layer of aluminum foil around pan so that top edge of foil rests at least 1 inch above rim of pan; secure foil collar with staples. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until dough has risen by 50 percent (1/2 inch above rim of pan), about 1 hour.

4. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Remove plastic and spray loaf with water. Bake until top is golden, crust is firm, and loaf sounds hollow when tapped, about 1 1/2 hours, rotating pan halfway through baking.

5. Transfer to wire rack and let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove loaf from pan and let cool completely on rack, about 2 hours. Serve. (Once cooled, bread can be wrapped in double layer of plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 3 days.