This delicious vegan Cinnamon Raisin Bread is incredibly soft, fluffy, and bursting with plump raisins. The bread brings pure joy whether enjoyed as is, or toasted and generously topped with vegan butter. It also transforms into an unforgettable French toast that will leave you eager for more.
Proofing the yeast
Back in the day, when a recipe called for yeast, it also meant that you had to proof the yeast. Proofing is the process of adding some warm liquid and a bit of sugar (to feed the yeast), and allowing it to sit for a few minutes. If the yeast is active it will begin to foam and bubble and you know that it is good and you can continue with your recipe.
Manufacturing processes have changed, however, and proofing instant, active dry, or rapid rise yeast is no longer necessary. The only reason you might want to still proof your yeast is if you suspect that it’s old and no longer viable. If you know your yeast is fresh, just add it to the dry ingredients and proceed with the recipe.
Because we bake quite a bit around here, I always buy the big bricks of yeast and store them in a sealed jar in the freezer or the refrigerator – although yeast can be damaged by high temperatures, it is not affected by cold temperatures. Stored properly yeast can last for up to two years.
Proofing the dough
If you are baking in a warm environment, you can simply cover your dough with a towel and proof it on the kitchen counter. You can also use the proof setting on your oven, if you have one. Otherwise, here is an easy trick you can try to help your dough rise properly. Simply place a container of boiling hot water inside the oven, then cover the bowl of dough with a kitchen towel and place that in the oven as well. The steam will create the perfect environment for your Cinnamon Raisin Bread to rise.
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Cinnamon Raisin Bread
- 8 x 4 bread pan
- 3 ¼ cups bread flour
- 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- ¼ cup light brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup lukewarm plant milk I used unsweetened flax milk, but you can use any unsweetened milk you like.
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 6 tablespoons butter
- ½ cup raisins
For the filling:
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- Weigh, or measure, your flour. Add the yeast, salt and brown sugar to the bowl.
- Warm the plant-based milk to about 110°F, (if you don't have a thermometer, it just needs to feel lukewarm to the touch). Add the vanilla extract.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl of dry ingredients and knead with a mixer, or by hand. At first, the dough always seems dry, but keep kneading and it all comes together. Once all the flour is incorporated, add the butter one piece at a time. This may take 5-10 minutes of kneading.
- Add the raisins and mix into the dough.
- Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and place in a warm spot in your kitchen to rise until about doubled in size – 1- 1½ hours.
- Lightly flour your counter and roll out the dough into roughly an 8 x 16 inch rectangle.
- In a small bowl mix ¼ cup brown sugar and 1 tbsp cinnamon. Sprinkle evenly over the dough.
- Starting at the short edge, begin to roll up the dough tightly.
- Line an 8 x 4 inch bread pan with parchment paper, and place the roll in the pan seam side down.Cover with a kitchen towel and allow to rise until doubled – about 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- When the dough has risen, bake for 40-50 minutes until golden brown.
- Let the bread rest in the pan for 10 minutes, and then remove and let cool on a wire rack.