Did you know that cinnamon was once so valued that wars were fought over it? Neither did I. Here in Singapore, cinnamon is also known as “kayu manis” which literally means sweet wood in Malay. It is more commonly found in the form of cinnamon quills and used often in dishes such as Curry and Black Sauce Chicken.
A bit of cinnamon goes a long way. I love baking with cinnamon as the smell permeates through the house and wafts towards the neighbors and lingers on for hours.
After a week and a half of school, my hands are itching to bake and I thought why not try something new to kick off the new year. Enough with the cakes, cookies and chocolates. I will overcome my fear of yeast and bread (new year’s resolution?) and attempt to bake bread.
This recipe for Cinnamon Raisin Roll was modified from Old Fashioned Favorites. My mom don’t really fancy cinnamon so I had to reduce the quantity of cinnamon by half (Oh, I know..the horror) and the recipe wasn’t really for a roll. It was supposed to result in a loaf of bread, but with a little tweaking, it churned out about a dozen cinnamon raisin rolls. I know it might seem long and tedious (it’s not, really) but the rolls just made it worth the wait. This post has no “work–in-progress” photos cause my hands were too sticky and messy to handle my camera. There will be more in other posts.
Cinnamon Raisin Rolls
Makes about a dozen rolls
1 package active dry yeast
1/2 cup and 1 tsp sugar (keep separated)
1/4 cup warm water
3 cups flour (plus a bit more for kneading and rolling)
1 tsp salt
2/3 cup warm milk
3 tbsp butter (room temperature)
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup raisins
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp butter, melted
1 tbsp water
Activate yeast by adding dry yeast and 1 tsp sugar over warm water. Stir until yeast dissolves and let stand for 5 minutes.
Separate one egg. Refrigerate the white while leaving the yolk aside. Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 1/4 cup sugar and salt in a large bowl.
Gradually beat yeast mixture, warm milk and butter into flour at low speed. After the addition, beat at medium speed for about 2 minutes.
Reduce speed to low before adding the whole egg, the separated yolk and vanilla. Increase speed to medium again, beating for a further 2 minutes.
Stir in raisins and about 1 1/2 cups flour with wooden spoon. Turn out dough and knead for about 5 minutes or until dough is smooth (3 minutes ought to be sufficient with addition of flour if necessary).
Replace dough into bowl and allow it to rise, covered with a towel for 1 1/2 hours. Punch dough down and let rest for 10 minutes.
Grease baking tray well. Combine 1/4 cup sugar and cinnamon and set aside.
Roll dough into a 20×9 inch rectangle and brush with 1 tbsp melted butter and sprinkle with sugar/cinnamon mixture.
Roll up dough starting from the shorter side and pinch seam to seal. Using a bread knife or any other serrated knives, cut approximately 1 inch thick rolls.
Place on baking trays and allow to rise for a further hour.
Preheat oven at 180 degree Celsius.
Brush loaf with egg white mixed with 1 tbsp water. Bake at 180 degree Celsius for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
Enjoy hot from the oven!