Mennonite Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Bread

I spent a whole day making bread and it was sexy. I mean, this is for reals.

I don’t care what anyone says, hotness has nothing to do with the bigness of your bosoms or the teensiness of your thighs. It has nothing to do with straight hair or shaved bikini lines. It has everything to do with kneading a soft mound of dough on a wooden cutting board. Wisps of bangs stuck in the corners of your mouth. The wipe of a floured hand on an itchy brow.

Screw bustieres. Sexy is bread.

Oh, dear Lord. I just wrote that upper paragraph. Got all hot and heavy, remembering the act of bread making. Then looked up and reminded myself that I was titling this recipe “Mennonite” Bread, because it was inspired by the dear Mennonite woman who makes  a similar loaf at my Amy friends Farmer’s Market in Hagerstown, Maryland.

But then I wrote about “sexy.” Mennonite bread and sexy. This is getting out of hand.

Did I mention there were plump, gorgeous, juicy raisins in my bread? Gracious. I should have gone to church today. I’m turning into a minxy, innuendo-writing baketress.

This is what happens, however, when you devote a whole day to bread baking. And the very act of that bread baking is just the supremest of pleasures.

Succulently, profoundly, lip-smackingly enjoyable.

And of course, we like it naked. With frosting on top.

I’m gonna need a cold shower. Dang that sexy bread.


Mennonite Cinnamon Raisin Bread


For the Bread:
1 2/3 cups very warm water
1 packet yeast
1/2 cup sugar
1 12 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup oil
3-4 cups flour

For the Cinnamon Swirl:
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1/4 cup golden raisins

For the Frosting:
4 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons melted butter
1/4 cup karo syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2-3 tablespoons milk


In a large bowl, whisk together the warm water and yeast. Add the sugar, salt, and oil. Mix in the flour, adding just enough flour to create a soft, pliable mound of dough. Knead the dough, adding flour by the tablespoons if necessary to keep it from becoming overly sticky. Knead the bread until it becomes elastic, about 4-5 minutes. Cover with a clean towel and set in a warm place for 1 1/2 hours.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Roll it into a large rectangle that is about 5 inches wide, 12 inches long, and 1 1/2 inches thick. In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar, cinnamon, and butter. Sprinkle it across the center of your dough, leaving about 1 inch free from the cinnamon mixture around the edges of your rolled out dough. Sprinkle raisins across the cinnamon mixture. Roll dough tightly (as you would cinnamon rolls), and pinch off the edges of the dough.

Transfer the dough into a large bread pan which has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Make sure you place the seam of the bread into the bottom of the bread pan to ensure an even, pretty loaf. Allow the bread to rise for another 45 minutes to 1 hour before baking.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake bread in hot oven for 40-45 minutes, or just until the bread turns a deep, golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool completely, about 2-3 hours before frosting.

To make the frosting, beat together with a stand mixer all ingredients until a thick frosting results. Spread onto cooled bread. Allow the frosting to set up by leaving it uncovered for another 1 hour or so.

You have finally paid the price. The bread is yours. Slice. Eat. Lick fingers. Repeat.