Orange Cinnamon Raisin Bread

6 c bread flour
2 pkgs dry yeast
⅓ c nonfat dry milk
½ c granulated sugar
1½ t salt
1¼ c hot water (120° to 130°F)
¼ c butter, room temperature
1 T grated orange peel
¾ c orange juice
1 egg, room temperature
1 ½ c raisins
1 T ground cinnamon mixed with ½ c sugar
2 t water

Frosting:
1 c confectioners’ sugar
1 t grated orange peel
4 t orange juice

Grease 2 medium 8 x 4 loaf pans.

Measure 2 cups flour into a large mixing or mixer bowl and add the dry ingredients. Pour in the hot water and stir vigorously to blend into a thin batter. Add the butter, orange peel, orange juice, and egg.

Add flour, ¼ cup at a time, stirring with strong strokes after each addition until the dough becomes a rough shaggy mass that can be turned out onto a floured work surface. Or use the mixer flat beater until dough gets too thick to beat, and then attach the dough hook.

Knead for 8 minutes by hand or with the dough hook. Add a bit more flour if the moisture works through the surface and sticks to the work counter or the sides of the mixer bowl.

Place the dough in a greased bowl, turning the dough to be certain it is filmed on all sides.

Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and put aside until the dough has doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Shaping: Fold back the plastic wrap and punch down the dough. Turn it onto the floured work surface and divide into 2 pieces. Cover with wax paper and let rest for 10 minutes.

Roll each piece into a 15 x 7 inch rectangle. Each will be about 1/2 inch thick. Spread each piece with the cinnamon-sugar mixture and raisins. Sprinkle each with 1 teaspoon water and smooth with a spoon or spatula. Roll from the narrow side. Seal the edges securely by pinching tightly along the seams. Tuck in the ends and place seam down in the pans.

Second Rising: Cover the pans with wax paper and let stand until the dough has doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375°F, 20 minutes before baking. Bake for 10 minutes then reduce heat to 325°F and bake for 30 minutes more, or until the loaves are nicely browned and test done when tapped on the bottom with a forefinger. The sound will be hard and hollow. Remove the bread from the oven and turn out onto a metal rack to cool.

Blend together the frosting ingredients and, when the loaves have cooled, spread over the top of the bread. (May omit frosting if preferred).

Jeff has been baking bread since Matt was born. When we married, knowing how much I love raisins in everything, he decided to try this recipe and add raisins to it. We loved the bread and Jeff decided to make a few loaves to give to the Church of the Holy Name for the annual Christmas fair. The bread was a big seller and all loaves were gone in a short time. The following year, Bob Torrey (who was in charge of the baked goods table at the time), asked Jeff if he would be able to make the same bread for the fair that year. Jeff made six loaves and and all were sold by the time we arrived at the fair late that morning. For the next few years, Jeff continued to contribute 4-6 loaves of bread. Then we had Harris and stopped doing a lot of things! For about four years, the church went breadless. As we slowly re-emerged into church life, Bob once again asked if we might have time to make a few loaves. Jeff grumbled and groaned, but baked four loaves (and one for us, and one for Mimi and Papa!) But in all truth, we suspect that it has always been Bob himself who buys all the loaves! — Emily

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