Cinnamon Bread Twists

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Two 7g envelopes active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 2 1/4 cups white wholemeal flour
  • 1 1/4 cups plain flour, plus extra as needed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 2 tablespoons apple butter
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup icing sugar

Serves: 12 twists (2 per person)

Warm the milk and 2 tablespoons of the butter in a small pot over medium-low heat until the milk is warm and the butter is melted. You do not want to bring the milk to boil or it will be too hot and kill the yeast. Remove from the heat and sprinkle the yeast over the mixture. Stir once or twice and set aside until it becomes foamy, about 5 minutes. Put the raisins in a small bowl and add 2 tablespoons water. Heat in the microwave on high until the raisins plump, about 45 seconds.

Whisk both flours with the salt in a small bowl and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the eggs and granulated sugar on medium-high speed until the sugar is dissolved and the eggs have lightened in colour, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce the speed of the mixer to low and slowly pour in the yeast mixture. Beat until smooth, and then add the flour mixture. Beat until just blended, and then switch to a dough hook and continue to mix the dough until it is soft, just a bit sticky and forms a loose ball shape, about 5 minutes. At this point touch the dough; it should only leave a small bit of sticky dough on your finger. If more than a bit sticks to your finger, add more all-purpose flour, a tablespoon at a time, until it reaches the right level of stickiness. Do not add more than 1/4 cup of flour or your dough will be dry and tough.

Beat in the soaked raisins and any of the liquid in the dish until blended into the dough. Coat a large bowl with nonstick cooking spray, add the dough and turn to coat. Cover the bowl with cling film and set in a warm place to rise until doubled in size, about 2 hours.

Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface lightly dusted with plain flour. Pat into a 15-by-10-inch rectangle. Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter and brush over the dough. Top with the apple butter, cinnamon and brown sugar. Fold in half from top to bottom to get a 16-by-6-inch piece of dough, and then cut into 24 strips. Twist and stretch, and then place on a lightly greased baking sheet, leaving 2 inches between each strip. Loosely cover with a piece of plastic wrap until the strips have doubled in size, about 1 hour longer.

Preheat the oven to 175°C.

Melt the remaining 1 tablespoon butter and brush over the twists. Bake until lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Whisk the icing sugar with 1 to 2 teaspoons very hot water until a smooth thick glaze, and brush over the warm twists. Serve warm.

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