A fabulous anytime treat! Eat it freshly baked with a cuppa – or toasted and buttered for breakfast
- For the bread:
- 500g (1lb) strong plain flour
- 100g (3½ oz) caster sugar
- 1 level tsp salt
- 2 level tsp ground cinnamon
- 6-7g sachet fast-action dried yeast
- 150g (5oz) raisins
- 300ml (½ pint) milk, warmed
- 30g (1oz) butter, melted
- For the glaze:
- 6 level tbsp caster sugar
- Butter, to serve, optional
- Baking sheet, buttered
Tip flour into a bowl and stir in the sugar, salt, cinnamon, yeast and raisins. Mix together milk and butter and pour into the flour mixture. Mix until the ingredients bind together to form a soft dough. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes, in a machine or by hand, until it’s smooth and elastic.
Divide the dough into three pieces. Roll each piece into a long strip, then plait the three strips together, tucking the ends under the loaf.
Place the loaf in the centre of the baking sheet. Cover with a piece of oiled clingfilm and leave it in a warm place until it’s doubled in size.
Remove the clingfilm and cook loaf in centre of a preheated oven at 200°C (400°F, gas mark 6) for about 20 mins; then reduce the oven temperature to moderate – 180°C (350°F, gas mark 4) and continue to cook the loaf for a further 20-30 mins, or until it sounds hollow when tapped (lift loaf and tap it underneath, too).
To make the glaze, dissolve the caster sugar in 4 tbsp boiling water.
As soon as the loaf is cooked, remove it from the oven and transfer it to a wire rack, then brush over the glaze. Leave the loaf to cool a little before slicing it, and serve it either warm or cold, with or without butter.
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Pack the loaf in a freezer bag and freeze for up to three months. Allow to defrost and warm through before serving.