This bread is wonderful toasted for breakfast. Any dried fruit can be substituted, cherries, cranberries, blueberries or chopped appricots instead of raisins. I always add pecans to mine but you can add walnuts if you like.
1Lightly coat a 2 pound loaf pan with cooking spray and flour. Sift the flour, salt and cinnamon into a large mixing bowl. Stir in the yeast, raisins and sugar and make a well in the center.
2Gently heat the butter and milk in a small saucepan until the butter has melted and the mixture is just warm. Pour into the well in the dry ingredients and add the beaten egg. Mix together and make a soft dough.
3Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Shape the dough into a loaf and place in the prepared pan. Cover with a towel or plastic wrap that has been coated with cooking spray and leave to rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
4Toward the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Uncover the loaf and brush with the milk to glaze. Bake until it sounds hollow when removed from the pan and tapped on the bottom, about 30 minutes. Cover the loaf with foil toward the end of the cooking time if the top is browning too much.
5Turn out onto a wire rack and leave to cool. The bread can be kept, wrapped in foil, for 2 to 3 days.
6Cinnamon Raisin Rolls: Instead of forming the dough into a loaf after the first rising, divide it into 2 ounce pieces. Shape each piece into a round ball and place on a sheet pan coated with cooking spray. Cover the dough with plastic wrap or a towel and allow to rise according to the recipe. Bake the rolls on the same sheet pan until they sound hollow.