I’d like to make a toast. Well, I’d like to make some toast.
The smoky, caramel smell of bread transforming into toast stirs up childhood memories for me in the best way.
To my surprise, not everyone feels this strongly on the subject. Although my husband is a pasta fanatic and will gladly gobble up garlic bread that I serve alongside chicken parmesan, when it comes to toast—he’s fairly indifferent.
At our favorite brunch diners, he has no problem passing it up to make more room for his true love: runny eggs. When I’m in the kitchen blissfully stacking salty bacon, fluffy lettuce, and juicy tomatoes atop a perfect piece of crusty sourdough—he’llhappily snack on the fillings and call it a day.
Me? I need the bread.
There’s something so satisfying and grounding about it, and I’m certain that the calming effect this carb has over me comes straight from my past.
As a kid, my daily breakfast during the week was a delightfully gooey sharp cheddar-and-scrambled-egg sandwich cradled inside a tin foil package (known in our family as “the tin foil surprise”). On weekends, however, I would leisurely relax at our oversized oak table with my dad. I would loudly chomp away at my honey-glazed cereal and read Calvin & Hobbes while he’d prepare his morning meal.
Patiently hovering over the toaster, he would stand quietly as the nutty aroma of wheat bread making its brilliant odyssey to toast would fill the air.
Though at that time in my life, I had no interest in food that wouldn’t leave a cheesy residue on my fingers or wasn’t chock-full of white flour—the spectacular scent of the grainy bread browning was as warming and comforting as a hug from my dad.
Just seconds after the golden square would hit his plate, he would coat it with a paper-thin layer of peanut butter and the spread would surrender into the crevices of the crispy toast.
As for my mom, well, she’s a fan of anything she can drench in butter—so it’s no surprise that she’s equally as enthusiastic about this topic. Even with being gluten-free today, she’s still found plenty of butter-worthy options that fit within her dietary needs.
I’ll never forget the perfume of the English muffins she would warm in our toaster oven. Whether for breakfast, an afternoon snack, or a post-dinner treat, the routine was always the same.
Thoughtfully poking her way around the middle of the round, puffy muffin, she would peel it in half, place it on the wire rack, and turn the knob.
Tick, tick, tick…
No matter where I was in our home, the incense of caramelized nooks and crannies would sweep through the air. As the timer would ding, she would flick the hot cylinders onto a napkin, mound them with creamy yellow pads of butter, and fuse them back together.
Although I had never been tempted to make my own bread in the past, when I learned I could easily accomplish the task without having to use yeast (or restlessly wait for the dough to rise), I was on board.
I needed those smoky, familiar smells back in my present-day life.
This cinnamon raisin bread is my answer to re-energizing those fragrant memories—but with my own twist of spice and sweetness. The buttermilk adds a hint of tang, which brings me back to the slightly funky, earthy notes of my dad’s whole wheat breakfast.
The rich, fatty butter that not only glides through the dough but lands on top of the finished loaf is a salute to my mom. The plump, juicy raisins add a zing of sugar and elicit an almost dessert-like feel that I’m totally cool with.
As soon as a soothing, exotic whiff of this cinnamon-toasted bread roams through my house, it’s as if I’ve time-traveled right back to my younger self.
Well, without the Cheetos.
Yeast-Free Buttery Cinnamon Raisin Bread
Nothing perfumes the house like homemade bread, and this buttery cinnamon raisin loaf is no exception. Not only is it yeast-free and foolproof to throw together, but it’s a flavor bomb loaded with earthy ground cinnamon, vanilla, and plump, juicy raisins. Break out your baking soda and read on for the full recipe.
- 1 cup raisins
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup dark brown sugar
- ⅔ cup granulated sugar, divided
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon coarse salt
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and divided
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- Pinch ground nutmeg
- Preheat the oven to 350° F and grease an 8x4-inch loaf pan.
- Soak the raisins in hot water for 15 minutes, drain, and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, ½ cup of the granulated sugar, the baking soda, and salt. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, buttermilk, vanilla, and 3 tablespoons of the butter.
- Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry until the batter is moistened. Fold in the raisins.
- In a separate small bowl, mix together the remaining granulated sugar, the cinnamon, and the nutmeg. Reserve 1 tablespoon of this cinnamon-sugar for finishing the bread.
- Spoon half of the batter into the greased loaf pan and then sprinkle with half of the larger amount of the reserved cinnamon sugar. Repeat with the second layer of batter and cinnamon sugar, and then cut through the batter with a knife to swirl the cinnamon sugar throughout.
- Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean, about 55-60 minutes. Evenly baste the top of the bread with the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter (making sure not to over-butter one spot or the inside will be soft) and sprinkle with the reserved 1 tablespoon of cinnamon-sugar.
- Cool the bread in the loaf pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack, and then cool for an additional 10 minutes. Slice and serve with more butter of jam.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 223Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 26mgSodium: 241mgCarbohydrates: 42gFiber: 1gSugar: 24gProtein: 4g
- Soak the raisins in a more flavorful liquid like orange juice, pomegranate juice, or even rum for a spirited kick.
- No buttermilk on hand? Add 1 tablespoon of either white vinegar or lemon juice to milk (of any variety) and allow the mixture to sit for several minutes. Once it has curdled and thickened, it’s a substitute for buttermilk.
- This bread is fairly delicate, so save any crumbled pieces or uneven slices for a delicious breakfast (or dessert) bread pudding.
Detailed Step by Step Tutorial with Photos:
Step 1 – Soak the Raisins and Measure the Dry and Wet Ingredients
Preheat the oven to 350° F and grease an 8x4-inch loaf pan.
Soak the raisins in hot water for 15 minutes, drain, and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, ½ cup of the granulated sugar, the baking soda, and salt.
In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, buttermilk, vanilla, and 3 tablespoons of the butter.
Step 2 – Incorporate the Wet Ingredients into the Dry and Make the Cinnamon-Sugar
Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry until the batter is moistened.
Fold in the raisins.
In a separate small bowl, mix together the remaining granulated sugar, the cinnamon, and the nutmeg. Reserve 1 tablespoon of this cinnamon-sugar for finishing the bread.
Step 3 – Build the Layers in the Loaf Pan
Spoon half of the batter into the greased loaf pan and then sprinkle with half of the larger amount of the reserved cinnamon sugar.
Repeat with the second layer of batter and cinnamon sugar, and then cut through the batter with a knife to swirl the cinnamon sugar throughout.
Step 4 – Bake, Cool, and Slice
Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean, about 55-60 minutes. Evenly baste the top of the bread with the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter (making sure not to over-butter one spot or the inside will be soft) and sprinkle with the reserved 1 tablespoon of cinnamon-sugar.
Mix any remaining cinnamon-sugar with softened butter for a spiced butter that you can spread onto the bread.
Cool the bread in the loaf pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack, and then cool for an additional 10 minutes.
Slice (using a serrated knife) and serve with more butter or jam.
Raisin’ a Toast.
If the solacing smell of freshly baked cinnamon raisin bread floating around your nostrils doesn’t sound like a good time, we probably can’t be friends.
This uncomplicated loaf is taken to the next level of simplicity thanks to its lack of yeast and rise-time. No need for fancy bread makers or floured surfaces, just mix, fold, pour, and bake.
Although I dig the zesty flair of cinnamon and the pungent pinch of nutmeg, feel free to spice up this bread to your heart’s content with other warm seasonings such as cloves or cardamom.
Crank up the cinnamon in your life with these other superbly spiced recipes:
Decadent Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Glaze
Easy Cinnamon Roll French Toast Roll Ups
Homemade Rice Pudding
No, all-purpose flour.
Great recipe…used gluten free flour.. I was disturbed when I was making that by my mom‘s texting and my husband asking for assistance I forgot to put the raisins in so I took the pan I put the raisins and stirred it up and baked it ,with the gluten-free flour and the mistake I made that was still the best Pan bread I ever made thank you
Can I use a nonstick 9x5 loaf pan? If I pureè half of the raisins so the bread will have more of the raisin taste will that work?
You can definitely use a nonstick loaf pan if preferred.
In regards to a puree of the raisins, I have personally never pureed raisins so not sure how that would work. If you did so, it would need to be done along with the liquid ingredients and not separate with more liquid or it would change the texture and overall composition of the bread.
I transferred the raisins to a mini food processor after draining the water and added a bit of canola oil. I didn't puree the raisins though. The bread was yummy. Moist, not too sweet and flavorful.
Really nice. Not too terribly crumbly. You can get it in and out of a toaster if you handle a little gently. Delicious toasted. Don’t be afraid to add more cinnamon if you’re a cinnamon freak like I am.