Oatmeal Bread with Cinnamon and Raisins

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Dough Yield: About


    loaves at 1.5 lb each

Appears in


By Jeffrey Hamelman

Published 2004

  • About

By Adding Cinnamon and Raisins to the Oatmeal Bread formula that precedes this one, two significant things happen: First, the spice of the cinnamon and the sweetness of the raisins change the flavor markedly. Second, the cinnamon (specifically the chemical compound cinnamic aldehyde) greatly impairs the yeast’s activity, so a higher percentage of yeast is necessary to overcome it. (Tree-bark spices in general, such as mace, allspice, nutmeg, and cinnamon, have compounds that inhibit yeast activity when used in appreciable amounts.) In the present formula, the 3.5 percent yeast used is notable, and is directly related to the effect of the cinnamon in the dough. An alternative method of making the bread is to roll scaled-out dough pieces to a rectangular shape, egg wash the surface, sprinkle on cinnamon (and sugar if desired), then spread on the raisins, roll the dough up, and place in loaf pans. When using the cinnamon in this fashion—sprinkling it onto the dough rather than incorporating it into the dough—the yeast is not impeded, and the percentage of yeast in the formula can be reduced to 1.75 to 2 percent. The raisins should be soaked in warm water for at least 30 minutes before mixing (or overnight if more convenient), and well drained prior to the mix. If not soaked first, those on the surface tend to burn.

U.S. Metric Home Baker’s %
Bread Flour 15 lb 7.5 kg 1 lb, 8 oz ( cups) 75%
Whole-Wheat Flour 5 lb 2.5 kg 8 oz (1⅞ cups) 25%
Rolled Oats 3.3 lb 1.65 kg 5.3 oz (1⅝ cups) 16.5 %
Water 12.5 lb 6.25 kg 1 lb, 4 oz ( cups) 62.5 %
Milk 2.2 lb 1.1 kg 3.5 oz ( cup) 11%
Honey 1.5 lb .75 kg 2.4 oz (3 T) 7.5 %
Vegetable Oil 1.5 lb .75 kg 2.4 oz ( T) 7.5 %
Salt .44 lb .22 kg .7 oz (1 T + ½ tsp) 2.2 %
Yeast .7 lb, fresh .35 kg, fresh .37 oz, instant dry ( T) 3.5 %
Cinnamon, Ground .3 lb .15 kg .5 oz (2 T) 1.5 %
Raisins, Soaked and Drained (see headnote) 6.6 lb 3.3 kg 10.6 oz (2⅛ cups) 33%
Total Yield 49.04 lb 24.52 kg 4 lb, 13.8 oz 245.2 %


  1. MIXING: Place the oats in the mixing bowl. Add the water and turn the machine on for a moment to moisten all the oats. Let stand for 15 or 20 minutes to soften. Add all the remaining ingredients except the raisins to the bowl. In a spiral mixer, mix on first speed for 3 minutes in order to incorporate the ingredients thoroughly. The dough consistency should be moderately loose, with a slight tackiness from the honey. Turn the mixer to second speed and mix for 3 to 3½ minutes, until a moderate gluten development has been achieved. Add the drained raisins and mix on first speed only, just until the raisins are thoroughly incorporated. Desired dough temperature: 76°F.
  2. BULK FERMENTATION: 2 hours (or overnight retarding).
  3. FOLDING: Fold the dough once, after 1 hour.
  4. DIVIDING AND SHAPING: If the dough is going to be shaped into pan loaves, the dimensions of the pan will determine dough weight. For a loaf pan measuring 8 by 4 by 2½ inches, about 18 ounces of dough will make a good fit. Larger commercial strap pans with dimensions of 9 by 5 by 2¾ inches will take 1.5 pounds of dough. Freestanding loaves can be made too, but keep in mind that when baking directly on the hearth or baking stone, the bread will color quite quickly due to the raisins, and therefore finishing the bake on sheet pans may be necessary. Rolls can also be made with the dough.

    Divide the dough into the desired weights and preshape lightly into rounds. Place the dough pieces on a lightly floured work surface, seams up. Cover the rounds with plastic. Once the dough is sufficiently relaxed (10 to 15 minutes), shape into blunt cylinders in order to make pan loaves. For round loaves or rolls, shape accordingly. A nice finish for the bread or rolls is made by dipping the top of the dough into a damp cloth (or misting the surface) and then pressing the moistened surface into a tray of oatmeal. Cover the loaves with baker’s linen and plastic so that air currents don’t crust the surface.

  5. FINAL FERMENTATION: 1½ hours or more at about 76°F.
  6. BAKING: With normal steam, 450°F. The raisins particularly, but also the milk, honey, and oil, contribute a lot to bread coloring; therefore, lower the temperature by 20° to 30°F after 15 minutes to finish the bake in a receding oven. Eighteen-ounce loaves baked in loaf pans will take 30 to 35 minutes to bake, with 1.5-pound loaves in the larger strap pans taking closer to 40 to 45 minutes.