Contemporary Mennonite farmers take their harvested wheat to the local co-op and grain elevator. The co-op then sells the grain to places like Stafford County Flour Mills in Kansas, which makes this fine-crumbed bread with its all-purpose Hudson Cream Flour. Purchase the flour at www.staffordcountyflourmills.com, or use bread flour, as we did.
2/3 cup raisins
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons 1% low-fat milk
2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 cups bread flour, divided
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 package dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
How to Make It
Place raisins in a small saucepan, and cover with water; bring to a boil. Remove from heat; cover and let stand 15 minutes. Drain well.
Heat milk over low heat in a small, heavy saucepan to between 100° and 110°; remove from heat. Add butter to pan; stir until butter melts.
Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine 2 3/4 cups flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and yeast in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add warm milk mixture and eggs to flour mixture, and stir until a soft dough forms. Add raisins. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 8 minutes); add enough of remaining flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands (dough will feel tacky).
Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 1 hour or until doubled in size. (Gently press two fingers into dough. If indentation remains, dough has risen enough.) Punch dough down; cover and let rest 5 minutes.
Roll dough into a 14 x 7-inch rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Roll up rectangle tightly, starting with a short edge, pressing firmly to eliminate air pockets; pinch seam and ends to seal. Place roll, seam side down, in a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Cover and let rise 30 minutes or until doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 350°.
Bake at 350° for 40 minutes or until loaf is browned on bottom and sounds hollow when tapped. Remove from pan; cool on a wire rack.