I think the first day of adulthood can be marked by the moment you realize that you are your mother. High school graduation, a promotion at work, the birth of a child, yes, but nothing makes me feel like a old lady more than admitting I want to be just like my mom.
Growing up, my mother and I weren’t always thick as thieves. She took the role of chauffer, chef, and maid, while I played the despondent, self-centered child with not even a lick of courtesy or common sense. As far as I was concerned, she was too strict, too loud, too all up in my business all the time, and I swore I’d do it better when I had kids of my own someday. And let’s all just laugh at that illusion, right?
At sixteen, it was easy for me to believe that my mom existed for little more than to ruin my life, but as I began to trudge through the muck of early adulthood, I discovered a few holes in that theory. Now, as I enter the early phases of what I pray will be many years of parenting, I think about my own children and how I can nurture them into becoming exceptional humans. I look at my mom, along with so many other beautiful women who have invested in my story, and I think, “What is the secret? How did she make it look so easy? How can I grow up to be more like her?”
The honest truth is that I don’t have a clue. If someone has already written a manual on adulting, they sure haven’t assigned me a copy yet. As far as I know, we’re all just supposed to feel our way through the dark and trust that someone else remembers to bring the flash light; just tell me when we arrive, okay? So in the meantime, until I figure it out being a grown up, this is my plan:
I will be too strict, too loud, too all up in my children’s business. I will discipline and ask the hard questions, even if it hurts. There will be fights, apologies, and more tears than worth counting, but I’ll do it because it’s my job. Because I love them. Because their future and soul and body is worth fighting for.
Thankfully, there’s room for so much joy too. We can play and eat ice cream sundaes and sing silly songs from “Mary Poppins” at the top of our lungs. We can share and forgive. We can settle into loving each other and learn to make room for other people at our table too. As their mother, I will protect and grow these babies with my sincerest efforts, but I will also rest in knowing that God will take care of the parts that I mess up.
That’s what my mother taught me to do.
Raisin swirl bread won’t make you a good parent. It’s not super healthy and doesn’t boast a hidden serving of fruits and vegetables. Buttered toast is a far cry from a superfood, but it is comfortable and necessary, so I think you’ll want to find these loaves gracing your table too.
The recipe for this raisin swirl bread was adapted from my favorite whole wheat sandwich bread. These loaves are oversized, fluffy, and pale, swirled with cinnamon and sugar and nuggets of dried fruit. Each slice of bread toasts up crisp and golden and tastes perfect with a schmear of butter. Even though my oldest baby typically prefers my cinnamon swirl bread, she also totally adores this raisin bread. The 2-year old endorses it, so surely it’s a win, right?
First, make your dough for your raisin swirl bread. A little activated yeast and water mix with some milk, honey, egg, and oil. Add in some flour and salt and mix until well combined. Knead the dough until it becomes slightly stretchy and then allow it to rise. Once doubled in size, divide the dough in two and roll each half into a large rectangle of dough. Sprinkle with cinnamon, sugar, and a handful of raisins before rolling the loaves and leaving them to rise a second time.
After baking, these loaves of raisin swirl bread boast a glossy, golden top and a soft and fluffy center. You can change up the swirl filling depending on your preferences, but somehow the old classic of cinnamon sugar and raisins just fits the bill. This raisin swirl bread is a treat the whole family can rally around unless, of course, your husband is terrified of dried fruit. **Clears throat, raises eyebrows, gives husband the stink eye**
Give this raisin swirl bread a try and let me know what you think. Maybe send the extra loaf to your mama or someone who took time to teach you the good lessons in life. Love them a little this week. AND DON’T FORGET TO VOTE FOR THE SAVEUR BLOG AWARDS! You can find yours truly as a nominee in the “Best Baking and Sweets” category. Vote as often as you’d like from now until September 8th by clicking here or on the link on my blog homepage. Cheers!
If you like the recipe for this raisin swirl bread, you should try:
Raisin Swirl Bread
This recipe for raisin swirl bread makes two loaves of fluffy white bread swirled with cinnamon sugar and dotted with juicy raisins.
- Prep Time: 120
- Cook Time: 40
- Total Time: 2 hours 40 minutes
- Category: Bread
For the dough:
- 1 cup (240 mL) warm water
- 3 teaspoons active dy yeast
- 1–1/4 cup (300 mL) milk (I use 2%), room temperature
- 2 tablespoons (30 mL) honey
- 3 tablespoons light oil (canola, vegetable, or extra light olive oil)
- 1 large egg
- 6 cups (730 gm) of all-purpose flour
- 1–1/2 teaspoons salt
- 6 tablespoons (75 gm) sugar
- 2–1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup raisins
- In a large bowl, sprinkle yeast over the water and allow to dissolve, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in the milk, honey, oil, and egg. Add 2 cups of the flour and the salt, stirring just until combined. Add the remaining flour and stir until the dough is a fairly uniform, shaggy dough.
- In a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment (or by hand, if preferred), knead dough on medium speed until dough is smooth and only slightly tacky, about 7-8 minutes. If the dough is too sticky, add up to 1/2 cup of additional flour.
- Spray a large bowl lightly with baking spray and place dough inside, covering tightly with a sheet of Saran wrap. Allow to rest in a warm spot for about 1-1/2 hours, or until dough has risen and is approximately double in size.
- Once risen, remove dough from bowl and separate into two equal pieces. Roll each sheet of dough on a lightly greased work surface into a 6”x20” rectangle. Whisk the egg with 2 teaspoons of water and brush this wash over the surface of each sheet of dough. Reserve the extra wash.
- Combine the cinnamon, sugar, and flour in a small bowl and sprinkle the mixture evenly over the surface of each piece of dough. Sprinkle on the raisins as well.
- Starting at one of the narrow ends, roll the dough snug up the length of the long ends of the rectangle until you’re left with a tube-shaped roll of dough. Pinch the ends to seal the dough closed. Place each loaf roll into their own greased loaf pan (8.5″ X 4.5″ X 2.75″). Cover with Saran wrap and allow to rise again for about 45 minutes, or until the dough has risen one inch over the top of the pan. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Once risen, brush a thin layer of wash over the tops of each loaf. Bake for about 35 minutes, or until loaves have turned golden and sound slightly hollow when tapped on the top.
- Allow to cool in pan for ten minutes and then remove to finish cooling on a cooling rack.
- You can use a slightly large bread pan for this recipe as these loaves are massive! Beware of using a small pan. This recipe requires a large enough pan to accommodate the dough.
- If your bread is not rising well, place loaves in a slightly warmer spot in your kitchen. I let my bread rise next to a warm oven.
- Allow bread to cool completely prior to slicing.
- Bread will keep on the counter for several days but will keep best in the refrigerator for up to 6-7 days. There’s no preservatives in this stuff so it won’t last as long as your supermarket bread- eat fast!
- Wrapped securely in aluminum foil, bread will keep in a freezer for up to four months.