In a large bowl, combine 1 teaspoon sugar with milk and yeast and stir to dissolve. Set aside until bubbly, 5 to 10 minutes. In small bowl, soak raisins in one cup water.

In a medium-size bowl, combine 1 1/4 cups water, 4 tablespoons butter, salt and the remaining 5 teaspoons sugar. Stir into yeast mixture.

With a wooden spoon or an electric mixer with dough hook attached, beat in flour, 1 cup at a time, until a soft dough forms. Continue to beat at moderate speed until dough is elastic, 7 to 8 minutes (or knead on a floured work surface 8 to 10 minutes). Pour remaining butter into a 5-quart bowl; shape dough into a ball; place in bowl and turn to grease. Cover with a cloth and set aside to rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Lightly butter two 9x5x3-inch loaf pans. Punch dough down; transfer to a lightly floured work surface and knead gently for 2 minutes. Divide dough in half and let rest, covered, 5 to 10 minutes. Working with 1 portion of dough at a time, roll into a 9×15-inch rectangle. Sprinkle 1/2 raisins over each portion and gently knead until evenly distributed. Cover and let rest 10 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons butter, sugar and cinnamon. Again roll each portion of dough into a 9×15-inch rectangle; spread each with 1/2 cinnamon filling. Beginning with a short side, roll up jelly roll fashion. Place loaves, seam side down, in prepared pans; cover and set aside to rise for 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Brush loaves with the remaining 1 tablespoon butter and bake until bread is brown and sounds hollow when tapped, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool in pans on a rack for 10 minutes; loosen around the edges and turn out.

In a small bowl, combine powdered sugar with water, stirring until smooth. Brush over cooled loaves.

From: Kitchen Secrets, a Reader’s Digest Cookbook


  • 6 Teaspoons sugar, divided
  • 1 Cup lukewarm (105°F to 115°F) whole or reduced fat 2% milk
  • 2 packets (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
  • 11/2 Cups California raisins, soaked
  • 5 Tablespoons unsalted butter or margarine, melted and divided
  • 2 Teaspoons salt
  • 6 to 6-1/2 cups unsifted all-purpose flour
  • 21/4 Cups lukewarm (105°F to 115°F) water, divided


Cinnamon Swirl Filling

  • 3 Tablespoons butter or margarine, melted and divided
  • 1/2 Cup sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon


  • 2 Cups sifted powdered sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons water

Nutrition Facts Per Serving

Calories 240 (Calories from Fat 16%); Total Fat 4 ( Saturated Fat 2.5; Trans Fat 0; ); Cholesterol 10; Sodium 240; Potassium 142; Total Carbohydrate 47; Dietary Fiber 2; Sugars 21; Protein 4; Calcium 27; Iron 2;

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California Raisins are naturally sweet, no-added sugar!