Mix warm water, brown sugar in bowl of a heavy-duty stand mixer (I use a 6 qt pro Kitchen Aid). Sprinkle yeast on top to soften and proof (proofing tests to see if the yeast is alive. In about 5 minutes or so, you will start to get bubbles–this means the yeast is good. If after 10 minutes, you see no bubbles or foam, the yeast will NOT rise the bread. Discard the water/sugar mixture and buy new yeast). If yeast “proofs,” then proceed—
Add the oil, salt, dry milk, raisins, cinnamon and 2 cups of the flour to the bowl. Fit mixer with dough hook and using speed recommended by manufacturer (with KA that’s #2), mix the ingredients in the bowl.
Add the remaining flour, 1 cup at a time, until a soft, but NOT sticky dough develops. If dough is a bit too sticky, add flour a tablespoon at a time. Flour is almost always a range–you only use as much as needed to get a soft, yet workable dough that doesn’t stick to your hands.
Knead (by machine) about 5 minutes or turn out on floured surface and knead by hand about 8 minutes.
Place about 1 tsp of oil in the bottom of a large bowl and place the kneaded dough in the bowl, coating the bottom of the dough with the oil. Turn dough oil side up and cover with greased plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm, draft-free place until double in bulk–about 1 hour.
Punch down dough after the rise (yep, just give it a good clop in the middle of the dough to deflate it). Turn out on a floured surface and shape into a loaf–all this means is rolling or patting the dough out into a rectangle about 6×10 inches and rolling up, jelly-roll style from the narrower end. Seal the seams and place in a greased 9x5x3 loaf pan. Cover with greased plastic wrap and place in a warm draft-free place to rise until double in bulk; about 45 minutes.
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake bread for 30-40 minutes, or until it sounds hollow when you tap the bottom -OR- bread’s internal temp is 190 degrees F (if you have an insta-read thermometer).
Remove from pans and cool completely on a rack.
Makes 1 loaf (recipe is easily doubled)
Bread Machine Instructions
Place ingredients in bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer–this is usually all the wet ingredients first, ending up with the flour on top and the yeast on top of the flour. Set for SWEET cycle and just let the machine do it’s thing. When I make this in my bread machine, I don’t bother waiting for the “beep” to add the raisins–I just throw them in at the beginning.