If anyone tries this recipe, let me know what you think of it or if there is anything you would change about it.
1 1/2 cups + 2 Tablespoons milk
1 cup warm water
1 1/4 cups white sugar, separated
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, softened (the original recipe called for margarine)
1 cup raisins
8 cups all purpose flour
2 Tablespoons melted butter
2 Tablespoons ground cinnamon
Warm 1 1/2 cups milk in a small saucepan until bubbles form, then remove from heat. Let cool until lukewarm.
Whilen the milk is cooling, dissolve the yeast and 1/2 cup sugar in warm water and let sit until frothy. Mix in the eggs, 1/2 cup butter, salt, and raisins (tip: if you soak the raisins in some hot water first, they plump up. This will prevent them from soaking up the moisture from the dough and causing it to dry out the bread). Stir in the cooled milk. Gradually add the flour to make a stiff dough.
Knead dough on a lightly floured surface for a few minutes. Place in a large, greased mixing bowl. Turn the dough once so it is all greased. Cover with a damp cloth and allow to rise until double (I think it took about 2 1/2 hours).
Roll out on a lightly floured surface into a rectangle that is about 1/2 inch thick. Moisten dough with 2 Tablespoons milk. Mix the ground cinnamon with the remaining sugar (3/4 cup), and sprinkle it over the dough. Roll up tightly- the roll should be about 3 inches thick. Cut it into thirds and tuck ends under. Place loaves into well greased 9x5 inch pans. Lightly grease the tops of the loaves, and let rise again for 1 hour.
Bake at 350 F (170 C) for 45 minutes, until tops are lightly browned and sound hollow when knocked. Remove loaves from pans and brush lightly with the remaining butter. Let cool before slicing.