Saturday, October 17, 2015

Cinnamon Bread

Andy loves cinnamon bread. You know the kind with the swirl running through it, and it looks all lovely and like a cinnamon roll but in a bread? Yup, that's the one. So, when I saw this recipe on Three Many Cooks, I knew I had to try it. I goofed a bit on mine, and ended up making it into two loaves instead of just one giant one - that's what happens when your 9X20 shape is not quite a rectangle, and then you can't get the bread into one loaf pan. But no matter, these loaves still turned out beautifully, if a little smaller than what was intended. I enjoyed a piece for breakfast this morning, toasted with a little butter and cinnamon sugar. Yum.

Cinnamon Bread (from Three Many Cooks)
2 & 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast (a normal packet contains 2 & 1/4 tsp)
1 1/2 cups whole milk, warmed to tepid (around 105 degrees)
1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter melted but not hot
4 cups all-purpose flour, plus 2 teaspoons for the swirl (I used 2 cups AP flour and 2 cups white whole wheat flour)
2 tsp salt
1/4 cup granulated sugar, plus 1/4 cup for the swirl
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, plus 2 teaspoons for the swirl
1 egg, beaten (save this to use in the middle of the process and again before the bread goes in the oven)

1. Sprinkle yeast over warm milk; let stand until yeast dissolves and starts to expand, about 5 minutes; whisk in cooled butter.

2. Meanwhile, pulse 4 cups of flour, salt, 1/4 cup of the sugar, and 2 teaspoon of the cinnamon in the work bowl of a food processor. Add milk mixture; process until it forms a soft, rough mass, about 30 seconds. (Dough will firm up as butter solidifies.)

3. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface to form a smooth ball; place into a vegetable cooking spray-coated large bowl and then cover with plastic wrap. Place in a warm place until dough doubles, 1 1/2 to 3 hours, depending on room temperature. Mix remaining 1/4 cup of sugar with remaining 2 teaspoons of cinnamon and flour.

4. Turn dough onto a lightly floured work surface, stretching it into a 20-by 9-inch rectangle; brush with egg and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. With the 9-inch side facing you, roll dough into a tight cylinder and place it in a vegetable cooking spray-coated 9-inch loaf pan. *I rolled mine with a rolling pin - I stretch my pizza dough, but have not had much luck stretching a loaf of bread into a 20X9 rectangle, but give it a shot!

5. Cover pan with a damp towel; let rise until almost doubled in size, 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours, depending on room temperature.

6. Ten to 15 minutes before baking, heat oven to 350 degrees. Brush dough with remaining egg wash and bake until crust is brown, about 45 minutes. Turn loaf onto a wire rack to cool. (Cooled loaf can be wrapped in plastic wrap and stored at room temperature a day or two or wrapped loaf can be placed in a zipper-lock bag and frozen up to 1 month.) Slice, toast, serve!

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