Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Soft Cinnamon Swirl Bread

 I was ready to bake bread again and had a hunger for a decent homemade cinnamon bread. I searched through Mom's cookbooks for something interesting and came up with nothing. The net, too, mostly pointed to various cinnamon breads, but few with the old-fashioned swirl.
 That's when I found a recipe at The Comfort of Cooking which seemed to fill my requirements.

 The top swirl of cinnamon separated from the rest of the loaf and left a gap. See the text below for a possible explanation. The taste? Oooey, gooie, delicious!

 The recipe is straightforward and easy. Here is everything mixed and ready for the flour:

I always "proof" the yeast (top left) before adding it to the other ingredients. I added some of the sugar to warm water and added the two packages of yeast. In 5 - 10 minutes it is foaming like crazy.

 I used 5.5 cups of flour and ended up with dough that wasn't too sticky and easily workable. I kneaded it for about eight minutes. That's what I ended up with above.

 Then, an hour in a slightly warmed oven while the dough rises. It's easily doubled its original volume. It becomes a bit sticky and must be floured lightly to work with.

Now the hard part ... rolling the dough out to an 18" x 8" piece. You can see that I folded over both edges to get the short direction right.

 And then I sliced the dough into two equal (well, almost) sections of 18 X 4". They fit nicely into 9 x 5" loaf pans. They are rolled from the narrow side, the cinnamon swirled inside. I had quite a time sealing the ends (actually, I'd say I pretty much failed) but I figured it couldn't much matter. Many cinnamon breads have the cinnamon/sugar mixture on the outside.
 Before I sprinkled the cinnamon on the dough, I put down a layer of melted butter. That's not part of the recipe and I think that was the cause for the top layer of swirl separating. Next time: no butter!

 Here are the two loaves after an hour's rise. They've come well above the top of the pans and almost fill the pans end-to-end.

 I baked them for just 30 minutes as Mom prefers bread less dry. Now, time to cool and then we'll slice one loaf in half (Bob and Nancy get one half; Tom gets the other half). The other loaf? Ours, of course!

 Right out of the oven, we buttered the top to give it a shine. While it's still hot, the thin layer of butter melts into the crust and makes it more tender, too.

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