Disclaimer: Homemade Cinnamon Swirl Bread is a highly addictive and habit forming substance, whose aroma and consumption may cause intense feelings of comfort, warmth, and coziness. HCSB may result in a strong urge to purchase flour, sugar, and butter in bulk. Users who over-indulge in HCSB may experience profoundly disastrous kitchens, dishpan hands, and a wardrobe made entirely of lycra and spandex.
Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
I’m on my third batch in six days. I can’t seem to keep enough butter in the house, and I’m scouting six-slot toasters online.
And worst of all, I’m considering changing my address to Pepperidge Farm.
Do you think I have a problem?
CINNAMON SWIRL BREAD
Makes 1 large, or 2 smaller loaves
Source: adapted from this recipe
1 cup milk
4 T. butter, cut into ½” pieces
2 ½ t. Dry Active Yeast
1 ½ t. salt
4 (+) c. flour, plus extra for dusting your work surface
1/3 c. sugar
2 large eggs
¼ c. sugar
5 t. ground cinnamon
Small dish of milk for brushing
1 large egg
2 t. milk
Begin with the dough: slowly heat milk and butter together in a small saucepan until butter melts. Cool to lukewarm (about 120 degrees on a candy thermometer). Sprinkle the yeast over the milk and butter and stir slowly to blend. Allow to stand for 10 – 15 minutes.
Combine the salt and the flour in a medium bowl and set aside.
Place the sugar and the eggs in the bowl of a stand mixer, and beat them until combined. Add the milk and butter mixture and beat until combined. Slowly add 2 cups of the flour and mix until combined, then add remaining 2 cups flour until mixed thoroughly. Add more flour if dough seems extremely sticky (I haven’t needed more than 4 cups). Beat dough on medium speed for 10 minutes. Remove dough from mixing bowl, and transfer to a greased bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and a clean dish towel, and set aside to rise (see note) for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, until doubled in size.
Once risen, punch dough down once in the center, and let rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, mix cinnamon and sugar together in a small bowl for filling and set aside (if you’re making two loaves, double this mixture). Grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan (or 2 8×5” pans) and set aside.
If you’ve decided to make two loaves, divide the dough in half and form into two neat balls. Roll one dough ball into an 8×18” (or so) rectangle, with an 8”side facing toward you. Brush milk over dough, and sprinkle cinnamon sugar mixture over it, leaving a ½” edge on the side farthest away. Beginning with the side closest to you, roll dough into a tight (**see note) log shape, pushing ends together as you go to make sure that it does not become more than 8 inches (the length of your pan). Pinch dough ends together to form a tight seam, and push ends of dough toward the center. Place the dough seam-side down into the loaf pan, and press down evenly. Cover pans with plastic wrap and let the dough rise again until it is about 1 inch above the edge of the pans (for me this was another two hours).
Preheat oven to 350. Combine milk with egg in a small dish. Brush this mixture over the top of the loaves. Bake for 35 minutes until golden brown, and let cool for 45 minutes before serving.
**NOTE**: First of all, you can tell from the picture that I didn’t roll my dough tightly enough. Naughty, naughty. You’ll do better than that, I’m sure.
Secondly, you will have greater success if you leave your dough to rise in a warm spot. I like to put two cups of water in a glass measuring cup and bring it to a boil in my microwave (about 3 minutes). I quickly remove the water and place my dough bowl in the now warm microwave, where I leave it to rise. I repeat this water step before the second rise as well. Works like a charm!
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