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Cinnamon Swirl Bread

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Cinnamon Swirl Bread

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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Leah Damron is an avid home cook who believes in using the freshest ingredients available, and she challenges herself weekly to create meals out of (mostly!) sale items. If Sendik's ever gave a title for "Biggest Fan", she believes she would win, hands down. Leah lives in greater Milwaukee with her husband, three children, and her big black lab, Daisy."

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