Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Cinnamon Sugar Swirl Bread

Cinnamon Sugar Swirl Bread
I had THE MOST incredible loaf of cinnamon sugar swirl bread and it haunts me.

I wanted to replicate it. So I tried. I adapted the recipe slightly to try to add my favorite component of the bread I so adore---cinnamon sugar crusted around the outside of the bread. At that I succeeded. At the attempt to copy it? I failed. *sigh*
Cinnamon Sugar Swirl Bread
So if anyone knows how to make a smaller, skinnier loaf with lots of swirl and really just SO much cinnamon-sugar....let me know. Or I'll just cave and buy it. Either way. 

My failure stated-I still really loved this bread. For the record. It was delish. Especially toasted. With butter. Yeah...that was good.
Cinnamon Sugar Swirl Bread
I don't know what it is but the smell of cinnamon (and bread-always) is so crazy comforting and homey. And when you are baking it this bread smells AMAZING. You're going to just want to curl up in your Christmas blanket, watch some home movies, and call your mom. And if you bake yourself a loaf on Christmas eve this is so perfect for Christmas morning breakfast!
Cinnamon Sugar Swirl Bread
So. This bread. The top is a little crunchy because of the cinnamon sugar. The bread itself is soft and chewy (although, as stated, I like it best toasted. My bread was too big for my toaster so I just put it under the broiler until toasted--which is dangerous and a couple pieces may have been sacrificed to the burnt toast gods. Oops.) The cinnamon swirl is buttery and rich and super flavorful. I love it. You'll love it. Everyone's happy.

Cinnamon Sugar Swirl Bread
Cinnamon Sugar Swirl Bread
  • 1 cup milk + extra for brushing
  • 8 tbsp. butter at room temperature, divided (plus extra for greasing)
  • 2 and 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup + 2 tbsp. granulated sugar, divided
  • 3 and 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 and 1/2 tbsp. ground cinnamon, divided
  • Heat 6 tbsp. butter and with 1 cup milk until the butter is melted but don't let it boil. Allow to cool until it is warm (not hot!)
  • Sprinkle yeast over the warm butter/milk. Stir a little bit and then allow to sit for 10 minutes.
  • Beat eggs and 1/3 cup sugar with a handheld or stand mixer (use the paddle attachment for stand mixer).
  • Pour the yeast mixture into the eggs and lightly stir.
  • Mix in the salt and half the flour until combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix in the rest of the flour.
  • If using a stand mixer, switch to the dough hook attachment--if not then you'll do the rest of this by hand. Knead on medium speed for 10 minutes (or use your hands--and a little bit of flour if necessary)--until the dough is slightly sticky but not overly so.
  • Add a little bit of canola oil to the dough and toss to coat. Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel and let sit in a warm place for about 2 hours. (If it's very cold you can heat the oven on a low temperature until it's warm and then turn it off and place the dough in there.)
  • Place dough on a lightly floured work surface. Roll into a thin rectangle that will not be wider than the loaf pan in which you will bake it.
  • Spread 2 tbsp. softened butter over the dough. 
  • Mix together 1/3 cup sugar with 2 tbsp. cinnamon and sprinkle evenly over the buttered dough.
  • Starting at the far end, roll the dough towards you (keeping it as tight as possible) and press the seam closed.
  • Generously grease a loaf pan with some butter. Place the dough roll, seam side down, in the buttered pan. Cover with a towel and, once again, let rise in a warm place for 2 hours.
  • Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
  • Lightly brush some milk over the top of the risen dough. Mix together the remaining 2 tbsp. granulated sugar and 1/2 tbsp. cinnamon and sprinkle it until the entire top of the dough is coated.
  • Bake for 40 minutes in the middle or lower third rack of the oven (to prevent the top from being overly browned). 
  • Remove from oven and allow bread to cool completely before slicing and serving!  Butter it, toast it, make french toast, etc! Store leftovers in an airtight container (or bag) for up to 5 days.
Cinnamon Sugar Swirl Bread
Mmmmm all that cinnamon sugary-ness on top.
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