I think that after 10 posts on my blog you’re all beginning know me. You know I’d die for bread! That is why I try to not eat it during the week and be a good girl so I can have my treat on Friday. This Friday is cinnamon bread. So, let’s talk about cinnamon bread!
I’ve tried almost all commercial brands in the U .S., and I know you will agree with me that the one that has the lady with the basket on it is probably the best one. So, finding a recipe that can beat this brand could be a difficult task, but not an impossible one. I can’t say that this recipe is a copy-cat because is not, but is a great recipe to make homemade cinnamon swirl bread. Best part is that you can increase the amount cinnamon or raisins! I really think it’s a well balanced recipe with the perfect quantity of flour, sugar , and buttermilk, which helps for a good fermentation. So I encourage you to add this recipe on your to do list.
Like I have said before on my previous posts, the key to a good bread is patience. And for a sweet bread the other thing that’s important to keep in mind is to develop the gluten really well.
One of the things that everyone who loves to make bread should learn is the Window Test. At the bottom of this page you will find a link to learn how to do it. Once you learn how to do this technique, you will always have good bread on your table. Why is this so importat? Because when the dough developes the gluten properly the bread will have a good rise, and that means it will be soft and fluffy. So lets make this pinch of sugar!!
For the bread:
3½ cups unbleached bread flour
4 teaspoons granulated sugar
1¼ teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1¼ teaspoons ground cinnamon ( I used 2, I love cinamon)
1 large egg, slightly beaten, plus 1 egg yolk, white reserved
2 tablespoons shortening, melted or at room temperature
½ cup buttermilk or whole milk, at room temperature
¾ cup water, at room temperature
1½ cups raisins, rinsed and drained
1 teaspoon of vital wheat gluten (optional)
Cinnamon swirl filling:
1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
2 tablespoons ground Cinnamon
2 tablespoons of melted butter (optional)
- Stir together the flour, 3 tablespoon sugar, salt, and cinnamon in a mixing bowl (or in the bowl of an electric mixer). In this step you can add the teaspoon of Gluten. Note: this step is completely optional, this is an option only to accelerate the gluten development in case that you don’t have plenty of time to wait for the normal process.
- In a small bowl combine the buttermilk, 1 tablespoon of sugar and yeast, let it sit until yeast is activated.
- Once the yeast is ready, proceed to add it into the flour with the rest of the ingredients; the egg, shortening, and water. Stir together with a large spoon (or mix on low speed with the paddle attachment) until the ingredients come together and form a ball. Note: Adjust with flour or water if the dough seems too sticky or too dry and stiff. ( try to not exceed 4 cups of flour)
- Sprinkle flour on a counter, transfer the dough to the counter, and begin kneading for about 5-10 minutes. The dough should be soft and elastic, tacky but not sticky. Add flour as you knead (or mix), if necessary, to achieve this texture.
- Sprinkle in the raisins to distribute them evenly and to avoid crushing them too much. Try that the dough passes the *window test. (See note below). If the dough did not pass the tests, continue kneading it until you get this elasticity.
- Lightly oil a large bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling it to coat it with oil (I use coconut oil). Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp cloth.
- Let the dough proof for about 2-3 hours or, until the dough doubles in size. Time will vary depending on room temperature.
- After the dough has completed the proof, divide the dough into 2 equal pieces.
- Mix the sugar and cinnamon together for the filling.
- Gently roll each part into a rectangle that can fit your pans ( about 8” x 5”) Spread the butter and Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over one side of the rectangle, then tightly roll. Seal the ends and place in a loaf pan, seam side down. Repeat for the other rectangle.
- Place each loaf in lightly oiled bread pans, and cover loosely with plastic wrap or a damp cloth.
- Proof the dough at room temperature for 1 ½ hour or until the dough crests above the lips of the pans.
- Preheat the oven to 350° F with the oven rack on the middle shelf.
- Mix the reserved egg white with 1 tablespoon cold water, and brush some onto the surface of the dough; this will give them a satiny crust.
- Place the loaf pans on a sheet pan, with space between each pan.
- Bake the loaves for 20 minutes- 30 depending on the oven. After the 20 minutes you can cover the tops with a foil paper if your want the bread lightly brown. Note: The finished breads should register 190°F in the center or they should make a hollow sound when thumped on the bottom.
- Immediately remove the breads from their pans. Cool loaves on a rack for at least 1 hour, preferably 2 hours, before slicing or serving, of course with a cup of coffee and a lot of butter!
- Adapted recipe from Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread, by Peter Reinhart
- Window Text: The Kitchn web site