Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Homemade cinnamon bread is easy to make, and SO much cheaper than store-bought.  Use the recipe for basic white bread (or your own favorite white bread recipe) and the dough setting on your breadmaker.  Roll out the dough, sprinkle with cinnamon/sugar, let it rise, and bake it.  Less than 10 minutes of "hands on" time creates a delicious loaf of sweet bread!
1 cup water, lukewarm
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
3 Tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 C bread flour
1 1/2 tsp bread machine yeast
1/2 Tbsp water
1/3 C sugar
1 Tbsp cinnamon

Place all dough ingredients in your breadmaker in the order recommended by the manufacturer. If no order is recommended, place ingredients in machine in the order listed above. Set machine to dough setting and push start.  When dough cycle is complete, dump the dough onto a flour-coated surface.  Turn it over a few times so that all sides are lightly dusted with flour.  Use a flour-coated rolling pin to roll it into a rough rectangle (it doesn't have to be perfect).  This takes some elbow grease, because the dough is pretty firm.  The short side of the rectangle should be no wider than the loaf pan you plan to use (mine is 9 inches, so my rectangle is about 18x9).  Sprinkle 1/2 Tbsp of water on the dough and use clean fingers to spread it around and press it lightly into the dough.  Mix together the cinnamon and sugar and sprinkle over the dough.  Again using clean fingers, lightly press the mixture into the dough so that the water begins to moisten the cinnamon/sugar.  Roll up tightly, starting from the short side.  Pinch the seam and the edges to seal them, and place seam side down in a greased loaf pan.  Cover with greased plastic wrap and let it rise until it's almost as tall as you want it (usually about one inch above the top of the loaf pan).  Mine usually takes 3-4 hours to rise, but you can also let it rise overnight.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes.  Let loaf set for 5 minutes, then remove from loaf pan and cool on a wire rack.  Serve warm or toasted.  Also delicious served cold with a scraping of butter and a slice of hard cheese.

Options and Tips:
  • Don't get too picky about the shape and size of your dough.  The rising re-shapes the roll anyway.  Just be aware that the longer you roll your rectangle, the more swirls you will have in the finished product.
  • Optional:  Sprinkle 1/2-2/3 cup of raisins on top of the cinnamon sugar mixture.  Press raisins lightly into the dough so that they stay in place as you roll it up.
  • Don't forget...this bread has no preservatives, so it won't keep in your cupboard for two weeks like store-bought cinnamon bread.  Slice it and keep it in the fridge or freezer, and toast the slices as you need them.
  • This bread turns out slightly different each time I make it.  It depends on the size of the rectangle, how tightly I rolled it, how long it rose, etc.  Sometimes I get empty spaces between the swirls, and sometimes it's perfect.  I've found that when I do a good job of pinching the seams (the bottom seam and the edges), and let it rise a shorter time rather than overnight, the chances of those "empty spaces" is lessened.
  • Slices of this bread make hearty, delicious french toast.
  • Read more tips and tricks for your bread machine here.
This is kind of an original recipe.  I'm using the white bread recipe from my breadmaker booklet, and I found variations of the filling mixture and instructions on various websites.

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