Saturday, May 28, 2011

Cinnamon Bread

There are certain things in life that put a smile on my face. Sunsets, hanging with good friends and family, mojitos, a nice warm day with a gentle breeze, my dogs, and the smell of cinnamon bread baking in the oven. Since it was a rainy and gloomy day I decided to make some bread. This particular bread will be ready the same day you make it. I’ve made this once before, and it was very delicious. I remember the first time I had cinnamon bread. I think I was about 17 years old, and it was when I baby-sat some kid in the near west-end. I thought it was sooo yummy. The cinnamon swirled throughout the bread made it heavenly. I’m pretty certain it was from the Montana Gold Bread bakery in Carytown. The only difference between their bread and mine is their’s might be more cinnamonny. I think I just made that word up. But, anyway, it’s a really easy bread to make. And, it’s quite good. Plus, if you want to put it away for awhile it will last up to 3 months in your freezer. I think you will really enjoy this bread, and it should definitely put a smile on your face!! I got the recipe out of New Best Recipe…my go-to cookbook. Enjoy!

1/2 c whole milk (I just used 1%)
4 tbsp (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 envelope instant yeast
1/2 c warm water (110 degrees)
1/3 c sugar
2 lg eggs
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 1/4- 3 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting work surface

1/4 c sugar
5 tsp ground cinnamon
Milk for brushing

1 lg egg
2 tsp milk

First, you need to heat the milk and butter in a small saucepan until the butter melts. Cool until warm (110 degrees). While the milk mixture cools, sprinkle yeast over warm water in a bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle. Beat in the sugar and eggs and mix at low speed to blend. Then, add the salt, the lukewarm milk mixture, and 2 cups of flour. Mix at medium speed until thoroughly blended...about a minute. Switch to your dough hook, and add 1 1/4 cups of flour. Knead at medium-low speed, adding more flour a little at a time if the dough sticks to the sides of the bowl, until the dough is smooth and comes away from the sides of the bowl. About 10 minutes.
Then, turn the dough onto your work surface. Squeeze the dough with a clean and dry hand. If the dough is still sticky, then add some more flour. Transfer the dough to a very lightly oiled large bowl. I used spray. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in a warm air-free area (I use my oven) for several hours. The dough should double in size. I set my oven to around 75 degrees.
After the dough has risen, remove from oven and punch down the dough. Turn the dough onto your unfloured work surface. Let the dough rest for an additional 10 minutes.

Now, for the filling mix the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Grease the sides and bottom of a 9x5 loaf pan.

Press the dough neatly into an evenly shaped 8x6 rectangle. With the short side facing you, roll the dough with a rolling pin into an evenly shaped 18x8 rectangle. Flour the work surface if the dough sticks. Brush the dough liberally with milk. Then, sprinkle the filling evenly over the dough leaving a 1/2-inch border on the far side. Now, starting at the side closest to you , roll up the dough, pinching the dough gently with your fingertips to make sure it is sealed. To keep the loaf from stretching beyond 9 inches, push the ends in occasionally with your hands as your roll the dough. When you finishing rolling, pinch the seams tightly to secure it. With the seam-side facing up, push in the center of both ends. Firmly pinch the dough at either end together to seal the sides of the loaf.

Place the loaf seam-side down in the prepared pan; press lightly to flatten. Then cover the top of the pan loosely with plastic wrap and set aside to rise. I put mine back into the oven. Let rise until the dough is 1 inch above the top of the pan, which is about 1 1/2 hours.

Prep your glaze. Remove the loaf from the oven, and gently brush the bread with the egg mixture. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Bake until the loaf is golden brown and an instant-read thermometer reads at an angle from the short end of teh pan into the center 185 to 190 degrees. Remove the bread from the pan and cool to room temperature on its side on a wire rack at least 45 minutes. If tightly wrapped the bread will last at room temperature for 4 days or frozen for 3 months.

(Click here for printable recipe)

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