Monday, March 12, 2012

Sweet Cinnamon Bread

So, yesterday I wanted to make cinnamon bread, but I didn't want to just remake my cinnamon rolls, I wanted really soft, sweet bread. Kinda like a pastry. I definitely wanted something moist. I hate dry sweet breads. So, I bloomed up some yeast with sugar and hot water, threw in some honey and olive oil, and a bit of salt.

Then, I added more hot water and a few cups of flour, until I got the right consistency.
I ended up adding a bit more water to keep it moist. I used my KitchenAid mixer, so I didn't have to turn it out on a counter to knead it. So, I was able to keep it a little sticky for the first raise.

This is what it looked like and boy did it smell good.

And I let the mixer really beat it. The more you mix bread dough, the softer the ending product. Pastries are totally the opposite.

Let this baby raise for about an hour, or doubled in size, in a nice warm spot. It was a beautiful day and the sun was shining, so I had my windows open letting in the breeze. I had to stick it under my blanket and turn the heating blanket on.
Then, I rolled it out on the countertop, with a bit of flour underneath to keep from sticking. Then, I had the girl butter the top of it with a spatula.
I sprinkled quite liberally with cinnamon. I like cinnamon and really wanted the rolls to have nice color between them.

I don't do measurements on the toppings, cause you really can't go wrong. I then topped it with brown sugar, cause it adds more color to the rolls, and then a little granulated sugar to fill it in. Just a nice layer.

I rolled this out a little long for one loaf of bread. I'm not sure what I was thinking. See, the thinner you roll it out, the more rings you have. I really like a lot of dark rings, it makes it sweeter and richer. So, I rolled it out very large and probably should have rolled it out just long, but not wide. Also, I should have rolled it up starting at the short end. So, what i did was cut it halfway and threw it in two loaf pans. Alternately, I could have stacked the two loaves. It would have been pretty.
But that's ok. I had two loaves and I didn't feel so bad eating half a loaf. Cause it was small!

Brush some melted butter on the tops of these puppies. I even drizzled over a bit. I really wanted them crispy and layery. What? That's totally a word.

Then, you gotta let it raise again.  Another 45 min to an hour, or until doubled.

Then, pop it into a 350 oven for 20-30 minutes.
Or until, oh my happens.

And yes, your kitchen smells like heaven.

These were 20 minutes. If you doubled it up, or just did one large loaf, you're talking 30 minutes.

Check the bottom of the loaf for doneness.

Oh, yes please. See the little cinnamony bits? They are all caramelized in the extra butter. A little sticky and gooey.

And it had a nice swirl at the end.

If I'd have doubled it up, it'd be two pretty swirls! I have to try that sometime.

Or you try it for me, and let me know how it goes.

I really wasn't sure how this would turn out, since I was playing with the ingredients.

This is nice and sweet. It's not one of those loaves where the bread is normal white bread and you wish for more cinnamon swirl.

The bread is sweet and tender and the swirls are gooey.
I wasn't even really going to eat any. The girl wanted cinnamon bread and it sounded fun to bake.

You can mix up ingredients and then go start laundry and do some chores, then roll it out and let it raise and watch tv, then in the early evening, pop it in the oven and enjoy the wonderful scents of baked bread.

But when I tasted it?

I was done for. I split the loaf with her and we each ate about half.
Oh, yeah, there's the goo.

The crumb in this is unbelieveable. It's really tender and almost cakey.

You've gotta try it!

Then eat half, so I don't feel bad and come here and tell me all about it!

The Recipe:
Sweet Cinnamon Bread
Stir 1/2 hot water, 3 Tbl yeast and 2 Tbl sugar in a bowl and let sit for 5 minutes to foam up. *If it doesn't foam up, the yeast is bad and it won't rise. *
To this, add 1 Tbl olive oil, 1 Tbl honey and 1 tsp salt.
Then add another 1/2 cup, 2 Tbl hot water and slowly mix in 3 cups all purpose flour.

Beat with the mixer for a good few minutes, making sure to scrape the bottom and get all the flour incorporated. *or turn out on a counter top and knead it, although you will likely have to add more flour*

Place in bowl, oil the top and place in a warm spot for about an hour, or until doubled.

Turn out on floured workspace and roll out thinly into a rectangle. If you want two small loaves, roll up from long end and cut in half and place into two oiled loafpans. If you want one large loaf, roll up from short side *or place the two half loaves on top of each other.*

Brush melted butter on top and let raise in warm spot for 45 min to 1 hour, or until doubled.

Bake at 350 for 20 minutes for 2 smaller loaves to 30 minutes for single loaves.

Serve immediately, preferably with butter.


Anonymous said...

I dont know how that could look any better! You are so good at creating just what you want. Good job! I am going to have to start putting in my orders.

Jana said...


Oh girl, you just gave me my homework for this weekend. Seriously.

You know what I do to raise dough? I put it on top of the dryer in the laundry room while I'm drying clothes. It gets nice and warm in there no matter what the rest of the house feels like. Never fails to get a good rise. :)

The the heated blanket's an awesome idea, too! I don't have one, but if I did, I'd totally use it for this!

JenMarie said...

Thanks, guys!

That's an awesome trick, Jana. My dryer is in my basement, so it's not the warmest place in my house... I have turned my oven on low, and set it on top.