cinnamon swirl bread

Monday, February 28, 2011
There's sometimes where there's nothing needed but a good cry.

I am hands-down the most emotional person you will ever meet.

I cry at everything. This is no joke, it's very serious business.

There's a commercial that plays quite frequently for our local animal cruelty prevention group, it has a Sarah MacLachlan song playing in the background. I could be in another room and if I hear the beginning of that song, I will start to cry.

I cried at an episode of Hoarders. It was the bunny episode. The bunnies were tearing the house up, thumping around all healthy like, but I couldn't help myself. The waterworks came one when I saw a baby bunny.

I'm out of control.

I had to make this bread to distract myself from the bunny hoarding ridiculousness that was unfolding on my TV.

This bread is so crazy delicious I could cry.


Cinnamon Swirl Bread
[ adapted from The Bread Baker's Apprentice ]

3 1/2 cups bread flour
4 teaspoons white sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons dry active yeast
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 large egg, slightly beaten
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup buttermilk, room temperature
3/4 cup water, room temperature

swirl :
1/2 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

Stir together the flour, sugar, salt, yeast and cinnamon in the bowl of a stand mixer.  Add the egg, butter, buttermilk and water, stir on low speed with paddle attachment until ingredients come together. Adjust with flour or water if dough seems too sticky or dry.

Switch to dough hook and knead on low speed for 6 to 8 minutes, dough should be in a smooth ball. You want the dough to be tacky, but not overly sticky. If you have a instant read thermometer ( I do not), the dough should be between 77 and 81 Fahrenheit.  Transfer dough to a large bowl that has been lightly oiled. Note : I used the same bowl. I just pulled the dough out for a couple seconds while I sprayed the bowl with non-stick spray. Less dishes. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in a warm, draft free place and let rise for about 2 hours, or until doubled.

Divide dough into two equal pieces and roll each piece out into a rectangle, 5 inches long and 6 - 8 inches wide. Mix together remaining sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle on the surface of the dough. Make sure to go to each end of the dough, pressing the cinnamon sugar down slightly. Roll up the short side of the dough, pinching the ends and rolling slightly to even out. Place each loaf in a lightly oiled loaf pan. Spray top of prepared loaves with non-stick spray.

Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for at least an hour or until loaves have doubled and dough comes cresting above the lip of the pan.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove plastic wrap and place both loaf pans on a baking sheet, ensuring they do not touch. Bake for 20 minutes and then rotate the pan. Bake for another 20 - 30 minutes or until they are golden brown on top. They should make a hollow sound when you thump them on the bottom.

Immediately remove bread from pans and let cool for at least an hour, 2 hours is ideal, until slicing. Store bread in a airtight container. Tastes amazing toasted with butter.