#365daysofbaking Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Welcome to Day 8 of #365daysofbaking:

Cinnamon Swirl Bread

As a woman, I’m tired of being warned of the evils of bread. I weigh 130 lbs., eat pretty healthy, and work out regularly. I do not have a gluten intolerance – I got this intel from my last blood panel. Gimme my damn bread. All those dumbass charming quips are old:

“Over the lips, on the hips.”

“You’ll be in the gym with all those carbs.” Guess what? I go there anyways, and it has nothing to do with carbs. As a kickboxer, I will kick the shit outta’ the most of the bad foods I eat in the gym.

“All. That. Gluten.” Five bucks the chick or dude who says that can’t actually tell you what gluten does. Or what it even is.

“Bread is the devil.” I’m always reminded of Kathy Bates in Waterboy yelling at Bobby Boucher:

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I say shut the hell up. I feel badly for people who have no reason not to eat bread (is that a double negative??), and they still don’t eat it. Different story if it’s someone with actual celiac disease – and I really feel badly for them.

This is a bread where I say BRING IT, bitches. I work out anyways, so bring on all that lovely gluten and carbs. I don’t care. It’s that good. It’s all worth it.

Bring it all on, especially with this bread. It’s an old King Arthur recipe that now only shows up on the back of the bag of Cinnamon Filling you can only buy from King Arthur Flour – sorry, they’re just that good at certain things, and it’s worth the proprietary blend for cinnamon heaven. The subtitle is of the Cinnamon Filling is cinnamon schmear. If you make cinnamon rolls, cinnamon bread, or want a sweet swirl in for your hot cereal… run, do not walk to your computer and buy this stuff up!

IMG_6877Ignore my comment about making 2 batches of dough for 1 batch of filling… only do tis if you want a thin, thin layer of cinnamon ribbon. Just do yourself a favor, and go whole hog…just make the recipe as is.

This recipe is not a recipe KA has online, even though they have various other cinnamon swirl bread recipes. See the image at the top of this post? It’s from a different KA recipe for cinnamon swirl bread, and it has sad – so sad – thin ribbons. With this recipe that uses the Cinnamon Filling, you will get dense, deep swirls of cinnamony sweetness rolled into this ridiculously yummy bread. This is a bread that absolutely will be a regular when I have my bakery.  See how thick the ribbons are?

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I haven’t made this recipe in probably 15 years, and I happened to make a trek up to King Arthur’s flagship store in Norwich, VT and was inspired to make it again when I saw their Cinnamon Filling mix. Seriously, just buy the stuff. You cannot recreate it by simply mixing cinnamon and sugar. You just cannot. Don’t try.

It’s a super-simple recipe – no starter to proof – just dump all the ingredients other than the cinnamon filling into a bowl, mix until you have a soft dough, and let it rise.

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The smell alone of rising yeast bread is enough to make me swoon.

After the first rise, just roll out the dough into an 8″x24″ rectangle, then mix the cinnamon filling with some water, and schmear it on the dough, then roll that cinnamony dough into a log.

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Put that cinnamony log into a greased loaf pan, let it rise again, and then bake away. Just know, there is a smell that is somewhat akin to the sound of angels singing, and it is this bread baking.

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My Thoughts After Baking:

  • Just make this bread. If you like bread and you like cinnamon, you’ll love this bread. A friend of mine who’s on that whole food diet for 30 days looked at me with a wry smile, saying, “That bread smells awful.” I looked at her with a mouth full of cinnamon goodness, and said, “You’re simply telling yourself that to compensate for the fact that you’re pissed you can’t have a piece.” She knew I was right.
  • Toast this bread and slather it with butter in the morning with your coffee or tea. I cannot think of a more blissful way to start my morning.
  • IMG_6875Do make sure you roll your log tightly. If you look at the picture on the left here, you will note how loose my rolling job was. It’s been 15 years since I made this… a tighter roll will produce less gaps.
  • Do not read recipes like the Gospel. According to this recipe, the 2nd rise on this recipe is 2 hours. I should have called the 2nd rise a good 20-30 minutes earlier. It over-proofed slightly, which might have been OK, except I covered the loaves with Press and Seal plastic wrap… bad plan. It stuck to the high rise, and when I pulled it off, the slight over-proofing couldn’t be salvaged, and the loaves deflated. While that certainly doesn’t affect the taste, I want my goods to look pretty… after all, isn’t presentation everything??
  • Just pay attention to the 2nd rise. You’re looking for a slight 1″ rise above the rim of the pan. How quickly your dough rises all depends on a variety of factors: temperature, humidity, your yeast… Anything beyond that scant 1″ it calls for above the pan rim, and you’re running the risk of all that steam inside the dough taking over in the oven, and your bread falling flat…and that… that just will piss you off. Trust me.
  • I have found that my breads bake more evenly and get a better rise in a ceramic pan vs. baking in a metal pan.
  • Did I mention, DO NOT use Press and Seal plastic wrap? Shit should be called Press and Collapse plastic wrap.

I love bread. And I’m damn proud of it. 

cinnamon bread picture credit, Waterboy meme credit

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