Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Jenny’s French toast post the other day had me dreaming of a nice loaf of homemade cinnamon raisin bread. Unfortunately, my son doesn’t like raisins, so I left them out and made a loaf of bread with just a swirl of cinnamon instead.  A mom’s job is to make everyone happy, right?  (Oh, it’s not?  Oh.).

For some reason, this bread took us a couple of tries. When the kids and I first made it, I took it out too early, and the whole inside was still doughy. When it was cooked through the second time around, I discovered that the egg white (which I have used before in breads like this) made things very gooey and weighted down the entire bread on the inside. It was delicious, and we all enjoyed it (in about 20 minutes flat!), so that is what is pictured.

But if you are concerned about ensuring the egg white gets cooked all the way through, or if you would like a bread that holds its shape a little better for slicing, then simply omit the egg white and cinnamon and sugar mixture altogether, roll out the dough to the width of the bread pan, spread 4 tablespoons of softened butter all over the dough, and sprinkle with a mixture of 2 cups of powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons of ground cinnamon. I sort of wish I had done that the first time, but what would have been the fun in that?

The bread recipe I used is a variation on my super-versatile white bread recipe I posted on my blog last year.  You can see it by clicking here.

cinnamon swirl bread

1 scant tablespoon instant or rapid rise yeast (1 packet)
3 1/2 cups (350g) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups (295mL) warm water (110 degrees)
2 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons honey
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
butter for pan and brushing on finished bread
1 egg white
1 cup (150g) granulated sugar
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

1. In an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook and set to low speed, mix together yeast and 3 cups of flour. Pour in the water, oil, honey, and salt. Mix on low speed for about 10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic.  Add up to a 1/2 cup more flour if needed.

2. Turn out onto a lightly floured board and knead by hand a few times. Drizzle the inside of the mixer bowl with a bit more oil. Roll the dough around in the oil and cover in plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size.

3.  Butter a large loaf pan and set aside.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Turn out the dough onto a floured surface and roll out into a long rectangle the width of the loaf pan.  In a small bowl, mix together the egg white, sugar, and cinnamon, and spread out evenly across the dough.  Roll up carefully, and pinch the dough on the ends, and all along the edge to create a seam that will hold in the filling.  Lay the dough, seam side down, in the prepared pan.  Cover with a clean kitchen towel, and allow to rise for 30 minutes, or until almost doubled in size.

4.  Bake for 25-30 Turn minutes, or until the top and bottom of the bread is golden brown. Brush the top of the bread with butter. Tilt the bread pan on its side and allow to cool for 20 minutes. Turn the bread out and allow to cool completely, if you can with that long.

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