Okay, so first let me address the obvious- the lack of photos with this post. Well… unfortunately this recipe’s photos were some of the many that were accidentally deleted off my hard drive due to my lack of technical skills when it comes to computers : ( I know. It makes me sad too. I was hoping that my efforts wouldn’t go to waste with these recipes and that I would still be able to share them with you despite any kind of visual aid. What do you think- can we give it a shot? And you’re really not missing out on much here, this cinnamon swirl bread pretty much looks the same as most others: a white bread with a pretty, little, brown, cinnamon swirl. It’s cute.
Anyways! I was really happy with this bread. Instead of using a very lean white bread recipe (using little to no eggs, butter, or sugar), this recipe took on a rich bread dough recipe. Not as rich as say a challah or a brioche, but just rich enough to make it more substantial. What’s more is that they decided to be really clever with the filling technique. They have you roll out the rectangle of dough, then slather it with milk. ALL of the cinnamon-sugar mixture is then sprinkled across the dough. The milk kind of acts as an adhesive, similar to butter with cinnamon roll filling. SO why didn’t they just use butter? I think they were trying to keep the bread from being too rich. I didn’t realize how important the milk was before doing this so I only used most of it. Turns out I should have used the all of it. There were areas that weren’t moistened by the milk and the cinnamon-sugar basically just sprinkled out of the loaf. I definitely suggest using all of it, no matter how soupy it seems, the sugar will soak it up. And in the end you should also stick with their egg glaze. It creates the most beautiful browning effect, leaving you with a perfect loaf. Just be sure you bake it all the way through! Mine ended up a tad underdone and gooey in the center. It’s hard to really tell since the top browns before the center is completely baked. If that’s the case for you then just throw some tin foil over it and you’re good to go. OH- and try to roll the loaf tightly. Or else you’ll be left with a bit of a hole in the center (speaking from experience…).
- Enriched Bread Dough:
- ½ cup milk, heated to 110°F
- ½ cup water, heated to 110°F
- 2 large eggs
- 4 Tb unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 3¼ – 3¾ cups (16.25 to 18.75 oz) all purpose flour
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 2¼ tsp instant or rapid rise yeast
- 1½ tsp salt
- Filling and Glaze:
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 5 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 Tb milk
- 1 egg plus 2 tsp milk, beaten
- For the Dough: Whisk milk, water, eggs, and melted butter together in 2-cup liquid measuring cup. Using stand mixer fitted with dough hook, combine 3¼ cups flour, sugar, yeast, and salt. Slowly add milk mixture and let dough come together, about 2 minutes. Increase speed until medium and knead until dough is smooth and satiny, about 10 minutes. (If after 4 minutes dough seems very sticky, add remaining ½ cup flour, 2 tablespoons at a time, until dough clears sides of bowl but sticks to bottom). Transfer dough to lightly floured counter and knead by hand to form smooth, round ball, about 15 seconds. Place dough in large, lightly greased bowl; cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until doubled in size, 2 to 2½ hours.
- For the Filling and Glaze: Grease 9 by 5 inch loaf pan. Mix sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl. Transfer dough to lightly floured counter and press into 18 by 8 inch rectangle, with short side facing you. Brush dough liberally with milk, then sprinkle evenly with sugar mixture, leaving ½ inch border at bottom edge. Roll dough dough toward you into firm cylinder. Turn loaf seam side up and pinch it closed. Place loaf seam side down in prepared pan, pressing gently into corners. Cover loosely with grease plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until nearly doubled in size, about 90 minutes (top of the loaf should be 1 inch over pan).
- Thirty minutes before baking, adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350°F. Brush egg mixture onto loaf. Bake until crust is golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer pan to wire rack and let cool 5 minutes. Remove loaf from pan and let cool to room temperature, about 2 hours, before slicing and serving.
adapted from Cooks Illustrated