Saturday, August 20, 2011

Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Don't these swirls look incredible? The smell and taste are just as incredible as the neat swirlies throughout the dough! This recipe was chosen on the same day that I chose the recipe for the Cinnamon Raisin Nut Bread. I wanted to compare two cinnamon swirl breads to see if a slight change to ingredients and method would make a big difference in the outcome. I was actually surprised at how different they tasted.

Both recipes have yummy qualities to them. I like the fact that with the other swirl bread I added the raisins and nuts to give it a bit more texture. But while you could smell the cinnamon in the dough while kneading it the finished product didn't have an overly cinnamony (is that even a word?) taste. However this cinnamon swirl bread definitely has a sweeter, cinnamon taste. It is delicious all on it's own merits. It also makes a monster loaf of bread! This thing definitely doubled in size while it was rising at both rise times. I wasn't sure if it was going to take over the oven like the blob but it managed to bake up just fine. The top was a bit lopsided (not sure if you can see it in the picture) and looked a bit like an alien head from the back once you started cutting down the loaf.

Between the two recipes I would say that this is definitely the tastier of the two. I think the extra cinnamon and sweeter flavor make it just a bit more delicious. Not sure if in the future I will try adding raisins and nuts to this recipe or not but that definitely would make it a straight across comparison. We'll just have to wait and see what the next baking kick brings along. Enjoy! 

Cinnamon Swirl Bread
Source: Pioneer Woman

6 tablespoons butter
1 cup milk
2-1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup sugar
2 whole eggs

2 tablespoons butter, softened + some for greasing pan
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon
egg wash (1 egg + splash of milk beaten together)

Melt 6 tablespoons butter with milk. Heat until very warm, but don't boil. Allow to cool until temperature reaches between 105-115 degrees F. Sprinkle yeast over the top, stir gently, and allow to sit for 10 minutes.

Combine flour and salt.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, mix sugar and eggs with the paddle attachment until combined. Pour in milk/butter/yeast mixture and stir to combine. Add half the flour and beat on medium speed until combined. Add the other half and beat until combined.

Switch to the dough hook attachment and knead dough on medium speed for ten minutes. If dough is overly sticky, add 1/4 cup flour and knead again for 5 minutes.

Grease a large bowl. Throw dough in and toss to coat. Cover bowl in plastic wrap and set it in a warm, hospitable place for at least 2 hours.

Turn dough out onto the work surface. Roll into a neat rectangle no wider than the loaf pan you are going to use, and about 18 to 24 inches long. Smear with 2 tablespoons softened butter. Mix sugar and cinnamon together, then sprinkle evenly over the butter-smeared dough. Starting at the far end, roll dough toward you, keeping it tight and contained. Pinch seam to seal.

Smear loaf pan with softened butter. Place dough, seam down, in the pan. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix egg with a splash of milk for egg wash and brush over the top. Bake for 40 minutes on a middle/lower rack in the oven. Remove from the pan and allow bread to cool.

Makes one loaf