Saturday, January 8, 2011

Cinnamon Bread

One of my bestestest friends, Summer of The Wannabe Ranch Wife, called me up one evening and asked if I'd be interested in doing some late night baking. Um, hello, yes!!! We have spent more time in the kitchen together than I have with any one else and she's one of the few people I actually trust to help me get things done (read: do things for me when I don't want to). We were raised very similarly and have basically identical outlooks on life, so when we're in the kitchen together it's like I'm cooking with myself. Back to the late night bake-apalooza! We made a whole bunch of yummy treats that didn't get photographed because a) I forgot my camera, and b) they were eaten too quickly! Bah! These last couple of slices managed to survive a quick photo shoot before being scarfed down for my breakfast one morning. Toasted with a big scrape of butter on the top, this bread is heavenly! Summer totally gets the credit for putting this whole thing together, but I guess I'm posting it here because I did do the yeast for the bead. Again, the lines are blurred when it comes to dividing up my work and hers because we just piggyback off each other's tasks at hand. Love that girl!

Cinnamon Bread
Source: adapted from PioneerWoman
Yields: 1 glorious loaf of bread

1 cup milk
6 T butter
2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
2 eggs
1/3 cup suagar
3 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 T cinnamon
egg and milk mixed together for brushing
softened butter for greasing the the loaf pan

Melt butter in a medium sized microwave safe glass bowl. Add milk to the melted butter and heat until very warm, but don't boil. It should be warm to the touch, but not hot. Once it's there, sprinkle the yeast over the top and stir gently; allow to sit for 10 minutes. There should be some foamy bubbles; if not, the yeast is dead and you gotta do it over.

Combine flour and salt.

In your mixer bowl, mix sugar and eggs until combined. Pour in milk/yeast mixture and combine. Add half the flour and beat on medium until combined. Add the other half and combine.

Switch to a dough hook and knead/beat for 10 minutes on medium. If dough is real sticky, add 1/4 cup flour and beat again for 5 minutes.

In a warm metal bowl (put it in a sink of hot water and dry right before you need it), drizzle in a little canola oil, then toss the dough in the oil to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set in a warm place for 2 hours. Note: we used rapid rise bread machine yeast, so it only took 1 hour to rise for us.

Turn dough out onto a floured work surface. Roll into a 18-24 inch long rectangle that is no wider than your loaf pan you plan to use. Smear with 2 T melted butter. Mix sugar and cinnamon together, and sprinkle it over the dough. Sprinkle the brown sugar over the cinnamon-sugar. Roll bread together starting at one end and rolling toward the other; keep it tight and contained. Pinch seam to seal.

Smear loaf pan with softened butter. Place seam side down in the pan and cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 2 hours (again, this didn't take but an hour because of the yeast we used).

Preheat oven to 350. Mix an egg with some milk and brush over the top of the bread. Bake for 40 minutes. Serve toasted with butter or as French toast!


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