Monday, April 14, 2014

Cinnamon Swirl Bread

The Holy Grail of Cinnamon Bread has been found. I’ve made six loaves of this goodness already and plan to make more this week. I’ve given some to a sick friend (better than Tylenol right?), to a friend for her birthday, and to my ungrateful family. I warn you—this bread goes down easy. And by easy I mean I can easily eat 4 slices in 10 minutes and still want to go back for more. Dangerous to your waistline. The first time I made it I left home for half the day, dreaming of eating a couple more slices only to arrive home and find the teenagers had finished it off without saving me the last slice. Savages.


If you don’t already have a digital scale, get one. Please invest $30 because I can see how easy it would be to make this dough too dry by adding too much flour. The dough is VERY sticky and I would have thought something was wrong if I had not weighed out my flour.


The recipe is from The Cook’s Illustrated Baking book. I’m quickly making my way through this amazing book. Have mercy. It’s also on their website.

This bread is not a fast bread. You have to let it rise 4 different times, maybe 5, I can’t remember. Yes, the rise times are kinda short—around half an hour to one hour for each rise. But don’t think you’re gonna make this when you have errands to run. Make it when you are cleaning your house or working from home that day. It’s easy but messy and requires a good 4 hours of your time. Just look at my counters? The dough needs to rest too after I roll it up—yup, more rise time. You have to let it rest like this for a few minutes before you cut the logs in half lengthwise and twist together.



Once twisted, they go in a pan, rise some more, get a bath with an egg, and then finally you can bake.


You’ll have to cover them with foil the last little bit in the oven or else they’ll burn. They do get really brown but don’t worry, they won’t burn. Unless you skip the foil tent. Don’t do that.


I am not a huge fan of raisins in desserts (definitely not in my cinnamon rolls) but this recipe convinced me otherwise. My son thinks it needs even more raisins but I like the current ratio. I don’t use golden raisins—just regular brown ones. The texture is light and fluffy which you can’t say about most cinnamon swirl breads. Not heavy at all! It has just the right amount of sweetness too. Perfect for toasting and adding butter.


I would suggest getting the recipe from the website (watching the video really helps too) or the book because the illustrations really do help. This just isn’t a beginner recipe for bakers without the extra help. Here’s the written recipe though if you don’t need photos/video help. (A paid subscription is necessary to to view videos. Best money I spend every year.)


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