Cinnamon Swirl Bread
Is there anything better than the smell of warm yeast bread rising in your kitchen? You may think that you do not have time to bake bread at home but I beg to differ. It’s true that a good loaf of bread may take 5 or 6 hours from start to finish but really, the yeast does all the work. There is a lot of waiting involved when making homemade bread and personally as a stay-at-home-mom there are a lot of days that I’m trying to ignore the clothes mountain forming in my laundry room. Waiting for bread to rise is much more fun. So, shall we get started?
First you’re going to want to get your milk nice and warm (about 110⁰ – 115⁰ F). Don’t worry over this step. If you’ve ever made a baby bottle you can use your mama-intuition to tell you when it is just right. It took about a minute in my microwave.
Have you ever used yeast? It’s not scary I promise. Just open up the package and sprinkle it over the warm milk. Give it a gentle stir and let it sit for 10 minutes. It will smell yummy almost instantly.
Next up melt your butter and combine in a mixer with eggs and sugar. Slowly add the yeasty milk mixture. Combine the salt and flour in a separate bowl then add about half. Scrape down the sides of your bowl then add the rest of the flour.
Switch out the paddle attachment for the dough hook. (If you do not have a dough hook then here’s where you start stirring/kneading by hand. You don’t want to be too rough with the dough at this point.) Mix for about 10 minutes. If the dough is too wet like mine was just add about a ¼ cup of flour and mix for another 5 minutes.
The dough should pull away from the hook in one big slow drop like this. I am seriously disappointed that I didn’t get my hands all messy today but am thankful for the lovely Kitchen-Aid mixer my husband and family got me a few years back for my birthday (I cried like a baby when I opened it!).
Next up pour that gooey deliciousness into a bowl coated with cooking spray. Tip: If your house was built in 1927 and is a balmy 68⁰ in the middle of winter you can warm your glass bowl in the microwave first so as not to shock the poor baby dough-ball. If you have a metal bowl you can heat it by running hot water over it.
Now we wait. I create a warm environment for my dough-ball by turning on the oven for about 10 minutes and setting the bowl on a cooling rack above the burner with the vent to let out the warm oven air. Again, you probably don’t need to worry about this if your house was not built in 1927.
Two hours later your house will smell so good and you will be insisting that your children call you Betty Crocker for the rest of the day.
Put some flour on a work surface and dump your bowl onto the counter. With floured hands or a rolling pin shape your dough into a long rectangle loaf. I used my hands since I felt like I was neglecting the dough-ball having used my dough hook instead of mixing and kneading by hand. Slather with softened butter and spread the cinnamon-sugar love on top. Roll it toward you and pinch the seam. It’s okay if it is longer than your loaf pan. You can just tuck the sides under.
Put it in a well-greased loaf pan and wait – again with the warm environment.
Two hours later. If you are me you would have made lunch and fed the kiddos, cleaned up the dishes, ignored the laundry, played Candyland, drove around Hotwheels, held a fussy baby on your hip while trying to make an important phone call (the only adult you have talked to today!!), realized you forgot to eat lunch, sang a rousing version of “If You’re Happy and You Know It” complete with dance moves, inhaled an apple and a banana, and put a baby down for a nap (all while still insisting that your 4-year old call you Betty Crocker, of course. Where were we? Oh yes, 2 hours later. Slather this beauty with an egg/milk wash and put it in the oven on a low rack for 35-40 minutes at 350⁰ F.
You are not going to be able to buy that in a store! This recipe is a lot of steps, but not a lot of work. You CAN do this!
Cinnamon Swirl Bread Source: Adapted from Pioneer Woman