Not your typical loaf of bread
CouponSurfer, I have a confession to bake… I mean make: I LOVE to cook! Let me start by saying that I have no formal training in a kitchen and everything I know has been self taught. So if there is a better way to do something, I want to hear it – be sure to share it with me by leaving a reply in the comment section below. With that out of the way, lets dive into the good stuff!
One of my favorite things about cooking is the ability to take a recipe and make it my own. However, when baking I caution against playing around with the dough portion of any recipe as there is a lot of precision and science that goes into the baking process that you need to be mindful about, which doesn’t allow you the same freedom as cooking does. Simply stated – Baking is chemistry, Cooking is art.
I first came across the original recipe for this Cinnamon Swirl Bread on the King Arthur Flour website. I knew instantly that I had to give it a shot since toast is one of my favorite classic snacks and when you add homemade baked bread AND cinnamon & sugar into the equation, you can’t go wrong.
Now for the ingredients & process!
- 2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast or instant yeast
- 7/8 to 1 1/8 cups lukewarm water*
- 3 cups All-Purpose Flour
- 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup nonfat powdered milk
- 1/2 cup instant mashed potato flakes
*Use the lesser amount in summer (or in a humid environment), the greater amount in winter (or in a dry climate), and somewhere in between the rest of the year, or if your house is climate controlled.
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 teaspoons All-Purpose Flour
- 3/4 cup raisins, diced (optional)
- 1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, to brush on dough
Cooking Tip: Save a few extra bucks by looking to see if any coupons are available for ingredients that you don’t currently have. For this recipe and my cupboard, the following coupons came in handy –
- Save $1 on any 5lb Bag of King Arthur Flour
- Save $0.50 on one package of Land O Lakes Half Stick Butter
- 1. If you’re using active dry yeast, dissolve it with a pinch of sugar in 2 tablespoons of the lukewarm water. Let the yeast and water sit at room temperature for 15 minutes, until the mixture has bubbled and expanded. If you’re using instant yeast, you can skip this step.
- I used the active dry yeast for this recipe, so for those of you that follow suit, here is the progression of the yeast over time:
- 2. Combine the yeast with the remainder of the dough ingredients. Mix and knead everything together ’til you’ve made a smooth dough ball. You can adjust the dough’s consistency with additional flour or water as needed, but please note that the more flour you add while kneading, the heavier and drier your final loaf will be.
- I started by using only 1 cup of lukewarm water, but ended up using the full 1 1/8 cup and just a sprinkle of extra flour by the time my dough ball was formed. Also, when kneading dough by hand it will be very sticky at first but just work through it and the dough will eventually come together forming a nice, smooth dough ball. It took me about 20 minutes total to knead the dough by hand into the dough ball below:
- 3. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl. Cover the bowl, and allow the dough to rise, at room temperature, until it’s nearly doubled in size. The amount of time this takes will vary as it is impossible to say that bread dough will ALWAYS double in bulk in a set amount of time, but as a guide it will be at least an hour. For me, it took about 1.5 hours and you can see its progression below:
- 4. While the dough is rising, make the filling by stirring together the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and flour. If you decide to use the optional raisins, don’t mix them into the sugar mixture – they will be sprinkled on top of the sugar mix.
- 5. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased work surface (cooking spray works great!), and pat it into a 6″ x 20″ rectangle. I recommend measuring it out and marking it right on your work surface to ensure the dough is rolled out to the correct size – I used masking tape, but anything could work.
- 6. Brush the dough with the egg/water mixture – Do NOT skip this step, the egg/water mixture is what keeps the bread from “gapping” around the filling.
- Once the egg/water mixture is brushed on, sprinkle it evenly with the cinnamon, sugar, nutmeg, and flour filling mixture. Then add the diced raisins evenly on top.
- 7. Starting with a short end, roll the dough into a log. Pinch the ends to seal, and pinch the long seam closed.
- As you can see in the picture below, once rolled up the center sort of stuck out a bit – all you will need to do is press the center inward and pinch the outer ends to seal.
- 8. Transfer the log, seam-side down, to a lightly greased 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ loaf pan. Tent the pan loosely with lightly greased plastic wrap.
- 9. Allow the bread to rise until it’s crested about 1″ over the rim of the pan; about 1 hour. Again, it may rise more slowly so just be sure you let it rise ’til it’s 1″ over the rim of the pan, even if that takes longer than an hour. While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 350°F.
- 10. Bake the bread for 40 to 45 minutes, tenting it lightly with aluminum foil after the first 15 minutes. The bread’s crust will be golden brown, and the interior of the finished loaf should measure 190°F on an instant-read thermometer.
- 11. Remove the bread from the oven, and gently loosen the edges with a heatproof spatula or table knife. Turn it out of the pan, and brush the top surface with butter, if desired; this will give it a soft, satiny crust. Allow the bread to cool completely before slicing.
Once the bread has cooled completely, your options are endless. I made some toast as soon as I could (SO good!), but most of the loaf went to making some of the best french toast I’ve ever had – definitely a crowd-pleaser!
If you decide to give this recipe a shot, please let me know how it goes by leaving me a reply in the comment section below. Better yet, if you love the recipe as much as I do, show it some love and share it with your friends!