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Cinnamon swirl bread

July 1, 2010

Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Oh, how I enjoy baking with my friends Ingrid and Monica.  But more than that, I appreciate the fact that their lives get as busy and chaotic as mine do, so they don’t hold it against me when I don’t get to things in a timely manner.  Monica picked out this cinnamon swirl bread recipe quite a while ago, but the end of the school year had me just too busy to bake.  Luckily, things have slowed down a wee bit and I’ve been lured back into my kitchen.  And I’m thankful for that, or I might have missed out on this delicious bread.  In fact, I made it twice in one week, with two different (but tasty) results.

I didn’t use bread flour the first time around, and I subbed with my favorite white whole wheat flour instead.  Maybe not such a good plan.  The bread tasted wonderful, had a perfect cinnamon swirl, but was very short and squatty.  {Is squatty a word?}  While I didn’t take any pictures of the first batch before it got eaten, I had the idea to toss in some cinnamon chips and make it again.

For the second batch, I got some bread flour and used a whole bag of Hershey’s cinnamon chips.  Once again, I need to complain for a second about the putrid color those tasty little morsels make my food.  What’s the deal with that??  They are positively delicious, but downright ugly in every baked good I’ve put them in, including this bread.  They turned my bread a sort of pumpkin color.  Not terribly attractive, really, but holy cow.  What it lacked in beauty, it more than made up for in taste.  The cinnamon chips hit this delicious bread out of the ball park.  The cinnamon swirl is already good, and I upped the amount of cinnamon in the actual bread dough… but add in those little bursts of cinnamon and it can’t even be described.

Hope you hop over and have a gander at Monica’s and Ingrid’s breads.  I have no doubt they’re gonna be amazing.

{one year ago:  tastykakes at home}

Recipe:  Cinnamon Swirl Bread

(original recipe from The Bread Baker’s Apprentice: Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread by Peter Reinhart & Ron Manville; recipe can be found here)

3 1/2 c. unbleached bread flour

4 tsp. granulated sugar

1 1/4 tsp. salt

2 tsp. instant yeast

1 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon  *(I increased the amount to 2 tsp.)

1 large egg, slightly beaten

2 Tbsp. shortening, melted or at room temperature

1/2 c. buttermilk or whole milk, at room temperature

3/4 c. water, at room temperature

1 bag of cinnamon chips  *(My addition to replace the raisins and walnuts.)

1 1/2 c. raisins, rinsed and drained

1 c. chopped walnuts

Cinnamon-Sugar Swirl & Topping:

1/2 c. granulated sugar

2 Tbsp. ground cinnamon

1)  Stir together the flour, sugar, salt, yeast, and cinnamon in a mixing bowl (or in the bowl of an electric mixer). Add the egg, shortening, buttermilk, and water. Stir together with a large spoon (or mix on low speed with the paddle attachment) until the ingredients come together and form a ball. Adjust with flour or water if the dough seems too sticky or too dry and stiff.
2)  Sprinkle flour on a counter, transfer the dough to the counter, and begin kneading (or mixing on medium speed, switching to the dough hook). The dough should be soft and pliable, tacky but not sticky. Add flour as you knead (or mix), if necessary, to achieve this texture. Knead by hand for approximately 10 minutes (or by machine for 6 to 8 minutes). Sprinkle in the cinnamon chips (or the raisins and walnuts during the final 2 minutes of kneading or mixing) to distribute them evenly. (If you are mixing by machine, you may have to finish kneading by hand to distribute them evenly.) The dough should pass the windowpane test and register 77 to 81 degrees F. Lightly oil a large bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling it to coat it with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
3)  Ferment at room temperature for approximately 2 hours, or until the dough doubles in size.
4)  Divide the dough into 2 equal pieces and form them into loaves. Gently press each part out into a rectangle (about 8″ by 5″), with the long side facing you. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over one side of the rectangle. Now tightly roll, starting from the long side facing you. Seal the end and place in a loaf pan, seam side down. Repeat for the other rectangle.  (I didn’t use all the cinnamon sugar mixture here – I reserved some to sprinkle on top of the bread before baking it.)
5)  Place each loaf in a lightly oiled 8½ by 4½-inch pan, mist the tops with spray oil, and cover loosely with plastic wrap.
6)  Proof at room temperature for 60 to 90 minutes, or until the dough crests above the lips of the pans and is nearly doubled in size.
7)  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F with the oven rack on the middle shelf. Place the loaf pans on a sheet pan, making sure they are not touching each other.  Sprinkle tops with remaining cinnamon-sugar mixture.
8)  Bake the loaves for 20 minutes. Rotate the pan 180 degrees for even baking and continue baking for another 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the oven. The finished breads should register 190 degrees F in the center and be golden brown on top and lightly golden on the sides and bottom. They should make a hollow sound when thumped on the bottom.
9)  Immediately remove the breads from their pans.  Cool loaves on a rack for at least 1 hour, preferably 2 hours, before slicing or serving.
13 Comments leave one →
  1. July 1, 2010 1:36 am

    Oh yum I can just taste this warm cinnamon-y flavor in my mouth! And I would love to make it, except I cannot find cinnamon chips anywhere! I have scoured my local grocery stores and no one sells it=(( I want to do this bread justice and have the chips in it. Darn!

  2. July 1, 2010 2:11 am

    All I had to see was Cinnamon and instantly wanted a slice of this bread. I agree the cinnamon morsels are the nastiest color! But they do taste great :)

  3. July 1, 2010 5:49 am

    You slammed dunked this “challenge”, ha-ha! I’m gonna have to give this another try with your changes, putrid chips and all. LOL Hey, how long did you bake your minis? Lemme know I like the idea of mini. :)

    I love baking with you guys, too!
    ~ingrid

  4. July 1, 2010 8:30 am

    Oh, your bread looks so soft and inviting!! YUM!

  5. July 1, 2010 10:24 am

    This really sounds yum. I’m not familiar with cinnamon chips… . So you’re saying the bread flour works much better then?

  6. oneordinaryday permalink
    July 1, 2010 10:30 am

    Sherry – I didn’t use the cinnamon chips in the first loaves and it was delicious. If you’re a cinnamon lover, I don’t think you’d be disappointed, even w/o the extra pockets of cinnamon.

    Krystle – Finally! Someone who understands my cinnamon chip rants. : )

    Ingrid – Sorry, friend, I didn’t time the minis. I had one big loaf in at the same time and I just kept checking on them.

    Memoria – Thank you!

    ~Michelle

  7. oneordinaryday permalink
    July 1, 2010 10:35 am

    Diana – I think my white whole wheat flour was just too heavy for this recipe. Maybe if I’d have just used half whole wheat and half bread flour/all-purpose flour the first time, I would have been happier with the bread’s height. Anyway, to finally answer your question! : ) If you can’t get your hands on bread flour, just use all-purpose flour instead.
    ~ Michelle

  8. July 1, 2010 1:29 pm

    Mm I haven’t had bread like this in forever because I feel like I shouldn’t buy it at the store but have been too busy/lazy to make it at home. Now that you’ve put the recipe right in my lap, I really should!

  9. July 1, 2010 5:30 pm

    I don’t know why Ingrid is asking about the minis, she’s not gonna bake this bread again. ha ha!

    Your bread is too purty wrapped up in ribbon. It’s almost as if it’s a gift- for me!

    Thanks for baking the bread this month. Can’t wait for next month :-)

    And you’re so right about cinnamon chips- they’re kinda pretty when they’re in morsel shape but once they melt they almost look longhorn orange.

  10. July 2, 2010 9:53 am

    cinnamon chips are a MASTERful addition. i’m sure this bread was fully awesome. :)

  11. July 4, 2010 1:21 am

    Well, it’s kinda like torture doing a triple blog hop…each one made my mouth water a little bit more! All of your breads look amazing and I only wish I had one measly slice of cinnamon toast to round-out my viewing experience ;)…

  12. oneordinaryday permalink
    July 9, 2010 7:21 am

    Girlichef – LOL Sorry to torture you. : ) But thanks for checking out our results anyway and for taking time to comment!
    ~ Michelle

  13. oneordinaryday permalink
    July 9, 2010 7:24 am

    Sherry – Those cinnamon chips might be a holiday item? I think King Arthur Baking sells a cinnamon chip of some kind too. This bread really was good without the cinnamon chips though. Honest!
    ~ Michelle

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