I’ve been playing around with a recipe for cinnamon bread lately. My first attempt had a good crumb, but the cinnamon flavor was too subtle. Using a better quality cinnamon (Vietnamese) really helped. The spicy smell as it’s toasting in the morning is worth the effort involved!
2 packages (or 2 TBS) yeast
1/3 C sugar
3/4 C warm water
1 1/4 C warm milk
1 TBS salt
1/2 stick butter
1 1/2 TBS cinnamon
5 C flour (approximate)
Egg wash (egg beaten with a little water)
1. Proof the yeast in a bowl with the warm water. Sprinkle with a little sugar to activate the yeast. Stir well. This should take about five minutes.
2. Heat the milk. (A glass measuring cup in the microwave is great for this.) Add the sugar and butter to the warm milk.
3. Put 2 C of flour in a mixing bowl. Add the salt and cinnamon and mix well.
4. Add the milk mixture, the proofed yeast and the egg to the flour.
5. Start adding flour, about a half cup at a time, until the mixture starts to come together. This should take about 2 1/2 to 3 C more flour. You can use a dough hook in a heavy duty mixer or turn the dough out onto a floured surface to do the kneading by hand. In either case, slowly add a little flour at a time until you have a smooth, pliable dough. Even if you use the mixer, finish the kneading by hand. This is a nice dough. It’s soft and springy, and you’ll like the feel of it.
6. Put the ball of dough into a greased bowl. Turn it a few times to make sure that all sides are buttered. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled. (A closed microwave is a great spot.) Check after about an hour. This dough rose quickly for me.
7. Turn the risen dough onto your kneading surface. Knead again for a minute or two. Form into two loaf shaped pieces and place into two 9×5 inch buttered pans.
8. Back to the cold microwave! Cover with plastic wrap (loosely) and let double in size.
9. Brush risen loaves with an egg wash just before putting them in a preheated 375 degree oven for 35 minutes. A finished loaf will sound hollow when you take it out of the pan and tap on the bottom.
10. Cool on a wire rack before cutting.
Especially good as morning toast! This is really good as is, but I’m thinking about adding a half cup of raisins the next time I make it.