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Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Cinnamon Swirl Bread

I experimented with this recipe, rolling the dough loaf and then slicing it. I arranged the slices in a muffin pan, let the dough rise, and then baked them. I made an easy sugar glaze for the top. These cinnamon swirl muffins were better than the bread.

Cinnamon Swirl Mufins

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Makes 1 loaf.
By Dennis W. Viau; modified from several recipes.

This Cinnamon Swirl Bread was requested by a fan of this site. I had never made this bread before, thinking about it gave me other ideas. As you look through the photographs you will see that I made a double-batch of the dough. I made 1 loaf of bread and I used the other half to make cinnamon swirl muffins. The results were delicious.

Ingredients:

3½ cups sifted (1 pound/454g) all-purpose flour (bread flour okay)
11/8 cups (266ml) warm water (110°F/43°C)
2½ teaspoons (about 1 packet) active dry or instant yeast
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon salt (omit or use less if using whole butter)
4 tablespoons (45g) unsalted butter; room temperature
½ cup (65g) raisins or dried cranberries (optional)
¼ cup packed (57g) brown sugar
4 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons flour
2 tablespoons butter, plus extra for greasing pan
1 egg plus 1 teaspoon water to make an egg wash

Directions:

Make a sponge by combining half the flour with the warm water, yeast, and honey. Set aside for 5 minutes. If the yeast is good, small bubbles should develop.

Add the remaining flour, a little at time, with the salt until the mixture forms a moist dough that is slightly sticky. Knead the dough about 5 minutes until smooth. Add the 4 tablespoons of butter, a tablespoon at a time, until it is fully incorporated and the dough is smooth. (The dough will separate when the butter is added, but it will come together as it is kneaded.)

Transfer to a large, greased bowl. Coat the top of the dough lightly with butter. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. Meanwhile, combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, 2 teaspoons of flour, and 2 tablespoons butter, blending until smooth and homogenous. Set aside. Combine the egg and 1 teaspoon of water to make an egg wash. Cover and set aside.

Transfer the dough to a surface dusted with flour and roll it into a rectangle 8 by 5 inches (20 x 38cm). Brush egg wash over the surface and then spread the cinnamon mixture on top, leaving a border at one end. Distribute raisins or dried cranberries on top, if desired. Starting from the end opposite the border, roll up the dough, pinching together the final seam to seal. Place the roll, seam side down, in a greased 9 by 5 inch (23x13cm) loaf pan. Coat the top lightly with butter. Cover with plastic and let rise about 45 minutes, until the dough has risen well above the top edge of the pan.

Heat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Bake 35 to 40 minutes, or to an internal temperature of 190°F (88°C). Remove from the oven and cool thoroughly in a wire rack before slicing.