Cinnamon Swirl Bread

My department director is fond of yeast breads, and I generally avoid making them—I generally just don’t have the patience for it, or I don’t work in enough flour when kneading the dough, etc. etc. etc. Pretty much the only thing I make regularly are sticky buns that I let proof overnight.

Anyhow, this year he requested a cinnamon swirl yeast bread, I stole my recipe from Two Fat Als (recipe here), who in turn stole their recipe from Cooks Illustrated.

It came out very well, and so perhaps it is time for me to try making yeast breads more regularly. This is fantastic toasted and slathered in butter, and would be lovely turned into french toast (if the loaf lasted long enough to get a bit stale).

Cinnamon Swirl Bread

1/2 cup milk
4 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 package dry active yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
1/2 cup warm water
1/3 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra

(filling and glaze)
1/4 cup sugar
5 tsp ground cinnamon
milk for brushing
1 large egg
2 tsp milk

Heat milk and butter together in a small saucepan until butter melts. Cool to lukewarm. Meanwhile, sprinkle yeast over warm water in a large bowl. Using a wooden spoon, stir slowly in a circular motion while adding sugar, eggs, salt and lukewarm milk mixture. Continue stirring a bit more quickly, and add 2 cups of flour until mixed thoroughly, then add remaining 1 1/4 cups flour until mixed through. Add more flour if dough seems extremely sticky. At this point, they did boring kneading related activities and I threw it in my stand mixer until it looked smooth and elastic.

Place in covered, greased bowl to rise for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, until doubled in size. Once risen, punch dough down once in the center, and let rest for 10 minutes.

Mix cinnamon and sugar together for filling, and grease 9×5 inch loaf pan. Roll dough into an 8×18 inch rectangle. Brush with milk and sprinkle cinnamon and sugar over it, leaving a 1/2 inch edge on the side farthest away. Beginning with the short side, roll dough into a log shape, pressing ends together to make sure that it does not become more than 8 inches. Place the dough seam-side down into the loaf pan, and press down evenly. Let the dough rise more until it is about 1 inch above the edge of the pan (30-60 minutes).

Preheat oven to 350, and combine milk with egg. Brush this mixture over the top of the loaf. Bake for 30-35 minutes until golden brown, and let cool for 45 minutes before serving.