I love Cinnamon-Swirl Bread! This is an easy, homey breakfast bread that is perfect for all those fall and winter holiday traditions, not to mention just about any chilly morning when you want a treat. Don’t you need this coming out of your oven today? Start with the standard one-loaf recipe for Grandmother Bread. Swirl it with all that sugar-and-spice goodness that will make your house smell like a cinnamon bun just exploded inside it and– Ah! I can’t wait. Let’s make it!
How to make Cinnamon-Swirl Bread:
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 teaspoon yeast
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
In a large bowl, combine water, yeast, sugar, and salt. Let sit five minutes. Stir in the first cup and a half of flour with a heavy spoon. Add the next cup of flour a little at a time as needed, stirring until dough becomes too stiff to continue stirring easily. Add a little more flour and begin kneading. The amount of flour is approximate–your mileage may vary! Continue adding flour and kneading until the dough is smooth and elastic. Let dough rise in a greased, covered bowl until doubled. (Usually, about an hour.) Uncover bowl; sprinkle in a little more flour and knead again.
Now it’s time to play with dough!
Roll dough out on a floured surface into an approx. 12-inch by 7-inch rectangle. Brush lightly with melted butter. Combine 1/4 cup sugar and 2 teaspoons cinnamon. Sprinkle sugar-cinnamon mixture over dough.
Roll up, pinching seams at bottom and ends. Place seam-side down in loaf pan. Let rise until tall and beautiful!
In more tips, as promised, to answer questions about bread-making, here are a few things to think about if you’re having trouble getting your bread to rise. First, always, check your yeast for the expiration date. Also, if you use bulk-size yeast (which I do) and store it in the refrigerator, be sure to take it out in advance and let it come to room temperature so you aren’t adding cold yeast to your bowl. If your bread doesn’t rise and your yeast is good, the next thing to look at is the temperature of your water. Your water should be very warm, almost hot, but not boiling hot. You should be able to touch the water comfortably. (Water that is too hot will kill your yeast.)
*If you’re brand new to bread-making and don’t trust yourself to the fingertip test for achieving the proper temperature with your water, hold an instant-read thermometer under the faucet as you’re running water. You want the water to be about 110 to 115 degrees.
Now, what is the temperature in your house as you’re making your bread? It’s hard to get bread to rise in a cold house. My favorite way to counter a cold house is to boil water in a small pot then place the pot on the lower baking rack of the (turned off) oven, place the bread on the top rack, and shut the oven door while the bread rises. I’ve heard other people say they heat the oven briefly on low (around 150 degrees), let it heat up then turn it off and set the bread inside to rise with the oven door open, which would also work just fine. Weather can be another factor. Low air pressure can affect rising time, so if it’s a rainy day, give your dough extra time or use one of the oven tricks as a helper. Also, be sure to knead your dough properly–inadequate kneading can hamper rising. And last but not least–did you forget to add the yeast? (That has even happened to me!)
One more thing–note this part of my directions: “….combine water, yeast, sugar, and salt. Let sit five minutes.” The technical term for this step is proofing the yeast. During this five-minute period, your yeast should bubble at least a little bit as it dissolves. If you see absolutely no activity, something is wrong with your yeast.
(See more bread tips in this post.)
As you can see, I’m multi-tasking here, making one loaf of Cinnamon-Swirl Bread and one regular loaf of Grandmother Bread for dinner and kids’ sandwiches.
Bake Cinnamon-Swirl Bread at 350-degrees for 25 minutes. Makes one loaf. Double, triple, and so on as needed! If desired, drizzle baked bread with powdered sugar icing. (And how could you not desire?)
Powdered Sugar Icing:
Combine 1/2 cup sifted powdered sugar, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla, and enough milk (one to two teaspoons) for drizzling consistency.
Watch it disappear as fast as you can take it out of the oven and slice it!
Note: To make Cinnamon-Swirl Raisin Bread, add one cup of raisins to the water-yeast mixture as with Raisin Bread.