Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Pulling from the Flickr archives — simple cinnamon swirl bread I only make this when I have extra pizza dough, but, well, pizza dough is just plain white bread (or plain wheat bread), the way I make it. (The lesson: never make one loaf of bread. You need at least one for the freezer and at least one to give away.) Made with extra focaccia dough. (Which is essentially plain white bread) In spite of this, I’ll give you the recipe for just one loaf.

  • Dissolve 1 Tablespoon yeast in 1 cup warm (not hot, warm) water
  • When the yeast is dissolved (about 5 minutes), add a splash of oil (1 Tbspn., I guess), 1 teaspoon sugar and 1 teaspoon salt. Then add flour (white, ideally hi-gluten, although you could easily throw at least a cup of whole wheat flour in this). Add flour until the gooey mess starts to look like dough, something that could be coaxed into forming a ball.
  • Knead for about 10 minutes. (No! Don’t panic. You can knead. See this video, if you need some guidance.)
  • Allow the dough to rise until it doubles, approximately 1/2 – 1 hour. (Hint: as long as it rises enough, it doesn’t really matter if it rises extra. So you can feel free to disappear for an hour or so. I guess you should cover the dough with a towel, though.)
  • Punch down your puffy dough and lightly flour a work surface. Get a rolling pin and roll out the dough until it’s as long as your bread pan. It doesn’t really matter how wide your dough is as long as it’s approximately 1 cm. thick. (Dough being fussy? Hint: when working with bread dough, it’s best to let the dough sit for a few minutes after trying to roll it. So, roll, sit, roll, sit, roll. It probably won’t cooperate without a little breather between rollings.)
  • Sprinkle the dough generously with brown sugar. Shake on some cinnamon.
  • OR: cheese version! Sprinkle grated cheese, or spread a cheese spread. If you’re doing this, herbs and/or sea salt would be great too!
  • Carefully roll the dough up. Tuck/pull the ends over so that the sugar/cheese won’t spill out. Put the “loaf” into an oiled loaf pan.
  • Turn on your oven to 350 degrees. Let the loaf rise for 20 minutes or so while the over heats up.
  • Bake approximately 30 minutes, or until the loaf is lightly browned. (Hint: tip the loaf out of the pan and tap/knock on the bottom. If the bread sounds “hollow,” the loaf is done.
  • Cool … AND EAT, DUH.
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