A couple months ago I was searching around the internet for interesting local things that were happening around me, when I stumbled across the website of Brod and Taylor. They are a company in the final stages of product development for a home bread proofing box. I thought it might be fun to try and contact them. I found the concept of their product to be so interesting and well, they are right in my own backyard. Well, long story short, we met and had a lovely talk about bread and the trouble home bakers have with creating an ideal dough rising environment (especially during our long New England winters). Since then we have been in contact and he asked if I would be interested in helping him film some product demos/bread making videos for his website. I thought sure, it might be fun to step out of my comfort zone and try something different.
Now, all I had to do was come up with a bread recipe that I thought would be a perfect companion to a bread proofer, something that wants a nice humid environment and warm rising place. So, I thought cinnamon swirl bread would be perfect, with its tight grained interior crumb and sweet cinnamon filling spiraling throughout. I was also trying to think of a bread that is an easy starter recipe and also appealing to a lot of people.
My first attempt I tried to put too much filling in the middle which resulted in a bread that didn’t quite cook through around the swirl areas, so instead of just the cinnamon and sugar being gooey the bread dough was also gooey. Not very appetizing, although my husband disagreed and said he liked it that way. My second try was much better. I cut the amount of butter I put in the swirl by half and also reduced the sugar, but bumped up the cinnamon content. This second batch didn’t have the doughy bread part which made me happy, but the interior crumb was not as tight as I wanted it and the swirl part didn’t stay as tightly rolled as I thought it would. The third attempt had everything I wanted. I cut back the water ratio from 65% to a little over 61% and made sure to take my time and roll up the loaf really tightly so that the layers of cinnamon swirl would stay together. Although having your swirl layers separate doesn’t affect the flavor it does make it less asthetically pleasing and of course it is harder to make cinnamon swirl french toast with the leftovers! I hope you enjoy and Happy Baking!
- 542 g (19.10 oz, 4 1/4 cups) unbleached bread flour
- 50 g (1.75 oz, )sugar
- 30 g (1 oz, )unsalted butter
- 10 g (.35 oz, 1 3/4 tsp)salt
- 2 g (.07 oz, 1/2 tsp) cinnamon
- 5 g (.17 oz, 1 tsp) instant yeast
- 278 g (9.80 oz, 1 1/4 cup) water
- 58 g (2 oz, 1/4 cup) milk
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 TB cinnamon
- 2 TB unsalted butter, softened
- Combine all the ingredients together into a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix until the flour is well moistened, then turn the dough out onto your work surface and begin kneading. Try to avoid adding flour to your work surface or to the dough, I promise that eventually the dough will become less sticky with more kneading. You will be rewarded with a moister and lighter rising loaf if you can avoid adding extra flour. This will take 8-12 minutes by hand. If you are kneading by stand mixer start on low speed power level 2 for 3-4 minutes then increase the speed to 4 for another 3-4 minutes. The dough will tighten up and clear the sides of the bowl. Make sure the scrape down the dough from the dough hook every couple of minutes so that the dough kneads evenly.
- Place the keaded dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap (covering is unnecessary if you are place the dough in a dough proofer). Allow to rise at 80-85 degrees for about 1-1 1/2 hours or until it has doubled in bulk.
- Remove the dough from the bowl and place on a lightly flour counter. Preshape the dough into a ball and cover with the inverted bowl and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes before proceeding to shaping.
- Using either a rolling pin or just your hands push the dough out into a long rectangle that is 2 inches smaller in width than the length of your loaf pan. I like to use a 9×5 inch pan. Spread your softened butter evenly over your dough then sprinkle the surface with the cinnamon and sugar. With the short side facing you roll the dough up into a tight cylinder. Make sure to pinch the seam closed and place the dough into a greased loaf pan, with the seam-side down. Cover the dough with lightly oiled plastic wrap (again if you are using a proofer covering is unnecessary) and allow to rest for 45-60 minutes or until the loaf has risen over the edge of the pan by about 1 inch.
- Preheat your oven as soon as your dough starts its second rise to 350 degrees with a rack placed in the center.
- Place your risen dough into the oven and allow to bake for 40-50 minutes or until it is a deep golden brown and has an internal temperature of at least 195. If you do not have a thermometer then you will want to make sure that the loaf is also nice and golden brown on the sides that were in the loaf pan. It will also sound hollow when tapped on the bottom of the loaf.
- Remove the bread from the oven and its pan and allow to cool on a wire rack for 2 hours or until completely cool before slicing.