Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Cinnamon Swirl Bread

[Makes one 9-inch loaf]

  • 1/2 c granulated sugar
  • 1/4 c packed light brown sugar
  • 4 t ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/4 c warm whole milk (110 degrees) [I used nonfat milk]
  • 3 T unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus extra for brushing
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 4 c all-purpose flour
  • 1 envelope (2 1/2 t) rapid-rise or instant yeast
  • 1 1/2 t salt

1. Mix the sugars and cinnamon together in a small bowl. Measure out 2 T and reserve for the topping. Whisk the milk, melted butter, and egg yolks together in a large liquid measuring cup.

2. Combine 3 1/2 c flour, the yeast, salt and 1/4 c of the sugar mixture in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the dough hook. With the mixer on low-speed, add the milk mixture until the dough comes together, about 2 minutes.

3. Increase the speed to medium-low and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. If, after 4 minutes, more flour is needed, add the remaining 1/2 c flour, 2 T at a time, until the dough clears the sides of the bowl but sticks to the bottom.

4. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead by hand to form a smooth, round ball. Place the dough in a large, lightly greased bowl and cover with greased plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

5. Grease a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and press into a 20 by 8-inch rectangle with the short side facing you. Spray the dough lightly with water, then sprinkle evenly with the remaining sugar mixture, leaving a 1/2-inch border at the far edge. Lightly spray the sugar mixture with water until it is damp but not wet.

6. Loosen the dough from the work surface using a bench scraper or metal spatula, then roll the dough into a tight cylinder and pinch the seam closed.

(For some reason my bread roll was so big I cut it in half in the middle and made 2 smaller loaves. I was pretty sure what I had was too big for 1 loaf pan and I didn’t want to risk ruining the recipe and wasting my time and ingredients). Place the loaf, seam side down, in the prepared pan. Coat the loaf with vegetable oil spray, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place until nearly doubled in size and the dough barely springs back when poked with a knuckle, 45 to 75 minutes.

7. Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Brush the loaf lightly with butter, sprinkle with the reserved sugar mixture, then spray lightly with water. Bake until golden, 40 to 60 minutes, rotating the loaf halfway through baking. Cool the loaf in the pan for 15 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and let cool to room temperature, about 2 hours, before serving.

Variation: In step 4, after turning the dough out onto the work surface, knead in 1/2 c raisins by hand until evenly distributed. Proceed as directed.