Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Homemade Cinnamon Swirl Bread

One of my favorite things to do on a lazy day is to make homemade bread.  For those of you that are afraid of dealing with yeast, don't be.  Everything will be fine as long as you don't add the yeast to an overly hot liquid (which kills them) and allow it a warm place to rise and grow (my kitchen counter is usually fine except on cold Winter days I will sometimes heat my oven to the "keep warm" setting and then keep it propped open slightly with a wooden spoon so it doesn't get too hot and start baking prematurely).  A good way to know if your yeast is alive and active is by seeing if it gets foamy during the initial proofing period.  If it doesn't, then throw it out and start over.  Your yeast may be too old (check the "best by" date), you liquid may be too hot (it should be lukewarm to the touch), or your environment is not warm enough for the yeast to get happy and begin multiplying.

Each time I have cinnamon swirl bread, I think of my Dad because he loves this stuff.  I feel great knowing that the bread I'm making is preservative free and I often will substitute up to half the total flour content with whole wheat flour to up the nutritional content.  To make things easier, I provided options for doing a slow rise in the refrigerator overnight so that you can have freshly baked bread first thing in the morning.  The overnight rise also allows the proteins in the whole wheat flour to soften which makes it taste just like white bread!

We enjoyed ours in Microwave Streusel Topped French Toast in a Mug and I ate it toasted with butter or peanut butter throughout the week.  Just lovely!

Homemade Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Homemade Cinnamon Swirl Bread


  • 1 cup Milk 
  • 6 Tablespoons Salted Butter 
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons Active Dry Yeast 
  • 2 whole Eggs 
  • 2/3 cup Sugar, divided 
  • 3-1/2 cups All-purpose Flour (I used 1-1/2 cups whole wheat flour)
  • 1 teaspoon Salt 
  • 2 Tablespoons Cinnamon 
  • Egg And Milk, Mixed Together, For Brushing 
  • Softened Butter, For Smearing And Greasing 

  1. Melt butter with milk. Heat until very warm, but don't boil. Allow to cool until still warm to the touch, but not hot. Sprinkle yeast over the top, stir gently, and allow to sit for 10 minutes. 
  2. Combine flour and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer, mix 1/3 cup sugar and eggs with the paddle attachment until combined. Pour in milk/butter/yeast mixture and stir to combine. Add half the flour and beat on medium speed until combined. Add the other half and beat until combined. 
  3. Switch to the dough hook attachment and beat/knead dough on medium speed for ten minutes. If dough is overly sticky, add 1/4 cup flour and beat again for 5 minutes. 
  4. Heat a metal or glass mixing bowl so it's warm. Drizzle in a little canola oil, then toss the dough in the oil to coat. Cover bowl with a clean damp kitchen towel or plastic wrap and set it in a warm place for at least 2 hours. 
  5. Turn dough out onto the work surface. Roll into a neat rectangle no wider than the loaf pan you're going to use, and about 18 to 24 inches long. Smear with 2 tablespoons melted butter. Mix remaining 1/3 cup sugar and cinnamon together, then sprinkle evenly over the butter-smeared dough. Starting at the far end, roll dough toward you, keeping it tight and contained. Pinch seam to seal. 
  6. Smear loaf pan with softened butter. Place dough, seam down, in the pan. Cover with a clean damp kitchen towel or plastic wrap and allow to rise for 2 hours in a warm place.  Alternatively, you can allow it to do a slow rise overnight in the refrigerator.
  7. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix a little egg with milk, and smear over the top. Bake for 40 minutes on a middle/lower rack in the oven. 
  8. Remove from the pan and allow bread to cool. Slice and serve, or make cinnamon toast or French toast with it. 
Source: Pioneer Woman


Jessica @ Sunny Side Up said...

Cinnamon swirl bread has been on my to-bake list for so long! Yours looks downright perfect!

Christine @ Christine's Kitchen Chronicles said...

@Jessica - Thank you! I actually wish I rolled mine tighter, though. Shhh...there was actually a huge hole/gap in the swirl further into the bread but that's why I didn't photograph that part ;). Hope you get to make it soon!

Tandy said...

Great tips for the yeast!