Grilled Soy-Lime Chicken
Ahi Tuna Ceviche

Cinnamon Swirl Bread


Cinnamon Swirl Bread

1 c milk
1/4 c butter

2 1/4 t active dry yeast
1/4 c warm (110 degree) water

2 eggs
1/4 c sugar
4 c all-purpose flour, divided
1 t salt

1/4 c sugar
4.5 t cinnamon

1 egg
1 T milk

In a saucepan, heat 1 cup of milk and butter until butter melts. Put aside until it has cooled to 110 degrees.

Meanwhile, put warm water into the bowl of a standing mixture fitted with the paddle and sprinkle with yeast. Stir with a fork to dissolve and let sit for three minutes. Then beat in 1/4 cup of sugar and 2 eggs. Add salt, warm milk mixture and 2 cups of flour. Mix at medium speed until well-blended, pausing to scrape down the sides.  Switch to dough hook and add 1.5 cups of flour. Knead at low-medium speed for about ten minutes, pausing to scrape down the sides until a ball has formed.

Turn dough onto work surface. Knead in about another 1/2 c of flour. The dough should be smooth and elastic and not sticky. If it is still tacky add more flour, two tablespoons at a time, until the dough reaches the desired consistency. When you say ohhhh that feels PERFECT it probably is.

Transfer dough to a large, lightly oiled bowl and spin the dough around a few times to coat with oil. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set in a warm place (75 degrees - I used my oven which has a proof setting but a closet nestled in a blanket would work) to rise for two to two and a half hours.

Punch dough once in the center and then gently turn it onto unfloured surface. Let the dough rest for ten minutes. Grease 9 x 5 loaf pan with butter. Combine 1/4 cup of sugar with cinnamon in a small bowl.  

Press dough into a 6 x 8 inch rectangle. Use a rolling pin to roll dough out until it is 8 x 18 inches. Don't squish it - be gentle. Brush dough generously with milk and then sprinkle evenly with cinnamon sugar leaving a half inch border at the far end. Roll the dough away from you very tightly, using your hands to keep it from getting too wide. Pinch seam shut with your fingers. Then poke in the ends and pinch those shut as well.

Place loaf seam side down in the pan. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let it rise for an hour and a half until the dough is an inch over the rim of the pan. Preheat oven to 350°.

When dough has risen, whisk together one egg and two teaspoons of milk and brush over top of the dough loaf. Bake until golden brown about 30 to 35 minutes. Remove loaf from pan and cool on its side on a wire rack until bread is room temperature.

Printable version here

Notes: Historically I don't bake. But a couple of weeks ago I decided I wanted to master French bread before I die and I have been on something of a run ever since. For this recipe I started with Cook's Illustrated but their dough was so wet it was literally running between my fingers as I tried to work with it so I went online and cobbled a few recipes together the next time I tried it. It turned out BEAUTIFULLY.

If you don't have a standing mixer use a wooden spoon to combine the ingredients and then knead it by hand for about 15-16 minutes.   


Thank you. It is finally fall here in S. California (a high of 68 degrees today - bliss!) and this sounds like a perfect way to warm up the house. It would probably be good with some sort of cream cheese spread methinks.

We have a very good culinary academy nearby which offers weekend classes for what they call the "home chef". I took a class on how to make the perfect French baguette awhile back and it was life changing. We have fresh baguettes every week now. It's awesome.

Can't I just have you come over and bake for me? I don't even HAVE a bread/loaf pan. :( OF course, I'm lying... I'm southern, a loaf pan actually comes with every house. I just can't cook. :(

I'm living vicariously by visiting your yummy blog. Ha!

I would love to have the time to make this. I LOVE to bake. Unfortunately I work outside the home and my weekends are too packed full of activities to bake, especially bread.

now this... this would make excellent french toast... for a very special treat.

You have a lucky family!
This recipe looks delicious.

do you freeze this or eat it all at once? Looks absolutely delicious!

Yum. I wish I could bake this tonight instead of painting. I want to master bread too. Not specifically French bread, just any type of bread. Considering I don't own a loaf pan, I clearly have some ground to make up.

For the record I am pretty sure I used to own a loaf pan but when I went to make this for the first time I had to borrow one from Noelle. It was very pretty - white with blue chickens on it.

thanks!! can't wait to try it

If you master French bread, can you post how? Two tries, two fails, one very supportive husband who says that as long as it tastes good, who cares. But when you could murder Colonel Mustard in the Conservatory with what I pull out of the oven, *I* care. Unless, of course, "crusty" is actually supposed to apply to the inside of the loaf as well?

Question: Could you make frozen French toast out of cinnamon swirl bread? And would it be the best thing ever if you could (2nd question, rhetorical)?

I don't bake myself but I'm thinking about making my husband try this! Thanks....just thinking about the smell of it feels good....

The Breadmakers Apprentice. It's fabulous.

fabulous. Made it tonight with my 4 yr old. question: if I want to double it, do you think keep it one loaf thru first rise, then do the punch down/split/roll out to come up with two loaves?

and why on its side for the cool down?

Do you guys think I could make the dough in a bread machine because the kneading and the rising is far too much for me? But I could take dough out of the machine and make it into a swirly loaf and then let it rise and bake.

Oh yeah, use the bread machine. No problem.

And yes I think you could double it after the first rise.

Like jb, I made this with my four year old today, the first day that really felt like fall to me. It wound up being roughly six hours start to finish but worth it in the end -- this bread is delicious. Thank you!

p.s. adorable pictures of a four year old kneading dough at my photo site.

This sounds heavenly!

Easy peasy and yet absolutely delicious bread without all the tedious kneading and rising results from this book 'Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day' by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois. And if one of the authors is French then you know it must be good. Just pulled a loaf out of the oven and now must wait patiently til dinner time. It's doubtful I'll make it.

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