Cinnamon Swirl Bread

This recipe is adapted from The Best Recipe, by Cooks Illustrated. It’s not too difficult to change this from a bread to the cinnamon rolls, though the bread is not as sticky.

Cinnamon Swirl Bread — adapted from The Best Recipe

Dough:
1/2 C milk
4 T (half stick) unsalted butter
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/2 C warm (110°F) water
1/3 C sugar
2 eggs
2 C whole wheat flour
2 – 2 1/2 C unbleached flour

Filling:
1/2 C sugar
1/4 C cinnamon
4 T butter

  1. Heat milk and butter. I just pop this into the microwave for about a minute. If you’re a true cooking snob, you don’t have a microwave — use a saucepan. Let it cool to 110°F (warm to the touch).
  2. Dissolve yeast in warm water.
  3. In a large mixing bowl with a dough hook, mix the yeast mixture, milk mixture, sugar, eggs, whole wheat flour, and 1 C of the unbleached flour. Mix for about 2 minutes at low speed, occasionally scraping the sides with a spatula.
  4. The dough mixture will be very sticky. Add another cup of flour gradually, until a smooth ball forms. You’ll mix this on medium-low for about 10 minutes total.
  5. Transfer dough to a large, lightly oiled bowl. Cover the top with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size, about 2 1/2 hours at 75°F.
  6. After the rise, punch down the center of the dough once. If no one’s around, you can optionally let out an expletive.
  7. Transfer the dough to a large floured surface and let it rest for about 10 minutes.
  8. Grease the sides of a standard loaf pan (9″ x 5″ x 3″).
  9. Press the dough into an evenly shaped 6″ x 8″ rectangle. Roll it out to 12″ x 16″.
  10. Mix the sugar and cinnamon.
  11. Melt the remaining butter in a separate bowl.
  12. Brush half the dough with the melted butter. Spread on half of the sugar and cinnamon mixture. Fold the dough so you have a 8″ x 12″ rectangle.
  13. Cover the dough with the remaining sugar and cinnamon mixture. Start rolling the dough from the short side. Pinch the ends into a seam. Place this in the bread loaf fan, seam side facing down. Pinch the end seams, too.
  14. Loosely cover the pan with plastic wrap and let rise 1 1/2 hours.
  15. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  16. Bake until the bread is a golden brown, about 35 minutes. Remove and let cool on a wire rack for about 45 minutes.
  17. The bread will keep at room temperature for three days, or can be double-wrapped and frozen for three months.

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