Monday, January 11, 2010

Recipe Review: PJ's Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Recipe: PJ's Cinnamon Swirl Bread


Rating out of 5:

This is the first "real" bread I've ever made. It was decent, and baking it went smoothly, but it needs lots more cinnamon flavor. The commenter on the recipe said they tripled the amount of cinnamon and sugar and had no problems with the bread falling apart, so I might try that next time (and I'd suggest you do too).
I also added butter to the rolled out dough before adding the cinnamon and sugar, as this is what I'm used to and its what I've seen with most cinnamon bread recipes. I was actually pretty surprised to not see it included. The bread came out a little dry because it was slightly over-baked, I had placed it too far towards the back of the oven, so just make sure to keep an eye on it!

Makes 1 loaf:
2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
3 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour
1/4 cup Baker's Special Dry Milk or nonfat dry milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 cup + 2 tablespoons warm water
1 tablespoon cinnamon mixed with 1 tablespoon sugar (or 3 tablespoons cinnamon & 3 tablespoons sugar)

Manual/Mixer Method: In a medium-sized mixing bowl, or with your electric mixer, combine all of the ingredients (except the cinnamon-sugar) and using your hands, a spoon, or your mixer, mix until they form a shaggy mass that begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl. Let the mixture rest, covered, for 20 minutes.

Knead the dough, by hand or mixer, for about 8 minutes, till it's become fairly smooth, adding additional water or flour if necessary. Knead for an additional 2 minutes or so, if you're kneading by hand and you feel the dough isn't quite smooth enough. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, turning to coat all sides. Cover the bowl, and allow the dough to rise until it's noticeably puffy, about 1 hour.

Bread Machine Method: Put all of the ingredients (except the cinnamon-sugar) into the bucket of your bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer, program the machine for dough or manual, and press Start. Examine the dough about midway through the kneading cycle; it should be smooth, not gnarly. Adjust the consistency with additional water or flour, as needed. Allow the machine to complete its cycle.

Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled work surface, and let it rest for 5 minutes. Pat or roll it into an 8 x 15-inch rectangle, (this is where I added about 2-3 tablespoons of softened butter to the surface of the dough) and sprinkle it evenly with the cinnamon-sugar. Starting with a short end, roll the dough into a tight log. Tuck the ends under, and place the loaf, seam side down, in a lightly greased 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch bread pan. Drape the pan with lightly greased plastic wrap (or cover it with an acrylic dough-rising cover), and let the dough rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or till it's risen about 1 inch over the top of the pan.

Bake the bread in a preheated 375°F oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until it tests done. Tent the bread with aluminum foil the final 10 minutes of baking, if it's getting too brown. Remove the bread from the pan and cool it completely on a wire rack.

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