Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Cinnamon Swirl Bread

If you are looking for a Christmas day breakfast addition, this is your bread. This bread is similar in flavor to your favorite cinnamon rolls, but with a bit less work. I would suggest making it beforehand and keeping it in the refrigerator until Christmas morning. It is very tasted toasted and spread with butter. Enjoy!

Cinnamon Swirl Bread
Recipe from The King Arthur Flour Baker’s Companion
Pictures by Caroline

Dough ingredients:

3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
¼ potato flour, or 1/3 cup potato flakes
¼ cup nonfat dry milk
1 ¼ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons sugar
2 ½ teaspoons instant yeast
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup water

Filling ingredients:

¼ cup sugar
1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
¼ cup raisins or currants
2 teaspoons unbleached all-purpose flour
Egg wash, made from 1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water

Topping ingredients:

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons sugar
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ cup unbleached all purpose flour

Dough directions:

1. In a large mixing bowl, combine all the dough ingredients, mixing until the dough begins to come away from the sides of the bowl. Knead (about 10 minutes by hand, 5 to 7 minutes by machine) until the dough is smooth and satiny.
2. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and set it aside to rise for 1 to 1 ½ hours; it will be puffy, if not doubled in size.
3. For the filling, pulse filling ingredients except for the egg wash in a food processor.

To assemble:

1. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled work surface and shape it into a long, narrow rectangle, about 16 x 8 inches. Brush the dough with some of the egg wash (set the remainder aside) and pat the filling gently onto the dough.
2. Beginning with a short edge, roll the dough into a log. Pinch the side seam and ends closed (to keep the filling from bubbling out) and place the log in a lightly greased 8 ½ x 4 ½ inch loaf pan.
3. Cover the pan with a lightly greased plastic wrap or a proof cover and let the bread rise for about 1 hour at room temperature, or until it’s crowned about 1 inch over the rim of the pan.
4. In a small bowl or mini processor, combine the butter, sugar, cinnamon, and flour until the mixture is crumbly. If you’re using a mini processor, watch carefully; topping will go from crumbly to a cohesive mass in just a second or so.
5. Brush the top of the loaf with some (or all) of the reserved egg wash and gently press on the topping.
6. Preheat oven to 350° F. Bake the bread for about 45 minutes, tenting it lightly with aluminum foil for the final 15 minutes or so if it appears to be browning too quickly.
7. Remove the loaf from the oven, and after about 5 minutes, gently remove it from the pan. Some of the streusel will fall off, but you can alleviate this by first loosening all around the edges of the loaf with a knife, then turning the pan on its side and gently pulling it away from the loaf.


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