Saturday, April 14, 2012

Sister's Sweet Cinnamon - Swirl Bread

French toast just isn't French toast without cinnamon-raisin bread. At least, that's how my family sees it. Our weekend breakfasts would fill the house with the spicy, sweet scent of blooming cinnamon and slowly cooking egg, culminating in a grand finale of maple syrup-drenched slabs of custardy bread with a glass of OJ on the side. That's still our favourite way to enjoy the beautifully rolled, swirly loaves, and my sister even sometimes gilds the lily by simply toasting a few pieces of our standard storebought thick-cut cinnamon-raisin bread and smearing them with Nutella. Yes... I said Nutella. It's not my taste preference (I have a personal bias against melted peanut butter or Nutella on bread, not to mention I generally don't like fruit and chocolate together [notable exceptions being strawberries and cherries dipped in bittersweet goodness :-)]) but who am I to judge?

My sister's coming home from her second year of university today, and like most post-secondary students her diet underwent a bit of an overhaul while she was away. Ironically though, instead of the junk food, ramen-noodle and booze eating patterns you hear about new students developing, she went the opposite way. She came home on breaks asking for brown rice vermicelli, green peas, salad and whole wheat bread! Since her beloved loaf is not of the whole wheat variety, I wanted to make her one that she could take with her to her new job away in Guelph this Summer.

Her loaf uses the same basic principles of my favourite cinnamon-raisin bread, incorporating cinnamon chips into the "swirl" and making an enriched yeast dough to hold it together, but she's not a fan of coconut milk or "grainy" bread so I just switched up those ingredients for regular dairy and plain whole wheat flour. I also messed up the filling portion somewhat (which is why you read the recipe first, kids!) and mixed everything with the egg instead of using the egg to brush the dough pre-sugar sprinkle. It made rolling it a bit touch-and-go, and very messy, but eventually it all turned out. It rose beautifully and smelled decadent as it baked - even my stepfamily said so - and while the more "liquid" filling meant a slightly longer baking time (and greater crust burning risk) it was nothing that a tent of foil couldn't solve.

I'm submitting this to Susan's Friday round up at YeastSpotting

Sister's Sweet Cinnamon - Swirl Bread
Makes 1 loaf, 14 slices
1 cup flour
2 cups whole wheat bread flour
1/4 cup mashed potato flakes
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp instant yeast
12 oz evaporated 2% milk
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp plain yogurt
1 tbsp vanilla
1 tbsp canola oil
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup raisins, soaked in hot water for 10 minutes and drained
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2 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tbsp cinnamon
1 tbsp tapioca starch
1 egg, beaten
3 tbsp cinnamon chips
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together flours, potato flakes, nutmeg, sugar and yeast.
  2. Add the evaporated milk, egg yolk, yogurt and vanilla, then turn mixer to medium low speed and mix with the dough hook for 8 minutes.
  3. Add oil and salt, and continue to mix 7 minutes longer. (Alternatively you can do this by hand, but you will need a longer mix/knead time, about 20 minutes total)
  4. Cover bowl and let rest 10 minutes.
  5. Turn the dough out onto a greased countertop and by hand, knead the raisins into the dough to evenly disperse them without breaking them up.
  6. Place back into the bowl, cover and allow to rest 1 hour.
  7. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine brown sugar, cinnamon, tapioca starch and egg. Set aside.
  8. When dough has rested, punch down and roll out into a rectangle with the "short" ends the length of the loaf pan.
  9. Evenly spread the sugar/cinnamon mixture over the dough, leaving a 1" space on one short end.
  10. Sprinkle the cinnamon chips over the "far" 2/3 of the dough (this helps prevent them leaking through and sticking to the pan!).
  11. Roll up dough gently (the filling is quite liquidy), pinching the un-spiced end to seal.
  12. Place in a greased loaf pan.
  13. Cover and allow to rise 45 minutes, until almost doubled.
  14. Preheat the oven to 350°F and bake 1 hour, tenting the loaf lightly with aluminum foil for the final 25 minutes.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 181.7
Total Fat: 5.0 g
Cholesterol: 35.7 mg
Sodium: 38.0 mg
Total Carbs: 30.4 g
Dietary Fiber: 2.7 g
Protein: 6.2 g