It’s no secret that I love homemade bread. Pillowy rolls or fluffy slices of pure carby goodness. 100 percent my thing … my style … you get what I’m saying. But you know what’s even more my style? Homemade bread with a cinnamon sugar swirl running through it. A cinnamon sugar swirl that gets slightly (in a very very good way) gooey when you pop a slice in the toaster.
A slice of this bread with a smear of butter = my breakfast for the last few weeks.
It’s also good with a little bit of peanut butter, but my husband thinks I’m weird for doing that. Whatevs. We all know that I’m a diehard peanut butter fan. It’s not like this should have surprised him in any way.
And, this bread freezes really well. So you can make a batch (which makes two big loaves by the way!) and have it ready to go for any guests staying at your house over Thanksgiving. You didn’t think we wouldn’t talk about Thanksgiving today, did you? Thanksgiving is consuming my thoughts at the moment.
Plus, swirls are just all kinds of pretty. There’s just something about them that makes my heart go pitter patter. Even more so if they are made of melty cinnamon sugar goodness.
- ½ cup warm water (about 110 degrees)
- 2 tablespoons instant yeast
- ⅔ cup warm milk (about 110 degrees)
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1 ½ cups pumpkin puree
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- ½ cup lightly packed light brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
- 4 cups bread flour
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
- ½ cup lightly packed light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the water and then sprinkle in the yeast. Mix for a few seconds on low to combine. Add in the milk, eggs, pumpkin puree, oil, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cardamom. Mix on low to combine. Add in the 4 cups of bread flour and mix on low until the dough forms a cohesive mass. Switch to the dough hook. With the mixer on low, slowly add in the 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour. Mix on low for about 5 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic. Shape the dough into a ball and place in a large lightly oiled bowl. Turn once to coat. Cover with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel. Let rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
- Punch down the dough and then transfer to a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough in half. Roll or press each piece into a rectangle, about 9 by 11 inches in size. If the dough springs back when you are trying to roll it out into the rectangle, stop and let it rest for about 10 minutes and then try again. Brush each half lightly with the melted butter (leaving about ½ inch border around the edges).
- Add the brown sugar and cinnamon for the swirl to a small bowl. Mix until combined. Sprinkle this mixture evenly on the two rectangles, again leaving the same ½ inch border around the edges (it may look like a lot but use all of the mixture). Fold the edges over the cinnamon sugar. Roll the dough tightly into a log, starting with the short end. Pinch together the seam on the bottom as well as the two ends.
- Lightly grease two 9x5 inch loaf pans. Transfer the two loaves to the prepared pans. Spray two pieces of plastic wrap on one side with nonstick cooking spray. Cover each pan lightly with the plastic wrap (greased side down). Let rise for about 30 to 45 minutes, until the dough has cleared the tops of the pans.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Bake the loaves for about 30 minutes, until golden brown and they sound hollow when you tap them on the bottom (it should read 190 degrees on an instant-read thermometer). Once cool enough to handle, remove the loaves from the pans and transfer to a wire rack. Let cool completely before slicing.
Alternatively, I’ve played around with different ways to shape the dough. While I preferred using the loaf pans you can also use the following method. Prepare the dough as directed above through the step where you roll the dough into a tight log. Then, instead of using the loaf pans, lightly spray a large baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray or line with parchment paper (or use two smaller baking sheets depending on the size - the bread will grow/rise in the oven so make sure they have room on the baking sheet). Place the two loaves onto the prepared baking sheet. Cover the loaves with plastic wrap (sprayed lightly on one side with nonstick cooking spray) and let rest for about 20 minutes. Then proceed with baking the loaves as directed in the recipe above.
Adapted from King Arthur Flour.