I had been hemming and hawing, waffling back and forth on the topic of homemade bread. In the last year or so I have been wanting to become *that* baker – the one who always has a fresh loaf of homemade sandwich bread around the house and who dabbles in fun savory and sweet boules, brioches and other types of bread + pastry.
When my pal Amy [Fearless Homemaker] shared her twist on a cinnamon swirl bread earlier this week, I bit the bullet. I may not have started the process until well into the evening on a Monday, but I had all of the ingredients necessary in the pantry plus a few for a twist. So I did it!
I. Baked. Bread. Y’ALL!
With a boost of confidence from Amy, Lindsay + Lesley on twitter everything went smoothly. I was nervous as I couldn’t remember how big the dough ball was pre-proofing, so I didn’t think it had risen enough. I figured I might as well go ahead with the baking since I couldn’t eat raw dough, anyways. Glad I did, as the loaf is wonderful! I may be glowing a bit from the rush of having accomplished a long dreamt-of goal, but honestly. The bread is GREAT! Decent chew thanks to the whole wheat flour, a sweet and spiceful surprise with the cinnamon, pumpkin pie spices, chocolate chips and hazelnuts.
Next time I make this bread [and believe me, there will be a next time. Probably next week!] I’ll double the filling, and maybe even add some dried fruit like cherries or blueberries? [Soak them in hot water to reconstitute so they are plump + moist before adding to the loaf.]
So, do it. Bake some bread this week/end! And please come back here and let me know how it went.
Whole Wheat[ish] Nutty Cinnamon-Chip Swirl
Yield : 1 loaf [10-12 slices] Prep Time : 20 minutes + 2.5 hours proof time + 40 min. bake time
1/2 cup warm milk [I used coconut-almond milk as we usually don’t have dairy milk in the house]
1/2 cup warm water
1 pkg yeast [1/4 oz]
2 tsp + 1/3 cup granulated cane sugar, divided
1 cup whole-wheat flour
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3 TBSP unsalted butter, room temperature
1 TBSP cinnamon*
1 1/4 tsp kosher salt
Nutty Spice Swirl:
3 TBSP unsalted butter, room temperature
1 heaping TBSP pumpkin pie spice blend**
1 heaping TBSP dark brown sugar
1 heaping TBSP mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 heaping TBSP toasted, chopped hazelnuts
1 egg + 2 TBSP warm water, mixed [egg wash for loaf, just prior to baking]
1. Measure 1/3 cup sugar, flours, cinnamon and salt into medium bowl. Whisk to combine.
2. Combine warm milk and water, yeast and 2 tsp sugar in a measuring cup. Let sit for 10 minutes, until foamy.
3. While the yeast is foaming, add flour mixture to bowl of an electric stand mixer. Towards the end of the 10 minutes for yeast foaming, add butter and using paddle attachment, mix on low. While mixing, drizzle in yeast mixture until the dough just comes together.
4. Switch to dough hook attachment, increase speed to high and mix for 8-10 minutes, until dough is smooth and elastic.
5. Butter or spray [with cooking spray] a large glass bowl, place dough inside and cover with a clean, cotton cloth. Let dough rise for 1 1/2 hours in the warmest spot of the house.***
6. While the dough is rising, mix together the spice swirl filling [all ingredients but butter]. Butter or spray your preferred loaf pan.
7. Once dough has risen to at least double its size, roll out on a floured surface to about 1/8″ thickness in a long rectangular shape [whatever the length of your loaf pan may be]. Smear butter on the surface of the dough. Sprinkle spice filling liberally over dough.
8. Tightly roll the dough, place in loaf pan and cover with cloth. Let rise an additional hour in the same warm spot in the house. Preheat oven to 350.
9. Whisk together egg and water for egg wash. Brush over top of loaf. Bake for 40 minutes, or until loaf is golden-brown on top. Cool, remove from pan, slice + enjoy!
* I ADORE these new[ish] roasted spices by McCormick. I’ve got the cinnamon and ginger and am hoping to build my collection to include them all. They pack so much of a spiceful punch with every teaspoon, I’m totally sold. So when you need to replenish your spices, splurge on these. They’re worth it! [*I was not endorsed by anyone to say this. 100% honest opinion here.]
**I used Trader Joe’s pumpkin pie spice mix because it includes cinnamon, ginger, lemon zest, nutmeg, cloves and black pepper. A bit more spice than your usual pie spice blend! Feel free to stick with just cinnamon or a blend of your favorite spices that will total up to one heaping TBSP.
***Amy proofed her bread in her small bathroom, door shut, heat cranked up, on a baking sheet. Lindsay turns her oven on for 30 seconds, turns the oven off [IMPORTANT!!] and then puts the bowl of dough in there to proof. Finally, Lesley turns her toaster oven on for a few minutes then puts the dough nearby to proof.