Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Cinnamon Swirl Bread.

OMGeeeee spring is here....well maybe not spring quite yet but weather that means you can walk the 10 metres to the car without a coat, hat, scarf and gloves without perishing of hypothermia. I am SO excited I feel like running up and down these pretty little streets, squealing, skipping and doing cartwheels.

It's ok though, i won't. And I will try and remind myself that this one lovely day swiftly follows a day of inches of snow and that more doomy gloomy greyness is probably round the corner.

 In the meantime though, I am going to relish frolicking in the sunshine and pretending that it's ok to wear little shoes and no socks and that 'no it's fiiiiiiine...of course I can still feel my toes'.

That's why this bread is so perfect for this sort of time. It's got the lovely squishy cinnamonyness of pastries that helps you pretend you're on a veranda somewhere continental...squeezing your home grown oranges as the sun comes up. But it also has the heft you need when you get reminded that hey, it is still February in Scotland and, well, thermals are still probably a good idea. With Love and Cake.

Cinnamon Swirl Bread.
Adapted from a Martha Stewart recipe, via Honey and Jam.

A few notes:
  • Feel free to leave out the sultanas if you fancy.
  • If the top of the loaf starts to brown before the cooking time is up, just cover it with foil and pop it back in the oven.
  • My fav way to eat this is toasted with lots of butter.
Makes 1 loaf
You will need

1x2lb load tin

2 tsp dried yeast
240ml milk, hand hot
420g strong white bread flour
55g butter, melted
50g caster sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
pinch salt
2 tsp cinnamon
90g sultanas

For the filling
100g caster sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 egg, lightly beaten

  • Mix together the yeast and milk and set aside so the yeast has a few minutes to dissolve and start getting busy.
  • In a large bowl, combine the flour, butter, sugar, egg, salt and cinnamon.
  • Pour in the yeast mixture and, using your hands, bring everything together to form what will be a fairly sticky dough.
  • Turn the dough out onto a clean, floured surface and knead for around 5 minutes. Don't worry about it sticking to the surface at first, it will get shinier and less sticky the more you knead.
  • Knead in the sultanas in about 3 batches so well combined and easily distributed amongst the dough.
  • Put a spot of oil in the bottom of the mixing bowl you just used, pop the dough back in the bowl and rub a little oil over the dough.
  • Cover the bowl with clingfilm or a tea towel and put somewhere cosy for an hour or until it has about doubled in size...this may take much longer than an hour as there are lots of variable factors so don't worry (see this post for lots of my hard learned tips on bread making).
  • To make the filling, simply stir the sugar and cinnamon together with 1 tbsp of water to form a paste.
  • When the dough is ready, tip it out onto a floured surface and use your hands to press it into a rectangle; the short side of which should be about the length or your loaf tin.
  • Brush the dough all over with some of the egg and spread over the cinnamon sugar.
  • Roll up like a Swiss roll from the short side of the rectangle and tuck the ends under so you have what looks like an uncooked loaf of bread.
  • Transfer to your loaf tin and put back in the cosy place for another hour or so.
  • Preheat the oven to 200°c.
  • Bake the loaf for 45 minutes.
  • It will probably split and spill out some of its cinnamony filling which means you should remove it from the loaf tin as soon as poss and that you might need the help of several implements as it'll be fairly delicate.
  • Leave to cool completely on a wire rack before doing the toasty butter thing.

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