An easy, but visually impressive double swirl cinnamon bread, with two swirls of cinnamon and brown sugar inside. Great toasting bread.
This cinnamon bread is one of my favourites to make when baking bread for a special occasion. It is very easy to make, but it always impresses once it’s cut to reveal the two pretty swirls inside.
To make, you simply divide the dough in half, roll and fill each one, then roll both up jelly-roll style. The two rolls are are then placed side by side in a large 9×5 loaf pan to rise together and form into one loaf.
Beyond it’s good looks, this bread has two generous swirls of cinnamon and brown sugar. It’s great toasting bread or just eaten out of hand with butter. As this is an enriched dough, with the two egg yolks, I find it doesn’t stay fresh as long, so it’s best eaten up as soon as possible. If you can’t eat it all right away, you can freeze it or if it gets a little beyond fresh, use it to make a great bread pudding!
My Best Tips for Baking with Yeast
I think most of the problems people have with baking with yeast, is treating yeast-based recipes like say, a cake recipe, where you just measure the ingredients, mix them all together and bake.
Yeast-based recipes just can never be that precise. Things like temperature, moisture in the flour your are using, the season your are baking in and rising time can differ from one kitchen to the next. All that makes yeast recipes less consistent from one kitchen to the next.
Now that you know this though, that's more than half the battle :) Baking with yeast isn't just measuring, mixing and baking, like a cake, for example. You'll need to add to the mix a little trust in what you see (it looks sticky, so it needs more flour, regardless of how much flour the recipe says should go in), and a feel for the dough (does it feel smooth like a baby's bottom when you're done kneading?) and watching much it has grown in size as it rises (rather than watching the clock). Do that, and all will be good!
- Be careful with the temperature of your proofing liquid before adding the yeast, so you don't compromise the yeast from the start. If the liquid is too cold, the yeast won't activate. Too hot and it will die. The best temperature range for proofing liquid is 105-110F for Active Dry Yeast. Instant yeast is a bit more forgiving and can take temperatures up to 120F. All yeasts die at about 140°F. An Instant Read thermometer is handy to have on hand to check.
- Always treat the amount of flour specified in yeast-based recipes as "approximate". Flours will vary from kitchen to kitchen and by season, so the amount needed to make a smooth, soft dough will vary.
- Given tip #2, I always hold back 1/4-1/3 of the flour specified in a recipe and add in only as much as is needed. If you dump all the flour in at the start, you may find that it is too much and it's difficult to adjust well after that.
- Use a large glass measuring cup to proof your dough. It's easy to see when the dough has doubled.
- Be patient. Rising times are also "approximate" and will vary as well. Trust what you see and not the clock.
Double Swirl Cinnamon Bread
- 2 1/4 tsp. instant or dry active yeast
- 1/2 cup warm water 120° F.
- 1/2 cup warm milk 120° F.
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter melted
- 2 large egg yolks
- 2 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup white granulated sugar
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1/2 cup brown sugar light or dark
- 1 Tbsp. cinnamon
- 1 egg
- 1 Tbsp. water
- In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine yeast with warm water. Stir, then let stand 5 minutes, until frothy. Add warm milk, melted butter and egg yolks and mix to combine. Add 2 cups of the flour, the sugar and salt. Switch to the kneading hook and mix until combined. Begin adding more flour, in small increments until a smooth, moist dough forms that cleanly pulls away from the bottom and sides of bowl, about 5 minutes. Remove to an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap to rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, prepare filling by mixing butter with brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl until smooth. Set aside.
- Grease a 9x5-inch loaf pan.
- When dough has doubled, remove to a lightly floured surface and gently deflate. Divide dough in to 2 equal-sized pieces. Working with one piece, use a rolling pin to roll the dough in to a 9x14-inch rectangle. Spread half of the butter/brown sugar mixture evenly over the dough. With the short (9-inch) side facing you, roll the dough up jelly-roll style, pinching the seam together at the end. Place seam side down on one side of your prepared loaf pan. Repeat process with the second piece of dough, placing it next to the first roll in your loaf pan. Cover with a greased piece of plastic wrap and let rise until about doubled, about 45 minutes - 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 325° F. Prepare egg wash by whisking together egg and water. Brush on top of dough, being sure to get in the folds and down the exposed sides, as well.
- Bake in preheated oven until deep golden, about 45-50 minutes. Check at 35 minutes or so and loosely cover with a piece of aluminum foil if top of bread is already dark enough. Continue cooking until 45 minutes or so. If you have an instant-read thermometer, bread should register around 200° F. when done.
- Allow to cool in pan for 10 minutes, then run a knife around the edge and remove to a cooling rack to cool completely.