Twisted Cinnamon Loaf

CinnamonLoaf_6CinnamonLoaf_7

Ben and I spent the weekend with friends in Edinburgh for the long Bank Holiday weekend. It was a fantastic trip! We saw some wonderful comedy shows as a part of the Fringe festival, and mostly ended up wandering around the city. It was so crowded with several different festivals going on all at once, but the weather was lovely and we were in good company.  All in all, a nice mini getaway before the fall kicks off!

After last week’s bread episode of GBBO, I found myself really inspired to try my hand at making a filled loaf. I’d seen a photo on Pinterest for a twisted cinnamon loaf, but most of the recipes used canned cinnamon rolls and just didn’t seem all that appetizing. So about mid-way on hour hour-long flight home, I decided to give it a go.

Yes it is more effort than buying a can of cinnamon rolls. But it is all so simple, and you just feel better knowing that you made it yourself – that there are no preservatives or weird stuff mixed in. Plus, it was a nice way to keep the relaxing vibe from the weekend away.

Ingredients

For the bread dough:

  • 500 grams (3 1/2 cups) strong white flour (white bread flour)
  • 10 grams (1 teaspoon) salt
  • 50 grams (1/4 cup) sugar
  • 2 packages yeast (14 grams)
  • 30 grams (1 Tablespoon) butter
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 50 ml (1/4 cup) warm milk
For the filling:
I just eyeballed mine, so all of these are approximate!
  • 75 grams (3 Tablespoons) very soft butter
  • 150 grams (3/4 cup) brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons cinnamon
For the glaze:
I just eyeballed mine, so all of these are approximate!
  • 65 grams (about 2 cups) icing sugar
  • A few Tablespoons of milk
  • A few drops vanilla

CinnamonLoaf_3BrownSugarBearThis little guy is my brown sugar bear – he’s ceramic and helps keep the brown sugar from turning to a brick. Just soak him for awhile in water, then toss him in your brown sugar container!

 

Directions

1. First, make your dough: Mix together all of your ingredients except the warm water. Be sure to separate when you add the salt and the yeast, because salt will kill your yeast and you won’t get a nice rise. Add about half of your water and let all the ingredients combine. Gradually add in the rest of your water until it all comes together into a dough.

2. Turn your dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it for about 10-15 minutes until it gets really smooth and stretchy. Lightly oil a large bowl with a bit of olive oil, then place your dough in, cover with plastic wrap or a clean towel, then leave in a warm place to rise for about an hour or so.  The dough should nearly double in size when it’s ready.

3. Now, the funs starts!  Prep a baking pan by lining with baking paper and set aside.  Re-flour your work surface and turn out your dough.

HowTo_14. Grab your rolling pin and roll your dough out into a rough rectangle that’s about 1/4-inch thick. It doesn’t need to be perfectly square for the loaf to work, so don’t stress about it.

5. Then, using a pastry brush, cover the surface of the dough with a good hearty coating of your very soft butter.

HowTo_26. Cover the surface of your dough with your brown sugar and cinnamon mixture so that it all has an even coating. Be generous though, as the sugar will melt and create all of the delicious gooey-ness on the inside of  your loaf!

7. Next, roll up your loaf, making sure you roll with the longer edge, not the short one. You want to roll it relatively tightly so that you get a good spiral, but not so tight that the dough won’t have room to rise or bake properly.

HowTo_38. Once it’s all rolled together, pinch the seam closed, making sure it’s as sealed as possible.  Then, slice your log-like loaf down the entire length so that you get two halves.

9. Pinch together the two ends of each of your halves, then start to twist them together, looping one over the other until you go down the entire length of your dough.HowTo_410. Once you’ve reached the other end, pinch those together as tightly as possible.

11. Carefully lift the two ends of your twist and bring them together to create a wreath shape. Now, make sure you seal off the two ends as best you can, so that the loaf doesn’t unravel in the oven!

HowTo_5CinnamonLoaf_5CinnamonLoaf_4HowTo_612. Mix together whatever’s left of your brown sugar and cinnamon mixture with your very soft butter. Pop it in the microwave for a few seconds so that it gets even softer, but not melted! Brush this mixture over the top of your loaf to add more delicious golden brown gooey-ness.

13. Preheat the oven to 325ºF (170ºC), then set your loaf in a warm place to rise for about 30 minutes while your oven preheats.

14. Bake your loaf for about 20-25 minutes, until it turns a really rich golden brown.

15. While your loaf is still warm, mix together the icing sugar and vanilla with a bit of milk, gradually adding the milk until you reach a very runny consistency. Brush this over your warm loaf, then allow it to cool (or not, just get stuck in!).

CinnamonLoaf_1CinnamonLoaf_2Mmmmmm, gooey.

 

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