I know, more cinnamon. I usually like to alternate outfit and baking posts but I've been sick all week and there's no way I am ready to leave my sweatpants yet. Anyway yes, more cinnamon after the apple pie from the last post. But is there ever such a thing as too much cinnamon? No, I don't think there is.
As soon as I saw this bread on Joy the Baker I have been dreaming of it. But baking bread scares me, what if I add too much yeast? Or not enough? What if the dough doesn't rise? How do I know if it's cooked properly? Anyway, I needn't have worried because although slightly fiddly and time consuming, this recipe is pretty simple indeed.
I'll warn you now, this bread is like crack. You have a bite, you have another bite. You tear off a slice, another slice. Then before you know it you are sitting all full and content before you realize that strangely the bread seems to have entirely vanished right under your nose. Bake it and eat it warm, it'd be amazing with ice cream but it went brilliantly with just my cup of tea. Enjoy.
Makes: one 9x5x3-inch loaf
For the Dough:
- 2 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 1/4 teaspoons (1 envelope) active dry yeast
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 ounces unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup whole milk
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the Filling:
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
- 2 ounces unsalted butter, melted until browned
1. In a large mixing bowl, mix together 2 cups of the flour, the yeast, sugar and salt and set aside.
2. Whisk together the eggs and set aside.
3. In a small saucepan, melt the butter and milk. Add the water and vanilla essence and leave for a few minutes to cool down slightly.
4. Pour the milk into the dry ingredients and mix with a spatula. Add the eggs until they are incorporated into the batter. This takes a good bit of mixing.
5. Add the remaining 3/4 cup flour and stir again with the spatula for 2 minutes. The mixture should be sticky.
6. Cover the bowl with cling film and a clean, dry cloth and leave to rise in a warm space for an hour until doubled in size.
7. Whisk together the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg (I left the nutmeg out because I hate it). Melt 2 oz butter until browned, not burnt! (I burnt mine and had to start over). Grease your loaf tin.
8. Deflate the risen dough and knead in about 2 tablespoons of flour. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes. Lightly flour your work surface and roll the dough out as large as it will go.
9. Using a pastry brush, spread on the butter until all of the dough is covered.
10. Sprinkle the sugar over the dough, it is a lot of sugar but just go for it until you think it feels right. I put nearly all of mine on but I think I just had a bit too much as I didn't manage to roll the dough quite as large as the recipe states.
11. Slice the dough into strips. Place the strips into piles of 6.
12. Add the strips to the loaf tin, as Joy describes it "like a flipbook".
13. Cover the pan with a clean kitchen towel and leave for around 45 minutes to rise.
14. Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 4/350F/175c.
15. Place the bread in the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes. I slighly over cooked mine, as I thought it was still too doughy in the middle but I just snipped off the bits at the top that looked a bit too cooked.
16. Once removed from the oven, leave to cool for 30 minutes before removing the loaf from the tin with a butterknife.
It's not in the recipe, but I added icing to mine and I think it made it just perfect. Best enjoyed warm from the oven, but can be kept for 2 days at room temperature. x