Sunday, August 7, 2011

Ellie’s Cinnamon Swirl Bread

I used to bake a lot of bread (and cookies and pies, oh my!). My enthusiasm predated bread machines and I loved the feel of working the dough. It seemed as if that would make a good stress reliever for a heroine and the concept ended up in Ellie’s Song. The recipe I used came from a popular women’s magazine but who would ever know?
Well, the world would know because my dear TWRP editor thought it would be a great idea to put the recipe in the book! Yikes! I needed to come up with my own recipe. It took a few weeks, but with the help of my editor who has a background in the culinary arts and a friend who loves to bake, I engineered Ellie’s recipe. 
If you like cinnamon bread, here’s the recipe I worked up for Ellie’s Song.

Ellie’s Cinnamon Swirl Bread
3 - 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
Free Wikipedia images put raisins
in the bread!
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cardamom
2 1/4 teaspoons yeast
1 tablespoon gluten
1 cup milk
1/8 cup sugar
3 tablespoons softened butter
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
Cinnamon spread:   
1/2 cup sugar mixed with 1 TBL cinnamon and 1 tsp cardamom
2 TBL softened butter

In a large bowl combine 1 cup of flour, cinnamon, cardamom, yeast and gluten. Heat the milk, sugar, butter and salt until warm (115 to 125°). Add warm milk mixture to dry ingredients, whisk smooth. Scrape the bowl. Add the eggs and 1 cup of flour; beat at medium speed for 2 minutes. Add remaining flour to make a stiff dough. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic. Add flour as needed to prevent dough from sticking.
Shape dough into a ball and placed in a greased bowl. Turn once to bring greased side up. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour. 
Punch the dough down, turn out onto a lightly floured surface and divide in half. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Grease two loaf pans. Combine 1/2 cup sugar, 1 TBL cinnamon and 1 tsp cardamom.
On the lightly floured surface, roll out one portion of the dough to a 14 x 7-inch rectangle. Brush the entire surface with softened butter and sprinkle half of the cinnamon and sugar mixture over the rectangle. Roll up the dough, tucking ends under to seal. Place in a greased loaf pan.
Repeat with remaining dough. Cover and let rise in a warm place until double in size, about 35 to 45  minutes. With a sharp knife, make several slashes across each loaf. Brush with 1 1/2 tablespoons melted butter. Bake in a preheated 350° oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until done. Brush with remaining melted butter, cool five minutes in pan and then remove and cool on rack. Makes two loaves.

If you use a bread machine, remember to add the ingredients in the order used by your machine. You may need to do a little tweaking with the flour to get the right consistency since you won’t be hand kneading it and adding flour as needed.
If you disdain bread makers but love your microwave, the milk mixture can be heated in the microwave. Chose a medium level of power, no more
than thirty seconds at a time and check the temperature often. I use a candy thermometer to record the temperature.

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