Thursday, July 1, 2010

Easy Cinnamon Bread

Dun duh duh daaaa! The bread I promised! And on the day that I promised it! Is it bad that I'm so proud of myself?
Okay, so let me tell you about this bread. The batter that you make is what I call a semi-yeasted bread. According to the recipe, the author calls this a cross between a yeast bread and a quick bread. The dough has all the elasticity and distinctive smell of a yeast bread, but comes together as easily as a quick bread. It actually gets its rise half from the yeast and half from the baking powder that is folded in just before baking. Interesting, huh?

I was drawn to this because I always enjoy yeasted goods, but I'm really terrible at actually making them. This was perfect for me. It's practically a fool proof yeasted bread. So for all out there that are afraid of yeast, don't be, you can do this one.

And the result was absolutely delicious. You really can't beat the baking cinnamon smell, so it already had that going for it. Then through in the taste of cinnamon rolls without all the fuss of having to actually roll them, and you've got a winner in my book.

But before you get to baking ('cause I know you will), let me make a few comments about the ingredients in this recipe. This recipe calls for instant yeast. I'm sure that many of my fellow bakers are familiar with this ingredient, but just in case, here's a little run down. This is not the yeast that you get in those little packets: that's dry active yeast. I've only seen instant yeast sold in vacuum packed cubes at the store. The difference between instant yeast and dry active yeast is that instant yeast does not need to be mixed with a warm liquid and sit for a while to be ready for use. It's ready right away. You mix it in directly with the flour, and you're good to go. So for all you lazy, I mean, time-aware bakers out there, instant yeast is so your friend. And you can use it in any recipe that calls for the active dry yeast. Just instead of that prep stage I mentioned, just mix it with the flour called for in the recipe, let sit for one minute, and continue on with the recipe. So I highly recommend getting some instant yeast. But if you'd like to try this with active dry yeast, you can try mixing it with a little bit of the warm milk called for in this recipe, let it sit, and then mix it in to the flour. I haven't tried that, so don't hold me to that.

Also, this recipe calls for cinnamon chips. I know, I know, it looks like chocolate chips in the pictures, but they are actually cinnamon chips. I had some that were shipped to me, and this was really the perfect use.
Okay, so that's all I have to say. Here's the recipe!

Easy Cinnamon Bread

3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup warm milk
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 large egg
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup cinnamon chips
Cinnamon-sugar, for topping

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, yeast, cinnamon, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, butter, and egg. Combine the wet and dry ingredients, beating until smooth. (I wasn't sure exactly how long this was. This is not kneading, so shouldn't look like a finished dough ball when you're done, meaning, I could still see some yeast when I looked at the surface. I probably beat for about 2-3 minutes, by hand.) Cover and let the batter rest at room temperature for 1 hour, then stir in the baking powder and cinnamon chips.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Spoon the batter (yes, it's thick but elasticky) into a greased 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan. Sprinkle the top with the cinnamon sugar.

Bake the bread for 35 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove the bread from the oven, let it rest in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer it from the pan to a rack to cool completely. Don't slice the bread while it's hot; it will slice much better when it's completely cool.


Pepela said...

İt looks so delicious :)
Greetings from Libya