Cinnamon bread is one of my kid's favorites for breakfast. Usually ours comes pre-sliced in a plastic bag. I thought if I could get this right, I could make two loaves at a time, slice them, and then freeze them to have on hand for rushed breakfasts. Well friends, I got it right! We all agreed it was the best cinnamon bread we had ever tasted. The dough was very easy to work with, I will be making this again soon!
Things I will do differently next time:
1. The topping got really messy and I think it would be even worse if I were freezing and toasting. I will try going without the crunchy goodness.
2. I need to make sure I roll the loaf tighter. I ended up with one huge hole which made buttering the slices a challenge.
3. The loaf could have risen a little less in the pan. The slices were so big I had to turn them sideways to fit in the toaster! More does not always equal better for rising.
The America's Test Kitchen Family Baking Book
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/4 cups warm whole milk (110 degrees)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus extra for brushing
2 large egg yolks
3 1/2-4 cups all-purpose flour
1 envelope (2 1/4 teaspoons) instant or rapid-rise yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
Mix the sugars and cinnamon together in a small bowl. Measure out 2 tablespoons and reserve for the topping. Whisk the milk, melted butter, and yolks together in a large liquid measuring cup.
Combine 3 1/2 cups of the flour, yeast, salt, and 1/4 cup of the cinnamon sugar in a standing mixer fitted with the dough hook. With the mixer on low speed, add the milk mixture and mix until the dough comes together, about 2 minutes.
Increase the mixer speed to medium-low and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. If after 4 minutes more flour is needed, add the remaining 1/2 cup flour, 2 tablespoons at a time, until the dough clears the sides of the bowl but sticks to the bottom.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter and knead by hand to form a smooth, round ball. Place the dough in a large, lightly oiled bowl and cover with greased plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Grease a 9x5-inch loaf pan. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter and press into a 20 by 8-inch rectangle with the short side facing you. Spray the dough lightly with water, then sprinkle evenly with the remaining cinnamon sugar, leaving a 1/2 inch border at the far edge. Lightly spray the cinnamon sugar with water until it is damp but not wet.
Loosen the dough from the counter then roll the dough into a tight cylinder and pinch the seam closed. Place the loaf seam side down int he prepared pan. Mist the loaf with vegetable oil spray, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place until nearly doubled in size and the dough barely springs back when poked with a knuckle, 45-75 minutes.
Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Brush the loaf lightly with melted butter, sprinkle with the reserved cinnamon sugar, then spray lightly with water. Bake until golden, about 40-60 minutes, rotating the loaf halfway through baking. Cool the loaf in the pan for 15 minutes, then flip out onto a wire rack and let cool to room temperature, about 2 hours, before serving.