This Cinnamon Swirl Loaf is perfect for any meal, but especially toasted for breakfast! Want an amazing option for bread to use for French toast? This is it. I am telling you, this is the best bread. Also, it is like a cinnamon roll, without all extra sugar and sweeteners.
Type of Wheat Used In This Bread
It is made from a white winter wheat. Red and white winter wheat are both really great options for yeast bread. My family and I prefer the white winter wheat for its milder flavor. Both types of wheat kernels are readily available. You use hard winter wheat, of which this white is one of them, for their higher protein content. Yeast bread needs the extra protein for structure, where cookies and other lighter baked goods wouldn't.
My grain mill preference
You will hear me give praises to the grain grinder I have used for a really long time because I just love it. Nutrimill has been my go-to for almost as long as I have been married. It is a great mill, at a reasonable price. Yes, I know they are expensive, but in my mind, well worth it. Here are some articles about whole grains- First from Nutrimill. Whole wheat flour is so different in structure, flavor, and health benefits from its all-white cousin.
As with most yeast bread, we start by activating the yeast. Almost all my recipes will use active dry. It is simple and quick to activate. Add the milk, sugar, molasses, and yeast to a small bowl. Mix and set aside. Within just a few minutes the mixture will be frothy and bubbly.
Below the yeast has just been added. You can still see the granules.
Below you will see it activated.
Add all ingredients to the mixing bowl. This can be done by hand too, you will definitely get a good arm workout. When adding your all-purpose flour, add the smallest amount you are able to. Allow the dough to mix for about a minute or 2 before adding in more flour. Sometimes it takes a little time to know if you should add more. You will want your dough to be tacky (a little sticky). This is important as wheat dough absorbs much more liquid than its all-white counterpart. So, it should feel a little sticky to the touch, but not overly sticky. The bowl should also be mostly clean by the time you are done mixing. The total mix time will be around 6-8 minutes.
You know I love my Bosch so much. It is the only mixer I have ever owned, check out this info here for others I have owned that haven't worked out so well for me...
Give it the first rise until doubled. Depending on the temp of the dough and your house, this could take in between 45-70 minutes.
Now the dough is ready to form.
Preparing the Loaf
Roll into a rectangle. Brush with a little melted butter and sprinkle liberally with cinnamon.
It only takes a little butter. You use it for the cinnamon to stick to, but also for flavor...of course. This is a cinnamon bread, not a cinnamon roll after all.
I like to sprinkle liberally with the cinnamon. Just think...cinnamon toast....
Roll and place in prepared pan. It doesn't need to be rolled super tight. As it rises, it will fill in.
Place in a prepared loaf pan. I use this Calphalon pan which has been a favorite for years now. It is heavy, which helps to bake evenly.
My loaf was a touch long, so I kind of had to squeeze it in.
Cover and allow to double again. A good way to test if the dough fully rises is to gently poke the loaf. If the indention remains, it is ready to go. If it springs back, give it a little more time. Brush with egg wash.
If you choose, you can slit it as I did with mine. This helps release steam, instead of blowing out on the side. You can do this with a sharp knife, razor, or lame as I did.
Bake. The way I have always used to test if my bread is done or not is the tapping test. Bake for the allotted amount of time. Pull the loaf from the oven, remove it from the pan and upend it in your hand. Do all of this carefully, in case the loaf isn't fully baked yet. You can see from the photo my hand is covered with a hot pad. Tap the bottom. If the bread sounds hollow, you are good! If it isn't carefully return to pan and oven.
Remove from oven, turn out of the pan. At this point, you can serve immediately or wait until it has cooled slightly. Either way, you are winning at life!
This Cinnamon Swirl Loaf is such a great option for a weekend bake. You can bake several loaves and freeze them. This loaf is great toasted or in French toast. Or just eat it with your favorite jam, buttered, or even peanut butter. It is definitely versatile.
Looking for a great weekend bake? This cinnamon swirl loaf could be just what you need!
Cinnamon Swirl Loaf
- stand mixer
- 1 cup warm milk if you have a dairy intolerance, warm water will work here as well.
- 2 tablespoons molasses
- 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar light brown or even granulated will work as well.
- 2 ½ teaspoons active dry yeast, or one packet
- 3 eggs
- ¼ cup oil
- 2 tablespoons orange juice I learned this trick from King Arthur's whole grain baking book many years ago. It seems like an unusual ingredient, but it helps to cut the bitterness som people experience from the wheat flour.
- 3 cups whole wheat flour My family prefers the flavor of white wheat as opposed to the traditional red winter wheat. It has a milder flavor we prefer. If you prefer a red wheat, certainly use it!
- 1- 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted This is not made like cinnamon rolls, the 2 tablespoons will be plenty. You really just need enough for the cinnamon to stick to.
- 1-2 tablespoons cinnamon this will be a personal preference. I like a little more, so I used the 2 tablespoons.
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoons water or milk
- Activate yeast. To do this, you add your yeast, warm water, molasses and brown sugar to bowl. Mix with a fork just for a few seconds then set aside. Depending on the temp of the milk, other ingredients and house, this should take between 5-10 minutes.Add the activated yeast mixture to stand mixer. Add all other ingredients in as well. On the all purpose flour, only add 1 cup to start. Turn mixer on medium and mix for a few minutes to determine whether more flour is needed. Your dough should be a little sticky (or tacky is what we call it in the baking world), but not overly sticky. Whole wehat bread dough is a little different from an all white dough as the wheat absorbs more liquid, for this reason, dough is always more tacky.If dough is where you want it, continue to mix another 6 minutes on medium. Cover and allow to rise until doubled. It usually takes about 45 minutes in my house. Prepare pan. You can either use pan spray or melt a little butter and brush it on. Turn dough out onto surface. Roll to a 9x12 in rectangle. Brush lightly with butter. I like to leave about a 1 inch gap on the bottom. That way you can pinch and close the roll. Now, roll up in a roll, as shown in photo. You will want to roll the 12 inch length, not the 9 inch width. Place loaf into pan. I like to cover with a little saran wrap, but you can also use a kitchen towel. Allow loaf to double. A good way to tell if it is ready is to lighlty poke the side. If the indention sticks, it is sufficiently risen, the indention will stay. If it isn't risen as it should be, it will push back out.While it is at the end of it's rise, preheat oven to 350 degrees and mix together your egg wash.Before placing in the oven, brush with egg wash.Place in oven. Bake for 35-50 minutes. If your loaf starts to get darker then what you want, you can always tent a piece of tinfoil over the loaf. My favorite way to check for doneness is to turn loaf out of pan onto your hand covered with a hot pad. Tap the bottom of the loaf and listen. If it sounds hollow, you are good. Remove from oven. Carefully turn out of pan and place on cooling rack. You can slice it right away, because it is really hard to resist. It is prettier if you wait though, and so much easier to slice. Now, sit back and enjoy. You deserve it!