Monday, January 12, 2009

Time for bread again!

So here it is Monday already! I love Mondays...I am off of work and it is my day to get everything situated around the house, bake, and clean! I love it. There is nothing more refreshing than a Monday evening, sitting down at night and admiring a job well done:)

So on Friday I mentioned having Mondays be my bread making day. I love this new resolution...fresh baked bread, the smell is amazing.

I always used to be one who thought that bread making must be difficult. But now that I have gotten the hang of letting the yeast bubble and utilizing my handy stand mixer, I think it may be one of the easier things I make!

So today in an attempt to bring some variety into the bread making, I chose to make a cinnamon swirl loaf and a garlic swirl loaf. Both were so delicious. I used the same base for both but chose to fill and shape them differently. They are so, so good and so easy!

Cinnamon Swirl Bread (adapted from Williams-Sonoma)
see adaptations at end for garlic swirl


1 Tbs. active dry yeast
3 Tbs. granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups warm water (105° to 115°F)
1 cup warm milk (105° to 115°F)
3 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
1 Tbs. salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
6 to 6 1/4 cups bread flour, plus more as needed
3/4 cup golden raisins (i omitted we don't care for raisins)
3/4 cup dark raisins (i omitted)

For the filling:

2/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar mixed with 4 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
(i cut in half b/c only one loaf was cinnamon- 1/3 C with 2 1/4 t)


In a bowl, sprinkle the yeast and a pinch of the granulated sugar over 1⁄2 cup of the water and stir to dissolve. Let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, combine the remaining 3/4 cup water, the milk, butter, the remaining granulated sugar, salt, egg and 2 cups of the flour. Beat on medium speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Add the yeast mixture and 1⁄2 cup of the flour and beat for 1 minute. Add the raisins, then beat in the remaining flour, 1⁄2 cup at a time, until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.

Switch to the dough hook. Knead on medium-low speed, adding flour 1 Tbs. at a time if the dough sticks, until smooth and elastic, about 4 minutes. Transfer the dough to a greased deep bowl and turn to coat it.

Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until doubled in bulk, 1 to 1 1⁄2 hours. Lightly grease two 9-by-5-inch loaf pans.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board. Divide the dough in half and roll or pat each half into an 8-by-12-inch rectangle. Lightly sprinkle each rectangle with half of the filling, leaving a 1-inch border on all sides. Beginning at a narrow end, tightly roll up each rectangle into a compact log. Pinch the ends and the long seam to seal in the filling. Place each log, seam side down, in a prepared pan.

Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until the dough is about 1 inch above the rim of each pan, 1 to 1 1⁄2 hours. Preheat an oven to 350°F. Bake until the loaves are golden brown and pull away from the sides of the pan, 35 to 40 minutes. Turn the loaves out onto wire racks and let cool completely. Makes two 9-by-5-inch loaves.

For one garlic swirl loaf:

Swirl Ingredients:

4 T butter, softened
1 T garlic, minced
2 tsp parsley
1/2 tsp oregano
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
Combine butter, garlic, parsley and oregano and spread evenly over top of dough, leaving 1/2" at end to help seal loaf. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over top of butter mixture. Tightly roll dough up into cylinder shape, pinching and tucking ends to form a tight seal and pinching seam to seal.

Bake as directed above.

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