Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Cinnamon Bread (yeast bread)

This is adapted from The Southern Living Cookbook.  It makes two loaves.

This bread was much easier than I thought it would be!  I admit that I’m downright lazy when it comes to kneading…this recipe requires very little kneading!  It’s not super sweet like a cinnamon roll but it’s a nice flavor combination of bread, cinnamon and sugar.  The bread is soft with a crusty outside.  It literally melts in your mouth!

1 package dry yeast 
1 cup warm water (110-115 degrees) 
3 tablespoons sugar 
2 tablespoons shortening 
1 egg 
½ teaspoon salt 
3 to 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour   

Place the yeast in a large mixing bowl.  Add water and let stand for 5 minutes (this “proofs” the yeast).  Add sugar, shortening, egg, salt, and about 1 ½ cups flour.  Using a mixer, mix until smooth on low speed.  Slowly stir in enough flour to make a soft dough.   

Grease a bowl (I prefer glass for this), place dough in bowl and turn to grease top.  Cover (I use a flour sack for this).  Let rise in a warm place about an hour or until doubled.  A  cold oven with the light on works beautifully!  You can refrigerate the dough for 5 days.  If you do, allow it to warm to room temperature before proceeding.   

Punch dough down and place on a lightly floured surface.  Knead 4 or 5 times.   

2 tablespoons melted butter (you may need 1-2 tablespoons more but I only needed 2) 
¼ cup sugar 
4 teaspoons cinnamon 
2/3 cup raisins (I did not use these but probably will next time, pecans would be good too)   

Divide the dough in half.  On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a rectangle about 8- x 14-inches.  Brush dough with 1 tablespoon butter and sprinkle half of cinnamon and sugar mixture over butter.  If using raisins, sprinkle 1/3 cup over the cinnamon and sugar mixture. 

Roll up, starting at narrow edge (like you’re making cinnamon rolls).  Pinch seams and ends together the best you can.  Place into a greased 9x5 loaf pan.  Repeat with second loaf. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 40 minutes or until doubled.  

Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes (I placed the loaves on bottom rack of the oven).  To check for doneness, tap the top and it should sound hallow.  Remove the loaves from the pans and place them on wire racks to cool.     

Topping:  (I did not do this) 
2 cups powdered sugar  
2 to 3 tablespoons milk 
½ cup chopped pecans   

Stir the sugar and milk until smooth.  Drizzle over cooled loaf.  Sprinkle with pecans.

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