Saturday, 30 July 2016

Sweet Cinnamon Bread

Here's my recipe for a sweet cinnamon bread dough that can be used for buns, a big loaf or even something more creative like a babka. The dough is incredibly fun to make and surprisingly easy to work with, so is also an excellent introduction to bread making in general. If cinnamon isn't your thing though (and know it's not everyone's cup of tea) then feel free to experiment with other flavour combinations. Vanilla, chopped fruit, even chocolate chips would all be marvellous alternatives or additions!

Prep time: 20 Mins (Plus proving time)
Baking time: 35 Mins (For a loaf), 20 Mins (For buns)
7g Sachet of Fast Action Yeast
35g Light Muscovado Sugar (Plus a small handful for sprinkling)
250ml Tepid Water
1hpd tsp Cinnamon (Plus extra for sprinkling)
450g Strong White Bread Flour
75g Unsalted Butter

Let's get baking! Mix together the yeast, sugar and water until the yeast has blended in, then add the cinnamon, flour and 50g of the butter, melted. Mix together until a dough starts to form, then tip out onto a clean, dry surface. Bring the dough together with your hands then start to knead, pulling the dough apart, folding back on itself, rotating by a quarter and repeating. Keep kneading the dough for around 8 minutes, until smooth and elastic, then lightly dust with flour and return to a clean bowl. Cover with a damp tea towel and place in a warm place for around an hour, until doubled in size.

Once the dough has risen remove it from the bowl and place on a lightly greased surface. Shape into a loaf or buns and place on a lightly greased tray or tin. Cover or place in a sealed container and leave to one side somewhere relatively warm for another 45 minutes. 

Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5. This is a bit cooler than usual for bread, but with a high butter content you need to be sure it'll bake before over-colouring (Do you like how I try and disguise burning as 'over-colouring'?). Remove your tray or tin from its warm place and return to the kitchen. Melt the last 25g of butter and brush over your risen dough. Sprinkle with a final dusting of cinnamon and sugar, then place in the over for around 35 mins (loaf) or 20 mins (buns). When you are happy the loaf or buns are baked remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool. This one is best served warm though so don't leave them too long! ;-)

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