Friday, July 13, 2012

Cinnamon-Almond Bread

I have this recipe clipping from a 1998 issue of Better Homes & Gardens for "Spectacular Cinnamon-Almond Ring."  Honestly, there are very few recipes of mine that I'd include an adjective like "spectacular" for, but BH&G apparently thought this was pretty special.  It's a cinnamon-swirl yeast bread that is baked in a fluted tube pan, and is designed to be refrigerator-raised overnight.  I've made it several times, and the results are delicious, but it is pretty work-intensive.  Recently I'd been thinking about making this recipe in regular loaf pans, so that's what I tried today.  Instead of a refrigerator rise, I mixed the dough in my trusty dough machine (I'd call it a bread machine, but I never actually bake any bread in it.  I prefer baking it in the oven in a pan that is not tall and square and does not leave a big hole in the bottom of the loaf.)

The original recipe did not call for bread flour, but all-purpose.  I didn't add any gluten, either--wanted to see what would happen if I left it alone.  As it turned out, no gluten was needed, and AP flour worked fine.

Cinnamon-Almond Bread

1 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup butter, cut up (1 stick butter)
2 eggs, beaten
zest of 1 lemon
zest of 1 orange
1 tsp salt
3 TBL sugar
5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 TBL yeast

Add ingredients to your bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer.  Select dough cycle.

1 stick butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
4 tsp ground cinnamon (I used Penzey's Indonesian Cinnamon)
1 cup sliced almonds

Divide the dough in two pieces on a floured surface and roll thin.  Mix butter, sugar and cinnamon and spread on dough, leaving a 1-inch margin.  Sprinkle with almonds.  Roll tightly and place in greased loaf pans.

Allow to rise 1 hour, then bake 35 minutes at 350.  Remove to wire rack to cool.

MAKE SURE you roll this very tightly, as otherwise there will be huge air pockets inside the bread.  This makes slicing and toasting a little difficult, though there's no impact on flavor.

NEXT TIME I will divide this recipe into 3 loaves instead of 2.  That might have kept things more manageable!

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