This bread is one of my most favorite creations of late. It is sweet, and spicy, and yummy enough to slice up and eat as-is for breakfast.
You start by making these cinnamon chips ahead of time. They need to be completely cool and broken up before you can move on to the bread part of your day, so I make a big batch once every few weeks, and store them in a Mason jar in the cupboard.
Mix up a batch of your favorite bread, and knead in 1/3-1/2 cup of cinnamon chips. Allow to rise as usual, shape into a loaf, and bake.
Oh, and FYI? Sugar is hydroscopic…meaning that it sucks water out of its surroundings. (That’s the reason you can dump sugar on slice strawberries, and come back to a bowl full of smooshy berries and cups of juice.) Your bread dough will be able to handle a little extra flour, since it will get wetter as it rises.
Now, if you don’t have a favorite bread recipe, or are not sure it’s going to work in this instance, I’ll help you out.
Aunt LoLo’s Honey White Cinnamon Chip Bread
2 cups warm water
1 tbsp. yeast
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tsp. salt
6-7 cups flour (or 3 cups whole wheat and 3-4 cups white flour)
1/3-1/2 cup cinnamon chips
In the bowl of your mixer, combine your water, yeast and honey. When you can see your yeast foaming, add the olive oil, salt and 6 cups of flour. Add more flour, gradually, until the dough is pulling away from the sides of the dough. Dump in your cinnamon chips and continue to knead until the chips are mixed in. Add more flour if you need it.
Remove your dough from the mixing bowl, spray the bowl with cooking spray, and put the dough back in. Turn to coat, cover with a damp towel, and place in a warm, draft-free area to rise. When the dough has doubled in size, and can hold a dent when you poke it with two fingers, it is ready to divide. Divide in half.
To form your loaf, take one piece of the dough and pat, stretch and poke it into a long oblong (like a pizza crust) then roll it up tightly to form a loaf. Pinch the seam together, and tuck the ends under. Place it in a greased 9x5 loaf pan, and repeat with the other loaf. Allow to rise until the loaves are a little less than double their original size. While the loaves are rising in their pans, preheat your oven to 350. Bake for 30-38 minutes, or until the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when you tap it.* Remove from the pan as soon as possible, and cool on a wire rack.
*Yes, you’ll need to pop a hot loaf out of a hot pan to tap on it, but it’s totally worth it. Nothing’s worse than cutting open your cooled bread and finding dough in the middle. The best way to do this is to pull one loaf pan out of the oven and shut the oven. Hold the pan with one hot-padded hand, and flip the bread into the other hot-padded hand. Set down the pan, remove the hot pad from that hand, and use your finger nail to tap the bottom of the bread. If it doesn’t sound hollow, pop the bread back into the pan, and stick it back in the oven. The whole process should take about 30 seconds, so the bread doesn’t cool down too much.