Do you love cinnamon rolls? Do you wake up and crave the cinnamony goodness that oozes out of the hot, iced roll? Do you lack the time and effort it takes to prepare homemade yeast rolls first thing in the morning? If you're like me, you answered yes to all of the questions above. Added to that is the fact that my kids could eat sugary, yeasty goodies every morning of the week (sorry teachers!) and beg me to bake something of that nature daily. I have to admit that one of our favorites is Pillsbury's Orange Rolls that you purchase in the can in the dairy section. Gasp! :) Seriously, don't knock it until you have to get two kids on the bus at 6:45 in the morning! Who sets these time schedules anyway? Goodness, but I'm barely coherant that early in the morning.
Oh, but I digress! In the evenings, after the kids are tucked snugly in their beds, I often grab a cookbook off the shelf and sit and read through it. There's nothing more relaxing than perusing through cookbook after cookbook picking up hints and tricks for cooking and baking as well as bookmarking tasty recipes to try on my gullible (I mean-willing) family. One book that I pick up often is "The King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion". If you don't have this one in your library yet, add it to your wish list, beg and plead for it or make up a special occassion that will give you a reason to run out right now and buy it. Seriously, it's a must have.
The other night while reading through the "yeast" section of the cookbook, this recipe leaped off the page at me. "Easy Cinnamon Bread". Hmmm? Yeast. Cinnamon. Sugar. AND...cinnamon chips!! Holy Yum! Delicious cinnamon roll taste in bread form. I HAD to make this bread! I set aside some time the next night and whipped up this very simple to make bread. Oh the smells that lofted through our house as this was baking. The kids and I were practically drooling just waiting for it to finish, but once we did get a nibble of the fresh baked yumminess...it was well worth the wait! The bread was wonderful the day of baking and the following day. After that, it was a tad stale, but we toasted it up, smoothed it with butter and enjoyed the remainder of the loaf. I'm thinking that I'll try baking up a loaf on a Wednesday or Thursday, slice it up into large slices and plan to fix Cinnamon-French Toast on a Saturday morning. Doesn't that sound divine?
From the heart of my kitchen to yours, may your experience be fun and the food always flavorful. Enjoy!
Easy Cinnamon Bread
3 cups (12 3/4 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 (3 1/2 ounces) sugar
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (8 ounces) warm milk
1/4 cup (2 ounces) butter, melted
1 large egg
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup (6 ounces) cinnamon chips
Cinnamon-sugar, for topping
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, yeast, cinnamon and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, butter, and egg. Combine the wet and dry ingredients, beating until smooth. Cover and let the batter rest at room temperature for 1 hour, then stir in the baking powder and cinnamon chips.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Spoon the batter into a greased 8 1/2 X 4 1/2-inch loaf pan. Sprinkle the top with the connamon sugar.
Bake the bread for 35 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove the bread from the oven, let it rest in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer it from the pan to a rack to cool completely. Don't slice the bread while it's hot; it will slice much better when it's completely cool.
Source: The King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion