When I was little, Christmas morning was the most exciting day of the year for all of the presents I would receive. Now that I’m older and much smarter, it’s all about the sweets!
Don’t get me wrong, I do like getting presents. I bake like a mad woman leading up to the big day. I make cookies and breads. I get things ready the night before to bake in the morning of Christmas day. I am not a good planner, but I excel at my Christmas baking plans.
I like to have a slice of this amazing bread while I’m opening my gifts. And a nice, hot cappuccino. It just makes Christmas day a little bit better.
I used to make another recipe. It was a little hard and had no fluff factor. Yet it was delicious. I experimented with my flours and my yeasts and found what I feel to be the Fluffiest Cinnamon Bread. The 3 cups of bread flour and the highly active yeast made the difference. The fluffy difference.
Make sure you have plenty of room temperature butter to spread on the inside and outside of the dough before you bake. A stick will be plenty!
1 cup milk
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup butter
1 tsp salt
3 cups bread flour
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon highly active yeast
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup cinnamon
softened stick of butter
In the bowl of a mixer, combine yeast and sugar.
In a saucepan, heat milk, water, butter and salt over low heat just until butter melts.
Pour heated liquid into a container and measure the temperature. It should be about 120-130(F).
Slowly pour liquid into yeast and sugar. Stir and allow to rest for 30 seconds, allowing the yeast to wake up. Turn the mixer on low and begin adding flour 1/2 cup at a time,
Midway through the addition of the flour, stop the mixer, scrape down bowl and add an egg. Incorporate egg thoroughly before adding more flour. Add the second egg and incorporate well.
Finish adding the flour and continue beating dough until soft and elastic, about 3-4 minutes in the mixer. Raise speed to medium-low, and continue to mix until the dough is completely smooth and pulls away from the sides of the bowl, about 3-4 minutes more. The dough should be a little bit sticky. Handle dough with oiled hands to pull from the hook. Stretch and turn the dough in your hands. Knead and stretch dough on a floured board for about 6-8 minutes.
Form dough into a ball by rolling under, tucking and pinching. Place dough ball into an oiled bowl, pinched side down. Cover, first with plastic wrap, then with a towel. Allow to rise until doubled in size (1-2 hours).
TIP: Allow dough to rise in a comfortable, draft free location. With oven turned OFF, place steaming bowl of water on bottom rack of oven. Then, place covered dough on top rack of oven. This creates a moist environment and comfortable temperature yeast loves.
Punch the dough down, knead and form into a rectangle. Cut the dough in half. Take one half and form into a rectangle about the width of your loaf pan. Roll out the rectangle to about 18-22 inches long.
When stretched and formed to the desired size, rub dough with some room temperature butter.
Sprinkle generously with cinnamon sugar mixture.
Starting at the back of the roll, start rolling towards your loaf pan until it the roll is nice and tight. Tuck and stretch the dough into a spiral loaf.
Tuck and pinch the ends.
Place into your buttered loaf pans, seam side down. Spread some more room temperature butter on the top of loaves. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to raise for about another 45 minutes.
TIP: Allow dough to rise in a comfortable, draft free location. If you don’t have a warm place to rise the
dough, you could place a steaming bowl of water on bottom rack of oven. Then, place covered dough on top rack of oven.
You will know they are ready to bake because the loaves should puff and almost fill the pan.
Brush the top of the loaf with butter and sprinkle with a little more cinnamon sugar. Bake on the middle or lower oven rack in a preheated 325(F) oven for 25-30 minutes.
Bake until golden brown. Fabulous with some butter. If you have any leftover, wonderful as French toast. We never have any leftovers.
Bread Machine Directions:
In bread machine pan, place the first 9 ingredients in order suggested by manufacturer. Select dough setting (check dough after 5 minutes of mixing; add 1 to 2 tablespoons water or flour if needed).
- When cycle is completed, turn dough onto a lightly floured surface; divide in half. Roll each portion into a 10-in. x 8-in. rectangle. Brush with butter. Combine sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over dough. Roll up tightly jelly-roll style, starting with a short side. Pinch seams and ends to seal. Place seam side down in two greased 9-in. x 5-in. x 3-in. loaf pans. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
- Bake at 325 degrees F for 25 minutes. If need to bake more and top is getting to brown, cover with foil; bake 5-10 minutes longer or until golden brown. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool completely.