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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Cinnamon Bread

When we were in Belize in March, we found ourselves almost daily at an amazing little bakery in San Pedro called Casa Pandulce. One of my Dad's favorite treats (and mine too) was the Cinnamon Bread. Not quite like your typical Cinnamon Swirl Bread, this huge loaf was loaded with cinnamon, which ran through the bread like veins in a random pattern. The bread itself was light yet heavy enough to make it suberb for toasting. My plan was to duplicate the Cinnamon Bread, so I could give a loaf to my Dad for his birthday on April 15. I've already made one flopped attempt and those two loaves are sitting in my freezer waiting to be turned into a blog post about bread pudding or french toast.

This second attempt was more successful, although it still doesn't look as good as the original. My Dad sent me an e-mail yesterday to say the bread was great. He also sent the picture above that he took right before he toasted the bread for his breakfast. Happy Birthday Gramps!

Cinnamon Bread

6 cups white flour
1 package (2 1/4 tsp) dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1 cup hot milk
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter

Cinnamon filling:
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon
1/3 cup butter

1. Mix the yeast and 1/4 cup water water in a small bowl and let stand 5 minutes to dissolve.

2. Mix 3 cups of the flour, salt and sugar.

3. Heat milk and butter in saucepan until butter melts and the liquid reaches a temperature of 115 to 125 degrees.

4. Add the dissolved yeast and the milk mixture to the flour and mix well. Add two more cups of flour and turn out onto floured board. Knead for a minute or two and let dough rest for 10 minutes.

5. Resume kneading, adding just enough of the remaining 1 cup of flour to prevent dough from sticking to board. Knead for 10 to 15 minutes.

6. Put dough in a large greased bowl, cover, and let rise until double in bulk (about 1 hour).

7. Punch down and divide dough in two. Grease two loaf pans.

8. Mix sugar and cinnamon for filling and melt the butter. Roll dough out on floured surface until it is about 15" square.

9. Paint dough with butter and spread with cinnamon sugar. Scrunch the dough up randomly into a loaf shape. Paint the outside with more butter and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Repeat with second loaf.

10. Cover loaves and let rise in a warm place until double in bulk (1 hour).

11. Bake in a 350F oven for 40-45 minutes.