Well, I finally got back into the swing of things in terms of baking. It turns out all I needed was one day with nothing on my plate (OK, a day and a half because I did have a baking fail with this recipe to begin with and I will show it to you). I was able to make a couple of things and I still have more to do tonight for Angela’s school party tomorrow. So, first thing’s first.
I was really at a loss for what to make. I was overwhelmed with other recipes by other food bloggers, food bloggers that post more than I do, food bloggers that don’t have young children running around. Finally, I decided on a bread. Bread, I think is my “go to” when I just either don’t know what to make or for when feel like I can’t make something. I wouldn’t say it comes easier, I just think overall, I like it better.
I looked awhile for a recipe and I found one that I liked from The Pioneer Woman (who has 4 kids, no more excuses for me!) and even though she is awesome, I still managed to tweak the bread a bit. I put some cinnamon in the bread itself and I used some bread flour in mine. You wanna know where I made my mistake? One of her pictures shows her cutting into her butter and the caption reads “start with 3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) of butter”, well sometimes using my iPod to follow a recipe just messes me up. I read it as 3/4 cup which is 12 tablespoons of butter. Whatever. I fixed it. The funny thing is, I didn’t realize what I had done till I had decided that I just didn’t like my bread and wanted to try it again anyway. I thought that I just didn’t let it rise enough (I didn’t, but that is beside the point if the recipe is off, right?) Either way the bread tasted great but of course the one that was done right had a much better texture.
This bread was a real winner with the kids too. They LOVE LOVE LOVE when I make cinnamon toast for breakfast and this was a new way for them to have it. It is one of those recipes that means so much to me because the picky one likes it. She even liked it as French Toast.
My GeekyLink for today is this article by MSNBC.com How NASA could get its groove back. Now they could start by not using 90s book references to middle aged women but I digress. It is a really interesting and fun article.
barely adapted from The Pioneer Woman
1 cup milk
6 tablespoons butter
2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/3 cup sugar
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour (I used 2 cups of AP and 1 1/2 bread flour)
3 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 egg and splash of milk for brushing
around 1/4 cup softened butter for greasing pan and spreading on dough
Melt butter with milk and heat until scalding. Basically heat until right before it is going to boil. Allow to cool until warm but not still hot. Sprinkle the yeast on top, stir, and allow to sit for 10 minutes.
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and cinnamon.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, add your sugar and eggs and mix until well combined. Slowly pour in your yeast mixture and mix to combine. Scrape the sides of the bowl when needed. Add half of the flour mixture and beat on medium speed until combined. Then repeat with the other half.
Switch to your dough hook attatchment and knead the dough on medium speed for ten minutes. If your dough is overly sticky, add 1/4 cup of flour and beat again for 5 minutes.
Heat a metal or glass bowl so it is warm. I warmed up my oven for a couple of minutes so the bread would have a nice place to rise and I placed my bowl in the oven while I did that. Pioneer Woman ran hot water in her metal bowl. Drizzle a little canola oil in your bowl, then toss the dough in the oil to coat. Cover the bowl in plastic wrap and set it in a warm place for at least two hours.
Turn your dough out onto your work surface. Do not grease or flour anything, you will not need to. Roll into a neat rectangle no wider than the loaf pan you are going to use (both times I failed at this) and about 18-24 inches long.
Smear dough with 2 tablespoons very softened or brush with melted butter. (Pioneer Woman says melted butter but I had just got done greasing the pan and rolling out a very greasy dough so just smear on with your hands if you can do it without tearing your dough. I could, it was pretty easy.) Mix the remaining cinnamon and sugar together and sprinkle over the “butter-smeared” dough. Starting at the far end, roll the dough toward you, keeping it as tight as possible. Pinch the seam to seal.
Smear your loaf pan with softened butter. Place your dough, seam side down, in the pan. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 350°. Mix egg with splash of milk and brush over the top. I topped mine with a little more cinnamon and sugar. Bake for 40 minutes on a middle or lower rack in the oven.
Allow to cool completely before slicing into it.
Pioneer Woman stresses letting the dough rise as much as it needs to in this recipe and she is right. Patience is a virtue.