Monday, July 29, 2013

Cinnamon Ribbon Bread

This past weekend was an interesting baking experience. I swear I changed my mind more times than I can count. I initially tried this bread as a test run for the book club meeting I had on Sunday. The bread was delicious, but I didn't think it would serve well for the meeting. So I decided to try chocolate muffins to take instead (recipe coming later this week). I was going to make two batches of the muffins so that I would have another to take to a pilates get-together on Monday. Then I remembered my instructor/friend can't eat chocolate. Blast. Somewhere in all of this back and forth, I tried cutting the cinnamon bread when it was properly cooled. I am always way too impatient to wait to cut the first piece. And I realized it actually cuts fairly well.

Final plan: I made the muffins for the book club and made another loaf of the bread for this morning. Did you follow all of that? Hopefully it will all go off without a hitch.

I should say, this bread was amazing. The smell alone was enough to knock me off my feet. Don't bake it while you are hungry, it's a bad idea. The recipe was super easy to execute. My only concern was the top/ribbon. I was a little worried initially, because it seemed like the top crust popped off the bread when I pulled it out of the oven. But I just pushed it down and it stayed put nicely as it cooled. I think next time I'd put my ribbon in at about 2/3 of the loaf, because then it wouldn't have as far to rise.

This was the inspiration picture. As you can see the ribbon is pretty high up. Mine turned out more like a smiley face. It's not that I don't like having my bread smile at me, but I think next time I'll try and make it more secure. Also, my bread resembled the density of pumpkin bread, as opposed to real bread, like the picture to the left. Either way, it's a win-win if you ask me.

Cinnamon Ribbon Bread
recipe from here
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 large egg
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
pinch salt, optional and to taste

Start by mixing together your cinnamon and white sugar in a small bowl. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, melted butter, egg, oil and vanilla.
 Add the buttermilk and whisk again.
Add the flour, nutmeg, optional salt, and baking soda and stir to incorporate. It will be lumpy, don't try and make it smooth! Pour 1/2 to 2/3 of the batter into a greased and floured loaf pan. Make sure you use a 9x5 pan.
Sprinkle about 2/3 of the cinnamon sugar mixture onto your loaf. I think next time I'll also go all the way to the sides and that will help with my rising problem.
Put the rest of the batter on top and smooth out. Sprinkle the rest of the sugar mixture on top.
Bake at 350 for 45-55 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out cleanly. You can see where my top sort of popped off. Don't worry if that happens to you, it sealed nicely once cool!

Here is the inside of the bread. A very happy slice indeed!

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