Cinnamon Swirl

I tried running on Thursday – what a drama. I didn’t last more than 20 minutes. I had a stitch so bad I could barely stand upright. On Friday, I tried going for my first Pump class in forever. I almost had a heart seizure. Damn squat track. Trust me – it brought the definition of self-torture and pain to a whole new level.

This is the consequence of doing absolutely nothing for 2 weeks and doing more nothing before that. But doing nothing is so amazing…..

So what do you do when you are too lazy to do anything but at the same time you’re constantly hungry? Bake. Which was perfect as that was all I wanted to do – if I had to do anything at all. However, at the rate my fitness is going, I thought I’ll do myself a favour by tweaking my cravings into something more… sustainable.

The answer to my cravings for cinnamon rolls is… Cinnamon Swirl Bread. Yes, my body felt cheated but it was too lazy to fight me. So it just ate what I feed. Who’s the Boss now?

It was healthily delicious – light and fluffy and filled with cinnamon sugar goodness. What is life without cinnamon sugar? It will have no meaning. None whatsoever.

So I woke my yeast up from hibernation in the freezer. Sprinkle the lot of them into warm water – OH HELLO, RISE AND SHINE! Then I tried to be nice and added a pinch of sugar. Wakey wakey, you’ll be bubbling in 15 minutes. Or else… I totally killed you. I’m very sorry.

Then I grabbed my mixer bowl and went on to add milk, flour, salt, sugar, butter…*halt* Potato flakes? What the… Okay, so I thought I had all the ingredients and then I totally ignore the one thing I don’t readily have in my pantry. Maybe it’s because I’ve never heard of it. I don’t know. My brain works in weird wonders. So the bread mission was put on hold while I frantically scrambled to my laptop in hope to find a substitute. Yes, I was too lazy to dash to Coles. Have you gotten the gist of how lazy my holiday had made me? Shame.

So back to substitute… some say replace with mash potato, some say potato flour. Right, like I randomly have potato or potato flour in my pantry. I live in the City – space is $$$ and the potato family just don’t cut it. Moving along, I read that the instant mash potato (starch) creates water retention and keeps the bread light and fluffy. Rightio… I have cornflour and cornflour is starch. It’s going into the mixing bowl. *fingers crossed*

So, mission resumes – added the very much alive yeast into the flour mixture.

I started kneading with the machine then I thought… what the hell. This can be my exercise for the day – so I kneaded with my hand for about 4 minutes. Then I got lazy again – “You look kneaded enough!” and left it in a greased bowl to rise for about slightly more than an hour.

Then my favourite part – cinnamon sugar mixture. The recipe called for ¼ cup caster sugar and 1 ½ teaspoons of ground cinnamon but when it comes to such amazingness, I reckon more is better. But I kept to my end of the deal – healthy alternative means following the recipe exactly. *sadface*

When the dough raised enough to my liking – I transferred it to my kitchen bench which I lightly greased with oil spray and rolled it into a 6” x 20” rectangle. The next bit I’m not so familiar with – brushing egg/water mixture before sprinkling the filling. Apparently it keeps the bread from gapping around the filling. If it’s good for the bread, I’m not questioning it. Well, it worked.

Working from the short end, I rolled the dough into a log and pinch the ends and long seam to seal. I then tried to fit it into my lightly greased 8 ½” x 4 ½” loaf pan and covered it with cling wrap before leaving it to rise again.

When it’s raised about 1” over the rim of the pan, took mine about an hour, I popped the pan into the preheated oven (175°C) for 40 minutes. I covered it loosely with foil after 15 minutes to avoid overbrowning. Freshly out of the oven, I brushed butter all over the top – it was fantastic. It’s optional but honestly, why give up the opportunity of a fantastic loaf?


In conclusion, being lazy and using cornstarch as a substitute didn’t seem to hurt the quality of the beautiful cinnamon swirl bread. I also replaced the dry milk called in the recipe with milk instead because…seriously, why would I store milk powder in my home? Remember, space = $$$.

It took me approximately 50g/28 rice crackers to finish writing this post. Trying to eat healthy to ease back into my fitness regime has obviously failed in the most epic fashion.

Recipe : Cinnamon Bread
adapted from King Arthur Flour

2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 cup of lukewarm milk
3 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup of cornflour/cornstarch

1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, to brush on dough


1) If you’re using “highly active” or active dry yeast, dissolve it with a pinch of sugar in 2 tablespoons of the lukewarm water. Let the yeast and water sit at room temperature for 15 minutes, until the mixture has bubbled and expanded. If you’re using instant yeast, you can skip this step.

2) Combine the dissolved yeast (or instant yeast) with the remainder of the ingredients. Mix and knead everything together—by hand, mixer or bread machine set on the dough cycle—till you’ve made a smooth dough. Adjust the dough’s consistency with additional flour or water as needed; but remember, the more flour you add while you’re kneading, the heavier and drier your final loaf will be. If you’re kneading in a stand mixer, it should take about 7 minutes at second speed, and the dough should barely clean the sides of the bowl, perhaps sticking a bit at the bottom. In a bread machine (or by hand), it should form a smooth ball.

3) Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl. Cover the bowl, and allow the dough to rise, at room temperature, until it’s nearly doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. Rising may take longer, especially if you’ve kneaded by hand. Give it enough time to become quite puffy.

4) While the dough is rising, make the filling by stirring together the sugar, cinnamon, and flour.

5) Transfer the dough to a lightly greased work surface, and pat it into a 6″ x 20″ rectangle.

6) Brush the dough with the egg/water mixture, and sprinkle it evenly with the filling.

7) Starting with a short end, roll the dough into a log.

8) Pinch the ends to seal, and pinch the long seam closed.

9) Transfer the log, seam-side down, to a lightly greased 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ loaf pan. Tent the pan loosely with lightly greased plastic wrap.

10) Allow the bread to rise till it’s crested about 1″ over the rim of the pan, about 1 hour. Again, it may rise more slowly for you; let it rise till it’s 1″ over the rim of the pan, even if that takes longer than an hour. While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 175°C.

11) Bake the bread for 40 to 45 minutes, tenting it lightly with aluminum foil after the first 15 minutes. The bread’s crust will be golden brown.

12) Remove the bread from the oven, and gently loosen the edges with a heatproof spatula or table knife. Turn it out of the pan, and brush the top surface with butter, if desired; this will give it a soft, satiny crust. Allow the bread to cool completely before slicing.


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