This is a twist on classic, crusty artisan bread. Unlike most cinnamon breads, it's not sweet. It just has a hint of cinnamon and smells amazing. It's also incredibly easy to make! I usually make sourdough but decided to change things up this time. I wanted a cinnamon swirl kind of bread that wasn't sweet and wasn't a "loaf pan" type of bread. I realized while recipe searching that it was harder to find than I thought!
As usual, I decided to just modify a good bread recipe and make my own version. Let's be honest, that's what I was going to do anyway! So I found a recipe that looked good and got to work. The only thing that didn't go exactly to plan was that I didn't end up with as much of a cinnamon marble as I was hoping for, but I feel like I could fix that next time by just doing a better job of twisting the doughs together. I'm happy with the end result regardless! It turned out beautifully and is just what I wanted.
You will need:dutch oven or covered casserole dish
- 3 cups all-purpose or bread flour
- 1 1/2 cups luke warm water (Not hot! You want to wake up the yeast with a relaxing bath, not burn them to death)
- 1 packet active dry yeast
- 1-2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- Cinnamon to taste (I probably used around a tablespoon or two?)
InstructionsThis looks like a lot of steps but I promise it's not! It's actually really easy! I just like to be as detailed and as clear as possible. So don't let the 7 step instructions scare you!
1. Simply mix everything except the cinnamon together in a bowl until it's incorporated but not overworked. It will form kind of a lumpy ball.
2. Next, divide the dough in half, leaving one half in the original mixing bowl and putting the other in a new bowl. One of my halves was bigger than the other. Do this however you feel led! Add cinnamon to one of the halves and lightly work it into the dough. Don't worry about it being perfectly distributed. The amount of cinnamon that you'll need depends on how big your cinnamon half of the dough is and how cinnamony you want it to be.
3. Cover and set aside both lumps of dough to rise. The original recipe I looked at said to let it sit for 8-24 hours, but I baked mine after about 5 or 6 hours and it turned out super fluffy. It really all depends on your dough. When it's about doubled in size, it's ready.
4. Once your dough has risen, flour a surface. Some people use a pastry mat or wax paper to keep the surface clean, but I use a floured 9x13 baking dish because it makes cleaning up so easy. But anything will work, even just a clean countertop! Lightly kneed each lump, adding flour if needed. Do not overdo it! Then mix the two doughs by gently twisting and mixing until you form one smooth ball of dough. Again, don't overdo it! Lightly wrap your new lump of dough in plastic wrap or in an oiled bowl covered with plastic wrap and set aside while the oven heats.
5. Set your oven to 450 degrees. If you are using a cast iron dutch oven to bake your bread, go ahead and put that in the oven to heat as well. If you are using a covered casserole dish, letting it heat for 5 minutes after the oven has heated will be sufficient.
6. Once the oven reaches 450 and your baking dish of choice is hot, carefully place your dough in the dish, cut some slits in the top of the dough if you would like, cover, and set to bake for 30 minutes. I also sprinkled the top with cinnamon before putting it into the oven as well, but that's totally optional.
7. After 30 minutes, remove the lid and continue to bake for about 10 minutes so the bread can get nice and golden and crispy. The "browning" time will vary depending on your oven so make sure to keep an eye on it during the last few minutes.
8. Be amazed at your baking skills and don't eat the entire loaf in one day.