Thursday, July 24, 2014

100% Whole Wheat Cinnamon Swirl Bread

   I like bread. A lot. I know, I know! Gluten is the devil. But the devil has me on this one. I do try to go for more nutritive options. I also had to learn how to cook it all from scratch when my first daughter was born in 2006 and we found out quickly that she was allergic to soy and nuts. That's when I really started reading the ingredient lists and realized there is soy in everything! Maddening, but it helped me hone my cooking skills, because everything from tomato sauces to non-stick cooking spray had to be made from scratch or cut out entirely.
    One of our favorite breads for years has been my homemade cinnamon raisin bread- that is until my second son started eating solids this past spring and we realized quickly that he had many food allergies, including raisins. Not grapes, just raisins. Crazy! So I started looking for options for the whole family to enjoy. Which led me to creating my Cinnamon Swirl Bread. I make it with flour ground from organic, whole wheat berries so all the nutrients in the grains are still intact, and it has the extra proteins bread flour has that makes it more suitable for bread-making than all-purpose flour. I tell myself it also makes this a more healthy recipe, despite the sugar and butter. Buying wheat berries by the 25-pound bag also makes organic flour much less expensive. Anyway, onward with the recipe.

Ingredients:


  • 1-1/4 cups warm water(approx. 100F)
  • 1-1/2 Tablespoons active dry yeast
  • 2 Tablespoons Turbinado or brown sugar
  • 3 cups fresh ground whole wheat flour
  • 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 Tablespoon cold-pressed coconut oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine ground sea salt
Filling:
  • 4 Tablespoons softened butter
  • 3 Tablespoons Turbinado or brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon cinnamon

   Pour the water and yeast into a mixing bowl. Stir and give the yeast a minute to wake up. Add the sugar to feed the yeast, give it a gentle stir, then let it rest for a few minutes until the yeast starts burping and blooms(i.e. starts foaming). Yep, around here we wake up and feed our yeast, and wait for it to burp. Can you tell I cook with kids more often than not? 

Burping yeast
   Add the remaining bread ingredients and knead, either by dough hook or by hand, for 7-10 minutes until you have a smooth, stretchy dough.

Cover with a towel or loosely-wrapped plastic wrap, and place it in a warm place to rise for 45-60 minutes, until it has at least doubled in size. 


Punch the dough down, then gently spread it out into an even rectangle on a clean, dry surface(I used a cookie sheet for ease of shaping. the width is the same as my go-to bread pan). Mix all three ingredients for the filling to a neat paste, then use a spatula and spread it on the dough, leaving at least an inch of space along the two long edges and one short edge. This is so you can seal the edges and don't have a gooey, burned sugar mess all over your oven. 


Starting at the edge spread with the filling, roll neatly and evenly, pinching the edges together to seal the dough together once you've finished. 



Place the rolled-up dough in a greased(I use EVOO or refined coconut oil and a silicone brush) standard full-size bread pan, seams down. Set the oven to 375 degrees, and cover the dough in the pain loosely with the towel or plastic wrap, allowing it to proof while the oven preheats. 


When the oven is preheated, remove the plastic wrap or towel, and bake for 25 minutes. When it's finished baking, cover with a light towel and allow it to rest for 5 minutes before removing the pan. This traps a little bit of steam inside the pan and helps the bread crust soften up and pull away from the sides of the pan much more easily. 


Remove it from the pan. Cut it. Eat it. The whole thing. Well, maybe not the whole thing because even with whole grains a bread bolus in your gut doesn't feel so pretty. But it tastes pretty. :-P


An awesome breakfast treat, almost good enough to hit the spot for a cinnamon roll craving. Yes, I get those often. Yes, I realize I enjoy entirely too much sugar. Hence the attempts to healthy it up whenever possible. 



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