It’s been awhile since I’ve posted a Daring Kitchen Challenge, but this one was right up my alley. I love bread and am fairly competent (by no means an expert) at baking, and I know it will get eaten, so onward with the challenge. Tandy from Lavender and Lime came up with this twist bread challenge for May and it was a fun learning experience.
I chose to make a Cinnamon Twist Bread and decided it needed a butter glaze on it – good decision. The dough could be used for regular cinnamon rolls as well, but this time instead of slicing into rolls I sliced the dough through lengthwise, twisted it so that the cinnamon, sugar, butter mixture nicely showed with the twists, and formed it into a wreath shape. Here’s a prebaked photo:
It was a little messy, but I had my handy disposable gloves so I could really get the twist going without too much cinnamon butter mixture permanently shoved up my fingernails. The result was a lovely cinnamon twist wreath that was great right out of the oven or warmed up later for breakfast with coffee.
I do need a little practice with my twisting. The ends that were pressed together got a little mushed, but it didn’t matter – it was still delicious and fairly attractive. This would be a nice addition to a brunch or breakfast buffet or just something special for yourself!
Cinnamon Twist Bread with Butter Glaze
**** Wonderful cinnamon roll-like flavors with a luscious butter glaze.
3/4 C. warm milk
1 envelope active dry yeast
1 tbsp. sugar
1 egg yolk
1/8 C. melted butter
2 1/4 C. flour
pinch of salt
1/4 C. softened butter
5 tbsp. sugar
3 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 C. melted butter
1/2 powdered sugar
1/4 tsp. vanilla
1-2 tbsp. evaporated milk for thinning
Warm the milk to lukewarm and mix in the yeast and sugar. Let sit for a few minutes while the yeast bubbles and foams up.
Put the egg yolk, melted butter, flour and salt into a mixer bowl and mix on low with a dough hook until just blended. Add the yeast mixture and knead the dough on medium for about 5 minutes or until a small piece stretched will “window pane.” Roll into a smooth ball and place in a large, lightly oiled bowl. Loosely cover and let sit for about an hour or until doubled.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Dust the work surface lightly with flour and roll out the dough to approximately 16″ long by 9 or 10″ wide. Combine the very-softened butter with the sugar and cinnamon and spread it over the dough, spreading to about 1/2″ from the edges. Carefully roll up the dough lengthwise. Cut the dough in half lengthwise and twist the two sides together, making sure the cinnamon mixture shows on the outside of the twists. Shape into a circle and lightly press the ends together.
Cover a cookie or baking sheet with parchment paper and bake for 25-30 minutes, until the top is golden brown. Turn out onto a rack with a sheet of wax paper under it. Combine the glaze ingredients, thinning to your liking, and brush the glaze onto the warm bread. If you have any leftover bread, store at room temperature loosely wrapped in aluminum foil.
Tips and Stuff
To warm the milk, pour into a glass measuring cup and microwave for about 15 seconds until warm (not hot) to the touch. You don’t want to kill the poor little yeast by putting it in overly hot water. Also check the date on your yeast and don’t use old yeast.
You can knead it by hand for 8 to 10 minutes if you prefer. I find that the mixer with the dough hook works just fine.
If you’d rather leave the butter glaze off, just combine a 1/2 cup of powdered sugar with 2 tablespoons or so of evaporated milk and drizzle over the bread.