The recipe Mum and I used is from the book The Great British Bake Off: How to Turn Everyday Bakes into Showstoppers, published in 2012, to accompany the TV series. This bread recipe could be one of Paul Hollywood’s or Mary Berry’s recipes, but the book doesn’t make it clear who it is by.
When this came out of the baking tin we were incredibly excited to cut into the loaf, and even more excited to see that the cinnamon swirl had turned out perfectly.
We made a few small changes to the recipe that didn’t impact on the result. One change was that the recipe called for fresh or a sachet of dried yeast. But, as all we had in the fridge was granulated yeast, we used that. The yeasts use-by date was 2 years ago. Mum said it would still be alright; I was less sure, but Mum knows these things, so I trusted her on that one. Using the granulated yeast resulted in having to rise the dough for much longer than the recipe stated. This is because after the first rising we discovered the granules were not dissolving as we had hoped. What we had to do was keep placing the dough in a warm area to rise, knock it down and knead it, then rise it again. It took about 4 hours, where as the recipe was to rise the dough for 1 hour. Still, it didn’t matter because the bread turned out perfectly. And it was fun to play with the dough, which was incredibly smooth and silky.
This is the yummiest bread for breakfast. Here it is toasted with butter.
Mum sliced the bread and froze the slices, so we could enjoy it next time I visited.
I visited Mum a month later and we made the frozen sliced Cinnamon Loaf into French Toast.
Freezing the slices helped to keep the bread solid so it didn’t unravel from its cinnamon coil.
We had fruit on the side, and a strong coffee (Bay Espresso brand).
RECIPE: CINNAMON BREAKFAST LOAF
500g strong white bread flour
1 ½ teaspoons sea salt flakes, crushed [or 1 teaspoon granulated salt]
2 tablespoons caster sugar
1 x 7g sachet fast-action dried yeast OR 15g fresh yeast
50g unsalted butter
1 large egg, at room temperature, lightly beaten
For the filling:
50g caster sugar
1 teaspoon plain flour or white bread flour
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
Milk, for brushing
Small knob of butter
1 x 900g loaf tin, about 26 x 12.5 x 7.5cm greased; baking paper
- Mix together the flour, salt, and sugar in a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a large free-standing electric mixer. If using dried yeast, stir it in. If using fresh yeast, crumble it into a small bowl and mix to a smooth liquid with about 7 tablespoons of the measured milk.
- Gently warm the (remaining) milk with 125ml water and the butter until lukewarm and the butter has melted. (Or melt the butter separately and add to the warmed milk). Remove from the heat. Lightly whisk the egg and add to the mixture, and beat in with a fork until combined, then add to the flour mixture (with the fresh yeast mixture, if using). Work the ingredients together (use the mixer on the lowest speed) to make a very soft but not sticky dough. If there are dry crumbs at the base of the bowl, or the dough seems dry and hard to work, add more milk or water a tablespoon at a time. If the dough sticks to your hands or to the sides of the bowl then work in more flour a tablespoon at a time.
- Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured worktop and knead thoroughly for about 10 minutes by hand, or knead for 5 minutes with the dough hook on low speed, until the dough is silky-smooth and pliable. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with a snap-on lid or clingfilm and leave to rise in a warm but not hot place for about 1 hour until doubled in size.
- Meanwhile, prepare the tin. Cut a long strip of baking paper the same width as your tin and long enough to cover both short sides as well as the base. Press the paper into the tin – this makes the loaf easy to remove after baking in case the filling leaks. In a small bowl mix the sugar with the flour and cinnamon for the filling.
- Punch down the risen dough to deflate, then turn out onto a lightly floured worktop and knead for a few seconds. Pat out to a rough rectangle about 2cm thick. Cover lightly with a sheet of clingfilm and leave to relax for 5 minutes – this will make it easier to roll out.
- Lightly flour the rolling pin and roll out the dough to a rectangle as wide as the length of the tin and 48cm long. Keep the sides straight and neat. Brush the dough liberally with milk, then sprinkle over the sugar mixture in an even layer, leaving a 1cm border clear at one short end. Rollup the dough, neatly and tightly, from the other short end and pinch the seam together to seal it firmly.
- Lift the rolled dough into the tin, gently tucking the ends under to make a neat shape. Slip the tin into a large plastic bag and slightly inflate it so the plastic doesn’t stick to the dough, then tie the ends. Leave to rise as before until just doubled in size (don’t let the loaf become too big or it will lose its shape). Towards the end of the rising time preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350 degrees F., gas 4).
- Uncover the dough and brush lightly with milk. Bake for about 35 minutes until a good golden brown and the turned-out loaf sounds hollow when it is tapped on the underside. If it sounds like a dull ‘thud’, return it to the oven (set straight on the shelf) and bake for a further 5 minutes, then test again.
- Transfer the turned-out loaf to a wire rack and rub the butter over the top to give a glossy finish. Leave until completely cold before slicing. Eat within 5 days, or freeze.
The Great British Bake Off: How to Turn Everyday Bakes into Showstoppers.
Linda Collister ; technical challenge and signature bake recipes by Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood.
London: BBC Books, 2012.