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Monday, 18 February 2008

cinnamon swirl(ish) bread

(click on image for larger view and more photos)

cinnamon swirl(ish) bread I retrieved the sordid evidence of yesterday’s bread out of the camera and here is what the inside of my loaf of cinnamon swirl triangular line bread looks like.

Ha. Looking at it more closely, the triangle looks a bit like a D. Hmmmm…. D for Disaster? Dope? Demoralized? :lalala: I know!!! Let’s pretend that it’s D for Delicious. :-)

Why did I put myself through this misery? I saw the most beautiful looking Sourdough Cinnamon Swirl Bread on and decided I had to make it. How hard could it be?

Who me? Need to consult a recipe? I don’t need no stinkin’ new recipe. I’d make it with our raisin bread recipe. Alas. As you already know, I managed to make cinnamon triangular line bread instead.

Here is the conversation that took place as I was hand-kneading the sloppy dough:

T: (disapproving look) Is the dough always that slack for raisin bread?

me: (equally disapproving look; disdainfully) Yes. Trust me. This is how it’s supposed to be. (secretly worried - add another half cup flour to the board....)

T: (doubtful) Okaaayyyy…

me: Don’t worry!! It will be fine! (secretly VERY worried - add another quarter cup flour to the board....)

With a few exceptions, this is the recipe I followed:

I halved the amount of yeast and added a buildup of my wild yeast starter. I had planned to use only the wild yeast but it didn’t look bubbly and strong to work properly. And instead of melted butter in the bread dough, I used vegetable oil. The resulting dough was quite slack. Silly me. I didn’t think it was going to be a problem… I felt certain that the flat roll of slack dough would rise evenly!

I only attempted one loaf of swirl bread. Two of the loaves are regular raisin bread – and happily, they did turn out. I think. Possibly all the raisins are all sitting at the bottom of each loaf. (What? You expect to see photos? Ha. As if I could get it together to manage that… those two loaves are in the freezer.)

For the swirl, I melted about 4 Tablespoons of unsalted butter and mixed that with about 2 Tablespoons of demerara sugar and a good shot of ground cinnamon (2 teaspoons??). I flattened a third of the dough into a long triangle and slathered the buttery cinnamon sugar over top. I scattered a third of the raisins overtop and as tightly as I could, rolled up the rectangle. I could have sworn that it had at least 4 turns! The roll was quite floppy and flat.

Did I remember to leave a space at one end for sealing the seam? Pffft! Why would I have managed that? I somehow pinched the seam shut (sort of) and lifted the flabby roll into a parchment lined bread tin. It rose nicely. I baked it at 375F for about 30 minutes. There was lovely oven spring. The aroma was divine.

I was excited. I was hopeful.

When the bread was cooled completely, I sliced it open to reveal what I was sure was a perfect cinnamon swirl.

I was devastated.

Luckily, even though it is a miserable failure at a cinnamon swirl, it still tastes good.

I am now even better equipt to commiserate with Erin (The Skinny Gourmet) who recently wrote about troubleshooting cinnamon rolls.

This post is partially mirrored on The Fresh Loaf – cinnamon swirl(ish) bread


  • Erin

    The picture of the swirl(ish) bread is great. I love that you were also willing to share some of your not-so-successful efforts. I always feel like I learn a ton more from people willing to share honest mishaps than from 100 episodes of Martha Stewart turning out perfect baked goods.

    Wild yeast starter is like my stinking holy grail. I babied that stupid thing for weeks like it was a loved family pet. I rushed home to burp it and feed it like my own child. How did it pay me back? not with perfect sourdough loaves I assure you. I suspect my yeast was a bit overactive and so when I let it rise for the recommended hour I was inadvertently letting it over-rise.

    I vow someday to master the wild yeast. It just may not be any day soon. Let me know if you capture the holy grail!

    – Erin @ The Skinny Gourmet

  • ejm

    I too like to see people admit to their less than successful efforts, Erin. And I really like seeing how they rescue things.

    As for my wild yeast starter and less than perfect loaves, I was pretty much ready to pack the whole thing in and throw the whole mess into the composter a couple of weeks ago. It was only the mountains of snow blocking the path to the composter that stopped me.

    And then I received some welcome and useful advice from bwraith at “The Fresh Loaf Forum” and things are going a little better now. Even though the path to the composter is cleared, I have not yet felt the need to chuck the starter in.


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