The Fluffiest Cinnamon Swirl Bread

by cakeduchess on December 20, 2010 · 38 comments

When I was little, Christmas morning was the most exciting day of the year for all of the presents I would receive. Now that I’m older and much smarter, it’s all about the sweets!

Don’t get me wrong, I do like getting presents. I bake like a mad woman leading up to the big day. I make cookies and breads. I get things ready the night before to bake in the morning of Christmas day. I am not a good planner, but I excel at my Christmas baking plans.

I like to have a slice of this amazing bread while I’m opening my gifts. And a nice, hot cappuccino. It just makes Christmas day a little bit better.

I used to make another recipe. It was a little hard and had no fluff factor. Yet it was delicious. I experimented with my flours and my yeasts and found what I feel to be the Fluffiest Cinnamon Bread. The 3 cups of bread flour and the highly active yeast made the difference. The fluffy difference.

Make sure you have plenty of room temperature butter to spread on the inside and outside of the dough before you bake. A stick will be plenty!

1 cup milk
1/4 cup water
2 eggs
1/4 cup butter
1 tsp salt
3 cups bread flour
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon highly active yeast
1/3 cup sugar

1 cup sugar
1/4 cup cinnamon
softened stick of butter

In the bowl of a mixer, combine yeast and sugar.

In a saucepan, heat milk, water, butter and salt over low heat just until butter melts.

Pour heated liquid into a container and measure the temperature. It should be about 120-130(F).

Slowly pour liquid into yeast and sugar. Stir and allow to rest for 30 seconds, allowing the yeast to wake up. Turn the mixer on low and begin adding flour 1/2 cup at a time,

Midway through the addition of the flour, stop the mixer, scrape down bowl and add an egg. Incorporate egg thoroughly before adding more flour. Add the second egg  and incorporate well.

Finish adding the flour and continue beating dough until soft and elastic, about 3-4 minutes in the mixer. Raise speed to medium-low, and continue to mix until the dough is completely smooth and pulls away from the sides of the bowl, about 3-4 minutes more. The dough should be a little bit sticky. Handle dough with oiled hands to pull from the hook.  Stretch and turn the dough in your hands. Knead and stretch dough on a floured board for about 6-8 minutes.

Form dough into a ball by rolling under, tucking and pinching. Place dough ball into an oiled bowl, pinched side down. Cover, first with plastic wrap, then with a towel. Allow to rise until doubled in size (1-2 hours).

TIP: Allow dough to rise in a comfortable, draft free location. With oven turned OFF, place steaming bowl of water on bottom rack of oven. Then, place covered dough on top rack of oven. This creates a moist environment and comfortable temperature yeast loves.

Punch the dough down, knead and form into a rectangle. Cut the dough in half. Take one half and form into a rectangle about the width of your loaf pan. Roll out the rectangle to about 18-22 inches long.
When stretched and formed to the desired size, rub dough with some room temperature butter.
Sprinkle generously with cinnamon sugar mixture.
Starting at the back of the roll, start rolling towards your loaf pan until it the roll is nice and tight. Tuck and stretch the dough into a spiral loaf.

Tuck and pinch the ends.
Place into your buttered loaf pans, seam side down. Spread some more room temperature butter on the top of loaves. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to raise for about another 45 minutes.

TIP: Allow dough to rise in a comfortable, draft free location. If you don’t have a warm place to rise the
dough, you could place a steaming bowl of water on bottom rack of oven. Then, place covered dough on top rack of oven.

You will know they are ready to bake because the loaves should puff and almost fill the pan.

Brush the top of the loaf with butter and sprinkle with a little more cinnamon sugar. Bake on the middle or lower oven rack in a preheated 325(F) oven for 25-30 minutes.

Bake until golden brown. Fabulous with some butter. If you have any leftover, wonderful as French toast. We never have any leftovers.
Bread Machine Directions:
In bread machine pan, place the first 9 ingredients in order suggested by manufacturer. Select dough setting (check dough after 5 minutes of mixing; add 1 to 2 tablespoons water or flour if needed).

  1. When cycle is completed, turn dough onto a lightly floured surface; divide in half. Roll each portion into a 10-in. x 8-in. rectangle. Brush with butter. Combine sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over dough. Roll up tightly jelly-roll style, starting with a short side. Pinch seams and ends to seal. Place seam side down in two greased 9-in. x 5-in. x 3-in. loaf pans. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
  2. Bake at 325 degrees F for 25 minutes. If need to bake more and top is getting to brown, cover with foil; bake 5-10 minutes longer or until golden brown. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool completely.

Goodness gracious! You will probably never be able to eat store-bought cinnamon bread again. You will wake up early on Christmas day to bake this for your loved ones. Or you can come on over to our house Winking smile. I’m kidding. We are really loud and you won’t get any rest. I am so excited to be doing a guest post on my friend Monet’s wonderful blog!! Pop over and see my Tortine Dolci Caprese (they are delizioso!) and say hello to Monet!! You can also check out Monet’s Cinnamon Swirl Bread recipe that she posted a few weeks ago. It is wonderful! caprese2

{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }

Lindsay December 20, 2010 at 2:20 pm

Oh that bread looks amazing!!! I wish I had a slice right now!


notyet100 December 20, 2010 at 2:21 pm

this bread looks delicious


briarrose December 20, 2010 at 2:25 pm

Fabulous bread. Cinnamon swirl is my favorite to make french toast with.


Jeannie December 20, 2010 at 2:37 pm

Those loaves certainly look mouth watering good! and Monet does have a very lovely blog too, I am reading her blog quite regularly:) Happy Holidays to you!


Camala - CC Recipe December 20, 2010 at 2:41 pm

This bread looks awesome, thanks for sharing your tips!


Kelly December 20, 2010 at 2:55 pm

What a great idea for Christmas morning! I’m going to make this bread and some fresh fruit. Thanks for sharing!


Adora's Box December 20, 2010 at 4:16 pm

I really wish I had those now. Bread is such a comfort food, with cinnamon more so. Your cinnamon bread looks so fluffy and delicious!.


sara @ CaffeIna December 20, 2010 at 4:24 pm

Oh my! My hubby asked me for some sweet bread yesterday and I promised that on my first day of holiday I would have made him something yummy. This totally fits into the requirements. I love the fluffy factor :) there is nothing more disappointing than to take a bite to something you expect soft and turns out dry.


tastesbetterwithfriends December 20, 2010 at 4:25 pm

mmm, this warm bread with a little butter, I would wake up for this everyday!


Sue December 20, 2010 at 4:42 pm

I wish I would find a loaf of this bread under my Christmas tree(and a cube of butter in my stocking)! It looks so beautiful and tasty!


Carolyn December 20, 2010 at 4:45 pm

Yummy! I don’t know how you manage to find the time for all of this, Lora, it amazes me.


Rachel December 20, 2010 at 5:14 pm

This does sound like a perfect accompaniment to Christmas presents! I’ve never thought of fluffiness as a desired trait for cinnamon swirl bread, maybe because all the commercial loaves tend to be hard and dense. I’m curious to taste the difference in a fluffy loaf!


Sandra December 20, 2010 at 5:32 pm

Wonderful! Swirl bread look amazing!


K o r i December 20, 2010 at 5:43 pm

Wow, that looks amazing! What a great treat for Xmas morning. Thanks for sharing, and Merry Christmas to you!!!


Lindsey @ Gingerbread Bagels December 20, 2010 at 5:53 pm

What gorgeous cinnamon swirl bread!! I love how light and fluffy it looks. Not to mention it looks sooooo good. I’m the same way, I do like presents but I’m all about the sweets and baking. My parents always want to know what I want for Christmas and I usually say, nothing. They think I’m crazy. lol


A Thought For Food December 20, 2010 at 6:18 pm

This looks fantastic! The swirl is so hypnotizing… and, of course, drool-inducing. :-)


Roxan December 20, 2010 at 6:56 pm

MMM this looks so freaking delicious! I would love to take a thick slice of this and toast it. Maybe slather on some more butter or jam … or nutella. Delicious.

I saw your guest post over on Monet’s blog. Great job!


Evan Thomas December 20, 2010 at 7:21 pm

That looks so warm and comforting. I bet it must be amazing with a little butter or made into french toast


Evan @swEEts December 20, 2010 at 8:10 pm

Oh Lora, I think I just found what I’ll be making Christmas morning. My mom requested croissants, but I think I’ll have to try this as well! Just checked out Monet’s as well :) well done of course!


Jean December 20, 2010 at 8:22 pm

I love cinnamon bread and weirdly enough, I like to eat it with slices of sharp cheddar. The sweet and salty always appeals to me. :-)

Nice post on Monet’s blog, by the way. :-)


Lael Hazan December 20, 2010 at 10:14 pm

Wonderful post, I too want to eat it right now! You are right, good butter makes such a difference.


Annie December 20, 2010 at 10:36 pm

That cinnamon swirl bread look incredibly soft and delicious! I have been meaning to make this bread myself. I bet it would be heavenly to make french toast with it!


Sylvie - Gourmande in the Kitchen December 20, 2010 at 10:37 pm

Cinnamon, one of my favorite spices! I bet leftover bread would make for a killer cinnamon bread pudding too.


Jennifer December 20, 2010 at 11:32 pm

This bread looks amazing! I’ve always been afraid to make cinnamon swirl bread, but you make it look and sound easy. Maybe I’ll finally give it a shot.


BakingWithoutaBox December 20, 2010 at 11:35 pm

That bread looks amazing. Just love the swirl. And beautiful post on Monet’s site. Very Italian. I’m with you. Nothing says Christmas to me like a long day full of baking sweets and breads.


Bridgett December 20, 2010 at 11:51 pm

This bread and a cappuccino? Sign me up! This looks divine.


Georgia (The Comfort of Cooking) December 21, 2010 at 1:06 am

Cinnamon swirl bread is a MUST for Christmas morning! This is so lovely and looks so delicious, especially with a little butter and cinnamon sugar! Thanks for sharing, Lora. Happy holidays to you!


Magic of Spice December 21, 2010 at 1:28 am

Gorgeous bread…my poor kids never had fresh baked good. Really wonderful, I can smell the cinnamon in my head :)
Have a most wonderful Holiday!


Green Girl @ A little bit of everything December 21, 2010 at 3:16 am

i love cinnamon swirl bread on Christmas day, I’m going to bake mine on Thursday, can’t wait.
Yours turned out so great, wish I was closer so I can come over to borrow some sugar and taste it ;)
Thanks for sharing,
Hope you’ll have a wonderful week


Sara December 21, 2010 at 4:33 am

Lora, I have bookmarked your recipe for this delicious looking cinnamon swirl bread! I’m going to try and bake it for my family during Christmas! Thanks for sharing! I’m taking a little break from blogging for the holidays..Just wanted to wish you Happy Holidays & A Happy New Year! :)


Angie's Recipes December 21, 2010 at 8:46 am

I love cinnamon rolls. They make a great X’mas breakfast with some hot dark coffee or a pot of freshly brewed tea.


Foodiva December 21, 2010 at 8:51 am

Lora, this is the fluffiest, most gorgeous cinnamon swirl bread ever! You and Monet are the queens of baking in Foodbuzz – is it possible to have two queens? Why, of course it is!


SMITH BITES December 21, 2010 at 12:52 pm

so beautiful Lora – simple, lovely and wonderful cinnamon bread . . . i bet your house smells amazing all. the. time!! MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!


Jennifurla December 21, 2010 at 10:23 pm

Hey, nice to meet you. Came over from Monets place. I am your newest follower! Nice to be here.


Sommer J December 22, 2010 at 12:48 am

Looks sooooo delicious!!! I bet your house smelled amazing!


Jamie December 22, 2010 at 9:59 am

Oh you have just described heaven: Fresh Cinnamon Bread (gorgeous), hot cocoa and a living room full of presents. Perfect!


Cookin' Canuck January 25, 2011 at 11:40 pm

Oh yes, I am bookmarking this one!


Anonymous December 10, 2011 at 9:23 pm

I just made your recipe, and it turned out fabulous! this bread is so delicious, heaven! the tip about the oven is a great one too, for keeping the bread moist. i’ve tried making bread a few times without success, but this recipe is excellent and turned out well! thank you!


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