I come from a long line of morning people. I have never seen either of my parents sleep in past seven, and (as those close to me may already know) I am coming to terms with my limited ability to stay up late. Which brings me to this bread recipe. My mom will often send me pictures of various homemade baked goods which she makes at the break of dawn, this go-to bread recipe being one of them. Feeling inspired by my mom’s frequent (very) early morning productivity, I made homemade bread this past Sunday for the first time in too long. Perhaps this recipe will inspire you, as well.
For the dough:
- 1 package active dry yeast (2 1/4 t.)
- 1 1/8 cup very warm water (120-130′ F)
- 3 to 3.5 cups flour (I used half whole wheat flour and half bread flour)
- 1.5 T brown sugar
- 1/2 T salt
- 1 T butter, softened
- low flavor oil, such as canola, to coat the bowl
For the cinnamon filling:
- 1 T butter, melted
- 1 t. cinnamon
- 1 T. brown sugar
- Sprinkle the yeast on top of the warm water. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (this can also be done in a large bowl with a wooden spoon), mix 1.5 cups of flour, the brown sugar, salt, and softened butter together on low speed. Add in the yeast warm water mixture, and beat on low for 1 minute. Scrape down the bowl and beat on edium for 1 more minute. Scrape down the bowl and add the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough just comes away from the sides of the bowl.
- Replace the paddle attachment with the dough hook. (Alternatively, the dough can be kneaded by hand.) Knead for about 10 minutes or until the dough is smooth and springy.
- Drizzle a little bit of low flavor oil, like canola oil, and place the dough in the bowl, turning to coat in the oil. Place plastic wrap loosely over the bowl and let rise in a warm spot for about 1 hour or until doubled in size.
- Grease an 8×4 or 9×5 inch loaf pan. Gently punch down the dough. Lightly flour a clean surface and roll out the dough to 18×9 inch rectangle. Brush the melted butter on the dough, then sprinkle on the brown sugar and cinnamon.
- Roll the dough up tightly, beginning on the 9-inch side, pinching the dough to seal the ends. Fold ends under the loaf, and place in the loaf pan, seam side down. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 30-50 min or until dough has doubled in size.
- Place oven rack in mid to low position. Preheat oven to 425’F. Bake 20-25 minutes or until the loaf is deep golden brown and sound hollow when tapped. Remove from pan and place on cooling rack. Enjoy!
–Leah and Jeff