Everyone in my house decided to take a nap today.
I don't like to take naps. So what do I do while all my housemates are fast asleep? I make bread. Not just any old loaf of bread, I made cinnamon bread. And man oh man. This. Bread. Is. Amazing. Do those periods in there emphasize the importance of this tasty bread enough? Probably not. You need to make this bread ASAP. It's just that good. I just made it last night and the whole loaf is almost gone. Oops!
It always amazes me how a little packet of yeast and some flour can turn into a pretty loaf like that. It does take quite a lot of massaging, coaxing, and rest though. Anyhow, I am always impressed.
After mixing it all up, kneading the thing and letting it rise, I rolled it out, slathered it in butter, and sprinkled it with cinnamon and sugar.
Then rolled it up into a cute little log of sugary goodness.
and let it rise some more.
It's ready to bake!
It's done! The aroma that fills the house while this is baking is utterly delightful. It smells like you have a dozen cinnamon flavored candles lit throughout. So yummy. I have low expectations for myself when it comes to bread, because I have baked so very little of it, but the result of this bread completely blew those expectation out the window.
It started raining and got really cold while baking this bread. This means to get your favorite hoodie, put on some Mumford and Sons, light some candles and grab your book. This is what I did while waiting for the bread to rise, and it was awesome. Do you know of Mumford and Sons? Well you should. They're amazing. They're an English folk rock band. They're awesome! Their music gives you that nostalgic, I-feel-so-good-right-now-nothing-can-put-me-in-a-bad-mood kinda feeling.
To go with this lovely bread, I made my own rendition of the popular "Pumpkin Spice Latte" from a certain well-known coffee corporation. It's delicious. I have not really mastered the art of making really good coffee at home, but this one, this one is good. On to the recipes...the part you probably actually only care about!
1 cup milk
6 Tbsp butter
2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast (one little package)
2 whole eggs
2/3 cup sugar, separated into 1/3s
3 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp cinnamon
egg and milk, mixed together for brushing
softened butter for smearing and greasing
melt butter and milk. Heat until warm, but not too hot to touch. No boiling. Sprinkle yeast over top and stir gently. Let it sit for 10 mins.
Combine flour and salt.
Mix together sugar (1/3 cup) and eggs. Pour in the butter/milk/yeast stuff and stir to combine. Add half of the flour/salt mixture and beat on medium until well combined. Add the other half of the flour mixture and combine.
Now knead the dough for about 10 mins (or, if you have a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment, just use that. It's on my Christmas list!) Dough should be sticky but not too sticky so that it cannot be kneaded.
Oil a metal bowl, put the dough in it, cover it with plastic wrap and find a nice warm spot for it to sit for a few hours (about 2 hrs).
Roll the dough out into a long rectangle, but make sure that it is not wider than your loaf pan. Smear with 2 Tbsp softened butter. Mix together the remaining 1/3 cup sugar, and cinnamon. sprinkle evenly over the bread. Roll the bread up into a tight roll, starting with the short side of the rectangle, and roll towards you. Pinch seam to seal.
Grease loaf pan with softened butter. Place dough roll, seam side down, into loaf pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for another 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 350. mix egg and milk together, and brush over risen dough loaf. Bake for 40 mins with the oven rack in the middle/lower oven.
and to fulfill the many requests... (if you have "pumpkin pie spice", you can just use a few dashes of that. I did not have any, so I improvised and used the normal spices that are found in it).
Pumpkin Spice Latte
1 cup milk
1 1/2 cups strong brewed coffee
1 dash nutmeg
1 dash ground cloves
1 dash ground ginger
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp pumpkin puree
Brew double strength coffee. Steam the milk, pumpkin and sugar (I put it in the microwave for about a minute, until its frothy). Add spices the spices and vanilla to the milk, and whisk together until well combined. Add coffee, and stir.
It's delicious! and not $4.00 for a little cup!