Saturday, March 1, 2008

Cinnamon Bread

One of my TWD baking buddies, Nikki, from Crazy Delicious, decided to start her own blogging/baking event, because she loves the fun and excitement they bring. Her event is called Master Baker, and each month, Nikki will suggest an ingredient. Then, all the participants will bake something delicious and wonderful using that ingredient.

For February, the inaugural month, the ingredient was cinnamon, which just happens to be one of my favorite flavors. I decided to find a new recipe, and came across a cinnamon-y bread on the King Arthur website, which I've copied below with one special recommendation. The bread is delicious, sort of a cross between a coffee cake and a bread. I should also add that it is really difficult to wait until it's cool before diving in.

Easy Cinnamon Bread
(from King Arthur Flour)

3 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour OR Mellow Pastry Blend
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup warm milk
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
1 large egg
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup cinnamon chips
cinnamon-sugar, for topping

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, yeast, cinnamon and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, butter, and egg. Combine the wet and dry ingredients, beating till smooth. Let the batter rest at room temperature for 1 hour, covered, then stir in the baking powder and cinnamon chips.

Spoon the batter into a greased 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan. Sprinkle the top with the cinnamon-sugar.

Bake the bread in a preheated 350°F oven for 35 to 40 minutes, until it tests done; a cake tester inserted into the center will come out clean. (Note: I put my loaf back into the oven for an additional 15 minutes, and the center was still a bit gooey. I'd start testing after 45 minutes and be prepared to bake it 15 to 20 minutes longer.) Remove the bread from the oven, let it rest in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer it from the pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Note: Don't slice the bread while it's hot! It'll slice much better when it's completely cool. Yield: 1 loaf.

I'll be looking forward to seeing what everyone else entered as well as what the ingredient for March will be. Thanks, Nikki, for thinking up this new challenge.

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