{Naughty Alert!} Cinnamon Swirl Bread

cinnamon swirl bread - with text

One of the things I love about our annual vacation in Idaho is that I can start each day at my own pace. And that usually means quietly enjoying a cup of black coffee and a piece of toast. {Contrary to popular opinion, I’m a  simple gal.}

This year though, the toast was anything but ordinary. I’ve already shared how generous some of my new girlfriends from the ranch are, having shared the fruits {well, vegetables} of their gardening labors.

Enter Tanya.

It’s one thing to toss some ingredients into a bread maker, call it a night, and wake up to a fresh loaf of “homemade” bread. It’s another thing entirely to grind the darn wheat that you make the bread with. Painstakingly. By hand. So this year, my mornings started with that cup of black coffee AND a piece of Tanya’s AMAZING homemade cinnamon swirl bread.

cinnamon swirl bread - toasted

Husband and I pretty much devoured the loaf she’d shared with our hosts in just a few days. What to do now?

I had a strategy: I’d send her a message on Facebook, telling her how much we LOVED her bread, and that we had quickly annihilated it. Of course, my thought-process was that she’d read through my “subtlety” and be so flattered that she’d produce another loaf before we were faced with the horrible situation of a morning without it.

{Insert the sound of CRICKETS here.}

Here’s the note I finally got from Tanya: “I am so glad you are enjoying it!! It sounds like you are having a fabulous time…

So much for subtlety.


OK, desperate times call for desperate measures. I’d have to make it myself.

One morning, over my black coffee {sans toast} I consulted my most trusted advisor {Google} in search of a terrific Cinnamon Swirl Bread recipe.

Thankfully, there was no shortage of options. But I wanted something that made me feel less guilty about the butter I’d inevitably slather upon the finished product.  I wanted a recipe that incorporated whole wheat flour {though I wasn’t quite ready to grind it myself}.  Sometime during my second cup of coffee I’d accumulated enough options to piece together a recipe to try. And after a few attempts, I think I have a version that is close to Tanya’s.

Cinnamon Swirl Bread
  • 1 cup milk (I use almond)
  • 6 Tbs butter
  • 2½ tsp (or one packet) Active Dry Yeast
  • 2 eggs
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 2½ cups All-purpose flour
  • 2½ cups whole wheat flour (plus more as necessary)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbs melted butter
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 2 Tbs cinnamon
  • softened butter
  1. Heat butter and milk together until butter melts, then let cool until still warm, but not hot (about 110-115 degrees). Add yeast, stir briefly, and let sit for several minutes.
  2. Combine flours and salt.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, mix sugar and eggs until combined. Pour in the the milk mixture and mix on low until combined. Add the flour mixture, 1 cup at a time, until incorporated. Increase mixture speed to medium and knead for 5 minutes. If dough is very sticky, add additional flour, ¼ cup at a time, and knead on medium speed for an additional 3 minutes. (Dough should be slightly, but not overly sticky.)
  4. Turn dough into greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1½-2 hours.
  5. Butter large loaf pan with softened butter.
  6. Turn dough onto lightly floured work surface. Roll into a rectangle, no wider than your loaf pan, and about 18-24 inches long. Spread dough with 2 Tbs melted butter. Mix cinnamon and sugar together, then sprinkle evenly over dough. Starting with one of the narrow ends, roll the dough, keeping it tight. Pinch seam to seal.
  7. Place dough in the pan, seam side down. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 1½ hours.
  8. Preheat oven to 350.
  9. Brush top of loaf with softened butter. Bake for 40 minutes on middle rack in oven.
  10. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn onto cooling rack and cool completely.


cinnamon swirl bread - swirl




, , , ,

6 Responses to {Naughty Alert!} Cinnamon Swirl Bread

  1. Chuck September 14, 2013 at 11:26 am #

    That looks amazing and I can almost smell it from here… Gotta stay away from it but I’ll just drool for now. :)

    • Morgan Wood September 14, 2013 at 12:51 pm #

      Chuck, everything in moderation right? I delivered the last one to a neighbor, so making another loaf as we “speak” to have in the freezer!

  2. Lorrie September 14, 2013 at 4:25 pm #

    Having failed miserably at my sour dough attempts (with the famous “Alaskan” starter from Kevin), I will have to try this. It suits my family more than sour dough, anyway. I will let you know how it goes!

    • Morgan Wood September 15, 2013 at 9:51 pm #

      Oh Lorrie, I too failed miserably with a sourdough starter a friend from the Mill City Farmers’ market gave me! This recipe is super easy BUT you may want to lean more on the white vs wheat flour until you find a combo you like. I’m fine with a heftier 50/50 combo, but even then you may find you’re happy with using less than the full 5 cups. Depends a lot on weather / humidity. Actually, the “stickier” you can stand the dough with the first rise, the fluffier your bread will be.

  3. Tawnya September 16, 2013 at 10:40 am #

    :) I was really hoping to be able to bless you with another loaf before you headed home. It was disappointing that I couldn’t. My family has been wondering when I would start baking again….The first step…stay home long enough…Your bread looks amazing! Homemade swirl bread is simply the best! I’m going to give this a try. One secret about my bread…I add ground flaxseed to my bread. It seems to make it more moist and has a little nutty flavor we really enjoy.

    • Morgan Wood September 16, 2013 at 12:05 pm #

      Tawnya!! Mine certainly doesn’t beat yours, and I will absolutely add the ground flaxseed. Been playing with the whole wheat / white ratio – and had a complete DUD the other day when I thought I could do all wheat… Thank you so much for the inspiration!

Leave a Reply

Rate this recipe: