On Sunday, the good news came in waves. First, our high school daughter received a text that school would be closed on Monday, January 6th. Shortly after that, our home and cell phones were buzzing with calls from the grade school, delivering the same news. The kids were thrilled and quickly conspired with neighborhood friends to put together a few sleepovers. My wonderful husband had run all of our errands over the weekend, so we were happy to stay inside our cozy house all day. I love spoiling the kids on snow days by making a special breakfast, but, after the holidays, I wasn't up for the sugar shock that would be delivered by either my cinnamon rolls or sticky buns. I had some leftover brioche dough in the freezer and used it to make a fragrant loaf of Cinnamon Swirl Bread this morning. It was a treat, but not too sweet.
To make brioche dough, sugar, eggs and butter are used, giving the dough a lovely golden color and sweet, rich taste. I used the recipe from my Baking with Julia, adding just a bit less butter than called for in the original recipe (one stick as opposed to a stick and a half). This article from LA Times compares three different recipes for brioche dough, with the one from Baking with Julia being the favorite. The recipe, developed with Nancy Silverton, makes two loaves. I've used it to make bread and sticky buns. I made the dough back in December. The first loaf was used to make Baked Apple French Toast on Christmas morning. Each thick slice of brioche was soaked in vanilla scented egg custard, then set atop a cinnamon apple filling. My daughter made it two days before the holiday and we baked it on Christmas morning after unwrapping our gifts. I tucked the rest of the dough into the freezer for another time.
To make the Cinnamon Swirl Bread, I thawed the dought overnight, then rolled it out and dusted it with cinnamon and sugar. The bread baked to a golden brown with a slighly flaky crust and a light, sweet crumb.
We loved it despite the gaping hole that ran across the top of the loaf.
As Tuesday's school cancellations started pouring in, I mixed up a second batch of brioche dough. Molly said I needed to add more cinnamon to the filling. I decided to roll the dough more tighly, pushing out as much air as possible. Today's loaf was better - more cinnamon flavor and smaller gaps between the layers. I'm glad the kids get to enjoy one more lazy day before school starts up again.
Cinnamon Swirl Bread
- 1/2 recipe Brioch Dough (LA Times - Brioche Bread ). I did not beat the butter so it was cool and smooth as directed in the recipe. Instead, I dropped a few tablespoons of room temperature butter into the dough and beat it until it was incorporated before adding more butter. This worked well in the winter when my house is a cool room temperature. After the dough has been mixed, let it rise on the counter for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, then chill overnight. Let it come to room temperature before rolling the dough out.
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- About a tablespoon of half and half
- Turbinado sugar
Mix both sugars with cinnamon in a small bowl.
On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a large rectangle (12x18 inches). Brush dough with butter, then sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
Starting at the short end, roll dough tightly into a log. Place in a lightly greased loaf pan, tucking ends under as necessary. Cover and let rise in a warm place for one hour.
Preheat oven to 350. Brush top of loaf with half and half. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Bake for 30 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool for 10 minutes, then remove from pan (run a knife around the loaf to loosen). Enjoy warm or at room temperature.