Ch. 32: Cinnamon Swirl Bread- the taste you can see!


I’m a sucker for a good food beauty shot- or foodie shot as I’ve coined it (patent pending). We all are. Most times, we’re scrolling through Youtube or Pinterest, and we see that one image that piques our interest- it’s the one that has us saying “wow that looks good!” I often look at those beauty shots and am met with this internal challenge of whether I can recreate that. Such was the same with this recipe. I’d been scrolling through King Arthur Flour’s popular recipes when I found this Cinnamon Swirl Bread. I was pretty hypnotized by that perfectly pronounced cinnamon swirl that ran through the loaf and wanted to see if I could pull it off. By now, King Arthur Flour had cemented itself as a reliable source for recipes as they seem to be thoroughly tested and reviewed. With my ever increasing bread skills at the ready, I got to work. 

There are three main components to this recipe: the bread dough, the cinnamon swirl, and the streusel topping- all of which come together quite nicely. KAF is great because most of their bread recipes just involve getting all the ingredients into a bowl and start mixing- who can argue with that? Unlike most other bread recipes, this one calls for All Purpose Flour which is great because it then becomes more accessible to the average home cook. Along with the other standard ingredients, this recipe also calls for dry milk powder and potato flour. The milk powder is likely there to add flavor without the added liquid from regular milk. I believe the potato flour helps with the dough’s overall consistency- though again I’m no food scientist. I ended up using potato starch as it’s what I had on hand and it worked great. Some reviewers said they used instant potato flakes- but really, where does the madness end??? Once the dough was kneaded in the mixer, it got its first rise in a greased bowl. It was then rolled out into a log which was great to work with because it was very soft and not sticky at all. The cinnamon filling combines cinnamon, sugar, flour and chopped raisins before being sprinkled over the dough with an egg wash glue. I made a swap for dried cranberries as raisins aren’t an ingredient I tend to have on hand. My family has a big debate over raisins and frankly, I’m pretty ok with them- though some would disagree, saying they’re “spoiled grapes”. The dough is then rolled up ala cinnamon rolls and placed into a greased loaf pan for its second rise. Once that gets up and over the edges of the pan, the streusel topping is sprinkled over and set to bake. 

The smells that came from the kitchen should be reason enough to make this. Once the bread was ready, I took it out and all it’s golden brown glory. It released easily from the pan without spilling any of the precious streusel topping. Once cooled, a slice revealed that near perfect cinnamon swirl. The finished bread was super soft with that crunchy streusel topping. It was flavored with cinnamon throughout and had me thinking it would be great to use for french toast. The only real flaw was that there were large gaps between the swirls- likely due to the dough not sticking to itself in the rolling process. KAF’s beauty shots had the same issue, which told me that I hadn’t done anything wrong. Next time, I’d mix the cinnamon coating with softened butter to create a paste, rather than sprinkling it dry over the egg wash. Still, this recipe was a success- with the leftover bread making a great breakfast days after I baked it. It’s really, the taste you can see. 

Full Recipe | Method from King Arthur Flour:

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