I did it!!
I made pretty bread!
Actually, I’m going to say that this bread is beautiful.
Not even sorry about bragging here, because if you guys know me, you know how much I struggle with bread. I have cried, laughed, given up, and tried again when it comes to making bread look pretty. I’ve gotten so upset over pie crusts that my husband has to take over. I have pretended that “it’s supposed to look rustic” so many times that it’s shameful.
But I did this all by myself! (Cue the squealing and jumping around.)
You’ve got to try this too! Because, really and truly, if I can do this, a nine year old can probably do this.
It starts out with flour, sugar and salt.
Water and yeast.
Which combine into dough.
And then rest.
Up until that point, I can manage without any problems. Here is where things usually get tricky for me.
The dough is rolled out into a large rectangle. (And yes, this is really my attempt at a rectangle shape. I swear I did not fail kindergarten.)
Then you just spread on some butter, and sprinkle it with a heavy layer of cinnamon and sugar. (Don’t be like me. Use more butter and make sure your cinnamon sugar goes much closer to the edges.)
And then you roll it up as tightly as you can. With practice, I’ll get a tighter roll. This was ok, but not great. (I was already freaking out by this point, but trying to keep it together.)
Then transfer the roll to parchment paper, and cut it down the middle with a sharp knife. Make sure you leave about an inch at the top uncut.
I couldn’t get pictures of me twisting the bread, because I was afraid that if I paused to take a picture it would be ruined and I’d cry again. So! All you have to do is twist each side a little so that the layers are facing the ceiling, and then cross the strands over each other all the way to the bottom. Then just tuck the ends under the loaf.
Like so. And then let it rest. Then all you have to do is brush the outside with an egg wash and bake.
This is best served warm, and on the day you make it. We ate it plain, but my son suggested that this bread should be frosted like a cinnamon roll. Do what makes you happy.
Cinnamon Twist Bread
Makes one loaf
3/4 tsp active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
3-4 tbsp butter, at room temperature and very soft
1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp water
- Combine the yeast and warm water, and allow it to activate for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, combine the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook. Turn the mixer on for about a minute to mix the dry ingredients.
- Add the yeast mixture to the dry ingredients with the mixer on low, and turn the mixer up to medium speed for about 5 to 7 minutes. You might have to use a scraper to get the dough off of the dough hook during mixing.
- Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let it rise for about an hour in a warm spot. It should double in size.
- Roll the dough out on a well-floured surface. You’re going for a nice big rectangle, about 12 inches by 15 inches.
- Spread the butter onto the dough, going almost all the way to the edges. Sprinkle on the cinnamon sugar.
- Start at one short edge and tightly roll the dough to the other short edge. Transfer the roll to a sheet of parchment with the seam on bottom.
- Cut the roll in half, starting about an inch from the top, all the way to the bottom.
- Turn the cut side up towards the ceiling, and tightly cross the strands over each other until you get to the bottom. Tuck the ends under the loaf.
- Let the bread complete a second rise, covered loosely with plastic wrap for about 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Brush the bread with the egg wash, and then transfer the bread and parchment paper to a baking stone or sheet.
- Bake the bread for about 20 minutes, and then turn the heat up to 425F. Bake until the top turns a nice golden brown.