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Author Notes: Before I met my husband Tad, I’d never been to the Hamptons on the east end of Long Island, and now we go, like his family has for decades, every August. But I went on vacations there for 5 years before anyone in his family told me about the cinnamon swirl bread from Breadzilla, a bakery that’s tucked away in their tiny hamlet of Wainscott. Breadzilla’s piece de resistance is a pan loaf that’s poufy on top with a sugary, cinnamon crust, and is loaded up inside with a curl of cinnamon butter. When we’re there in the summer, I eat it every morning for breakfast, thickly sliced, toasted and spread with butter and a scattering of sea salt. This is my effort to replicate the bread (though it should be noted that Breadzilla’s bread dough is more of a classic white Pullman, not a butter-and-egg dough). My bread dough is adapted from The American Home, December 1965. - Amanda Hesser
Makes 1 loaf
For the bread dough
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1/4 cup room temperature water
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 5 to 5 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
For the cinnamon filling
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
- Scald the milk by warming it in a pan over medium heat until bubbles form around the edge; remove from the heat and let cool.
- Pour the water into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook (or a large bowl fitted with your hands). Sprinkle the yeast in the water and let proof until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the cooled milk, sugar, salt, and eggs. Beat in 2 cups flour.
- Add the butter, and beat until the butter is broken up into small curds. Beat in 1 more cup flour. Add enough remaining flour to make a soft dough. Let rest for 5 minutes.
- Knead (in the mixer or by hand), only adding flour as needed, until the dough is soft and velvety and little blisters appear just under the surface. Put into a large well-greased bowl; turn the dough over to bring the greased side up. Cover with a clean damp towel or plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled in bulk, about 2 hours.
- Punch dough down; let rise again for 30 minutes or until almost doubled.
- Heat the oven to 350 degrees and butter a 9- x 5- x 3-inch loaf pan. In a small bowl, blend the 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 1 tablespoon sugar. In another bowl, prepare the filling: mash together the butter, cinnamon and sugars with a fork until a smooth paste forms.
- Flatten the dough, seam-side-up, into a rectangle, 8 inches by 12 inches. Spread the cinnamon filling on top, pushing it close to the edges. Roll the dough into a log, tightly sealing the bottom seam, and place seam-side-down in the prepared pan. Loosely cover the dough with plastic wrap and let rest until puffy and nearly doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
- Brush the top of the dough with the melted butter. Sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar. Bake until the bread is a chestnut brown and sounds hollow inside when tapped, 45 to 60 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 1 hour then remove the bread from the pan and continue cooling on a wire rack.
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