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Author Notes: Whole grains, whole wheat flour, and bread flour make for a nutty but light loaf, perfect on its own for sandwiches or breakfast toast. Add a swirl of cinnamon sugar and an easy but impressive-looking twist technique, and you have the most incredible cinnamon-swirl bread that is the perfect balance of sweet and spiced. —Christina @ My Homespun Home
Makes 1 loaf
- 3 tablespoons warm water (around 110 degrees, or a bit warmer than body temperature)
- 1 packet dry active yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
- 1 pinch sugar
- 1 1/2 cups bread flour
- 1 – 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup mixed whole grains (not rolled), like Bob’s Red Mill 7 or 10-grain cereal mix
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 egg
Cinnamon Sugar Filling
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon flour
- 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water
- In a large bowl, combine the warm water, yeast, and sugar. Set aside while yeast proofs.
- Whisk together bread flour, whole wheat flour, grains and salt.
- In a small pan or measuring cup, melt butter, then add honey and milk and heat to about 110-115 degrees. Remove from heat and whisk in egg.
- Add egg mixture to yeast (which should now be poofy, a very technical baking term) and stir to combine.
- Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment or a big bowl and a spoon, slowly stir in the flour mixture.. Mix for 1 minute. The dough will be wet and not seem bread-like at all at this point. Don’t worry. Let it rest for 5 minutes.
- Using the dough hook attachment or your spoon, mix for another 2 minutes. The dough will start coming together into a ball–it will still be slightly sticky but should not be wet. If, after 2 minutes, the dough still seems too wet, add more flour 1 tablespoon at a time. Continue to mix for another 4 minutes until the dough is just barely sticky and forms a knead-able ball.
- Dump dough onto a lightly floured board and knead a few times before shaping it into a ball. Cover it with a bowl (yes, the opposite of what you usually do) and let it rest for 10 minutes. Knead a few more times, cover and let rest 10 minutes, and repeat once more. By this point the dough should feel smoother and not sticky at all.
- Knead the dough a few final times, then place it in a lightly oiled bowl with enough space for the dough to double. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature for about an hour, or until doubled.
- Meanwhile, combine sugar, cinnamon, and flour in a food processor (a small coffee or spice grinder works great too) and process until the sugar is a fine powder.
- In a small bowl, lightly whisk egg and water until foamy.
- Lightly butter a 4.5×8 or 9×5 inch loaf pan. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Press down the risen dough and turn it back out onto a floured board. Roll the dough out to a 14×8-inch rectangle.
- Brush the dough with just enough egg mixture to moisten; sprinkle cinnamon sugar over the dough.
- Starting with the short edge, roll the dough up tightly and pinch ends and edge to seal.
- With a sharp knife, cut your bread in half lengthwise. Set the two pieces next to each other, cut sides facing up. Pinch two ends together. Take the left loaf half and drape it gently over the right side. Repeat twice, taking the left side over the right until the dough is completely twisted. Pinch the bottom ends together.
- If it’s too long to fit in your pan. gently push the loaf at both ends to scrunch it up a bit. Place it in the pan, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise another 40 minutes to 1 hour or until the bread has risen 1 1/2 inches above the top of the pan.
- When dough has risen. remove the plastic wrap and brush the bread once more with the egg wash.
- Place the bread in the oven and bake for 40-50 minutes, rotating once halfway through.
- When the bread is done, it will be a deep golden brown, sound hollow when tapped, and measure 190 degrees with an instant-read thermometer.