Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The oozing blob of dough that almost took over the kitchen...

For some reason it’s been a while since I’ve done some serious baking, it’s good to have my arms up to my elbows in flour and sugar.
While Oatmeal Raisin cookies aren’t really my thing – they are my family’s. So while Bronwyn dished those cookies out (and Nicholas stole the dough and baked cookies) I was making Apple Butter Cinnamon Swirl Bread. Oh, yeast my friend! We meet again!
The recipe was easy enough and instructions simple too. While the cookies baked – I let the dough rise on top of the stove – oh it did actually rise! Yahoo! Then the tough but fun part, rolling it out, spreading on the homemade apple butter, then cinnamon sugar. You then roll it up like making cinnamon rolls, then slice it down the middle of that beautiful roll and twist the whole mess together. My twisting was less than graceful and mostly a giant flop of dough, apple butter, and cinnamon sugar all over the counter. But it looked yummy! I plopped it into the prepared bread pan and shoved it in the oven to rise.
Off we went to the community expo with the kids. Superheroes, princesses, bouncy house, balloons, candy, puppies, old lady on the ground that needed help off the ground and into her car, equally old and decrepit man (husband of wife) needed help into their purple muscle car to drive her home, then back home again. Yes, weird morning. We came home and the dough had exploded all over the place. So that nice loaf pan I had it in? Well, that wasn’t going to work – so I used an 8 x 8 glass dish, turned the whole mess out and got the oven going.
It baked up beautifully – smelled amazing. We sliced it up Sunday morning, toasted it – oh my yes. This recipe certainly is a keeper. My kids even had some! They even asked for seconds! Next time I think I’ll split it between two loaf pans rather than let it be confined to one.

Apple Butter Cinnamon Swirl Bread
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 (1/4 ounce) packet active dry yeast
3 tablespoons (lightly packed) light brown sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3 3/4-4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1/2 cup apple butter

Place the warm water in a large bowl and sprinkle the yeast on top. Set aside for 5 minutes to allow the yeast to proof.
Add the brown sugar and butter. Blend in 2 cups of the flour and the salt until moistened. Beat on medium speed for 3 minutes.
Stir in an additional 1 1/4 to 1 3/4 cups flour, until dough pulls away cleanly from the sides of the bowl. Knead on floured surface, adding 1/2 to 3/4 cup additional flour, until dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Place dough in large greased bowl. Cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let rise in warm place until doubled in size, 30 to 45 minutes.
Lightly mist a 9x5-inch loaf pan with non-stick spray. (Or two if you want to be sure you don't have it grow over the sides.) Stir the granulated sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl. Punch down the dough and roll it into a rectangle, about 9 inches on the short side and 1/4 inch thick. Spread with a thin layer of apple butter, and top with the cinnamon sugar. Starting at the short side, roll into a tight log (like a cinnamon roll). Using a sharp knife, cut the log in half lengthwise, leaving the two halves attached at one end. Twist the two long pieces together and place in the prepared pan. Cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let rise in warm place until doubled in size, 30 to 45 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Uncover dough. Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until loaf sounds hollow when lightly tapped. Cool completely before slicing.

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