Try this! Best cinnamon-swirl bread you'll ever make.

Back by popular's that wonderful cinnamon bread recipe we used in our bread-baking challenge. Enjoy. 

2 cups warm water  
1/2 cup sugar
2 packets active dry yeast (or 1 1/2 TBLS).
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup canola oil
6 cups bread flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 TBLS cinnamon
Softened butter 
Spray oil
Parchment paper

Step one: Mix the SUGAR and WATER in a large bowl, stirring until sugar dissolves. TIP: the water should feel somewhat hot, but not enough to burn: when you stir the sugar into the water it will cool to about the right temperature.

The yeast will bloom over the top of 
the water. It should cover the whole
surface before you add the oil and
Step two: Stir in the YEAST then let it sit quiet a few minutes--if you've never seen yeast activate before, keep watching: in a few minutes you'll see it suddenly bubble up from the bottom of the bowl and literally bloom into a tan foamy cloud over the top of the water. Success! TIP:If this foam does not appear, there's a problem (it's okay). The yeast failed to activate and you'll need to try again (no big deal). Try adjusting the temperature of the water. It should feel warm--not hot and not cool--by the time you add the yeast).

Step three: Add OIL to the yeast mixture. In a small bowl, mix SALT together with 1 cup of FLOUR. Stir the salt and flour into the yeast mixture. Now add 1 cup of flour at a time, mixing with a spoon as you go. After about the fourth cup, you will likely need to start working the dough with your hands. Add the remaining flour slowly, working it in with your hands.

Step four: When the dough holds together in a big ball, turn it onto a clean floured surface and knead it until smooth (8 to 10 minutes).

Step five: Form the kneaded dough into a ball. Place it in a well oiled bowl, turning the dough to coat all sides so it won't dry out (which may keep it from rising.) Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and place somewhere warm and quiet.

Step six: Allow the dough to rise until it's doubled in size, about 1 hour. This is a good time to prepare two 9X5 loaf pans. Give them a good spray on all sides with spray oil and line the bottoms with parchment paper, then set aside.

Step seven: When the dough has doubled, punch the air out of it (just a few soft punches will do it.) Turn the dough back out onto a barely floured surface (when you roll the dough into a loaf, it works better if there's no flour on the underside). Divide the dough in half.

Step eight: With a rolling pin, roll out one half of the dough to about a 1/2 inch thick. Brush a layer of softened butter over the surface of the rolled out dough. Spread 1/2 of the brown sugar and cinnamon mixture over the entire surface. Starting at the end closest to you, roll the dough tightly, pinching the ends so the roll does not exceed the length of a 9X5 loaf pan. Gently brush melted butter over the outside of the loaf. Place the shaped loaf into a well oiled 9X5 loaf pan that is also lined with parchment paper and set aside. Do not disturb or adjust the loaf in the pan at this point. Repeat the above process on the second half of the dough, placing it in a second oiled loaf pan like the other.

Step nine: Allow both loaves to rise again for 30 minutes--until they are about 1 inch above the rim of the pans. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 


Step ten: Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. When done, the tops of the loaves should be a golden brown and the bread will sound hollow when you tap it. Remove them from the oven and let cool for a few minutes in their pans on a cooling rack. Then gently remove them from their pans and lay the loaves on their sides. Every fifteen minutes, turn the loaves. For example, from one side to the other, and back to a standing position. This bread has a tendency to fall on the inside and rotating the loaves positions while cooling can help prevent this. Allow them to cool COMPLETELY before cutting or serving. 

Congratulations. You did it, farm girl!

Joy--Fearless Farm Girl,

"Farm girl: it's a verb, because it's what you do."

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