Monday, December 28, 2009

My Illicit Love Affair

I have a bit of a dirty little secret.  Something that makes me more like Sandra Lee then Martha Stewart.  I feel slightly guilty, but at the same time I feel so good about it.  What could it be, you ask? Do I have a secret craving for pork, or want to eat Cheezeburgers for breakfast?  Well, it all depends....

I love my bread maker.  There. I said it.  Whew.  That's a lot off of my chest.  This, coming from me, the gal who demands to try to make everything from scratch loves using the bread maker as a shortcut for dough.  Don't judge me.  Bread machines are a special type of crack I don't plan to give up anytime soon.  So is the bread pictured above.  So swirly.  So cinnamon-y (is that even a word?  oh well).  So perfectly easy to throw the ingredients into the bread machine, select the dough cycle, then roll out, lather with butter and sugar and cinnamon, roll into a loaf shape and bake.  

Oh goodness.  Now I need to make this again.  I'll justify this one as "we can use it for french toast, which we at one point talked about doing, right?  Oh, well, I suppose I can put it in the freezer."

I never even bake bread in my bread machine.  I just use it to make dough and then shape and bake bread in my oven.  Is it cheating?  You bet your ass, but this is one shortcut that I can get on board with.  I just hope Martha won't judge me too harshly...

Cinnamon Swirl Bread
          From the Bread Lover's Bread Machine Cookbook by Beth Hensperger 
               (yes, I actually own a bread machine cookbook.  My love of my bread machine runs deeper than I thought)
This makes a 1 1/2 lb. loaf.  If you want the 2-lb version, shoot me an email. - Z
1 c. water
2 tbs. unsalted butter, cut into pieces
0.25 c. sugar
3 c. bread flour
1/3 c. butter milk powder
1 tbs. vital wheat gluten (find in the natural foods, or as we like to call it the "hippie" section of your grocery store)
1.25 tsp salt
2 tsp. active dry yeast -OR- 2.5 tsp. bread machine yeast
 For the cinnamon swirl:
2 tbs. melted butter, for brushing
1/3 c. light brown sugar
1 tbs. ground cinnamon  
  •  Place all ingredients in the bread machine pan according to the manufacturer's instructions. (Mine calls for liquids on the bottom, and then dry ingredients piled on top - Z) Set the bread machine to the dough cycle, and walk away until the bread machine beeps. 
  • Take the dough out of the bread machine, and on a lightly-floured surface, roll out the dough until it's a 8x12 inch rectangle.  Brush dough with the melted butter, then sprinkle cinnamon and brown sugar on rectangle. Leave a 1-inch border around the edges.  
  • Roll up dough in the "hamburger" direction (ha! no one can ever say I didn't learn anything in elementary school), then pull ends UNDER the rest of the loaf, and put into a greased 9x5" bread pan.  Let rise until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.
  • At some point, preheat your oven to 350 F.  Bake the bread for 35-40 minutes, or until it looks done.  If the crust browns too quickly, put a piece of aluminum foil over the top of the pan. 
  • Place the bread on a rack and let cool to room temperature before serving.


  1. wow I figured using the bread machine for making dough was just as useful as using the kitchen aide. I think Martha will still accept you or at least I will. hmmm your bread looks yummy.

  2. yummy!! I don't have a bread maker! dang...I guess I'll do it the old fashion way..oh wait..I never have made bread in my life!!!! probly will be awhile then!!! Looks tempting though!!!!:)

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