Friday, January 11, 2013

Baking and Books: Cinnamon Swirl Bread

I'm afraid I can't remember where I got this recipe, so much as I'd like to, I can't give credit where it's due.  I've been making this bread for a couple of years now, since before I was married.  I'd make a loaf of quickbread each Sunday and eat a slice of it and a scrambled egg for breakfast every day that week.  It was good, but got a little monotonous.  I'm completely spoiled now, of course; my husband makes breakfast and has a much wider repertoire!  I still like to pull out my old quickbread recipes now and then - they're excellent for breakfast, snacks, and even dessert.

I ordered a copy of Mollie Panter-Downes' One Fine Day after reading Rachel's and Claire's glowing reviews.  It's marvelous, of course, though I'm finding it to be slower reading than I was expecting.  It's structured more as a series of vignettes than plotted.  The novel has such delicious language that I've been reading slowly to savor it, and often re-read paragraphs to make sure I've sucked all the marrow from them.  It's a short book, but not one I'll speed through.

Anyway, here's the recipe.  The original called for 40 minutes in the oven, but it's always taken me at least an hour (and I speak from experience; I've made this in three different ovens now).  Enjoy!

Cinnamon Swirl Bread

  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan. In a small bowl, mix together 1/3 cup sugar and 2 teaspoons cinnamon; set aside.

In large bowl combine flour, baking powder, salt and remaining 1 cup sugar. Combine egg, milk, and oil; add to flour mixture. Stir until just moistened.

Pour half of the batter into pan. Sprinkle with half the reserved cinnamon/sugar mixture. Repeat with remaining batter and cinnamon/sugar mixture. Draw a knife through batter to marble.

Bake in preheated oven for approximately an hour, or until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Best served warm from the oven or briefly warmed in a microwave or toaster oven.

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