Eggless Cinnamon Braided Bread

My little tyke, or rather my littlest tyke is a Ninja who decimates sugar ! He loves sugar, cinnamon, bread and did I mention sugar again ! I have the whole spectrum covered at my place – from zilch sugar to feed me sugar! On the Sunday when I had a bit of baking bug in me, I made key lime muffins and this. The cinnamon roll version of this was awesome and I always wanted to try my hand at this.This is a pretty easy version and it was a cinch to make it. Looked a mighty fine sight and was so flaky too.

  Swirls of cinnamon running in tasteful little veins and tied up in a pretty little bread – On second thoughts though, on baking, the braid turned not so little but remained super flaky, moist and so so soft..

 It was so good that I did not bother to glaze it. Was perfect and reminds you of interlocking cinnamony flaky croissants.

Eggless Cinnamon Braided Bread

 Prep time : 30 min

Resting time total: 70 min or so 

Baking time : 35-40min

Ingredients

For the dough: 

  • Unbleached, Unbromated All purpose flour : 2.5 cups
  • Baking powder : 1/4 tsp
  • Baking soda : 1/4 tsp
  • Salt : 1/2 tsp
  • Warm milk : 3/4 cup + 2 tbsp.
  • Lemon Juice : 1 Tbsp.
  • Vegetable oil : 1/4 cup
  • Butter melted : 1 Tbsp.
  • Instant Dry yeast : 2.25 tsp. ( 1 sachet)
  • Sugar : 1/3 cup ( used soft brown Sugar)

Filling:  

  • Soft brown sugar : 1/2 cup
  • Fine ground cinnamon powder : 1.5 Tbsp.
  • Room temp or softened butter : 3-4 Tbsp. ( softened or at RT)

The glaze: Optional , I did not need this.

  • Powdered sugar : 1/2 cup
  • Milk : 2 Tbsp.
  • Pure Vanilla extract : 1 tsp.

Recommended: 

Brushing the dough with 2 Tbsp of milk before baking

Method:

Making the dough:

  • In the bowl of your stand mixer add the sifted flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add the dry instant yeast to this and mix thoroughly with a whisk or paddle mixer.
  • Add the dough hook attachment and on low mixing speed add the oil and butter mix, followed by the milk + sugar+ lemon juice mix.(In a small bowl, mix milk with sugar and add the lemon juice and add to the flour. It’s ok if the milk slightly curdles. It works good.)
  • Knead well until you get a nice smooth dough. Let the dough rest in warm dark place until it doubles in size. Depending on the temperature and weather conditions , it might take anywhere from 35 min to about an hour.
  • Once it has risen sufficiently, take out the dough on a greased counter top. Gently deflate it and roll it out to form a big rectangle. Mine was a good couple of feet in length.

Making the cinnamon sugar filling and baking:

  • Mix the softened butter +sugar + cinnamon to have a wet filling.
  • Spread the mix on the rectangle and make sure you get as much to the edges as possible. Pat gently so it sticks to the roll.
  • Now roll gently from the longest side and make a tight toll. Pinch the seams and ends. Slice it vertically in the center.
  • You will now have exposed veins of the cinnamon butter running through the dough.
  • Lay both of strands lengthwise and pinch one end of it together.
  • Braid it overlapping each other and exposing the cinnamon strands.
  • Loop it around and tuck the end under the dough to form a circular piece where you cannot see either of the ends.
  • Grease a baking sheet / parchment paper and lay it over  baking sheet.
  • Lay the braided roll gently over greased sheet on the baking tray. Cover with a greased saran wrap and let rise for another 20 min.
  • Meanwhile preheat oven to 350 F.
  • Brush the dough with 2Tbsp of milk using a pastry brush to give the nice glaze after baking.
  • Bake 35+/- 5 minutes. Keep an eye to just bake it  nice golden brown.
  • Take out from the oven and dive in when they are warm!

Eggless Cinnamon Braided Bread

Glaze/Topping:

If you do decide that you want the glaze, whisk the ingredients listed under the glaze or topping section and drizzle over your baked braided bread.

Italian Herbs and Cheese Bread – One rise, quick bread!

Rustic , Hearty and truly a family share bread!

Italian Herbs and Cheese Bread – One rise, quick bread! #VRBakealong 

There is something alluring about fresh-baked bread. And when baked at home sans all the preservatives, it’s just wonderful. The smell of it wafting is enough to salivate the toughest critic’s taste buds. Or just to make one feel happy. This is one version of a herbed bread that makes you want to grab a slice after another. A mix of cultures in the bread I say, Italian seasoning, Mexican cheese blend, and a dash of our very own ground black pepper with the occasional sizzle of red pepper flakes. Go on , try it out and let me know 

Ingredients:

  • Whole wheat flour (atta) : 1.5 cups
  • All Purpose Flour: 1.5 cups
  • Instant yeast : Red Start quick rise , 1 packet
  • Sugar : 3 tsp.
  • Salt : 1.5 tsp.
  • Olive oil : 3 Tbsp.
  • Black pepper ground : 1 tsp.
  • Italian herbs mix (dried) : 2 tsp.
  • Red pepper flakes : 1/2 tsp. (optional)
  • Milk ( 2%) : 1/2 cup
  • Warm water : 1 cup ( add in stages )
  • Mexican cheese blend grated : 1/2 – 1 cup ( depending on how cheesy you like it)

METHOD

Proofing the yeast:

Typically in instant kind of quick yeast you do not need to proof the yeast. But in this case I did so because I just needed to ensure my yeast was well alive and kicking!

  • Warm the milk with 1/2 cup of water and the sugar. Just ensure the mix is very very warm.
  • To this I added the instant rapid rise yeast , stirred gently and set aside, You will notice the bubbles in about 5-8 min Let the yeast do the job for about 10-12 min. The frothy mix indicates it is a happy camper and ready to work on your bread!

 The dough:

  • In a large mixing bowl, sieve together the atta ( I used our very own swaad chakki fresh atta ) and APF and salt.
  • Add in the ground pepper and dries herbs mix.
  • Add in the red pepper flakes if using.
  • Add in the grated cheese and then the olive oil. Mix evenly.
  • Now add water, milk mixture and knead for about 5 – 8 minutes. The dough should be very soft. Add more warm water if needed.
  • I worked this on the one rise principle. Rapid rise yeast typically do not need the punch and re-knead process. If using active dry yeast place the dough in a large bowl and cover with a damp cloth for about an hour or till the dough becomes double in size. Punch the dough to remove all the air trapped in it and re-knead again for 5-10 minutes. You will end up with a soft pliable dough. If in doubt do the windowpane test for it. However, I used rapid rise instant yeast that does not require this process of re kneading.
  • Grease a baking tray.
  • Divide the dough into 2 equal parts.
  • Make 2 long log rolls.
  • Braid them together loosely to give the twisted feel.
  • Cover with a damp cheese cloth, kitchen towel and place it in a warm draft free zone  and let it rise for about an hour max. Mine rose in about 45 min to a beautiful double proportion.
  • Bake at 375 deg F for about 30 min. ( give or take another 5 min based on the variables -the flour used, the kind of year, the milk etc.)
  • When you notice the top becoming a nice and even brown, and when you tap the bread pan or the the sides of the bread you get the hollow sound, its done!
  • Set it out to cool !

(Seriously the sight was enough to set my kids were drooling!!!)

 Serving:

On cooling, slice, add a dab of butter or cream cheese and its wonderful for your palate. This bread is moist and slightly dense echoing a bit of the whole wheat breads you get. But this will hold wonderfully to toasting. It’s very light on the cheese effect too as I added just half a cup.But seriously you can add more than a cup that is called for and you will notice the difference. At that time it’s a bit more indulgent I would say. The herbs and the pepper lend their flavor and this is so perfect with your pasta. Or just by itself !

Thought : Shape it into mini logs and you have your very own subway style bread ready to be made into a delectable sandwich!

Shelf Life : I would not expect this last very long as it is made without any preservatives. In any case this would last a mere couple of days at home for me 🙂