Homemade Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Anybody else living in friiiiigid temps right now?

Here in Boston, it’s roughly 7 degrees.  Icy wind and frozen puddles on the ground.  Pink noses and “too cold for outside time” rules at school.  It’s not pretty.

Luckily I’m from upstate NY and I’m used to the cold.  I’ve invested in down coats and furry hats and heavy-duty winter boots.  Every morning as I get ready to go outside I pile on all my gear and I’m like, BRING IT, cold! What.

Something I can’t get used to?  My landlord controls our heat.  So basically it’s…never on.  I feel like little orphan Annie.  One half hour of warmth for you, and that’s FINAL! I’ve tried using my future-lawyer boyfriend to sue her for frostbite and she’s all…

Sorry.  Not sorry. 

So I got a down comforter and learned to sleep in 75 layers of sweatshirts/blankets/fluffy socks (which is especially fun when she DOES decide to turn on the heat at 2AM and I wake up in a full sweat, convinced I have pneumonia) and have adjusted as best I can.  Except that I sometimes stomp extra hard on the floor since she lives below us.

But in these winter months, there are only two things that can make me take the first step out of my cozy warm bed and out into the arctic chill of my apartment: coffee and breakfast.

And you better believe that a cinnamony warm fresh-from-the-toaster piece of cinnamon swirl bread will do the trick.  The smell alone is enough to get me leaping out of bed.  Now if only they would invent remote toaster starters…

And this bread as french toast?  Hey. Hi. Hello.

I adapted the recipe from the Baking at Home book from the Culinary Institute of America to suit my tastes.  Read: eliminate the raisins, EW.  Enjoy!

Cinnamon Swirl Bread (adapted from Baking at Home with The Culinary Institute of America)

yield: one loaf


  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (plus more for sprinkling)
  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1 cup milk, boiled and cooled to room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/8 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
  • vegetable oil (for greasing the bowl and pan)
  • egg wash (mix 1 egg + 1 tablespoon milk)
  • cinnamon sugar (1 tablespoon cinnamon + 1/4 cup brown sugar)


  1. In the bowl of a mixer fitted with a dough hook (I wouldn’t recommend kneading by hand as the dough is VERY sticky), combine the flour and yeast.  Add the milk, butter, sugar, egg, and salt and mix on low for 4 minutes.  Scrape down the sides and mix on medium speed for another 4 minutes.  In the last 30 seconds, add the cinnamon so it just swirls into the dough.  The dough will seem quite sticky.
  2. Oil a large bowl and transfer the dough into it.  Flip it over once so that it’s coated on both sides.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled in size.  You can turn your oven on low, allow it to heat for a few minutes, then turn it off and allow the dough to rise inside the oven with the door shut.  It should take about an hour and a half.
  3. Flour a work surface and turn the dough onto it.  Allow it to rest for a few minutes, then work it into a ball.  Cover and allow to rest for 15 minutes.
  4. Grease a 9-inch loaf pan.  On the floured surface, carefully press the dough into a 12 x 8 rectangle.  Feel free to sprinkle flour on top of the dough and on your hands to keep it from sticking.  Brush the rectangle with egg wash, then sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.  Carefully begin to roll the short end of the dough towards the center, tucking it in as you roll to create a tight cylinder.   Seal the the seam and gently shape the cylinder so that it fits in your pan.
  5. Place the cylinder of dough, seam side up, into the pan.  Brush with egg wash, then allow dough to rise in a warm place, uncovered, for about 2 hours.  The dough should expand to fill the pan.  Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  6. Brush dough with egg wash again, then place in the oven.  Bake until the loaf has a sturdy brown crust, about 25 minutes.  Remove from pan and allow to cool on a wire rack.

I’m linking up with Sweets for a Saturday!

10 thoughts on “Homemade Cinnamon Swirl Bread

  1. Anna

    I seriously love your blog so much. I know I’ve told you, but I need to tell you again. It’s too funny!

    I just want to shout it through the blogosphere: “READ MELANIE’S BLOG!!!! She’s hilarious! And I love her!!!”

    Seriously, it’s the best.

  2. Anastasia

    I don’t know where this positive thought comes from but.. Try to share this deliciousness with the landlady, you’ll have a warm apartment guaranteed!

  3. Josefina

    “I enjoy having breakfast in bed. I like waking up to the smell of bacon- sue me- and since I don’t have a butler, I have to do it myself. So most nights before I go to bed I will lay six strips of bacon out on my George Foreman Grill. Then I go to sleep. When I wake up, I plug in the grill. I go back to sleep again. Then I wake up to the smell of crackling bacon. It is delicious. It’s good for me. It’s the perfect way to start the day. Today I got up, I stepped onto the grill and it clamped down on my foot. That’s it. I don’t see what’s so hard to believe about that.”

  4. Pingback: Peanut Butter Cup S’mores Bars | The Sweet Life

  5. Ronja

    I am laughing so bad now. Sorry, it doesn’t seem to be very funny with this lady. But I love your writing and your sense of humor and… I love this recipe! Have to read more, you made my day with this picture in my head of you when she decides to turn on the heat at night. Still giggeling… 🙂


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