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Sunday, December 29, 2013

Croatian Cinnamon Walnut Swirl Breakfast Bread

Bread or cake? Who knows. I got this recipe from Saveur and LOVE it. We often had cinnamon bread for breakfast when we were growing up and there's nothing like cinnamon toast soaked with butter. This bread is almost like a pastry and the nuts in the swirl give it a little extra something. It's a fairly hassle-free bread - two rises, each for an hour...

For the dough:
1 1/4-oz. package of active dry yeast
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup milk, heated to 115 degrees
1/2 tbsp kosher salt
4 tbsp. butter, melted
1 egg
2 1/2 cups flour

For the filling:
1 cup walnut halves, toasted
1/2 cup sugar
4 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp milk
1 tsp cinnamon
2 egg whites

1. Combine yeast, 1 tbsp sugar, and half the milk in the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment. Let sit until foamy, about 10 mins. Add the remaining sugar, milk, salt, butter and egg. Blend, then while still blending, add flour and beat until smooth. Cover with plastic and put in a warm place for an hour and doubled in size.

2. Puree the walnuts, sugar, butter, milk, and cinnamon in a food processor until smooth. Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold into walnut paste.

3. Grease a 9x5x2.75" loaf pan with butter. On a floured surface, roll dough into 10x4" long oval, about 1/16" thick. It won't be a firm dough - at all. Spread the walnut mixture over the dough, leaving about 1/4" of dough around borders. Starting at the narrow end, roll dough tightly. Trim ends and place in loaf pan. Set in a warm place until doubled in size - 1 hr.

4. Heat oven to 350 and bake until toothpick comes out clean, about an hour.

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