Cinnamon Bread

A few nights ago I really wanted to make a quick cinnamon bread, so I adapted a muffin recipe from my trusty Better Homes & Gardens Cookbook into a loaf. It turned out pretty well, though I’ll fully admit that this bread was best on the evening it was baked, and the morning after. It dried out quicker than I expected, but hey, live and learn.

To adapt a muffin recipe into a quick bread, you’ll need a longer baking time at a lower temperature. For example, as muffins, this recipe bakes at 400 for 20 minutes, but as quick bread, it bakes at 375 for about 35-40 minutes. Make sure to keep an eye on your bread to ensure that it doesn’t over-brown; I covered my loaf after about 25 minutes of baking to make sure it didn’t burn.

 Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Preparation

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease an 8 x 4 loaf pan.

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Make a well in the center.

In a medium bowl, combine egg, milk, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract; pour into the well in the dry mixture and stir until just moistened. The batter will be lumpy, but that’s fine – you don’t want to over-mix.

Spoon batter into loaf pan and bake for 35-40 minutes, checking around 25 minutes to make sure your loaf isn’t browning too much. The bread will be done when a cake tester inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs.

This bread can be served warm, but if you prefer to cool it, allow it to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes then turn it out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Store at room temperature for 1-2 days.

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Cinnamon Swirl Bread

cinnamonswirlbreadPeople often tell me that they don’t bake because it’s not as fluid and creative as cooking, where you can add a dash of this or a pinch of that and still end up with a tasty, successful result. While it’s certainly true that baking relies on the right ratios of dry and wet ingredients, you can definitely be more creative than most people think, especially when it comes to flavors and spices.

Many experienced bakers tweak recipes all the time, which is what I did with this cinnamon swirl bread I found on Taste of Home. I added vanilla extract in the batter and a dash of nutmeg to the cinnamon-sugar mix, and I’m pleased to say that it turned out very well. Next time, I’ll probably add a streusel topping for some additional crunch, and I might bake two smaller loaves in 8 x 4 pans instead of one larger 9 x 5 one. While I didn’t stray too far from the original recipe, this successful quick bread is proof that you can spice things up – pun intended – with baking too.

Ingredients

For the bread

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sour milk* (or buttermilk)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the cinnamon sugar

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 teaspoons cinnamon
  • Dash of nutmeg

For the glaze

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • About 3 teaspoons water

*To make sour milk, place 1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice in a measuring cup and add enough milk to equal one cup, then stir. Let stand for 5 minutes before using.

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease the bottom only of a 9 x 5 loaf pan.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

In a large glass measuring cup, combine sour milk, egg, vegetable oil, and vanilla; add to dry mixture and stir until just combined. Batter will still be lumpy, and that’s fine – don’t over mix.

For cinnamon sugar, combine sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a small bowl, mixing well,

Spoon half of the batter into your loaf pan and cover with half of the sugar mixture, then repeat with remaining batter and sugar. Cut through the batter with a knife and gently swirl.

Bake for 45-50 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. You may want to cover your bread for the last 10 minutes of baking to avoid over-browning on the top.

Cool in the loaf pan for 10 minutes, then remove from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack.

To make drizzle, combine powdered sugar, cinnamon, and 1 teaspoon of water, stirring to combine. Add additional water to reach a thicker drizzling consistency, then drizzle over the loaf.

Wrap loaf in foil and store at room temperature.