Baking with yeast is addictive. I prepared by reading as much as I could on the subject before gathering the courage to bake my very first bread. Happy to report it was a success! I may have tried but a simple focaccia but it was an exhilarating experience. Nothing like instant success to nudge you toward baking in unknown territory! And look at me now: sharing a step-by-step process of baking this sweet Cinnamon Wreath!
At a glance the recipe is simple, but as we go along there will be a few things that need you need to focus on. A mystery for me was the addition of milk in place of water, and using butter and egg yolk. But ingredients at hand, I went ahead and embarked on my little kitchen adventure.
I’ve made my own notes in this recipe, detailing it as much as I can and I hope they help you when you give this wonderful bread a try.
Step 1: Get ingredients together, make sure everything including the yeast is at room temperature. The recipe defines the milk at luke warm but if you’re a beginner like me, then I recommend you use a thermometer and ensure it doesn’t cross the 110F mark. Add yeast and sugar to the milk and wait for it to work its magic. It doesn’t take more than 5 minutes.
Step 2: In a large bowl add the yolk, butter – it should be melted, don’t mistake that for room temperature, ensure its pourable consistency – flour, salt and knead it till it forms a ball. In case you feel it’s not coming together or the liquid content is too much, feel free to add in some more flour working it in tablespoon by tablespoon.
Step 3: Go read a book, make the filling and wait for the dough to rise and become double in size.
Ah… now this is where I deviated from the recipe, it calls for the entire dough to be rolled out and that would generate one huge wreath and I wasn’t very comfortable with this, so I divided the dough into 2 making smaller wreathes, making the rolling and shaping easier to handle. Back to the recipe now…
Step 4: Dust the work surface, divide the dough into 2 equal parts and roll the dough out till you achieve a 1 cm thickness. Tip: Use your scale to be precise while dividing the dough.
Step 5: Spread the filling and gently roll up the dough into a log. Leave a tablespoon to brush on top of the bread too.
Step 6: Using a sharp knife cut the log into half, length-wise.
Step 7: Twist the two halves together, keeping the open layers exposed as seen in the photo tutorial. Roll it up into a round shape and then transfer on a baking tray.
Step 8: Brush the remaining filling on top and bake for 30 to 35 minutes in a preheated oven. Reduce the temperature to 350F after 5 to 10 minutes so it doesn’t over brown.
Let it cool. You could give it a cream cheese glaze, dust it with icing sugar or warm it up and dip it in a little butter like I did.
There you go. A magnificent bread – buttery, cinnamon-y, a bite of which will make you feel everything in the world is right again.
- 2 cups flour
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ cup lukewarm milk
- 0.6 Oz fresh yeast or 1 envelope active dry yeast
- ⅛ cup melted butter
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tbsp sugar
- ¼ cup softened butter
- 4-5 tbsp sugar
- 3 tsp cinnamon
- Mix the yeast and sugar with the lukewarm milk and let it sit a few minutes while the yeast bubbles and foams up.
- Add the egg yolk, the melted butter, the flour and the salt, then knead the dough and shape into a ball.
- Place the dough in a large, greased bowl, then cover and place in a warm space and let rise until doubled in size (about 1 hour).
- Preheat oven to about 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Divide your dough into half and dust your work surface with flour, and roll one part of dough out to a thickness of 1cm.
- Spread the melted butter across all of the dough, then sprinkle the cinnamon and sugar mixture.
- Roll up the dough, and using a knife, cut the log in half length-wise.
- Twist the two halves together, keeping the open layers exposed as described in the photo tutorial. Give a round shape, then transfer to a baking tray (buttered or covered with cookie sheet). Repeat with the second part of dough.
- Top the remaining butter and sprinkle some sugar and cinnamon mixture. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the top is golden brown.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit after 5-10 minutes to stop it burning. Top with icing sugar mixed with water if you want, just sprinkle some sugar or eat it dunked in butter.
Did you notice a small piece of my bread broke? It was still warm and I wanted to get done with the pictures so while transferring, a little piece fell off and instead of adding it back, I just ate it.