When Tim and I were dating, we visited our friends in Chicago and I remember seeing Pepperidge Farm’s Cinnamon Swirl Bread on their counter. Hmm…I wonder if I could make that, I thought.

So, I did some searching and found two recipes; one from King Arthur and the other from TheKitchn. I was surprised that it actually looked easier than I had anticipated. Hooray! Don’t be intimidated by the list of ingredients; if you can bake yeasted bread, you can make this. 

There is something quite nice and homey about the fragrance of toasted cinnamon swirl bread in the morning. Do yourself a favor and get some European or organic butter to spread atop your toast, too!

Cinnamon Swirl Bread whole wheat
Made with wheat bread flour, egg white wash, and water instead of milk

Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Cinnamon Swirl Raisin Bread
Made with white flour, raisins, and milk

Cinnamon Swirl (Raisin) Bread 
yields 1 loaf
A composite of King Arthur’s and TheKitchn’s recipes

3 to 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (see notes)
1 1/2 tsp instant yeast
1 1/2 cup milk or water
1 1/2 tsp white sugar
2 Tbsp butter, melted
1 tsp salt

some egg wash: 1 egg beaten with 1 Tbsp water
1/4 cup white sugar
1.5 Tbsp cinnamon
1/2 cup raisins (optional)

Streusel (optional, but delicious)
2 Tbsp white sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp cold butter
the rest of the egg wash

1) Mix all the dough ingredients together, starting with 3 cups of flour. Knead for 3 minutes, then let the dough rest for 15 minutes.

2) Knead again until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 8-10 minutes, adding flour if necessary.

3) Put the ball of dough in an oiled bowl, and cover. If possible, find a warm spot to let the dough rise for 1 to 1.5 hours, or until puffy and roughly doubled in volume. 

4) Transfer the dough to a lightly greased clean work surface or countertop. Roll the dough into a rectangle. I like to roll it out as thinly as possible, because thinner means more cinnamon swirling, which I love. Or, just roll to roughly 16 x 8 inches. Use your fingers or a pastry brush to apply a thin layer of egg wash to the dough.

5) Sprinkle the filling evenly across the dough. Starting from the short end, roll the dough like you would a cinnamon roll, into a log. Pinch all the seams closed.

6) Line a 9×5 inch loaf pan with parchment paper, or lightly grease with oil or butter. Put the dough in the loaf pan, tucking the ends of the dough underneath itself if it is too long.

7) Let the dough rise (cover with lightly tented plastic wrap) for 1 hour or until it rises 1 inch above the rim of the loaf pan. In the meantime, make the streusel: Mix the dry ingredients together, then add the butter. Cut the butter into the dry ingredients until it forms pea-sized chunks and crumbs, using a pastry scraper or mini food processor.

8) Brush the remaining egg wash on top of the dough, then sprinkle the streusel on top.

9) Bake at 350F for 45 minutes, or until the internal temperature reads 190F. If it is browning too quickly, tent the top with aluminum foil.

10) Take out from the oven, cool slightly in the pan, then take out and cool completely on a cooling rack before slicing. If you used parchment paper, it will be easy to lift the bread out of the pan by using the overhangs of the paper.

-Feel free to use whatever type of milk you have. Whole milk will obviously taste the best, but will also add more calories. I use 2% for nice compromise. If you don’t have milk, water will work too, but the dough will not be as soft, due to the lower fat content.
-Depending on how comfortable you are with making yeast breads, this recipe can be tweaked to use a combination of white flour and whole wheat flour. I used wheat bread flour and had to add quite a bit of extra water to satisfy the higher protein content and the bran and germ’s demands 🙂
-If the dough sticks a lot to your hands, add some flour 1 Tbsp at a time and knead, repeating until the dough feels springy and will bounce back a bit if touched.
-Whole wheat bread will always bake up shorter than white bread, I’m afraid! I read that the germ and bran cut into the gluten strands which limit their ability to stretch as much as in the white flour.