Some good friends had all decided to gather for breakfast. Wes was making sausage gravy, Barb was making stuffed French toast, Kara English muffin bread, Joce some lovely crêpes, and Allie a really tasty stuffed bread thing-y.
With all that bread-y goodness going on (in retrospect, some one of us should’ve probably made a salad), I opted to just bring the sparkling cocktails, and Rich decided to try this recipe from his mom, and I helped. YUM!
INGREDIENTS (this will make 2 loaves)
•2 cups milk, scalded
•2 pkg. yeast (4-1/2 tsp)
•3/4 cup solid shortening
•1/4 cup butter
•1/2 cup sugar
•2 tsp salt
•2 eggs, lightly beaten
•6 cups flour, sifted
•1 cup butter, melted
•2 tbsp cinnamon whisked into 2 cups sugar
To scald the milk: place the milk in a ‘wave-safe container with a wood skewer or chopstick breaking the surface (this will keep the milk from superheating) and ‘wave for 90 seconds; which should put you at or about 110º, the perfect temperature to add your yeast.
Stir the yeast into your warmed milk and set aside for 15 minutes.
Our yeast and milk mixture didn’t bubble and foam and froth and ‘bloom’ the way yeast normally does when added to warm water and let be for 15 minutes, but it turned out fine, so don’t be discouraged if yours ends up looking a bit like this.
Cream the shortening with the butter in a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, then add the sugar and the salt and beat until light and fluffy.
Switch out the whisk for the bread hook and add the eggs, the yeast & milk mixture, and then the flour by half cups, all on low speed (setting 2 on our Cuisinart), leaving time for the dough to absorb the flour a bit before adding more.
Once all the flour has been added, and the dough has pulled together and away from the sides of the mixing bowl, increase the speed to medium (setting 6) and knead the dough for 3 minutes until it is smooth and elastic.
Shape the dough into a ball and place in a large bowl lightly coated with canola oil.
Turn the dough ball to coat all sides with the oil, then cover the bowl and set aside in a warm spot to rise for 60 minutes.
Melt the butter and set aside in a small bowl, then stir the cinnamon and sugar together in another small bowl.
Punch the risen dough down, then roll out on a lightly floured board to about 1/4″ thickness.
Cut the dough into 2″ rounds with a biscuit cutter – ours was 3-1/2″ so we ended up with a loaf and a half of bread – oops!
Dip each round of dough into the melted butter, then the cinnamon sugar, and arrange on end in a bundt pan that has been well brushed with a mixture of 1 part solid shortening, 1 part canola oil, and 1 part flour – trust me, this is the stuff you want to use to coat your baking pans. Works a treat.
Cover the completed rings and set aside to rest and rise in a warm spot for 30 minutes.
Bake in a 350º oven for 30 to 40 minutes.
We didn’t realize the error of our biscuit-cutter-ways until we were too far along to stop, so we went ahead and baked our one and a half loaves. Of course, since our bread pieces were bigger than they should have been, our cooking time was a bit off, and when I went to turn out the seemingly beautifully baked ring of cinnamon goodness featured at the beginning of this post, we got a kind of an underdone gloppy mess.
Fortunately, I had turned the dough out onto a wire rack, so we QuickLikeABunny popped it all back into the oven on that for another 15 minutes and got this wicked tasty (and now perfectly done) cinnamon bread.
It just wasn’t all that pretty.
Oh well, one lives, one learns, one makes a list for the next trip to Sur la Table…