The calendar claimed it was spring, but our morning walk had a decidedly January (12º) chill to it.
As puppeh was warming his ears by the fire and I was warming up with a freshly brewed cup of coffee, I recalled a recipe I’d come across in the cold of winter…
Leah Eskin almost always has something good in her Sunday Tribune column, and the only complaint I have with this recipe is that it took me so long to try it.
•1 cup warm milk
•2-1/4 tsp (1 package) active dry yeast
•1/3 cup sugar
•1 egg, lightly beaten
•1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
•1-1/2 tsp salt
•3 cups flour + mebbe another 1/2 cup
•1 – 2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
•1/4 cup sugar
•2 tsp cinnamon
•1 tsp instant espresso powder
-I was out of instant espresso, so used 1 tsp VIA Iced Coffee
1 egg, beaten
Add the warm (100º to 110º) milk to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook.
Stir in the yeast and one tablespoon of the sugar, then set aside to rest for five to ten minutes; until the mixture is frothy and foamy.
Stir in the remaining sugar, salt, melted butter and egg.
Add the three cups of flour and mix on low until you have a sticky dough.
Increase the speed to medium/medium-high (six or seven on my mixer) and add up to 1/2 cup additional flour by tablespoonfuls until the dough gathers together into a sticky mass.
Continue kneading with the dough hook for five minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic.
Lightly coat a clean bowl with canola oil and add the dough, turning to coat all sides.
Cover tightly with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm spot for one to two hours (mine definitely took two hours) until the dough has risen to about double in size.
Whisk together the sugar, cinnamon, and coffee in a bowl and set aside.
Punch the dough down and turn out onto a lightly floured (mebbe a tablespoon) board.
Roll the dough out into a rectangle – about 8 inches by eighteen.
Spread the dough with the butter – I followed the original recipe instructions and used one tablespoon, but next time plan on livin’ life large and using two – then sprinkle with the cinnamon-sugar-coffee mixture.
Starting from one of the eight inch sides, roll kinda tightly into a log, pinching the seams to seal.
Lightly coat a bread pan with canola oil and tuck the roll, seam side down, into it.
Cover loosely with a clean kitchen towel and set aside in a warm spot to rise for ninety minutes.
After sixty minutes, heat the oven to 375º.
After ninety minutes, remove the kitchen towel and brush the surface of the bread with the egg.
Bake the bread for 40 to 45 minutes, until the top is a glossy, dark brown, and it sounds hollow when thumped.
Remove from the oven and let cool on a rack for ten minutes.
Turn the bread out of the pan and allow to cool completely before slicing.
I like mine with a schmear of chive cream cheese – yeh, I know, weird, but don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it.
Of course, left to sit for a day or two, it would probably also ROCK as French toast.
Just a thought…