High-fiber white bread: NOT an oxymoron

I love toast for breakfast. Crisp, crunchy, buttery hot toast. Perfect with a glass of cold Ovaltine; yin to creamy oatmeal’s yang. I love the way just the very top millimeter of toast crust softens up under its coat of melting butter. I like toast’s toasty aroma. I just plain like TOAST.

So imagine my chagrin several years ago when I started a diet that didn’t include toast. In an effort to shed those “extra 10 pounds” (ladies, I’m sure many of you are familiar with those “extra 10”—they seem to be regular companions of many of us), I went on a diet heavy on whole grains. And I really, REALLY missed my toast. My WHITE toast. Specifically, my cinnamon swirl white toast.

I experimented with whole-grain toast: 100% whole wheat, rye, multi-grain… and they simply didn’t reach the comfort level of their lighter cousin. The raisin-pecan rye was great, but with the nuts and fruit, the calorie level was climbing up there even before I applied butter… sigh. What’s a dieting white toast lover to do?

Take that white toast, and beef up its fiber—without affecting its signature white toastiness. It needed to be light-textured. Crisp. Mildly flavored. AND high fiber. Hmmm… How about trying that new stuff Sue’s been putting into her cookies lately, that stuff that’s supposed to add fiber “invisibly”? Will it work in yeast bread?

You betcha! Corn-based Hi-maize Fiber acts like dietary fiber in your body, but works like cornstarch in your baked goods—i.e., its flavor and texture are indiscernible, compared to the traditional fiber found in whole grains. Not having read the manufacturer’s recommendation to substitute Hi-maize for 1/4 of the flour in your recipe, I went ahead and subbed it for a full 1/3 of the flour. Trouble?

Not at all—it worked beautifully. I found the dough a little more fragile (understandable, given the loss of gluten), but it rose just fine. And what are a few cracks in the crust when you’re talking 4g fiber per slice of WHITE bread?

Make that white toast. Which I do, regularly. Most of the time adding a cinnamon-sugar swirl, just because man doesn’t live by white toast alone.

Trust me; this stuff is the easiest way to add fiber to your diet since strawberries. Click on the Hi-maize link in the previous paragraph if you want to know more about how it works, scientifically. But if you want to jump right in and make High-Fiber Cinnamon Swirl Bread, keep reading…

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First, combine all of the dough ingredients. I’m using instant yeast here, which means I don’t have to dissolve it in water first and let it grow for 15 minutes, as I would active dry yeast. Hey, anything to save 15 minutes, right?

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I use the flat beater paddle of my stand mixer to make a rough dough…

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…then use the dough hook to knead for about 7 minutes, till it’s nice and smooth.

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Into my 8-cup measuring cup it goes, so I can easily track its rise.

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Just under 2 hours later, it’s nearly doubled. If you knead by hand, the rising time may be longer. Knead in the bread machine, it’ll probably be shorter.

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Gently deflate the dough, and shape it into a rough oval. Place it on a lightly greased work surface. Why not lightly floured? Because as you roll the dough into a log, you don’t want extra flour creeping into the cinnamon filling.

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Pat and roll the dough into a 6” x 20” rectangle. It’s a lovely dough to work with; a few swipes of the rolling pin is all it takes to get it to this size.

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Brush with beaten egg. Why? Well, have you ever sliced a loaf of swirl bread and found big gaps in between the swirl and the bread? The protein in the egg will help cement the filling to the bread. It’s not foolproof; but it sure helps. You’ll have some beaten egg left over; save it for brushing onto the top of the loaf later.

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Whisk together the sugar, cinnamon, and flour. The flour helps keep the filling from liquefying and seeping out of the bread as it bakes.

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Sprinkle evenly on the dough, leaving one short end free of sugar. Leaving one end bare allows you to seal the loaf shut once it’s rolled.

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Roll the dough into a log. Don’t stretch it as you roll, but don’t be too gentle, either; you want a firm log.

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Just like this.

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Seal the ends and the side seam closed.

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Place the loaf in a lightly greased 8 1/2” x 4 1/2” bread pan, with the seam underneath.

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Brush a very light coating of the leftover beaten egg over the top of the loaf. Don’t let any dribble down the sides; it’ll get in between the bread and the pan, and cement the loaf to the pan (the same way it cements the filling to the bread). Sometimes “cementing” is a good thing—sometimes it’s not!

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Sprinkle the top of the loaf with cinnamon sugar. Just mix some cinnamon and sugar and sprinkle it on; no particular amount, no particular ratio of cinnamon to sugar. This is the part of the recipe where you just need to wing it.

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Bake in a 350°F oven for about 40 minutes. Don’t fret if the top cracks a bit; it’s a result of the Hi-maize fiber replacing some of the unbleached all-purpose flour (and its gluten).

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Ta-da! Cinnamon swirl WHITE bread with a nice 4g fiber per slice.

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And my favorite way to serve cinnamon swirl bread: toasted, with butter.

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And more cinnamon-sugar sprinkled on top, for you real cinnamon apprecianados!

Read our recipe for High-Fiber Cinnamon Swirl Bread. Oh, and if you’re not interested in high-fiber cinnamon swirl bread (though I don’t know why not!), simply substitute 1 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour for the 1 cup of Hi-maize in this recipe.

Buy vs. Bake

Buy: Supermarket whole-grain cinnamon swirl bread, 2g dietary fiber per 1.3-ounce slice, 23¢/ounce

Bake: Homemade high-fiber cinnamon swirl bread, 4g dietary fiber per 1.5-ounce slice, 16¢/ounce

PJ Hamel
About

PJ Hamel was born in Wisconsin, grew up in New England, and graduated from Brown University. She was a journalist in Massachusetts and Maine before joining the King Arthur Flour Company in 1990, where she's been ever since. Author or co-author of three King Arthur ...

comments

  1. Judy

    Is this eight cup glass measuring cup available in your store? I am coming up to shop there the last week of June (yippee!) and I will definitely buy it if you carry it. I am also going to treat myself to the set of stainless steel measuring cups and spoons.

    Hi Judy,
    It would be best to give the store a call right before your trip, to see if they have the cups in stock. They carry some different items than the catalog, or online, so it would not hurt to double check. They can be reached at 802-649-3361.

    Happy Baking!
    MaryJane @ The Baker’s Hotline


    Judy, those cups will be going into our fall catalogue; we don’t currently carry them. But they’ll be available in early August. Sorry you’ll miss them on this trip! – PJH

    Reply
  2. Emilie

    It’s always such a pleasure seeing new recipes on Baker’s Banter! I have a question that applies to this recipe as well as many of the others. You specify that one cup of flour is 4-1/4 ounces. However I always scale my flour at 5 ounces. That’s the weight for one cup, according to Cook’s Illustrated, as well as a few other sources I’ve seen. So is KAF All-Purpose the 4-1/4 oz. because the higher protein content makes it more dense? Or is that weight just a personal preference for your recipes? Now I’m wondering if I’ve been using too much flour in my cooking, since I always use KAF. (Although everything always seems to turn out fine, unless I make a mistake totally unrelated to the flour!) Thanks!

    Hi Emilie,

    The weight of a cup of flour will vary from cookbook to cookbook, author to author and baker to baker. Here at KAF, there can be, well, “slight disagreements” on the exact weight of a cup of a particular ingredient, but for testing and recipe purposes, we have settled on one cup of AP flour weighing 4 to 4.25 ounces. We get good consistent results with this measure. It is not related to the protein content of a particular flour. If you have the Baker’s Companion or Whole Grain cookbooks, each offers a listing of weights of ingredients as well as the volume measurement.

    Happy Baking!
    MaryJane @ The Baker’s Hotline

    Hi Emilie – I’m going to chime in, too. Flour does indeed vary in weight by protein content – the lower the protein (in general, talking about white flours), the less the weight. King Arthur unbleached all-purpose flour weighs 4 1/4 ounces per cup, while our pastry flour weighs just 3 3/4 ounces per cup. We measure our flour by fluffing it up, sprinkling it into the cup, and sweeping off the excess; others (Cook’s, for instance), measure by scooping the cup into the canister, then sweeping off the excess. The key is to understand how each entity measures their flour before you begin. Cookbooks will often have this information in their introduction; we’ll have it online later this summer, when we relaunch our recipe site. Bottom line: there’s no exact weight for flour, due to varying measuring methods AND the time of year (flour is lighter in the winter, heavier in the summer due to added moisture). So it’s good to try to ascertain which measuring method the recipe’s author used. – PJH

    Reply
  3. Emilie

    Thanks so much — that explains it and gives me more helpful information. You guys (and the Baker’s Catalogue) are the best!

    Reply
  4. Lillian Stark

    Hey there, I have been a catalog customer for too many years to count. I have yet to find an item that I am dissatified with. I am buying your flour at the supermarket though, only because of the shipping fee. With gas prices and being on social security every dollar counts. I really do enjoy the catalog and my baking sheets that I have saved all the years. Its so good to have the pure flavoring and spices fresher than what we buy at the grocery. Thanks for listening and keep up the good work, oh what I really wonted to know is, how long will the flour keep in the frig?, thanks again, Lillian Stark

    HI Lillian (that is my beloved puppy’s name too :) )
    White flours will keep cool and dry for 9-12 months, or longer in the fridge or freezer in an airtight container. There is no hard and fast cut off date, as long as the flour still smells fresh, no off odors etc.
    Whole grain flours should be stored airtight in the fridge, or freezer if possible. These do go rancid more quickly due to the fats and oils in the bran and germ. Try to use those within 6-9 months. If they start to smell bitter, or like old Playdough, they have gone rancid, and should be replaced.

    Happy Baking!

    MaryJane @ The Baker’s Hotline

    Reply
  5. Rebecca

    I can’t tell you how much I LOVE reading these new recipes! And the KAF things I’ve tried over the last several years–well, my kids love them almost as much as I love baking them. But, as a new Type II diabetic, I’m learning to weigh every slice of bread and trying to keep a pretty close eye on the rest of those things we’re supposed to be aware of. I can count my breads as part of my carb exchange generally, but it sure would be nice if I knew about the rest of the stuff in the bread. And wouldn’t the high fiber in this bread add to the carb count? I found a website that will allow me to put recipes in and get the nutritional info. You guys have that info on a lot of the things I get from you…would it be possible to do it with a new recipe?

    Rebecca- Going forward, starting in late summer, any new recipes posted will include nutritional info. We’re relaunching our recipe site, and this will be part of it. Till then – sorry, we don’t have access to the right nutritional software to do it… But if you google Hi-maize, you can get to their site and i’ll bet they’d have the info. there. – PJH

    Reply
  6. Erik

    Just one question – I’m assuming, if I don’t have the Hi-maize, I could simply add back 1 cup of AP flour to make this recipe? Seems like a simple question, but I’m not experienced enough yet to make those kinds of assumptions.

    That’s right, Erik; just use 3 cups AP flour. I should have said that, if I didn’t in the recipe online – I’ll check it out. Thanks- PJH

    Reply
  7. Tom

    RE: Weighing flour

    Flour may be lighter in the winter in Vermont, but it’s lighter in the summer in Western Oregon. We are cool and moist in the winter and the summers are warm and very dry.

    So right, Tom – it’s a climate thing. I was thinking too specifically of this area. Probably in Arizona flour weighs less year-round, eh? Thanks for the reminder. – PJH

    Reply
  8. suzanne

    I am sooooo excited to see you guys have a BLOG! I just wrote a post all about y’all on MY blog (Just a bunch of nothin’) and have rec’d several e-mails that people, actual BAKERS, had never heard of y’all. I corrected that real quick.

    I love y’all’s products, painfully so.
    And I love that y’all have a blog!

    And I am sooooo gonna order the product featured in this post. That bread is calling my name!

    Reply
  9. Robert Imholz

    I have been reading your blog for several weeks, and although I am just now writing, I have wondered for some time about the weight of flour. All the comments pertain to a difference in weight depending on seasons. Does this also apply in an air-conditioned house. From what I understand, a/c removes humidity and certainly maintains the temperature at the thermostat setting regardless of the time of year. Thanks in advance for any comments.

    Robert, I’d guess in a house whose relative humidity stays stable year-round, and assuming your flour has been in that house for awhile (i.e., not just brought home from a hot, humid general store), then you wouldn’t have to deal with swings in how wet/dry your flour is. Don’t worry, it doesn’t make THAT much difference; it’s only really in bread, which is flour-intensive, that you should adjust by a tablespoon or so of water either way to make the dough the best possible consistency. As I say frequently, baking is as much art as science; you have to be willing to wing it sometimes and simply see what happens. – PJH

    Reply
  10. Valerie

    I love Baker’s Banter, especially the how-to pictures! I have a question related to an earlier question concerning keeping flour fresh. We just purchased a vacuum sealer (Seal-a-Meal type of thing), and I wondered if vacuum sealing an unopened bag of whole wheat flour would keep it from going rancid longer at room temperature.
    Thanx

    Valerie, I think it would definitely help. I know for REALLY foolproof room-temperature storage of whole grains you need to replace the oxygen with nitrous oxide,I think it is… but at any rate, sealing couldn’t hurt. And sealing and putting int he freezer would be awesome! – PJH

    Reply
  11. JanH

    This recipe looked really interesting. I love cinnamon bread! But I did not have Hi-Maize. I decided to substitute white whole wheat. The bread is great! Not quite the fiber content of yours and probably a bit heavier, but still looks and tastes like white bread.

    Great Blog! Keep up the good work. – Jan

    Reply
  12. Patti

    Valerie-
    Just a word of advise about using a vacuum sealer: Make sure you leave plenty of room (extra plastic at the end of the bag) so that you can reseal the flour after each use without having to cut another bag and move the flour. Also, sealing in smaller batches would help, too, I would think. I’ve made the mistake of not leaving enough extra and had to move stuff after one use when I didn’t use it all-it’s not the end of the world, but it can be a pain.

    Patti

    P.S.-KAF- I love your products and the blog. Thanks!

    Reply
  13. Marc

    This bakers blog is costing me lots of money! :) Since reading it I have purchased the Ove Glove, a new silicon bakers mat, and now some Hi-Maize flour. Glad to hear that the 8 cup measure is going to be available in August, looks like a nice way to raise dough – wish it was sooner though.

    If anyone is curious about the nutritional information, I put the recipe into Calorie King software and got the following per slice: CALORIES: 134, FAT: 4.3g (2.6g Sat), CHOL: 23.6mg, PROTEIN: 2.7g, CARBS: 24.6, FIBER: 4.7g, Sugar: 6g, Sodium: 193g, Calcium: 21.4mg). These numbers are assuming 16 slices from a loaf, so if you cut them thicker they will raise a bit. By way of comparison, I have a recipe from Cooking Light for homemade white bread which had 30 more calories per slice and only 1 gram of fiber. So pretty good I would say! I look forward to trying this recipe out next week when my Hi-Maize comes in.

    Reply
  14. Linda

    That bread looks great. I’am getting hungry just looking at it ! Visited your store on my honeymoon last summer 7-7-07 and I just loved it ! I left with many baking mixes and a gift for the woman who baked my wedding cake. I hope to visit soon. Your products are outstanding and I like the blog too. Happy Baking !

    Reply
  15. Erik

    I tried out the recipe, without the Hi-Maze, replacing it with 1 cup of AP flour. I didn’t have a bread machine or stand mixer with me, so I did the mixing and kneading by hand. This was my first ever loaf of bread and it turned out very nicely. The top of the loaf turned out a little lumpy (I may have slightly deflated it while getting it ready for the oven), but the final loaf was not too dense, not dry, and tasted great. Thanks to your blog, the step by step is a real bonus for us novice bakers. I’ve written about this on my blog at: http://www.bakinginoregon.blogspot.com if you’d like to see my results. Keep up the great blogging, I’m eagerly awaiting your next post.

    Erik, your bread looks great! I never care about cracks and sags, so long as it tastes good… yeast is a living thing; combine it with flour and water, and it’s going to do something a bit different each time. Congratulations, and happy baking! – PJH

    Reply
  16. Mita

    Hi

    Always enjoy your blog. I want to know if I substitute whole Wheat (KAF) for all purpose, what change do i need to make while baking bread and other pastry. I also use KAF pastry flour. how do they differ from other all purpose flour and what ratio of water, yeast should be used?
    Thanks

    Hi Mita, When substituting whole wheat flour for all purpose you may notice the dough is a little dry. Whole grains absorb more moisture than all purpose flour. If you notice this then just add another tablespoon or two of liquid to get a nice soft, supple dough. There is no need to adjust the amount of yeast. King Arthur Unbleached Pastry Flour is milled from a soft wheat with a protein level which is lower (9.2%) than all purpose flour (11.7%) which makes for a wonderful, tender flaky baked good. Yeast breads need the higher protein (i.e. gluten) so the all purpose or bread flour is perfect for breads. Happy baking!

    Reply
  17. Sharan

    Thank you for this recipe. We made it yesterday for this mornings breakfast. Father’s Day. My husband loves cinnamon bread. I did not use himaize just increased the flour. I did use all of the cinnamon mixture inside and made extra for the top but forgot to sprinkle it on top before baking, so 1 hour before I served it, I made a thicker glaze and spooned it over the bread. Awesome. I will make this again. Love your website and the banter is so helpful and informative. Thanks. Sharan

    Reply
  18. Mita

    How does a 6″ short size (rolled out dough size) fits into a 4 1/2 (short size) pan?

    8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ pan. Roll dough starting with the 6″ end. The 6″ stretches to 8″ as you roll, and the width of the roll is about 4″. Trust me; this works. – PJH

    Reply
  19. Andrew

    This toast is incredible. Me and my daughter loved it but I’m going to use more cinnamon and sugar next time. Tomorrow morning I’m going to sprinkle some on top. I’m so glad I finally decided to try this one.

    Andrew, the only problem with loading on the cinnamon-sugar in the swirl is that too much tends to make the bread “gap” when you cut it. If you’re OK with that – go for it! -PJH

    Reply
  20. Tory

    I can’t wait to try this! Can I substitute KAF White Wheat flour for the Hi Maize 1-to-1? Thanks! Tory

    Yes, Tory, sub. the white wheat. You’ll get a slightly darker, slightly less high-rising loaf. Good luck -PJH

    Reply
  21. Helen

    I tried the cinnamon bread recipe and loved. I have a question though about the hi maize. What is in it? The bag says cornstarch, is there anything else in it. I am concerned about sharing it with a friend as he has a number of food allergies. Does any one know if anything else is in it but cornstarch?

    Our Hi-maize Fiber is just a form of cornstarch. This product is processed in a facility that also packages products containing eggs, milk, soy, tree nuts, and wheat. Elisabeth @ KAF

    Thanks,
    Helen

    Reply
  22. Jacque

    Could you please post the nutrition information for this recipe?
    I am trying to follow weight watchers and would like to calculate points like the baking sheet does. Thanks!
    Unfortunately we don’t have nutritional information posted for all of our recipes at this time. Please calculate your nutritional information here. ~Amy

    Reply
  23. thebenefitsoffiber*com

    oh my gosh – this article made my mouth water so badly!

    I am an avid fiber advocate and anything to increase fiber in your diet I support. That is more than half the battle.

    Reply

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