100% Whole Wheat Cinnamon Swirl Bread

star rating (24) rate this recipe »
whole grain
Recipe photo
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: one 9" x 5" loaf

Recipe photo

Moist, aromatic, delicious cinnamon-swirl bread — it doesn't HAVE to be a white loaf, you know! Cinnamon-swirl bread made with whole wheat flour makes the best toast on earth; the nuttiness of the wheat and the earthy, assertive flavor of cinnamon play very nicely together.

100% Whole Wheat Cinnamon Swirl Bread

star rating (24) rate this recipe »
whole grain
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time: Overnight,
Yield: one 9" x 5" loaf
Published: 04/26/2012




  • 2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast or active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm milk
  • 1/2 cup orange juice*
  • 5 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup Baker's Special Dry Milk or nonfat dry milk
  • 1/4 cup potato flour or 1/2 cup instant mashed potato flakes
  • 2 3/4 cups King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour or King Arthur Premium Whole Wheat Flour
  • *Use 2 tablespoons less orange juice in summer (or in a humid environment), 2 tablespoons more in winter (or in a dry climate).


Tips from our bakers

  • Why orange juice? Well, it doesn't add its own flavor to the bread, but will mellow any potential bitterness in the whole wheat. Don't bother heating it to lukewarm; you can use it straight out of the fridge.
  • If you're kneading bread by hand, it's tempting to keep adding flour till the dough is no longer sticky. Resist the temptation! The more flour you add while you're kneading, the heavier and drier your final loaf will be.
  • The amount of liquid you use to make the "perfect" dough will vary with the seasons. Flour is like a sponge; it absorbs water during the humid days of summer, and dries out during the winter. Your goal should be making the dough as it's described (e.g., cohesive, soft but not sticky), rather than sticking religiously to the amount of liquid.
  • When making yeast bread, let the dough rise to the point the recipe says it should, e.g., "Let the dough rise till it's doubled in bulk." Rising times are only a guide; there are so many variables in yeast baking (how you kneaded the dough; what kind of yeast you used) that it's impossible to say that bread dough will ALWAYS double in bulk in a specific amount of time.
  • Why use a starter to make this bread? It's not sourdough, not particularly "artisan..." We find that a simple overnight starter both enhances bread's flavor AND its keeping qualities; the short amount of "extra" fermentation raises the bread's acidity level just enough that it stays fresher longer.


see this recipe's blog »

1) To make the starter: In a mixing bowl, combine the water, flour, and yeast, stirring until the flour is evenly moistened. Cover the bowl, and let the starter rest overnight at cool room temperature, for up to 16 hours or so; it'll become a bit puffy, and flatten out.

2) Add the remaining dough ingredients to the starter in the bowl, and mix and knead — by hand, mixer, or bread machine — until you've made a cohesive dough. If you're using a stand mixer, knead at low speed for about 7 minutes. Note that 100% whole wheat dough will never become smooth and supple like dough made with all-purpose flour; it'll feel more like clay under your hands, and may appear a bit rough.

3) Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover the bowl, and allow the dough to rise until it's expanded and looks somewhat puffy, about 90 minutes. Note that dough kneaded in a bread machine will rise faster and higher than bread kneaded in a mixer, which in turn will rise faster and higher than one kneaded by hand. So if you're kneading by hand, you may want to let the dough rise longer than 90 minutes.

4) To make the filling: Whisk together the sugar, cinnamon, and flour.

5) Gently deflate the dough, and transfer it to a lightly oiled work surface. Shape the dough into a long, thin rectangle, about 16" x 9".

6) Brush the dough with some of the beaten egg. Sprinkle the filling onto the dough. Note: Scramble or microwave any egg you don't use; the dog will appreciate it!

7) Beginning with a short edge, gently roll the dough into a log. Pinch the side seam and ends closed. Pat the log gently to shape it into a smooth 9" cylinder, and place it in a lightly greased 9" x 5" loaf pan.

8) Tent the pan with lightly greased plastic wrap or a shower cap, and allow the loaf to rise until it's crowned over the rim of the pan by about 3/4", about 90 minutes. Don't let it rise too high; it'll continue to rise as it bakes. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.

9) Bake the bread for 10 minutes. Lightly tent it with aluminum foil, and bake for an additional 40 to 45 minutes, or until the center registers 190°F on an instant-read thermometer. Remove it from the oven, and turn it out of the pan onto a rack.

10) Run a stick of butter over the top of the hot loaf, if desired, for a softer crust. Allow the bread to cool completely before slicing.

Yield: one 9" x 5" loaf.


1 23  All  
  • 10/07/2014
  • A Canadian Baker from Ontario
  • I haven't tried this recipe yet but I have a question about the weight measure of the nonfat dry milk/Baker's Special Dry Milk. In this recipe the volume measure of 1/4 cup converts to 28 grams. However, in your Cinnamon Swirl Bread and Cinnamon Bread recipes the weight measure for 1/4 cup nonfat dry milk is 18 grams. Please confirm which of the weight measures is correct. Thanks! 1/4 cup of dry milk is 28 g, or one ounce. Hope that helps! Laurie@KAF
  • star rating 09/24/2014
  • CocoaNut from KAF Community
  • Grandkids love it ! Have made this twice for my grandchildren - it disappeared very fast both times. They ask for it now, and know it is going to be a regular offering from now on.
  • star rating 07/12/2014
  • Emily from Ben Eoin, Nova Scotia
  • I am very pleased with how this bread turned out. It tastes great and I like its texture. I used quite a bit more cinnamon (about 4x the amount called for in the recipe.) The bread held together well & did not have air pockets in it like some other recipes I have made.
  • star rating 07/08/2014
  • Lisa A. from Kansas City, MO
  • This bread is delicious! I love using it to make French toast. I made three mini loaves from this recipe. They were so adorable and perfect! Nobody even believed I made them. I baked all the loaves and then froze two of them individually wrapped. I used them up within a month, but they were just as good as fresh after thawing, so they freeze well! I'm about to make my second batch right now!
  • star rating 02/26/2014
  • luvpnut from KAF Community
  • I have made this recipe 6 times, each time adding or subtracting to suit our tastes.....I use some of my sourdough starter, hate throwing it out when refreshing, so threw it in..... For the filling I left out the egg & brushed the rolled dough with vanilla extract..maybe 2 teas. I used powdered sugar mixed with 2-3 TBLS cinnamon...yeah we like a LOT of cinnamon flavor. Rolled tightly.....perfection!
  • star rating 02/26/2014
  • Cam from Out west
  • I found this bread recipe a little different than I expected. In some ways, it almost reminded me of a cinnamon roll in each bread slice. The bread itself was sensational. However, I am not certain I would do the "filling" again. It was kind of runny and sticky, and a little too heavy on the cinnamon. I think next time, I'll add some cinnamon and also raisins right in the dough.
  • star rating 02/03/2014
  • from
  • I brushed the dough with water instead of egg and used 1/2 powered sugar +1 teas. Vanilla in the filling.....raised up nice and even though i rolled it wrong, from the long side it still came out ....will be a keeper for sure.
  • star rating 01/05/2014
  • christym from Enumclaw WA
  • Made several times. Double loaves this last time. Freezes well I always add raisins. The cinnamon spiral and flavor are perfect. Great loaf to empress your guests, but you might want to share
  • star rating 01/04/2014
  • swilliamson1951 from KAF Community
  • Amazing loaf of bread!! I just made the starter for my second loaf, which I will make tomorrow to take to the office on Monday. I can already tell this is another one of my favorites!
  • star rating 05/22/2013
  • RN1234 from KAF Community
  • Came out beautifully. Thank you! How can this be adapted to mini loaf pans? I have 4 separate mini loaf pans... Can the dough be divided prior to the rolling it and last rise? Would 3 or 4 mini loaves be the right amount? Thanks!
1 23  All  

Related recipes