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…
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?
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.
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.
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!
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.
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