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P.J.'s Cinnamon-Swirl Bread


You know how homemade cinnamon swirl bread always falls apart when you cut it? The culprit is the sugar and/or butter that you spread on the dough before rolling. If you roll your dough out and sprinkle it with just cinnamon and a touch of sugar, your loaf will hold together much better.

At a glance

one 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" loaf


Choose your measure:


  1. To make the dough in a bread machine: Put all of the ingredients (except the cinnamon-sugar) into the bucket of your bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer, program the machine for dough or manual, and press Start.
  2. Examine the dough about midway through the kneading cycle; it should be smooth, not gnarly. Adjust the consistency with additional water or flour, as needed. Allow the machine to complete its cycle.
  3. To make the dough manually or with an electric mixer: In a medium-sized mixing bowl, or the bowl of your electric mixer, combine all of the ingredients (except the cinnamon-sugar) and, using your hands, a spoon, or your mixer, mix until they form a shaggy mass that begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl
  4. Let the mixture rest, covered, for 20 minutes; this gives the gluten time to relax and the flour a chance to absorb the liquid, meaning you'll use less flour when you're kneading the dough (which translates into a better-textured, higher-rising bread).
  5. Knead the dough, by hand or mixer, until it's become fairly smooth, adding additional water or flour if necessary. Knead for an additional 2 minutes or so, if you're kneading by hand and you feel the dough isn't quite smooth enough.
  6. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, turning to coat all sides.
  7. Cover the bowl, and allow the dough to rise until it's noticeably puffy, about 1 hour.
  8. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled work surface, and let it rest for 5 minutes.
  9. Pat or roll it into an 8" x 15" rectangle, and sprinkle it evenly with the cinnamon-sugar.
  10. Starting with a short end, roll the dough into a tight log.
  11. Tuck the ends under, and place the loaf, seam side down, in a lightly greased 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" bread pan.
  12. Drape the pan with lightly greased plastic wrap (or cover it with an acrylic dough-rising cover), and let the dough rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until it's risen about 1" over the top of the pan.
  13. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  14. Bake the bread in a preheated 375°F oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until it tests done.
  15. Tent the bread with aluminum foil the final 10 minutes of baking, if it's getting too brown.
  16. Remove the bread from the pan and cool it completely on a wire rack.
  17. Store, well-wrapped, for 5 days on the counter, or freeze for up to 3 months.