March 1, 2013

Cinnamon Swirl Brioche

I'm not quite satisfied with this recipe yet. This was the third try, and much better than the first two, but I'm going to have to continue my search for the flawless Cinnamon Swirl Brioche recipe! This recipe is definitely delicious, make no mistake, but it still gapped more than I'd like, and didn't rise as high as it should have. But it's good! So I'll share it anyway. But the quest has begun! I shall succeed!! Who knows, maybe yours will work better than mine!

Cinnamon Swirl Brioche (adapted slightly from Culinary Concoctions By Peabody)
Printable Recipe (makes 2 loaves)

2 packets (2 Tb) active dry yeast
1/3 cup slightly warm water
1/3 cup slightly warm whole milk
3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. salt
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature but still slightly firm

For filling:
½ cup granulated sugar
1 TBSP ground cinnamon

Demera sugar (to sprinkle on top)
1 egg
1 TBSP water

Combine the yeast, water and milk in the bowl of a stand mixer let sit a few minutes, until foamy. Add the flour and salt, and mix together with the dough hook in a few pulses, just dampening the flour. Increase the mixer speed to medium-low and mix for a minute or two, just until you have a fairly dry, shaggy mess of dough.

Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, set the mixer to low and add the eggs, one at a time, followed by the sugar. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat for about 3 minutes, until the dough comes together in a ball. Reduce the speed to low and add the butter in 2-tablespoon-size chunks, beating until each piece is almost incorporated before adding the next. (This will take a while, be patient!) You’ll have a dough that is very soft, almost like batter. Don't freak out, trust the dough! Increase the speed to medium-high and continue to beat until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl, about 10 minutes. It will still be very soft and sticky. In fact, this is the strangest dough I've ever encountered! It looks like frosting, and is so soft, but super stretchy!

Transfer to a clean bowl and cover with a clean towel. Let rise 45-60 minutes, until doubled. Lift dough up and let it flop back down into the bowl, deflating it. Repeat this 3 more times, letting rise 30 minutes between each deflation (2 hours total). Cover and let rest in the fridge overnight.

Next morning, divide the dough in half. Working one at a time, roll each portion of dough out on a lightly floured work surface. Roll out into a rectangle, about 8x16 inches. Sprinkle with half of the cinnamon sugar mixture. Starting with the short side, roll the dough up tightly and pop it in a lined and greased loaf pan. Cover with oiled plastic and leave in a warm place to rise to double the size. This can take up to 2 hours, make sure the dough has risen above the pan.

Preheat oven to 400F. Whisk together the egg and water, and gently brush on the loaves and sprinkle with turbinado/demerera sugar. Bake for 25-35 minutes until deep brown. (It may look overdone, that's all right. Black is bad.) Remove from oven and let cool completely before removing from pan. Let rest another 15 minutes. Don't cut into this bread until it is absolutely cooled off!
Here's the most important thing I have learned: If you let this bread cool completely, then it will hold its shape, and the holes aren't really a problem. It is still delicious, and still fabulous toasted. It just doesn't look pretty! If you cut into it while warm, it will collapse. Resist the urge!!
I love the crunchy sugar crust, and the super-cinnamon swirl, and that gorgeous buttery brioche!! You could roll it up without filling and have beautiful classic brioche!
It's almost like pastry, like a croissant in bread form. Really! And then you toast it up, and those flakey layers get crispy... Heaven!!!
Again, my disclaimer: my only issues with this bread are cosmetic. It is as scrumptious as can be!!

Shared at Foodie Friday


  1. Thanks for sharing the recipe it looks yummy.
    Blessing to you!

    1. Thank you LeAnn, I'm glad you like it!

  2. Did you get better cinnamon? I'm tempted to send you some from Penzey's or King Arthur's.


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