Dec 4, 2014
Hillary

Easy Walnut Cinnamon Bread

Walnut Cinnamon Bread

There are some days when I crave the taste of cinnamon in the morning. Who wouldn’t want to wake up in the morning to a warm, gooey, cinnamon roll? Or a pumpkin cinnamon roll or even a cranberry orange morning roll? All options are delicious but let’s be honest, they all aren’t the easiest option when things get busy. The holidays are about to turn into high gear, end-of-the-year work and school deadlines are quickly approaching and for us personally, we decided it was a good time to move! (Actually, we didn’t really want to move but when your rent increases 18% you all the sudden find the motivation to do so.) Bottom line, it’s one of the busiest times of year and you don’t always have a lot of time to bake a more labor intensive morning treat, like a cinnamon roll. My solution (NO it’s not going out and buying cinnamon rolls that only make you wish you had the homemade version!) was to come up with a quick and easy bread version. Don’t be turned off by the fact that homemade bread is still in the equation here. This bread is so simple, requires NO manual kneading and is just as satisfying as the cinnamon roll!

Ingredients: 

(Makes one standard size bread loaf.)

  • 2 1/4 teaspoon rapid rise yeast
  • 1 cup oats (not the quick oats)
  • 2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup and 2 tablespoon warm water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins

It’s easiest to make this bread in a stand up mixer with the bread hook. In the mixing bowl, pour in the yeast, oats, cinnamon, salt, water, olive oil, maple syrup and a cup of flour. Turn the machine on low and then slowly increase. When the first cup of flour is incorporated, add in the second cup of flour. Once that is combined then pour in the walnuts and raisins. I like to add these before all the flour is in so it’s easier for the dough to incorporate them. You can then add in your last cup of flour (it should total 3 cups of flour). Let the machine mix for about 5-8 minutes and it’ll do all the kneading for you. No hands needed is the best kind of bread making in my book! You’ll know the dough is done mixing when it has completely pulled away from the sides and you can lightly touch the surface and it springs back. You don’t want it too sticky or too dry. You can also pull a piece off and slowly stretch the dough. If it rips apart quickly and feels rough, it needs more time in the mixer. If it slowly stretches before it breaks, you’re good to go! Once the dough is complete lightly spray the bowl with cooking spray and cover it with plastic wrap.

Walnut Cinn Bread Dough

Let the dough rise anywhere from 1-2 hours. We like to keep our dough rising in the microwave. Sounds weird, but your microwave is a fantastic bread rising box! Put a glass filled with water in the microwave and heat it up until the water starts to bubble. Quickly open the microwave, move the glass aside and pop your bread in. It’s the perfect warm spot for your bread to do it’s thing!

Walnut Cinn Dough Rise

Once the dough is at least double in size, transfer it to a standard size loaf pan that is sprayed lightly with cooking spray. Get it back in your microwave (or other warm rising spot) and let it rise to the top of the pan. After a couple rise-failures, we now no longer cover the top of the bread once it’s in the loaf pan. Each time we did, we had total deflation once we removed whatever was used to cover the bread. This new strategy helps keep the bread’s shape after the second rise.

Once your dough is to the top of the loaf pan, preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Once it’s hot and ready, pop the bread in the oven for about 25 minutes. Each oven is a bit different so just keep an eye out and use your nose. The cinnamon will start to take over your kitchen and is a good indication that your bread is almost done!

Walnut Cinnamon Bread2

The top will get a light brown and when you flip the bread out of the pan, you should be able to tap the bottom and it should sound hollow. That’s the trick to knowing your bread is cooked completely through. Now the hardest part about homemade bread to me is the waiting after it’s out of the oven. You want to let the loaf cool on a cooling rack for at least 20-30 minutes. Then…you can dive in!

Walnut Cinnamon Bread3

The inside should be light and fluffy and even though there is no actual swirl action, it’ll have all the flavors of a cinnamon raisin roll without all the fuss of making the swirl!

Walnut Cinnamon Bread Toast

Cut a thick slice in the morning and add a little butter, apple butter or pumpkin butter and you’re guaranteed to start your day off right. I don’t know what it is about a thick slice of toast in the morning but sometimes there’s just nothing else I want alongside my cheerios and grapefruit. The store bought bread is typically way too skinny to call toast in my opinion and then you end up eating a couple slices to make up for it. No one needs that. You can have the dough for this bread together in about 10 minutes and then the only other thing is transferring the dough to a bread loaf and turning the oven on. You can totally do that! And you’ll be thanking yourself when you take your first bite! It might not be the real deal cinnamon roll but when you’re in a pinch, too busy, but need to satisfy the craving, this is your go-to solution! For now, that’s easy walnut cinnamon bread…in the shell of a nut!

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