Cinnamon Swirl Bread

I love making bread from scratch in my kitchen, and this is one of my favorites. It’s a sweeter bread, but it’s not sweet enough to be a dessert bread, which I like. It’s ideal for breakfast, slathered in some butter or jam, or as the basis for French toast.

This makes two loaves, so keep one for yourself and give one to your friend this holiday season. People love a gift they can eat.

Cinnamon Swirl Bread

2 packages active dry yeast

1/3 cup warm water

1 cup warm milk

1/2 cup sugar

2 large eggs

6 tablespoons butter, softened

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

5 1/2 to 6 cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

Add yeast and warm water to a bowl, preferably the bowl of a stand mixer. Stir until yeast dissolves. Add milk, sugar, eggs, butter, salt and 3 cups flour; beat on medium speed until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.

Turn dough onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Or, use the dough hook on your mixer to knead. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel; let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.

Punch down dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide in half. Roll each portion into a rectangle; sprinkle with cinnamon and spread evenly across dough. Roll up starting with a short side; pinch seam to seal. Place in two greased loaf pans, seam side down.

Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Bake until golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool.

Makes 2 loaves.