This past Saturday I decided jump into my first solo attempt at making bread. I have made bread in the past, but always with the help of a friend or my grandmother, both of which have much more experience at making yeasty type things than I do. Recently though, I have been trying to veer away the cookies, muffins, brownies, etc. I always make and try out new recipes with a slightly higher level of difficultly. It has been a lot of fun and I definitely feel like I am learning and improving my baking skills by trying out these new recipes.
I have been wanting to try out making bread for a long time, and I finally bought yeast to do so a couple weeks ago. On Saturday I somewhat impulsively decided that it was going to be bread making day. When I bought the yeast and decided I was going to make bread I had all the intentions of waking up early and getting everything together so it could rise as much as it needed to, and then be baked and out of the oven by a reasonable time in the afternoon. This is what my grandmother always does when she makes her bread, so I figured that would be the best way to go about it. Then Saturday happened…
We had gotten 12 inches of snow the night before and when I woke up in the morning everything outside was covered beautifully in white fluffy snow. Even though Christmas has come and gone I couldn’t help but hum “Winter Wonderland” because that’s exactly what it was. Naturally I wasn’t satisfied just sitting inside looking at the snow, so I grabbed my camera (after having to wait a half hour because I forgot to charge it the night before *oops*) and headed out the door.
I wandered around my neighborhood for a little while, snapping pictures and chatting with some of the neighbors about the large amount of snow we had gotten. I was just about to head inside when I decided that this would be the perfect time for a photo shoot with my golden retriever Cody. I wasn’t able to take many snowy pictures with him last winter because he was recovering from his second knee surgery and he wasn’t allowed to run around off leash.
You can probably tell where this story is heading, by the time I got inside, rested for a while, and ate lunch it was well past two o’clock in the afternoon. At that point I wasn’t even thinking about baking bread, until I opened my refrigerator and spied the yeast. When I saw it my mind immediately went to The Pioneer Woman’s Cinnamon Bread recipe and I knew that the rest of the day was going to be spent making bread.
The actual making of the bread was a lot easier than I expected it to be. I used my mixer to knead the dough and once it all came together in the right consistency I tucked it in a canola oil coated bowl, covered it with plastic wrap and a tea towel and set it in a very warm place to rise. I have read a lot about yeast and the right environment it needs to rise, so I had already decided that I was going to knock up the heat a couple notches (it’s usually set at around 68ºF, I pushed it up to 70ºF) and put it in the smallest room of the house keeping the door closed to trap the heat in. This plan worked perfectly and two and a half hours later I rolled out the bread, covered it in cinnamon and sugar, rolled it up, then put it back in the same room so it could rise for another two hours.
Two hours and forty minutes of baking time later I pulled the bread out of the oven (it was nearly ten o’clock at night at this point so excuse the bad lighting) it came out perfectly! I was so excited to cut it but I decided to wait until morning and have my first piece (or two…or three…) for breakfast in the morning.
It is absolutely delicious! I have just been eating it plain, but it would probably taste great toasted with some butter, or just heated slightly to get a nice fresh out of the oven feeling. The only “bad” thing I would say about this recipe is that it only makes the one loaf, though I suppose doubling is always an option. One thing I know for sure, I will definitely be making this bread again and again.