Merciful God, You are great in compassion and Your tenderness for us is without measure. We ask You to give us today our daily bread, and also provide for the needs of all of Your hungry children around the world. Through Christ Your Son and Our Lord. Amen.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Cinnamon Swirl Bread

My college boy came home last week and brought me a loaf of my favorite bread, Cinnamon Raisin Bread, from his employer, Panera. There is just nothing like this lightly crumbed, lightly sweetened, studded-with-raisins bread toasted for breakfast in the morning. It never fails to bring a "yum" to mind. But, as much as Doug and I enjoy it, the kids won't touch it because of the raisins. Picky, picky, I say, but I don't buy it for that reason (because that would be selfish, right?). Which means I don't get to enjoy it very often either.

After a fairly extensive search on the internet, I did not find a copycat recipe for Panera's current Cinnamon Raisin Bread, which surprised me (I thought one could find just about
anything on the internet). I did, however, find what looked to be a pretty good recipe for a Raisin Cinnamon Bread they must have served in the past. The recipe I found does not call for rolling the bread out and sprinkling it with cinnamon and sugar, which is why I know it's not the current recipe. And the bread they sell today does not have cinnamon chips in it. I decided, however, to at least try the dough (and modified it) and use my own technique for swirling it with cinnamon.

Yum! It is tender, light, just the slightest bit sweet, and cinnamony. And after being toasted and buttered -- it is it! (without the raisins) The kids love it, Doug loves it and I
really love it. I made two loaves last week and two more today. I'm going to slice and freeze one, so it's not so tempting to eat two loaves of bread in a few days!

I have a tip below for placing the bread on its side hot out of the oven so that it gets nice indentations from the racks to use as guides for slicing. This only works if your cooling rack is similar to mine (see pictures below).

Cinnamon Swirl Bread
makes two loaves

Printer-friendly version

1 cup warm water (baby bottle warm)
1 package yeast (or 2 teaspoons)
1 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cup warm water
3 T. honey
2 packages yeast (or 4 teaspoons)
1/4 cup shortening
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt

3 T. butter, melted
1/2 cup white sugar
1 scant T. cinnamon

1 T. butter
1 T. honey

Combine the water and the yeast in a small mixing bowl. Stir to dissolve the yeast. Add the flour to the bowl and stir until the ingredients are fully incorporated. Cover with a cloth and ferment the starter at room temperature for 30 min.

Combine the water, honey, and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the shortening, flour, salt, and starter. Mix the dough on low speed with a dough hook for 3 to 5 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Remove from bowl. Grease bowl and place dough back in bowl, rotating to grease all sides. Cover with a towel and let rise for 30 to 60 minutes.

After dough has just about doubled in size, punch it down and divide in two. On a floured surface, roll each half out into a large rectangle -- about 20 by 9 inches. Mix white sugar and cinnamon thoroughly. Brush the surface with half the melted butter and sprinkle with half the cinnamon sugar.

Roll up starting at short end, tightly, and pinch seam closed and place seam side down. Press heels of your hands onto rolled ends to press closed and fold ends under. Place in greased bread pans -- 9 x 5 inches. Cover with a towel and let rise 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Bake for 30-40 min., until the crusts are a deep golden brown.

Meanwhile, melt 1 T. butter and honey together.

Remove from pans immediately and brush with melted butter/honey mixture. Place loaves on their sides (if you want to make indentations for slicing guides). Cool completely.

After cooling -- see the guides? Just cut on the lines.

Text and pictures © Bless Us O Lord.

Dough source: modified from


Barb, sfo said...

Yummy! If it ever cools off here so I can turn on the oven, I'm making this!

Abby said...

I successfully made yeast rolls last week (!) so this is going on my to-make list. I love Panera.

Anonymous said...

I know this sounds like a RIDICULOUS question, but after the starter ferments for 30 minutes, do you add it to the dough mixture? When does it get mixed into the recipe? I would love to try this bread..IT LOOKS WONDERFUL!

Thank you,

scmom (Barbara) said...

After the 30 minute fermentation you can start the dough.

"Combine the water, honey, and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the shortening, flour, salt, and starter."

I hope that helps!


Anonymous said...

I now see that you you included that!! I guess I can't read!!! Thank you for responding so nicely. I'm starting on the "starter" now!

Thank you,