Cinnamon Bread

Posted on November 20, 2010


This recipe is especially for Mary Booth (a.k.a. Sarah’s Granny!)

I have a mild obsession with the work’s of Martha Stewart…. while looking upon Amazon I realised the full extent of her written works and I’m on a mini-mission to procure her back catalogue.

On reading one of my recent purchases (Martha Stewart Living, 2002 Annual Recipes), I happened upon a recipe called ‘Yeasted Coffee Cake with Poppy Seed Filling. I admit, the description isn’t the most exciting, but the pictures were. In glossy print, I gazed upon a ginormous round bread like mound, oozing with shiny sugar syrup which popped off the page with black seeds. With little pre-read of the instructions, I gathered the ingredients and set to work.

…in this, lies the one slight issue with the otherwise perfect cake… effort. Lots and lots of effort. Effort in kneading, waiting, knotting, baking and resting. You need to enjoy a leisurely baking process to make this and even if you love it, a mixer with a dough hook helps immensely! Martha recommends making two and freezing one to best use this effort – making two really doesn’t take much more time (I read this advice too late).

The quantity below is for one cake, I made about 16 wedges from it and froze half. Whenever I fancy a treat, I delve inside the freezer and defrost a slice in the microwave. Warm, sugary, cinnamon bread…..taste wins over effort, every time….


 Cake Mix: 330ml warm water, 330ml warm milk, 4 tbsp unsalted butter (melted), 2 tsp coarse salt, 70g granulated sugar, ½ tsp cinnamon, 1 large egg, 1 packet dry yeast, 625g plain flour, 70g dark brown sugar, ½ tsp cardamom seeds 

Poppy Seed Filling: 70g dark brown sugar,  30g plain flour, 30g walnuts (chopped), ¼ tsp cinnamon, ¼ tsp nutmeg, 20g poppy seeds, 4 tbsp unsalted butter (room temp)

Using a mixer (paddle attachment), combine water, milk, butter, granulated sugar, salt, cardamom and eggs. Sprinkle yeast over the top and leave for 15 minutes until foamy. With mixer on, slowly add flour until combined. Using dough attachment, knead the sticky dough until a ball is formed (adding a little more flour if needed). Place in a buttered bowl, cover with a cloth and leave to rise for 90 minutes. Preheat oven to 190c and butter a 23cm ring mold/savarin mould. Sprinkle half of the brown sugar into the bottom. Next, make your filling by using your hands to combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Take dough and roll on a floured surface into a 35cm by 40cm rectangle roughly 1cm thick. Brush 1/3 of the remaining butter over the middle third of the dough and sprinkle with 1/3 of the filling. Take one side to the middle and then the other side, so the filling is covered. Rotate dough 90 degrees, roll into a large rectangle again and repeat filling and folding process. Repeat this one more time until your filling is gone. Cover dough and leave to rest for 15 minutes. Roll dough into a rectangle for a final time to 25cm by 40cm and 2.5cm thick. Slice off a 2cm width of dough and twist. Lay the twist into the bottom of the ring mold. Repeat by cutting, twisting and layering the dough into the mold until mixture has been used. Cover with cling film and leave to rise for 45 minutes. Bake for 45-50 minutes, transfer to wire rack to cool for 20 minutes before inverting to release cake. Serve warm or cold. Cold slices can be wrapped in cling film and frozen for up to 1 month.

Helen x

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