Cinnamon Swirl Loaf

Servings: 2 loaves

Time: 2.5 hours


  • 21 oz all purpose flour, plus more for dusting the board
  • 2 ½ tsp instant yeast
  • 1 ⅔ cup warm (100-110°F) water, divided in half
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp white sugar
  • 3 tbsp Cinnamon Sugar
  • 1 tsp table salt (not kosher salt)
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, cubed at room temperature
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tbsp vegetable or canola oil, divided in half


Heat the 1 ⅔ cups water to 100-110°F. Using a kitchen thermometer to check. If you do not have a thermometer, use your finger, the water should feel warm, not hot.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, pour the sugar and half the water. Mix lightly to combine. Pour in the yeast. Whisk lightly. Let this stand for 10 minutes. The yeast will bubble and form a pad on top of the water.

In a separate bowl, measure out 20 oz by weight (4 cups if no scale is available). Add the additional 4 leveled off tbsp of flour to the bowl. Sprinkle in the salt and toss the flour and salt lightly with your fingers or a spatula.

Add the flour/salt mixture to the bowl of the stand mixer. Just dump it on top of the yeast pad.

To the stand mixture, add the honey, cubed butter, and remaining warm water.

Using the dough hook attachment, turn the mixer on the lowest speed, and allow the mixture to turn for 2-3 minutes.

After 2-3 minutes, stop the mixer. Using a spatula, scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure everything is combined.

Turn the mixer back on at the lowest speed. Allow the mixture to turn for 8-10 more minutes. The dough will be slightly sticky.

In a large bowl, pour in 1 tbsp oil. Spread the oil all around the bowl. Turn out the dough into the greased bowl. Use a spatula to get out any lingering dough. Cover the dough bowl with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel. Allow to rise for 1 hour in a draft free location. It will double in size.

Use the remaining 1 tbsp oil to grease your two loaf pans.

After 1 hour, turn out the risen dough onto a floured surface. Divide the dough in half.

Pull and stretch each half into a rectangle about 8 by 12 inches. Evenly sprinkle two tablespoons of Cinnamon Sugar on each stretched out half.

Starting on the short end, roll up the dough tightly into a cinnamon roll like tube. Pinch the seams them together on the bottom and each end so the top is tight. Put each loaf into a loaf pan, seam side down. Sprinkle the final tablespoon of Cinnamon Sugar on top of the loaf. Cover with plastic wrap and a towel.

Preheat the oven to 200°F. Yes, 200.

Once the oven is heated, remove the plastic wrap and towel, turn off the oven and put the loaves in the oven. This is how I prove the dough. Allow the dough to sit in the off oven for at least 20 minutes, no more than 30 minutes.

Once the loaves have proved for 20 minutes, preheat the oven to 395°F. Leave the loaves in the oven while the oven heats. The additional heat from the warming oven will make the dough rise even more.

Once the oven has heated to 395°F, allow the loaves to cook for 20-25 minutes, or until they are golden brown and make a hollow sound when you knock on them.

While the loaves bake, melt 1 tbsp butter.

Remove the loaves from the oven, and immediately take out of the loaf pans. While they are still hot, brush them with the melted butter.

Allow the loaves to cool completely before cutting into them.


– If you do not have honey, you can replace the honey with additional white sugar.

– If you do not have instant yeast, you can replace it with active dry yeast. Just allow the active dry yeast to sit in the bowl for 15 minutes, as it takes a little longer to activate. Also note that instant yeast and rapid rise yeast are the same thing.

– If you do not have a stand mixer, you will need to hand knead the dough. This will take about 12-15 minutes. To hand knead, put the dough in a lightly floured surface. Pull up half the dough and fold it in half. Then pull from the top and fold the dough in half again. Then repeat half and half and half again for about 12-15 minutes.

– Do not use cooking spray to grease the bowl or the loaf pans. Not only does it harm your loaf pans, but you don’t get the added flavor from the oil.

– Store the loaves in airtight containers for no more than a week. You can freeze the loaves for up to one month.

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