All I have to say is eww. I draw the line at sardines. Sorry folks, but I am just not adventurous when it comes to fish. Read on, though if you like delicious bread!
What I would like to share with you this week is Cinnamon Swirl Bread. You may be saying ho-hum about now, but I feel like a veil has been lifted and the elusive secret to Cinnamon Swirl Bread, the kind with no gaps between bread and filling, has been lifted.
Those geniuses over at Cooks Illustrated (which is probably my new favorite resource for all things cooking) figured it out, and it could not be simpler. The bread dough is not just a basic white loaf, as you normally find in most recipes. It is based on a type of Japanese bread called shokupan, which in Japan is swirled with red bean paste. The author of the article was inspired by a piece of shokupan toast from a Norita airport kiosk. The bread dough is more like a brioche, with the amount of butter and sugar added to the mix, but the real secret is in the filling. My immediate thought when choosing what to put in my filling would be brown sugar and cinnamon, and maybe some raisins. But the secret actually lies in using powdered sugar and LOTS of cinnamon, and using a fine mist of water on the filling to make it stick to the dough, therefore alleviating the gaps. The coolest part of this recipe (which can be found here if you are member of their website http://www.cooksillustrated.com/recipes/login.asp?docid=35476) is the twist. Literally. After you fill the dough, you cut the rolled loaf length-wise, exposing the filling. You then braid the two halves Russian style, brush with egg wash and bake. The end result is a springy, delicate, delicious loaf that is honestly easy enough to make all the time, but looks super special, and would make a very nice gift bread.
|The dough, risen and ready to bake|
P.S. For those of you curious about the outcome of the oral surgery, all is on the mend. I had a small cyst on my tongue removed, which turned out to be benign. I spent the better part of the Holiday on Vicodin, which is actually a pretty good way to survive a visit from the in-laws, to be honest. Hope you had a fantastic time with your families, or whoever you were with over the weekend.