Tasty Thursday: Christmas Baking

Each year at Christmastime many of us bake loads of cookies and other treats. I have a confession to make: As much as I enjoy eating cookies, I rarely enjoy baking them. It just takes so much time. I’m kind of over it by the third cookie sheet. In fact, my cookies tend to get larger & larger as the day goes on just so I don’t have to bake as many.

To counteract this issue I’ve done two things: 1. I no longer bake as many types of cookies. 2. I look for other things to bake that are equally delicious but only require putting one thing in the oven leaving me free to move on to other tasks & activities. With that in mind, I bring you a delightful recipe that will make your kitchen smell wonderful and would be a welcome treat for any friends or family who happen to stop by. It’s also a great breakfast accompaniment over the holidays when you might have extra people in your house and a welcome hostess/teacher gift.

Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Dough:

  • 7 cups flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 2 packages active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs

Cinnamon mixture:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon

Frosting:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk

1. In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine 3 1/2 cups of flour with yeast. In a sauce pan, heat milk, sugar & shortening – stirring constantly, don’t bring it to a boil, just warm it. Add milk mixture to flour and mix together. Add in two eggs and mix in then beat at higher speed for 3 minutes. Add in the rest of the flour to make a stiff dough – at this point you’ll probably need to start mixing by hand as the dough becomes stiff.

2. Kneed until smooth and elastic (~10 minutes). Place in a lightly greased, large bowl. Cover with a clean towel and set in a warm place to rise for one hour.

3. Dough will have doubled in size. Punch it down and divide in half. Cover with the towel and let rest for 10 minutes.

4. Roll each half into a 12×8 rectangle and brush the surface with water. Sprinkle with your cinnamon mixture. Roll dough from the short side, seal the edges and tuck the ends under to fit in your loaf pan. Place sealed end down in a greased loaf pan. Cover and let rise for 30-40 minutes.

5. Bake at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until lightly browned.

6. When cool drizzle it with the powdered sugar frosting.

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2 thoughts on “Tasty Thursday: Christmas Baking

  1. And also…every time I put cookie dough on the cookie sheet, I have to eat more of the dough. By the last sheet I am always sick to my stomach from all the dough 🙂

    Bar cookies are frequently my answer. Same ingredients, one pan 🙂

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