I love to bake, especially "quick breads". Let's not kid ourselves here, "quick breads" are just cake that we don't call cake because there is no icing on them. But they are cake. Cake we can eat for breakfast! I recently discovered a new quick bread, Amish Cinnamon Bread. I'm not sure how I've missed out on this all these years given my affinity for all things cinnamon, and as I've just mentioned, quick breads. I researched it a bit, tried a couple recipes, have some lessons learned (like avoiding air pockets), and wanted to share!
This is a great bread to make and give as a gift, great to slice, wrap, and freeze for quick grab and go breakfast, or great to just heat up and enjoy whenever you'd like! It's also very forgiving if you want to freeze half of it for another time. Just let it completely cool before you put it in the freezer.
Amish Cinnamon Bread
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup whole buttermilk (don't get fat-free, get whole, and don't use the powder)
2 cups white whole wheat flour (you can use all-purpose)
1 teaspoon baking soda
For this, and all quick breads, use the "Muffin Method". I've talked about this before in the Zucchini Coconut Bread post. Using this method makes for a softer texture for your baked item. It is also important for nice and fluffy pancakes and tender waffles! The Muffin Method involves combining all of your dry ingredients together (the dry works) and your wet ingredients together (the wet works) separately. Then, without over-mixing, you combine the two together and stir for only about 10 seconds until combined. It doesn't have to be even and lumps are OK. This is what you should do here.
Another tip for great quick breads (or any recipe) that calls for creaming butter and sugar is to be sure the butter is at room temp = nice and soft. Takes some patience and planning to get your butter out ahead of time, but you can't skip this. You can try softening in the microwave, but you don't want any of it melted, so this is super tricky and i'll say doomed for failure in the microwave. Just be patient and leave it out on the counter for a few hours.
First, preheat your oven to 350-F, and grease a standard loaf pan. I use a glass loaf pan. If you use metal, you may need to adjust your cooking time. All ovens are different anyway, so check it on the early side.
Next, get the rest of your ingredients together. I like to be organized when cooking so there are no surprises when you go to add the egg and realize you don't have any after all, or you have just too little sugar.
Whisk together the Cinnamon-Sugar mixture and set aside.
Next cream the sugar and butter. Start it out on medium-low or you will start flinging sugar all over the place.
Add the egg. To prevent shells in the batter, I break the egg in a small dish and then put it in the bowl. Cream the egg sugar butter mixture for 1 minute on medium speed, it will turn a lighter yellow than when you started. This picture makes it seem more yellow than it will really be.
Add the buttermilk to the butter sugar egg mixture and mix until well combined. Mix on low or else it will make a mess!
Next whisk the flour and baking soda until thoroughly combined. Move your wet works next to your dry works to get ready to combine. I've combined wet into dry and dry into wet, I think both are fine, but the "correct" way is to make a well in the middle of your dry works and pour your wet works in.
The baking soda will start to react fast with the liquid, so don't delay here. Don't decide to go do anything else once the wet hits the dry. REMEMBER TO NOT OVERMIX! Stir for 10 seconds, stirring and folding together until well combined.
Eyeballing it, pour half the mixture into your greased pan and smooth it out evenly.
Sprinkle about 1/3 of the sugar mixture across the batter.
Pour in and spread out the rest of the batter, then sprinkle the rest of the cinnamon-sugar mixture over the top evenly.
Spray a knife with non-stick spray, then insert it into the batter and swirl it back and forth across it. Careful not to create large air pockets. If you do, then use the knife to smush it back together again.
You do not have to bake it on a pan like I've shown below. The 2nd time I made this I had it overflow just a little into the oven. I didn't even out the batter enough I realized. But better to be safe.
Bake for 50-60 minutes, checking after 50 minutes for done-ness. I use a small knife inserted to the center to see if it comes out clean. If it is not yet done but getting too brown on the top, cover with aluminum foil for the last 10 minutes. The top should have a nice crust on it. Check out the video below too for how it should sound when you tap on it.
Let it cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Then remove and let it finish cooling on a wire rack.
More pictures below of the finished product.
Don't slice it until it's completely cool! If you do, be warned it may dry out. If you plan to eat it all in one sitting, then by all means slice away whenever you want.
And there you have it friends, Amish Cinnamon Bread!
If you are wondering where I got that awesome looking Christmas-lights hand towel in some of the photos, it is from a friend's online kitchen shop, Della's Kitchen Shop. The towel is great. Buy one for yourself and all your friends. There are lots of other towel prints and other kitchen things too!
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