So I started out planning to make another Pesto Swirl Bread, but realized that I was out of buttermilk. I know that I had mentioned this was going to be the month when I started kneading my own bread, or at least try it, but my KitchenAid looked lonely and I can't have that.
Browsing through my cookbooks, I decided to instead make the Farmhouse White Bread from the Mixer Bible. This dough is so perfectly workable, though I do end up using a bit less flour than they say to. During the first rise I knew I couldn't just make plain loaves, I had to mess with them some. Since the recipe makes two loaves, I made one Pesto Swirl with Grana Padano cheese, using the braid technique from my original loaf. The other loaf was an experiment, with a Nutella swirl and a scattering of mini cinnamon chips... holy cow, this was a DELICIOUS loaf of bread, both when it was warm and after it had cooled. Warm, I think it rivalled any cinnamon bun I've eaten.
My Nutella Swirl Bread
Inspired by The Mixer Bible/Make 2 loaves
1 1/2 cup 2% milk
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 package active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tbsp salt
4 1/2 to 6 cups all-purpose flour
Nutella, enough to spread a nice layer... you should always have a spare jar of Nutella on hand ;)
1/2 cup mini cinnamon chips (If you didn't have, I'd recommend mixing 2 tsp cinnamon with 2 tbsp brown sugar and sprinkling it over Nutella layer)
1 egg, beaten with 1 tsp water
In a small saucepan, melt butter in the milk over medium heat and then allow to cool to lukewarm (use an ice bath if necessary). In bowl of stand mixer, combine yeast, warm water (not over 115 degrees Fahrenheit) and sugar. Allow to sit for about 5 minutes, or until yeast starts to foam and bubble. Attach the dough hook to the mixer and add in the milk, butter and the salt. On low speed, add in 4 cups of the flour and then then increase to speed 2. Add in flour 1/4 cup at a time until a nice workable dough that doesn't stick to the bowl, nor leaves excess flour, is formed (I need slightly less than 5 cups total). Save some extra flour for when you are forming the loaves. Knead the dough for approximately 5 minutes on speed 2. Remove from mixer, spray another large bowl with non-stick spray, and put dough into the clean, oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until it is doubled in bulk (1-2 hours). Once doubled, gently punch (how's that for an oxymoron) the dough down, cover and let rise again until doubled, about an hour.
Now the fun part. Now that the dough has risen again, divide it in two and take half of it and roll it out on a floured board until it is a large rectangle, approximately 9 x 13", or as close as you can get it... just make sure the short side is the same as the long side of your bread pan. Spread with Nutella, leaving 1/2 an inch around all edges. Sprinkle with cinnamon chips and roll up like a jelly roll from the narrower end. Pinch bottom and sides and fold sides under. Placed in greased loaf pan (9 x 5") and then repeat with the other half of the dough. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and let rise for about 45 minutes, or until the dough comes up to the top of the pan. Beat the egg with tsp of water, brush tops of the loaves* and pop into a preheated 375 degree oven for 25-30 minutes or until nicely browned and hollow-sounding when tapped.
*Be mindful not to let much eggwash drip down the sides, as it can make the bread stick to the pan.
Enjoy, and have fun swirling your own favourite flavours!