My boys have an obsession with fresh baked breads, especially when I fill it with cinnamon and sugar. Almost every weekend I make them a batch of rolls or a loaf of bread as a reward for good behavior. The two of them together devour the entire batch with in an hour. It is actually an incredible sight to see. For two skinny little kids, they sure do know how to eat. It is also quite fantastic that I can get them to behave by bribing them with fresh baked bread. Really nobody loses in this situation.
Lately, I have been making this "braided" version of cinnamon swirl bread, and they go NUTS for it. It is the same recipe I always use, however they think it looks neat, so therefor it is a superior bread in their minds. They are also very fond of my warm vanilla bean strawberry rhubarb jam smeared over each slice. If this weekend routine keeps happening, I may need to teach them how to spell DIABETES.
There is a whole lot of sugary carb happiness going on in this recipe.
As always when baking bread, I turn to Red Star Yeast. Their yeast never lets me down. I never have any issues with rising, and my breads always have a light and airy texture. To learn more about their yeast, and check out their yeast bread recipes, visit www.redstaryeast.com. Also... check out their Instagram and Facebook pages! So many yummy photos and recipes.
Skillet Cinnamon Buttermilk Bread w/ Vanilla Bean Strawberry Rhubarb Jam
For the bread dough:
1 package of Red Star Active Dry Yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1 tbs sugar
1/2 cup warm buttermilk
1/2 tbs salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
Up to 3 cups bread flour (all purpose works as well)
For the cinnamon filling:
1/4 cup room temperature butter
2 tbs ground cinnamon
1/2 cup granulated sugar
For the jam:
1/2 cup diced rhubarb
1 cup diced strawberries
1/4 cup granulated sugar
The Juice of 1 lemon
1 vanilla bean pod, split lengthwise
Additional buttermilk for brushing
Powder sugar for serving
To prepare the bread, add yeast, warm water and 1 tbs of sugar together in a small bowl for about 10 minutes, or until the yeast mixture starts to foam.
In the bowl of your stand mixer, fitted with hook attachment, add yeast mixture, warm milk, salt, melted butter and half of the flour.
Turn mixer to medium-low, once everything is combined, mix in remaining flour 1/4 cup at a time until the dough is just slightly sticky.
Turn mixer to medium, and "knead" the dough for about 3-5 minutes. Or until it is elastic and smooth.
Turn dough out into a greased mixing bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set aside to rise until it has doubled (or even tripled) in size. This could take a couple of hours.
Once the dough has risen, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough out until it is about 1/8 of an inch thick.
In a small mixing bowl mix together the cinnamon filling ingredients.
Spread the mixture over the bread dough. Roll the dough into a log (just like you would cinnamon rolls.)
Cut the log, length wise almost all the way to the top. Twist the two strands together and then form the bread into a circle.
Place into a well seasoned, greased 8-10 inch cast iron skillet.
Set aside and it allow it to rise again, until it doubles in volume.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Once the bread has risen, brush with a bit of buttermilk. Bake for about 30 minutes or until it golden all over, and sounds hollow when you flick the top.
Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving, optional.
To prepare the jam,
Add the jam ingredients in to a heavy bottomed sauce pot, simmer on low heat for about 30 minutes. Once the berries have broken down, remove from heat and serve warm over bread. To store leftover jam, place in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.
To watch me "braid" this cinnamon bread, check out the video I made below!
(Disclaimer: I received monetary compensation to write this blog post on behalf of Red Star Yeast. However as always all content and opinions are 100% my own)