Cinnamon Swirl Sourdough

There is almost nothing better than the smell of cinnamon and sugar and yeasty goodness spilling from the kitchen. It is comforting and warming, so delicious, making my mouth water every time. I recently came across this recipe for cinnamon swirl bread that uses some sourdough starter as well. Since I'm always looking for new things to do with my starter, and cinnamon bread is one of my favorite things of all time, giving this recipe a try was a no brainer. I was not disappointed. The crumb is tender and soft, buttery with a hint of sweet. A fragrant cinnamon sugar filling is rolled up inside this delicious package. A recipe to come back to for sure. 

I unfortunately didn't end up getting a picture of the sliced up bread. I cut it up and froze it fairly late at night and it was far to dark to get anything close to a good picture. You'll just have to take my word for it that it produces beautiful slices of bread.

Since the original recipe called for a 9 x 5 inch bread pan, but I only have 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch pans, I decided to pinch off a piece of the dough and make a mini loaf with it, just for fun. It turned out pretty cute! A delicious loaf that I highly recommend.

Cinnamon Swirl Sourdough
Adapted from King Arthur Flour
Ingredients
Dough

  • 1 cup sourdough starter, fed or unfed
  • 2 1/3 cups (10 3/4 ounce) cups all-purpose flour (I used about 3 ounces of whole wheat flour and the rest all purpose)
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 tablespoons soft butter
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm water

Filling

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 teaspoons melted butter
  • 1/2 cup raisins (optional)

Directions
To make the dough: Combine all of the dough ingredients, and mix and knead — using your hands, a stand mixer, or a bread machine set on the dough cycle — to make a soft, smooth dough.

Place the dough in a lightly greased container, and allow it to rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until it's just about doubled in bulk.

While the dough is rising, make the filling by stirring together the sugar, cinnamon, flour and butter.

Gently deflate the dough, and transfer it to a lightly greased work surface. Roll and pat the dough into a rough rectangle approximately 6" x 20". Sprinkle the dough evenly with the filling and raisins, if using.

Starting with a short end, roll the dough into a log. Pinch the ends to seal, and pinch the long seam closed.

Transfer the log, seam-side down, to a lightly greased 9" x 5" loaf pan. Cover and allow the bread to rise until it's crested about 1" over the rim of the pan, about 1 hour.

While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 350°F.

Bake the bread for 40 to 45 minutes, tenting it lightly with aluminum foil after the first 15 to 20 minutes. The bread's crust will be golden brown, and the interior of the finished loaf should measure 190°F on a digital thermometer.

Remove the bread from the oven, and gently loosen the edges. Turn it out of the pan, and brush the top surface with butter, if desired; this will give it a soft, satiny crust. Allow the bread to cool completely before slicing.

Cinnamon Sugar Whole Wheat Banana Bread

I don't know about you, but in my opinion there is no such thing as too many banana bread recipes. I've made so many different recipes over the past few years (banana oat bread anyone? How about buttermilk banana bread, or Greek yogurt banana bread? And don't forget about sour cream banana bread or banana chocolate chip breakfast cake!) and I haven't ever been disappointed. There are a few key points to keep in mind however. First is don't over bake!! This is key. There is almost nothing as disappointing as a dry slice of banana bread. And second, don't start with a poor recipe. This one may not be as easy figure out, but if your new recipe is fat free, gluten free, dairy free or in some other way flavor free there is probably no way to salvage it. I'm not saying you can't find a good gluten free (or whatever free) banana bread recipe, but you have to be a little more careful when picking a recipe. 

This cinnamon sugar banana bread recipe is the newest addition to my banana bread recipe collection and it certainly does not disappoint! It's full of oat-y goodness from some ground up oats that combine with whole wheat flour to produce a wonderfully chewy and hearty loaf. Some brown sugar adds a nice hint of molasses and a little butter adds richness. I decided to spice it up a little by adding a sweet cinnamon sugar swirl to the center of this loaf. It added a sweet and delicious surprise that really elevates this recipe to the next level. Another winner to add to your banana bread repertoire! 

Now, I decided to go with the cinnamon sugar swirl this time, but the original recipe called for walnuts and chocolate chips (1/2 cup and 1 cup respectively) so that is another option if your feeling the need for some chocolate. Both are delicious so you really can't go wrong either way!

Cinnamon Sugar Whole Wheat Banana Bread
Adapted from Naturally Ella
Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup (2.5 ounces) sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup (60 grams) old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup (4.5 ounces) whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup (3.5 ounces) brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (9 ounces) banana puree, about 2 bananas
  • 1/4 cup (2 ounces) butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • Old fashioned oats, for topping

Directions
Preheat oven to 350˚and generously butter/oil a 8 or 9" loaf pan. In a small bowl, mix together the 1/3 cup sugar and the 1 tablespoon of cinnamon, set aside. 

In a food processor, pulse oats until almost flour, not too fine, you want a few pieces of oats left. Pour into a large bowl and add wheat flour, baking soda, and brown sugar. Stir to combine

In a separate bowl, whisk together banana puree, butter, and eggs. Pour into dry ingredients. Stir until just combined (don't over stir!)

Pour half of the batter into prepared pan and sprinkle with about half of the cinnamon sugar mixture. Pour the other half of the batter on top and sprinkle with the remaining cinnamon sugar mixture. Finally, top with a handful more of oats.  

Bake for 45-50 minutes. Top should spring back lightly and when a toothpick is entered, it should come out with a few moist crumbs. Let cool and slice!

Soft Sandwich Sourdough

I decided to try out a new sourdough sandwich loaf recently, just for something new. I don't like getting stuck in a rut, so I did some browsing of recipes I had pinned as well as exploring the internet for anything new that I might want to try. I finally settled on this soft sandwich sourdough. It has enough butter and sugar to make it a little special without being overly rich and heavy, a good compromise. This was the first time I've made a truly sourdough bread, one without any added commercial yeast. I wasn't sure how it would turn out, I was hoping my starter was healthy and vigorous enough to provide the rise needed to make a nice and light loaf. No need to worry! There recipe turned out two beautiful loaves, absolutely perfect for whatever sandwich you are craving. Not overly sour tasting, but soft and full of flavor. A definite keeper! 

Without the addition of any commercial yeast, this recipe definitely took longer to rise than most "normal" bread recipes. But that is okay with me. It just needed a little more time and it rose beautifully. The final loaves are extra tall, but they were just the right size for me to make a very nice sandwich on. 

One other unique part of this recipe is that it calls for you to bake it about halfway until the crust is completely set, and then you remove the loaves from the bread pans and continue the baking process directly on a baking stone to finish. I've never done this before but it seemed to work quite well, helping the crust brown evenly all over.

Soft Sandwich Sourdough
Adapted From Wild Yeast
Ingredients

  • 622 g flour (I used about 1/2 all purpose, 1/2 whole wheat)
  • 200 g water
  • 16.2 g salt
  • 65 g unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 31 g honey
  • 120 g milk, scalded and cooled
  • 411 g mature 100%-hydration sourdough starter

Directions
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine all of the ingredients except about 10% of the water. Mix in low speed until the ingredients are incorporated, adjusting the water as needed to achieve a medium dough consistency (you may need additional water). Continue mixing to in medium speed to a medium-high level of gluten development.

Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled container. Cover and ferment for 3 hours, with folds* after the first 1 and 2 hours.

Turn the dough into a lightly floured counter. Divide it in half. Preshape each piece into a cylinder and let rest, covered, for about 25 minutes. Generously butter two 8.5 x 4.5-inch loaf pans. Shape the dough tightly into blunt batards and place them, seam-side-down, into the prepared pans. Proof, covered, for 3 hours, or until the top of the dough has risen to about 1.5 inches above the edge of the pan.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven, with baking stone, to 425F. You will also need steam* during the initial phase of baking, so prepare for this now.

Once the loaves are in the oven, reduce the temperature to 400F. Bake for 15 minutes with steam, and another 10 minutes without steam. Then remove the loaves from the pans, place them directly on the stone, and bake for another 20 minutes or so, until the crust is a deep golden brown. Cool completely on a wire rack before cutting.

*For more information about folding and steaming check out the original recipe on Wild Yeast

Nutrition: Approximate calorie count, 1/12 of a loaf is 143 calories

Greek Yogurt Banana Bread

I don't think I really know anybody who doesn't like a good slice of banana bread. I'm sure there are plenty of those people out there, but I have yet to meet one! For the rest of you who love banana bread as I do, I have a winner of a recipe to share. This banana bread recipe was just what I was looking for the other week. It's the classic with a few updates that make it a little healthier, but no less tasty. Full of great banana flavor, lightly sweetened with just enough sugar to keep it super tasty, but not so much that it tastes like cake, and lightened up with a little Greek yogurt to keep it nice and moist and a few tablespoons of butter to maintain that delicious flavor. This is one of the best banana bread recipes I've tried. It reminded me of one of those slices of bread or cake you can pick up at Starbucks or other coffee shops, but so much better, healthier, and cheaper! You really can't loose with this recipe, I highly recommend you give it a try soon!

With 3 bananas in just the one loaf, you really don't need a ton more sugar, so I found that 1/2 cup was just perfect. Vanilla and cinnamon add a delicious aroma and amp up the flavor just a touch, without being overpowering. The texture of the finished bread is very moist, and a little spongy as a lot of breads are that use yogurt; this is not a bad thing, I like this in my breads. Just be sure to not overbake. Nothing kills a good banana bread like overbaking, resulting in a dry and flavorless loaf. often set my timer for a few minutes less than what the recipe calls for just to be sure. Watch it carefully and you should be good to go!

Greek Yogurt Banana Bread
Adapted from The Recipe Rebel
Ingredients

  • 3 ripe bananas (~15 ounces total)
  • 3 tablespoons (1.5 ounces) butter, softened 
  • 1/3 cup plain (unsweetened) Greek yogurt 
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¾ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 cups flour (I used 6 ounces whole wheat, and 3 ounces all purpose)

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and lightly grease a loaf pan.

In a large bowl, mash bananas with a whisk. Add butter, yogurt and sugar and whisk until combined and somewhat smooth. If it's still a little chunky, don't worry. 

Add vanilla and eggs and stir until combined.

Add salt, baking soda, cinnamon and flour and stir just until combined (don’t overmix – it doesn’t have to be perfectly smooth).

Spread in loaf pan and bake for 50-55 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with a few moist crumbs. 

Sourdough Sandwich Loaf

I've had my sourdough starter for a while now and love how versatile and easy it is to use. I only need to make sure that at least every few I use it in a recipe, or if for whatever reason that just doesn't happen, I only need to feed it to make sure it continues to do well. Since I love making bread and trying out new recipes it usually isn't much of a problem to find something to do with it. 

I discovered this sandwich loaf a little while back when I was looking for a quick and easy way to use my sourdough starter. Since I was in the mood for a few sandwiches I searched around for a simple sourdough sandwich loaf. This recipe, adapted from King Arthur Flour, fit the bill perfectly. A nice, pretty basic yeasted bread recipe with the addition of sourdough starter as well as a combination of seeds and grains for some chew and nuttiness. I changed up the recipe just a little bit to suit my needs without any real problem, and ended up with a perfectly delicious sourdough sandwich loaf, just what I needed for a few really fantastic sandwiches. 

If I'm going to make bread I like to make sure I make it worth my while so I decided to double the original recipe and make two loaves instead of just one and I was able to do this without any real problem. I've also increased the amount of whole wheat flour in my recipe to make the bread even more nutritious. Throwing in a few handfuls of whatever grains/seeds/nuts I have on hand gives the final product a nice heartiness that I really enjoy, especially in whole wheat bread. I think you could just skip this part all together if you wanted to, but it really does add a nice touch to your bread. In other words, this is a very forgiving bread that I've made several times now and really enjoyed. Play around with it to make it work for you, I don't think you'll be disappointed.

Sourdough Sandwich Loaf

Adapted from 

King Arthur Flour

Ingredients

  • ~2 cups (11 oz) fed sourdough starter
  • 1 1/2 cups (11-12 oz) lukewarm water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon (3/4 oz) olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup (5 oz) All-Purpose Flour
  • 3 cups (15 oz) Whole Wheat Flour
  • 2/3 cup your favorite blend of seeds and/or grains (such as coarse cornmeal, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, and whole oats)    
  • 2 1/2 -3 teaspoons instant yeast

Directions

Combine all of the ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook and knead to form a smooth dough, about 5-7 minutes. Cover the dough, and allow it to rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours; it'll become puffy, though it may not double in bulk.

Lightly grease two 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" bread pan. Gently deflate the risen dough, shape into two logs and place in the pans. Cover lightly with greased plastic wrap, and allow to rise until it crests at least 1" over the rim of the pan, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. The bread doesn't have much oven-spring (i.e., it won't rise much once it's in the oven), so be sure to let it rise fully before baking. A loaf risen 1" over the rim of the pan will be denser and more close-grained; letting it rise higher will give you a "spongier," lighter bread. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.

Bake the bread for 30 to 35 minutes, tenting it with foil after 20 minutes if it's as brown as you like it. When it's done, the bread will be golden brown, and will register 190°F on an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center.

Remove the bread from the oven, and turn it out of the pan onto a rack, to cool completely.

Yields: 2 loaves, about 15 slices per loaf

Sourdough Bread

I know I posted a sourdough bread recipe just a couple of weeks ago, but I was too excited about this recipe to wait any longer before I shared it. It turned out some of the most beautiful looking, and tasting, loaves that have ever come out of my oven. This loaf reminded me a lot of the sourdough at my favorite bakery, the bakery where I got the starter from, which makes me so happy. I just love their sourdough, and to now know that I can make a very similar loaf in my own home is super exciting. If you don't have a sourdough starter but you're interesting in trying it out, I highly recommend getting a starter from someone and giving it a shot. Don't wait as long as I did before you find that starter, just do it. Soon you too can have almost bakery quality loaves coming straight out of your oven.

So I was so happy with how these loaves turned out, partly because I tried making this recipe the week before and it failed pretty spectacularly. I did end up getting a tasty loaf of bread from this first attempt, but it was one of the funniest looking loaves I've ever seen. Not at all what I was going for, so it's a good thing it still tasted good. There is definitely a learning curve, and it took me a couple of tries, so if it doesn't work the first time for you, don't give up, just try again. It's worth it, trust me. 

Sourdough bread

From 

Annie's Eats

Ingredients

For the sponge:

  • 1 cup fed sourdough starter*
  • 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour

For the dough:

  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 2 cups bread flour
  • 1 tbsp. water (optional)

To finish:

  • 1 egg white lightly beaten with 1 tbsp. water
  • Water in a spray bottle

Directions

In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the starter, water, and all-purpose flour. Mix together with a fork or wooden spoon until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 4 hours.

Transfer the bowl to the refrigerator and chill overnight, at least 12 hours.

Remove the bowl from the refrigerator and add the sugar, salt, and bread flour to the sponge. Mix until a ball of dough begins to come together. If some of the dry ingredients will not incorporate into the dough, add the additional 1 tablespoon of water to moisten them. Continue kneading the dough (on low speed if using an electric mixer) until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 5-6 minutes. Form the dough into a ball and transfer to a large lightly oiled bowl, turning the dough once to coat in the oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm spot until doubled in volume, 3-4 hours.

Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Transfer the dough ball to a lightly floured work surface and gently deflate the dough. Divide the dough into two equal portions. Working with one piece of the dough, press gently into a rough rectangular shape. Make an indentation along the length of the dough with an outstretched hand. Press the thumb of one hand along the indentation while pulling the upper edge of the dough down over the hand to enclose the thumb. Tightly roll the dough towards you while forming into a rough torpedo shape, about 6 x 8 inches. If there is a seam, pinch it shut. Place seam-side down on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat shaping with the other half of the dough. Transfer the shaped loaves to the prepared baking sheet. Cover loosely with lightly oiled plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until nearly doubled in volume, about 2-3 hours.

Place a baking stone in the oven and preheat the oven to 425˚ F. Allow the stone to preheat for at least 20 minutes. Just before baking, lightly slash the top of each loaf three times diagonally using a sharp serrated knife. Brush the exposed surface of the loaves with the egg wash. Spray the loaves lightly with water. Slide the entire baking sheet onto the baking stone. Bake the loaves about 28-32 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking, until the crust is golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the loaf reads at least 190˚ F. Transfer the finished loaves to a wire rack and let cool at least 30 minutes to 1 hour before slicing and serving. Sliced bread freezes very well, and stays the freshest in the freezer.

*Fed sourdough starter should have a portion removed, new flour and water added, and then be allowed to sit at room temperature for about 5-8 hours. Due to the timing of this particular recipe, it works well to feed the starter in the morning, proceed as directed with the sponge and overnight chill, and finish baking the loaves the following day. The various rests are essential to help develop the proper “sour” flavor of the loaves.