The smell of a yeast based bread and the sweet aroma of cinnamon baking in the oven is almost euphoric. Similar to a cinnamon scroll, this bread looks ever so professional braided and shimmering when it comes out of the oven. An exceptional tea-time accompaniment, Sweetened cinnamon and cocoa swirls are a welcome sight. Feel free to increase or decrease your cocoa if your not a chocolate lover.
This is surprisingly easy to make. Some tips, to help you with ensuring your bread rises to exceptional levels:
Dry Instant Yeast, will require the yeast to be added into the bowl with the flour.
Active Dry Yeast, needs to be activated in warm water ( apx 29 degrees celius ). Test with your finger. If its cool to touch too cold, if its warm and comfortable to keep in the warmed water it should be right. If water feels hot then obviously its too hot.
The amount of flour you will use will depend on how soft your butter is and the temperature around you. It is better to start with less flour and gradually add it in, rather than too much flour. This is why we add less flour into the bowl to start with. If the dough is way too sticky, then you can always add a little flour.
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 packet active dry yeast
3 tbspns unsalted butter, softened
3 3/4 -4 1/2 cups flour
3/4 tspn salt
3 tbspns white sugar
4 tbspns cinnamon
2 tbspns pure cocoa powder
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 egg beaten, 2 tbspns milk
Sift the flour in a large bowl. Add the salt and 2 tbspns of sugar reserve 1 tbspn of white sugar. Rub the softened butter into the flour.
Prepare the yeast. Add 1 tbspn of the white sugar, and 1 tspn flour into the warm water. Add the yeast and stir through. Allow the yeast to activate for 2 minutes. It will bubble and start to expand.
Heap the flour, and form a well. Add the activated yeast, into the well and from the inside out stir gradually with a fork. At some point you will need to use your hands to knead the mixture. Knead for 10 minutes. The dough will be shiny and slightly sticky to touch. If it is too sticky ( most of the dough sticks on the bowl ) add some of the reserved flour and knead until your dough is shiny and smooth.
We need to let this lovely dough work its magic. To do this, the easiest way to keep my dough warm and in constant ideal temp is to pre-heat my oven to 60 degrees celsius. Turn oven off. Cover the dough that is still in the bowl with greaseproof paper, then a clean warm towel. Place it in the pre-heated oven for 40 minutes.
Remove the dough that has doubled in size. with a rolling pin roll out till it is 40 cm long and 5 cm thick.
Separately, mix the cocoa powder, brown sugar and cinnamon together.
Slice Log From Almost The Top
Sprinkle the mix evenly onto flattened dough. Starting from one of the longer ends roll the dough till it forms a log. If you like the braided look , with a knife, pierce the top end ( not all the way from the top ) and cut through lengthways. You will now be left with two pieces of dough joined at one end. Twist each piece as indicated.
Line loaf tin with greaseproof paper and gently place the braided loaf. Return the loaf into the pre-heated oven. If the oven has cooled completely and is cold again, ensure it was pre-heated again before placing dough in oven to rise for a further 20 mins.
Glaze with egg wash, then sprinkle with a little brown sugar. Bake for 45 minutes in 180 degrees temperature. Remove from the oven and serve.