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Sweet Swirl Bread

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Sweet Swirl Bread

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This tasty sweet bread is versatile in that it can be stuffed with the filling we give a recipe for below, or with any number of delicious “shortcut” fillings. (See “tips”, below.)

A favorite part of this bread is the topping. Applied prior to baking, it gives the loaf a shiny golden crust, with a nice hint of sugar and vanilla.

At a glance

Prep
Bake
Total
Yield
2 fluted loaf pans, two 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ pans or two 14-ounce loaves

Ingredients

Starter

  • 1 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/3 cup water
  • pinch of instant yeast

Dough

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon (5 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 1 3/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon instant yeast
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon Fiori di Sicilia or Buttery Sweet Dough Flavor, optional

Almond Filling

  • 1 cup almond flour or finely ground almonds
  • 1 tablespoon Instant ClearJel, optional (See “tips”, below.)
  • 1 drop bitter almond oil or 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup fresh (soft) bread crumbs
  • 1 large egg

Topping

  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon cold water

Starter

  • 4 1/4 ounces King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 5/8 ounces water
  • pinch of instant yeast

Dough

  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 1/2 ounces unsalted butter
  • 7 1/4 ounces King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 1/4 ounces sugar
  • 3/8 ounces instant yeast
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon Fiori di Sicilia or Buttery Sweet Dough Flavor, optional

Almond Filling

  • 3 3/8 ounces almond flour or finely ground almonds
  • 3/8 ounce Instant ClearJel, optional (See “tips”, below.)
  • 1 drop bitter almond oil or 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 1/4 ounces sugar
  • 3/4 ounce fresh (soft) bread crumbs
  • 1 large egg

Topping

  • 3/8 ounce sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon cold water

Starter

  • 120g King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 74g water
  • pinch of instant yeast

Dough

  • 2 large eggs
  • 71g unsalted butter
  • 206g King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 35g sugar
  • 11g instant yeast
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon Fiori di Sicilia or Buttery Sweet Dough Flavor, optional

Almond Filling

  • 96g almond flour or finely ground almonds
  • 11g Instant ClearJel, optional (See “tips”, below.)
  • 1 drop bitter almond oil or 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 35g sugar
  • 21g fresh (soft) bread crumbs
  • 1 large egg

Topping

  • 11g sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon cold water

Instructions

  1. To make the starter: Mix the starter ingredients in a small (2- to 3-cup) bowl, cover the bowl, and let rest overnight at room temperature. The starter will be very stiff.
  2. To make the dough: Combine the starter with the remaining dough ingredients, and mix and knead them — by hand, mixer, or bread machine — until you have a soft, smooth dough.
  3. Allow the dough to rise, covered, for about 1 hour, or until it’s puffy but not doubled in bulk.
  4. Lightly grease two fluted loaf pans, two 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ pans, or line a baking sheet with parchment.
  5. To make the filling: Mix all the ingredients together until blended.
  6. To shape the loaves: Gently deflate the dough, divide it in half, and transfer it to a lightly greased work surface. Let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes.
  7. Pat and roll each half into a 9″ square.
  8. Spread each square with about 1/2 cup filling, leaving 1/2″ free of filling on three edges. Fold two opposite edges over the filling about 1″. This will help contain it as you roll.
  9. Starting with the side where the filling comes right to the edge, roll the dough into a log, pinching the seam closed. Repeat with the other square.
  10. Starting at one end of the log, use a baker’s bench knife, or a sharp knife, to cut the log lengthwise down the middle, all the way to the opposite end. Don’t cut through the opposite end, just right up to it.
  11. Grab the two cut ends and twist (braid) them around one another, then fasten together once more. You now have a loaf that’s twisted in the center, exposing the filling, and sealed at each end. Repeat with the other log.
  12. Place one loaf into each of the pans, or onto the baking sheet. Cover the pan(s) and allow the dough to rise for 45 minutes, until it’s a bit puffy, but not risen over the edge of the pan.
  13. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  14. To make the topping: Mix together the topping ingredients. Brush the topping on the risen loaves.
  15. To bake the bread: Bake for 25 minutes. Tent it lightly with foil, and bake for an additional 20 minutes, until it’s golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center reads at least 190°F.
  16. Remove the bread from the oven, and let it cool in the pan for 5 to 10 minutes before transferring the loaf to a rack to cool.
  17. Store, wrapped, for 5 days at room temperature, or freeze for up to 3 months.
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