I used to hate making homemade bread. It’s finicky, it’s an arm workout, and it just takes too damn long. Do you have 4 spare hours to proof some bread? No, me neither.
But over the last year, I’ve become a huuuge fan of making homemade bread. I don’t know what changed, but now I find it really enjoyable, and there’s something about kneading dough that is really relaxing to me. Plus the end product makes it all worth it… especially when it’s rich and buttery and filled with cinnamon, brown sugar, and vanilla bean. And a super cute swirl on the inside doesn’t hurt.
This bread is delicious: chewy, not too sweet, with a crunchy crust and a swirl in the middle that tastes like a cinnamon roll. It makes the best toast ever, and oh yeah it also makes the house smell AMAZING.
Plus, if you’re a homemade-bread-hater like I used to be, it’s pretty much the simplest bread you could ever make. In fact, I didn’t even proof it. I just prepared the dough, let it rest in the fridge overnight, and it was ready to go in the morning. Which means freshly-baked bread for breakfast, and that’s how I want to wake up every day.
PS Chrissy Teigen once said, “It’s not butter unless you can see it”, and those are words I live by.
Cinnamon Vanilla Bean Swirl Bread (Vegan)
- 1/2 cup nondairy milk
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. vegan butter
- 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp. maple syrup
- 3-3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast
- 1 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 1/2 tsp. flaxseed meal + 1 1/2 Tbsp. water
- 2 Tbsp. vegan butter melted
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- seeds from 1/2 vanilla bean
- Mix the flax and water and let sit until thickened, about 5-7 minutes.
- Meanwhile, add nondairy milk, water, 1 1/2 Tbsp. vegan butter, brown sugar, and maple syrup to a small saucepot and heat to about 120ºF (you can also do this in the microwave using a glass measuring cup).
- Add to the bowl of a stand mixer (fitted with a dough hook attachment) and sprinkle the yeast over top. Let sit 5 minutes.
- Add salt and 1 1/2 cups flour, then let the mixer knead the dough for 2 minutes until the mixture comes together. Add the flax and remaining flour. You might not need all the flour, so start with one cup and add more gradually until the dough is no longer sticky.
- Knead the dough on a medium speed for 5-7 minutes until soft and elastic.
- Transfer the dough to a greased bowl, cover with a clean towel, and place in a warm area. Let rise 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
- Once the dough has risen, punch it down, then transfer it to a floured surface. Roll the dough out and shape to a 9″x15″ rectangle.
- Combine 1 Tbsp. of the melted butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla bean seeds and brush over the surface of the dough (it will be difficult to spread, so be careful not to rip the dough).
- Roll the dough into a spiral, starting with the short side, making sure that the seam is on the bottom. Carefully transfer the dough to a greased loaf pan. Cover with a clean towel, move to a warm area, and let the dough rise 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
- When the dough is almost done rising, preheat the oven to 375ºF.
- Brush the loaf with the remaining 1 Tbsp. melted butter (I brushed with 1/2 Tbsp. before baking and 1/2 Tbsp. right when it came out of the oven).
- Bake 35-45 minutes, until golden brown.
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