I’m not a baker. I pretend for the sake of this blog that I am the best baker ever, but let’s get real. I’m not very good at it.
Despite this fact, I’ve been baking a lot lately. Sugar cookies for two hockey tournaments and a Nutcracker performance, gingerbread cookies and muffins for post-church coffee hour, and of course the twelve (!!) gingerbread houses that aren’t going to make themselves while I write this post. That may not sound like a lot, but I’ll bet I’ve made 10 dozen cookies and 4-5 dozen muffins in the last month. Oh. And I also made this bread.
This awesome, amazing cinnamon bread that looks far more complicated than it really is.
First, can we talk a bit about the blog from which this recipe came? Half Baked Harvest is one of (very) few blogs that I allow into my inbox every single day because the photos are so beautiful. And the blog is a great read. Tieghan, the brain behind the blog, is a twentyish, (apparently) self-taught home cook with a beautiful visual sense, some delicious recipes, and a sense of humor. For real, though? She kind of makes me feel bad about myself. Are you kidding me with the talent this young woman has? And you know she is working hard to be so successful. I’m twice her age and what the hell am I doing every day?
Enough pity party. Let’s talk bread.
What I loved about this bread recipe was that I could get the whole thing together the night before I served it, then pop it in the oven the next morning for a warm and delicious treat. I’m totally making it again over Christmas. We’ll have plenty of mouths around to eat it.
The dough itself is simple and can be made start to finish in your stand mixer. I did not take Tieghan’s advice and use egg nog, but I will next time. I think Tieghan is probably the kind of person whose advice I should be taking.
Ok, so once the dough has risen, etc. you simply roll it out and add your goodies. It’s just like making cinnamon rolls or pizza rolls. But here is the cool part. Instead of cutting the rolls all the way through, Tieghan provides instructions for cutting the bread dough and squooshing (my technical term) it together so that it looks like you’ve gotten all fancy with the bread but you haven’t. Impressed? Of course you are. Now stick your dough in the fridge and go to bed.
Wake up! It’s time to bake. My bread needed to go a bit longer than recommended, probably due to altitude. I’m all for gooey, but let’s make sure it’s cooked, ok? Drizzle some (easy) frosting on top of this bread and serve it warm. This would be a great brunch addition or perfect to have ready for house guests. Maybe even make an extra loaf and drop it off at the neighbor’s? Yep. You are winning friends now.
(P.S. Thanks to my husband for the action shots. Capturing what it really looks like in my kitchen one t-shirt at a time.)