This bread actually came about because there were a couple of other recipes for which we had a hankering. We thought to ourselves, “Selves, a sweet breakfast and a hearty sandwich would be perfect if we had a good X.” So we had to deal with X, which was a soft loaf of wheat bread. We’d only tackled one yeast-risen bread loaf so far to date, so it was surely time to give it another try. After doing more research on bread baking techniques and tricks, we drafted a recipe that seemed like a good one. We had everything on hand to make this, so writing the initial recipe came easily. Unlike the first loaves of bread we made, this one involved tricep-trimming kneading action that we had previously been lucky enough to avoid. After two rounds of rising, into the oven it went! But what came out was not quite what we expected.
Our dear friends, looks can be deceiving. What you see above–that maple cinnamon bread–is not as sweet as it would seem! Unfortunately, it had no cinnamon nor maple flavor at all and tasted like plain old wheat bread. That would’ve been fine and dandy if that was our original goal…but it was not. So back to the drawing board. For the next round at the rodeo, we doubled the cinnamon, sprinkled in a little ginger, added more maple syrup and glugged in a bit of honey. Back into the oven it went. This time, the end result was gorgeous on the outside with little patches of squishy, gummy insides. Must’ve been too much maple syrup and honey.
Again, we went back to the recipe to tweak it. This time around we used much less maple syrup and honey and threw in cranberries to add in natural sweetness. Nowhere near the original starting point, but the journey definitely brought us to a happy destination. It only took three attempts, but finally success! Soft, sweet, spiced and delicious. This maple cinnamon turned honey maple turned cinnamon cranberry bread was truly a comedy of errors! As we mentioned, there was a plan for this bread–reasons why it was made in the first place. That being said, we could only savor a couple of ragged slices. The remaining loaf was cooled, sliced, popped in a zip bag in the freezer. It is probably the best way to store freshly baked bread, so you can have it anytime you want. Here’s one for the BYOB Challenge hosted by Sandy, the force behind At the Baker’s Bench!
Cinnamon Cranberry Wheat Bread – 1 loaf (14-16 slices)
1 1/4 cups water, warm
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 cup honey
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/4 cup powdered milk
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup bread flour
1/2 cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon honey
Wheat germ (optional)
1. With a whisk, combine water, syrup, 1/4 cup honey, 3 tablespoons butter and yeast in a small bowl. Let sit and dissolve for 3-5 minutes.
2. In electric mixer, add flours, cinnamon, ginger, powdered milk, cranberries and salt. Combine with dough hook on low speed.
3. Slowly pour in yeast mixture and continue mixing, on medium-low speed, until dough begins to come together, completely pulling away from the sides of the bowl.
4. Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead until dough into a ball, approximately 1-3 minutes.
5. Douse all sides of a bowl with a little vegetable oil and place dough in bowl. Roll around so all sides of the dough are greased. Cover and let rise—double in size—in a warm place, approximately 40-50 minutes.
6. Remove dough onto floured surface and knead again, approximately 1-2 minutes.
7. Coat a 9x 5 loaf pan with baking spray. Place dough in pan, cover and allow to rise again—double in size—for another 30 minutes.
8. Mix melted butter with honey brush on top of loaf. If desired, sprinkle the top with wheat germ and oats.
9. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until top has browned. Let cool completely before cutting.
Click HERE for the printable recipe.
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