Dec 28, 2010

The Wonders of Cinnamon + Braided Bread

I must be the most obsessive person I know. I just really love certain things:
Most people don’t know this, but cinnamon is ground from the bark of a cinnamon tree. It is really beneficial to your health.
  • Cinnamon’s nutrients include manganese, fiber, iron, and calcium.
  • As an anti-inflammatory, cinnamon can reduce blood clotting.
  • Just a 1/2 teaspoon a day can lower LDL cholesterol.
  • Its oils qualify as an anti-microbial food.
  • It helps control blood sugar spikes.
  • The scent alone can boost brain activity – no wonder I am so smart!
image(Source)
Cinnamon can easily be added into your diet. I sprinkle mine in oats, cereal, yogurt, sweet potatoes, pancakes, pb sandwiches, and coffee, tea and smoothies. I have also snuck it into several recipes, including Walnut & Cinnamon Rugelach, Moroccan Bison Stew, Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread, and Sweet Potato Muffins. When I saw a recipe for braided bread on Janae’s blog, I knew I had to have it. Even if that meant I was up until 2 am making it.

Yep, even after the large dinner at Magnolia’s with Katie, I still wanted to bake bread. I was on a mission. At 10:30 PM. Great timing, right? No.

First, I tried to make the dough using a hand mixer. What an idiot. I’m sure this is a highly illegal baking move, but it was late and I wanted to work quickly. DSC_1775Oops. I decided to work with my hands instead, as they are a little less vicious. I formed a lovely round ball and noticed that the recipe says to let it rise for 2 hours. TWO HOURS. It was nearly 11 PM at this point. I just told myself, “Stay awake – it’s just like if you were at a bar. Except not drinking. Or with a lot of friends. So therefore you are a loser.” DSC_1780After watching the Food Network for two hours, the dough had risen. I separated it into three smaller balls. (EW!) DSC_1808Next, I rolled and flattened them out, filling them with the brown sugar and cinnamon mixture. Lucy took pictures for me. She appreciates my dedication to late night baking. DSC_1853DSC_1852Then I made a pretty braid. DSC_1855I felt like I was braiding Rapunzel’s hair. DSC_1856DSC_1858Before baking, the braided loaf must rise for another hour. I’m not kidding. Thank goodness it only takes about 15-18 minutes to bake!

The final product:DSC_1863I completely understand why this is Janae’s favorite bread recipe. It’s a very soft, chewy bread, and would be delicious with or without the cinnamon. But with all of cinnamon’s benefits, I definitely recommend including it.
I made a second loaf for Christmas morning and everyone really enjoyed it warmed up.

I enjoyed it raw, baked, and warmed over. Winking smileDSC_1864DSC_1866

Question: Do you like cinnamon? What’s your favorite way to use it?


It’s almost NYE!! Thank you for all your votes on which dress I should wear. Out of 63 of responses, 47 of you voted for the purple dress. I am happy to report that I will be wearing it on Friday!

50 comments:

  1. I love the braided bread! It's so pretty.

    Now if only I wasn't scared of using yeast...

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love Cinnamon!! I use it in baking, coffee, almost all breakfast dishes and some pasta dishes. But that bread looks to DIE for!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. You did a great job making the braided bread!

    ReplyDelete
  4. The scent of cinnamon instantly makes me hungry. I dump it in almost anything I can conceivably dump it in.

    I totally understand being up until 2 making that because it looks SO good.

    ReplyDelete
  5. great dress - did I miss a post?

    this braid looks awesome, I want to make it this week!! I love cinnamon, Jason adds it to his chili - YUM.

    I love that you started baking so late. I use that rationale also - "you've stayed up MUCH later at the bar" kind of convincing! :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. My only question is how do you look super cute at 1 AM? Life is so, so not fair.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I love cinnamon - but I have to say that it's a recent thing. I used to hate it but now I can't live without cinnamon in my oatmeal and coffee cakes!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Great job! Impressive presentation.

    ReplyDelete
  9. That bread is so pretty looking. Sounds like a great breakfast treat as well. I put cinnamon on almost anything: sweet potatoes, oatmeal, cottage cheese, yogurt, bread... you name it. Love it.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Oh my gosh that looks amazing! Will definitely be copying one weekend. I've never attempted to make any type of bread dough and must say I'm a little intimidated by it. And totally random but I really wish we had Chick-fil-A in California! So many bloggers talk about how good it is and I am dying to try it haha!

    ReplyDelete
  11. That bread looks so good! I love cinnamon on everything you mentioned! It just makes it all taste better!

    ReplyDelete
  12. You're a true foodie if you can stay up to 1am to bake! That twist looks awesome though.

    Can't wait to see the final NYE outfit all put together!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I am SO glad you liked it!! Yours looks better than mine ha! I LOVE that you stayed up so late to make it....I would to if I had the Food Network Channel. Okay, that picture of you is GORGEOUS!!! WOW!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I love cinnamon! I use it all the time! In baking, shakes and even occasionally in cooking (though not as common). That bread looks so tasty! Way to stay up so late to make it - so dedicated! :) And I love the purple dress! :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. Bread looks delicious! I actually love late night baking.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Good looking bread you have there :)

    I must be really sleepy today because I had to read the part about the dough rising twice. I thought the dough separated it itself into 3 parts? What?!? That's not right!!! I read it again, this time slooowwwwly...YOU separated it in 3 parts, lol!

    Anyways, enough rambling from me.

    Btw, I like the sweater you are wearing in the pictures :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. I love cinnamon!!! I actually just ate a bowl of oatmeal with a scoop of peanut butter and a healthy dusting of cinnamon added - so so good!

    I would love to have the patience to bake that bread, it looks yum!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Love that dress! I have to go back to see the other options - but this one is going to look so good on you!

    "Rapunzel's hair!" YES - she does that in the movie too...sorry , I just seen "Tangled" ;)

    ReplyDelete
  19. OMG I love cinnamon. Do you have any cinnamon brooms? I got mine half off (so just $5) from Harris Teeter because it's usually a seasonal thing I guess. They smell sooo good and last a long time! Can't wait to see pics of the dress!

    ReplyDelete
  20. ohhh, i do love cinnamon! and that bread looks awesome. i bet it smelled so good baking!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Yay - that dress is going to look fab! I'd say post pics but I know you will. And btw - that braid looks awesome! I"m not a cinnamon fan but LOVE the look of this you fancy girl!

    ReplyDelete
  22. yummmy. hope you had a very merry christmas! thanks for your sweet blog comment xo caroline

    ReplyDelete
  23. Hello Cinnamon! My favorite! That bread is so pretty and looks tasty!

    Have I ever mentioned I love your hair?

    ReplyDelete
  24. I've totally gotten involved in baking and been up SUPER late to finish a recipe. The bread sounds and looks AWESOME. Who doesn't love cinnamon? It makes so many dishes better. This looks like a super tasty bfast bread.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I LOVE Cinnamon!!!!!!! It really is so delish, one time though I put too much in oats and I choked a little on it! lol!

    This bread looks bomb diggity bomb delish! Can I come over, we can make the bread and then you can braid my hair?! lol! U braid so lovely!

    Love you and yay you picked the purple dress! I am so excited to wear mine, glad we both made hot dress purchases of lulus! xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  26. That bread looks soo good! My mom would make braided rolls at Christmas that I always loved.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Bookmarked! I feel like braided bread is just so much classier than regular bread, no?

    ReplyDelete
  28. I looooove cinnamon! I add it to smoothies, ice cream, toast, etc. That bread looks incredible-it would be hard to stop at one piece!
    That dress will look great-I love Lulus;)

    ReplyDelete
  29. I love cinnamon, it makes everything taste better. If cinnamon didn't have so many health benefits I would probably feel guilty for the insane amounts I use. lol.

    ReplyDelete
  30. That bread is so pretty! I definitely like cinnamon on my oatmeal, cookies (snickerdoodles!) and hot cocoa.

    ReplyDelete
  31. I'm still not convinced I could EVER do this, but it looks purty. And I find the smell of cinnamon very relaxing. But lighting a few candles do just as well :)

    ReplyDelete
  32. I love how you posted all those facts about cinnamon! I looove it and put it on everything-- oatmeal, cereal, sweet potato+cottage cheese, I could go on and on :) and that bread looks amazing!

    ReplyDelete
  33. I've never made bread but feel like I must make this. And I didn't know that a cinnamon tree existed. Yay for knowledge!

    I got my Chik Fil A calendar for Xmas so all is right with the world....

    ReplyDelete
  34. I love cinnamon on...everything. Awhile back I heard it's good for your brain/memory, so I used to sniff it before I had a big test and chew cinnamon gum during the test lol.

    ReplyDelete
  35. how did I miss the dress voting?!

    i love cinnamon! fun facts and great recipe!!

    ReplyDelete
  36. I love cinnamon, especially on warm bread with butter. And I get the urge to bake late at night too. Its the smell that lures me. hehe!
    LC

    ReplyDelete
  37. First off, that's a fabulous NYE dress!

    And the cinnamon braid would warm my hungry tummy right now! It's so pretty looking, ha...pretty for food!

    I love cinnamon too!

    ReplyDelete
  38. Cinnamon is my all time favorite spice. Love it!

    ReplyDelete
  39. Mmm, that looks like an amazing bread!!

    ReplyDelete
  40. I love braiding and I love bread - braided bread is awesome :)

    PS. When did you NOT love Chik fil A? Lol.

    ReplyDelete
  41. No, my bowls aren't leopard print on the outside, but that would be AMAZING. They're just regular 'ole mixing bowls from Williams Sonoma...

    I can only imagine how GOOD that bread smelled and so I need to make it ASAP! And look at you go, baking in the middle of the night AND in nice clothes, no less. I bake in sweats even if it is 3 pm and I have to go change into them just for that purpose, haha.

    ReplyDelete
  42. I do like cinnamon, but not in the cinnamon challenge sense that I saw on another blog. And I'm glad you went with the purple; I think it goes well with the purty shoes, but not too matchy matchy! :)

    ReplyDelete
  43. 1. How do you manage to still look gorgeous while late-night baking? I would be lookin' like a hot mess in my pj's and retainer. Haha... just laughing at the mental image of myself.
    2. Must. Make. That. Bread.
    3. Love the dress!

    ReplyDelete
  44. That bread definitely looks worth staying up late for! The braiding is so cute! I don't know if I could trust myself making it at that hour though... I'd probably fall asleep while it's in the oven and burn the house down. :P

    ReplyDelete
  45. I love cinnamon but I never knew it was that healthy! That bread looks delicious - I have a weakness for cinnamon filled pastries! ;]

    ReplyDelete
  46. Lisa, your bread looks really amazing. I am a cinnamon lover, but have no particular favorite for its use. I really enjoyed browsing through your blog. I'll be back. I hope you enjoy the rest of the holiday week. Blessings...Mary

    ReplyDelete
  47. I love cinnamon! I put it in pretty much everything you do. I also like it sprinkled on apples and the such. The bread looks like it turned out beautifully....

    ReplyDelete
  48. I love you for posting this cinnamon bread!!! Our neighbors shoveled our driveway and I wanted to give them something home-baked to thank them. This is perfect.
    xo
    Mindy

    ReplyDelete