As I write this column, it is early April and I am gazing out my window at the falling snow, the sixth snowfall in as many weeks.  Spring arrived last week, but she is nowhere to be found.  I know I should be writing about a springtime recipe for May, but it is cold and snowy outside, and I’m craving some comfort food.  So cinnamon swirl bread it is.

This tender fragrant loaf infused with swirls of cinnamon is the ultimate comfort food.  It is best served fresh within a few hours of baking. But you can make it a day or two ahead and either reheat the whole loaf or toast slices before serving. You can also freeze the bread for up to a month after baking and before drizzling on the finishing glaze. In the unlikely event that you have any left after several days, cinnamon swirl bread makes a mean French toast.

While I made this bread to soothe the soul on a snowy day, I think cinnamon swirl bread is a great option for Mother’s Day.  What better way to pamper and impress that special lady in your life than with a freshly baked and glazed loaf of this heavenly bread! Happy May!


  • 1 pkg. yeast  (I use Fleischmann’s Active Dry 1/4 oz. pkg—make sure it’s not rapid rise)
  • 1 Cup warm water
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 3 Cups plus 2 tablespoons bread flour (I use King Arthur’s unbleached bread flour)
  • 1/4 Cup sugar
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons oil (I use canola oil)
  • ½ stick margarine, melted
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon

Egg Glaze

  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon water

Finishing Glaze

  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 tablespoon coconut or almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

You will need a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan.  Spray the pan with Pam.

Place yeast in warm, water with 1 and 1/2 teaspoons sugar, and allow to proof (to bubble up a bit so you know that the yeast are alive) 5 to 10 minutes.

Place flour, 1/4 Cup sugar and salt in food processor and pulse a few times to mix. Beat egg and oil in bowl, then add to water/yeast mixture.

Start food processor.  Pour in liquids.  Combine for about 15 seconds.  It should be well combined. When all combined, process for another 40 seconds. Dough will be more sticky than when you knead by hand.

Remove from food processor, knead just a few times, adding a little flour if necessary to prevent sticking. Place in bowl which has been lightly greased with oil and allow dough to rise until doubled in bulk.  This usually takes a couple of hours.  Make sure to cover the dough and leave it in a warm place to rise.

Punch down.  Roll the dough into a rectangle approximately 8 inches by 10 inches.  Brush the melted margarine over the rectangle, mix together the ¼ sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle evenly over the melted margarine.  Roll up the dough, jelly roll style, starting at the 8 inch end.  Seal the edge, then place seam side down in the prepared loaf pan.

Cover the bread and allow to rise again for about 45 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Beat 1 egg with 1 teaspoon water and with a pastry brush, brush the egg glaze gently on the bread.

Bake in a preheated oven for about 35 minutes.

Bread should come out burnished to a deep golden brown.

Allow the bread to cool on a cooling rack. If desired, combine the finishing glaze ingredients and drizzle over the cinnamon swirl bread.

May 2018

Some tips for success

Make sure oven is preheated and it is calibrated to the correct temperature.  You can buy an oven thermometer—it will let you know if your oven is at the correct temperature.  If not, you can adjust it.

Make sure to use bread flour—it has a higher protein content and consequently a higher gluten content which provides the structure needed for a good bread.