There are few things I love more than cinnamon-sugar toast. Toasted white bread, spread with softened butter and sprinkled with a sweet-spicy blend of cinnamon and granulated sugar is that with which all of my best childhood breakfast memories are made. The bread was Pepperidge Farm white bread and the butter Land O’Lakes (or maybe even Fleischman’s Margarine) and it was all just too good to be true. As an adult, I indulge in cinnamon-sugar toast far too infrequently, but I make up for it by almost always having it on offer when feeding breakfast to my family. Or, on special occasions, by baking up this yeasted cinnamon-sugar bread for them. This loaf pays tribute to the toast of my elementary school days, and just happens to be mind-bogglingly delicious.
A super easy, yeasted dough is thrown together in a stand mixer (I call for instant yeast in my recipe, which does not require that your ingredients be at a specific temperature before combining them, and thus further simplifies the assembly of said dough). I also call for adding a bit of butter and an egg to the dough, for richness. I also use buttermilk, as the dough’s liquid, for tang and tenderness, and a bit of potato starch to soften the crumb. Yeast, I know, can be scary for some, what with fears of killing it with liquid that is too warm. Or, waiting patiently only to find that it never activates. But this recipe is truly foolproof. I have over-proved it on hot days and under-proved it on cold ones, and yet still the bread is always soft and pillow-y and the perfect vehicle for the lovely swirl that gives it its signature “cinnamon-sugar toast” vibe.
The swirl is, of course, my favorite part and so I am generous with my sugar and equally as generous with my cinnamon. I mix the two together and then brush melted butter on the rolled-out dough before sprinkling my sweet-spicy concoction all over. The melted butter adds lusciousness to the bread, and helps the filling stick to the dough. After the sprinkled dough is rolled into a tight cylinder — and please roll as tightly as you can, as the tighter you roll the dough the more ribbons of swirl you will have in every bite — more melted butter is brushed on the top, giving the bread its signature (or at least “signature” to those I live with) glossy shine post-bake. And, yes, once removed from the oven a final coating of melted butter is applied (really just because I cannot leave well enough alone).
I like to let the bread rest almost not-at-all, as I love serving slices still warm from the oven and spread with softened butter. However, because it is so darn good toasted, letting it come to room temp and toasting up slices then, is equally as delightful. The swirl is present in almost every bite of the bread and that is a good thing for all of the cinnamon-sugar toast lovers amongst us. And because the dark swirls against the white crumb is just such a heavenly sight.A final word about making this ahead: after your roll the dough into a cylinder and place it in the pan, and before its second rise, you can wrap it in plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator over night. In the morning, let it come to room temperature on the counter and then bake as directed. The recipe can be found here.