Some of you may know that I am a garden designer, I'm self-employed and work from home. Most of the time I am pretty disciplined and am glued to my desk but some days my attention wanders and I start thinking of all things baking. That's what happened this week. I was sitting in my office and the desire for warm, sweet bread swept over me. No amount of telling myself to just get on with a garden plan helped so there was nothing for it but to head down to the kitchen.
As much as I like cake my first love is bread. I drool over pictures of sourdough, cinnamon swirls, chelsea buns, well you get the picture. I have been a bit obsessed with enriched doughs recently so it was a very short step to this delicious swirl loaf, packed with things I like to eat it was a great success and disappeared in no time. My husband, who manages to show great restraint when faced with cake simply couldn't stop eating it. That's about the biggest compliment I can think of. For me that even beats a Paul Hollywood handshake and that is saying something!
The two stray bits that won't fit into the tin are the cooks perks. Bake them separately and enjoy them all to yourself .
Hope you enjoy!
Pecan and Cinnamon Swirl Loaf
This could be the family’s favourite breakfast (or anytime) sweet bread. I must admit that we all find it addictive, once tasted we cannot stop until the whole loaf has gone. I like to add the raisins to the dough rather than the filling, I find they stay in place and don’t burn.
Time (including proving) : 4 ½ - 5 hours
Serves : 8 – 10 ( or 2 in my house)
For the dough
200ml Whole milk
500g Strong bread flour
1tsp Ground cinnamon
1 ½ tsp Salt
80g Soft brown sugar
10g Easy Bake yeast
115g Unsalted butter – melted and cooled
2 Large eggs – lightly beaten
1tsp Vanilla extract (optional)
For the filling
For the Icing
200g Icing Sugar
Juice of 1 orange
23cm spring form cake tin – greased with butter
Place all the dry ingredients for the dough in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, keep the salt and yeast apart. Mix for 30 seconds until combined. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix on a medium setting for 10 minutes. This is quite a sticky dough but different flours absorb different amount of moisture so if you think it is too wet add a little extra flour but not too much. If you don’t have a mixer you can make it by hand, I find it easiest to knead on an oiled work surface with the aid of a couple of bench scrapers.
When the dough is ready, place in a fresh lightly oiled bowl. You may need to fold stray raisins into the dough. Cover with cling film and allow to double in size. This will take approx. 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 200C (fan) 220C (conventional)
On a lightly floured work surface roll out the dough to approx. 50cm x 30cm
Brush the dough with the melted butter, you may not need it all.
Sprinkle the dough with the sugar, cinnamon and lastly the chopped pecans, trying to get the toppings to the edges of the dough. If you have any melted butter left over drizzle that over the dough too.
Now start rolling from the 50cm side, keep it tight–ish so you end up with a 50cm sausage. Cut into 4cm rounds.
Place rounds into your prepared tin, you will find that you can only get 11 in the tin but that means you have one bun just for you, cooks perks! Don’t worry about leaving space around them they will spread upwards.
Place in a large plastic bag and allow to rise for about 45 mins – 1 hour. It will continue to rise in the oven.
Place the tin in the preheated oven and bake for 25 – 30 minutes. Do not over brown, you want a nice soft golden dough. Bake the chefs perks for 15 – 18 minutes.
Mix the icing sugar with the fresh orange juice. The consistency is up to you, I like a bit of thickness to the icing but some people prefer just a glaze.
Unclip the spring form tin and remove ring, drizzle the icing over the warm buns and leave to cool for as long as your willpower allows. Drizzle some icing over the chefs bun too, and eat as soon as you can, you have to make sure it tastes good don’t you?