Friday, 6 November 2009

Spelt Cinnamon Loaf

The Germans like to say that "Alles geht durcheinander" when things aren't going right, and that about sums it up this week - actually that's not strictly true, this week's been fine, I'm just grumpy due to lurgy/porcine flu. So instead of having multiple tantrums I returned to my favourite kitchen activity - baking

Yes, those who follow this blog will no doubt express their bemusement, after all I renounced baking last week but Scandi softie that I am I just couldn't help posting a recipe for this spelt cinnamon loaf. A Johansen favourite if there ever was one

The recipe has been adapted from a tried and tested cinnamon bun recipe in Trina Hahnemann's 'The Scandinavian Cookbook' but I've made it a bit easier - with spelt flour all you have to do is give the dough a good thrashing with a large wooden spoon for five minutes, and I chuck the dough in the fridge overnight to slow-ferment. Perfect for lazy weekend brunches, and even though my nose is blocked I can just about detect the heady scent of cinnamon, sugar and butter

Try it and let me know what you think

As we say in 'Weegieland, god helg!


I've halved the original recipe, but used 2/3 of the original filling recipe as I like butter and sugar. Instead of only using refined flour I toss in some wholemeal spelt flour to add a bit of texture and nuttiness. Feel free to use plain wheat flour as the original recipe suggests. There are photos below the recipe to show method and how to make the bun version


300g refined spelt flour
125g wholemeal flour
70g caster sugar
20g fresh yeast
1 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg, beaten
250ml whole milk scalded
75g butter


100g soft butter
75g caster sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon

In a small saucepan, scald the milk along with the butter and allow to cool while you assemble the other ingredients. In a large bowl, sift all the dry ingredients together - if you want these less grainy, then leave out some of the bran from when you sieve the wholemeal flour - and stir through using a large spoon

Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients, add the egg, then the milk. It's important the milk/butter is below 50 Celsius degrees when you do this, otherwise the yeast will die when it comes in contact with the hot liquid. If you don't have a thermometer to measure the milk's temperature, use your fingers. The milk should feel warm to the touch, not hot.
Mix the ingredients together until the mixture comes off the sides of the bowl and looks - for want of a better word - doughy

Place in a lightly oiled bag or bowl and refrigerate overnight

The next morning, take the dough out of the fridge and place in a warm room or cupboard (not the dryer as I once did...forgetting that it tumbles. Yes I am an idiot) and let it come to room temperature

Make the filling by mixing butter, cinnamon and sugar together. Using a rolling pin, make a rectangular shape of the dough, about 40cm x 30cm. Place the filling on the center of the rectangle and spread out. If the kitchen's a bit cold - as mine was this morning - and the butter is firm, use your hands to spread the filling. Not only does the heat from your hands help to smooth the butter over your dough, but it's immensely satisfying getting your hands all sticky. Butter makes an excellent moisturiser, and the sugar acts as a great exfoliatiant ladies!

Once you've finished making a mess with the filling, and - crucially - tasted it, start rolling the dough into a wide cylinder so it looks like an uncooked swiss roll. Ie. roll from the longest part of the rectangle, not the shortest

Using a sharp, uncerrated knife, cut the log into 1.5cm/1 inch slices if you want buns, or slice the log in half and bake in two lightly oiled bread tins. Allow to rise for 30-40 minutes in a warming cupboard until the loaves have doubled in size. Gently poke one with your little finger and the indentation should stay put. In other words, there is no 'spring-back'

Preheat the oven to 200 Celsius (400 Fahrenheit) and before you place the buns in the oven, glaze with a little milk. Bake on the upper-middle shelf of the oven for 30-45 minutes. The loaves are ready when you tap them and they sound hollow

Cool on the kitchen window sill as I did and risk the loaves falling off or being nibbled by pigeons. Or do the sensible thing and allow the loaves to cool on a wire rack for 1/2 hour before slicing

Needless to say this keeps for a number of days and makes excellent toast ;-)


paul said...

My kids have just devoured your wonderful cinnamon loaf for breakfast - I can confirm it makes wonderful toast!

Thanks again!

Sophie said...

I so love using spelt flour in my baking. Its taste is great & a bit nutty!

This bread looks wonderful & so tasty too!