A filling breakfast loaf from Beca Lyne-Pirkis
Start your day the cinnamon toast way. A delicious breakfast loaf served simply on its own with butter, or with your choice of nut butter and fruit, which is my favourite and makes a perfect breakfast to fuel you ahead of a long run.
250g strong wholemeal bread flour
250g strong white bread flour
10g fast-acting yeast or 15g fresh
85g unsalted butter, soft
For the cinnamon filling:
50g unsalted butter, very soft
1 ½ tbsp ground cinnamon
3 tbsp light brown sugar
Preheat your oven to 200C. In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, add the flours, yeast, salt and butter and mix to combine. In a saucepan, gently heat the milk and honey until it reaches body temperature and then leave to cool slightly – this will make the honey easier to incorporate into the dough.
Once the dry ingredients are evenly mixed, crack in the eggs and add the milk and bring the dough together to form a ball.
If you’re mixing in a stand mixer, leave the machine to do its magic on a medium speed until the dough is smooth and elastic and comes away from the sides of the bowl cleanly. If you’re kneading by hand, continue to knead and work the dough until it leaves the work surface cleanly and is smooth and elastic to touch. The dough will be quite sticky at the start, but is absolutely possible to make by hand—persevere.
Dust the surface with a little flour and form a tight ball with the dough before placing back in the bowl, covering and leaving to prove until it has doubled in size—this may take 2-3 hours.
Once the dough has risen, dust your work surface and scrape the dough out and roll to a large circle, around 1.5cm thick. Spread the very soft butter with your hands, being careful not the tear the dough. You may find it easier to melt the butter and brush it over using a pastry brush.
Mix the cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl until combined and sprinkle over the dough evenly, right up to the edges.
To roll up and form your loaf freestyle, pull in the edges of the dough to meet in the middle in a heptagon formation (see above). Repeat this again and pinch the seams together. You may be able to get the ball tighter by pulling in the edges again, but be careful as the dough may split.
Turn the ball over and shape into an even round, before placing on a baking sheet lined with greaseproof paper. Cover with a tea towel and leave to prove again, this time for around 1 hour.
If you’d rather bake the loaf in a tin, grease a 2lb loaf tin, roll out the dough to a long rectangle the width of the tin and thickness of 1.5cm. Spread it with the butter and sprinkle the sugar and cinnamon before rolling up the dough, swiss roll style. Place the dough seam side down in the tin and prove for a 2nd time.
Bake your loaf for 25-28 mins. As it is rich with butter and sugar, the dough will colour quicker than normal, but don’t be tempted to take it out of the oven earlier or turn the temperature down as the dough in the middle will not cook.
Once baked, leave to cool on a wire rack until cold. To serve, slice and toast the bread, spread on a thick layer of nut butter, arrange a sliced banana on top and finish with an extra dusting of cinnamon.
Tip: You could add 100g of raisins, sultanas, dried apple or a combination of these to the loaf at the cinnamon sugar stage if you wish.
Recipe and images: Beca Lyne-Pirkis