Last year, I decided that I wanted to begin a tradition of fall baking to kick off the string of holiday months each year. Things started out simple with some pumpkin bread mix from trader joe’s to the more complicated homemade cinnamon bread. Well, this year, I decided that I would do the same and my son remembered and wanted to participate. So to set this tradition in stone, I went ahead and made the same things as last year, only with a new motive in mind – to remake the cinnamon bread and make it so that it would be in the family forever. But it took some experimentation.
Last year, I made cinnamon bread that smelled great but tasted dry and bland. So this year, I chose two new recipes from my favorite chefs and combined them to make a hybrid cinnamon bread that would hopefully be so great that my family couldn’t resist and would ask for it each year. Well…it worked. The dog even snuck a taste (ok he ate the whole thing) when I wasn’t looking. Luckily, it was after everyone had a taste.
Before you begin, it’s important to note that the Cinnamon Nut Bread Recipe by Emeril Lagasse requires a prepared 11-ounce French Loaf Dough. This is the equivalent of one found in the Pillsbury brand. I’ve chosen to use the dough prepared in Julia Child’s French Bread Recipe and have shared her recipe up to the point necessary for a proper dough to form to use in Emeril’s Recipe.
Here are the recipes I combined:
Julia Child’s French Bread (Dough Preparation Only)
- 2 1/4 teaspoons (1 packet) instant yeast
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 1/4 teaspoons salt
- 1 1/2 cups warm water (120º – 130º)
- In the mixing bowl of a stand mixer using the flat beater, combine the yeast, 2 1/2 cups flour and salt. Mix on low for about 30 seconds.
- With the motor running on low, pour in the warm water. Continue mixing until a shaggy dough forms. Clean off beater and switch to the dough hook. Mix in the remaining cup of flour a little at a time, to make a soft dough, adding more or less flour as needed. Knead the dough for 5 minutes. The surface should be smooth and the dough will be soft and somewhat sticky.
- Turn the dough onto a kneading surface and let rest for 2 – 3 minutes while you wash and dry the bowl.
- Return the dough to the mixing bowl and let it rise at room temperature (about 75º) until 3 1/2 times its original volume. This will probably take about 3 hours.
- Deflate the dough and return it to the bowl. Let the dough rise at room temperature until not quite tripled in volume, about 1 1/2 – 2 hours.
- Meanwhile, prepare the rising surface: rub flour into canvas or linen towel placed on a baking sheet. (I used parchment paper.)
Cinnamon Nut Bread
By Emeril Lagasse
- 11-ounce French loaf (Use Julia Child Recipe without cooking)
- Butter-flavored spray (I use real butter)
- One-half cup walnuts
- One-fourth cup packed brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut the French bread dough in half lengthwise. Then cut each piece into ten slices for a total of 20 slices. Spray a Bundt pan with butter-flavored spray. Add 10 of the dough slices into the bottom of the pan; then spray the dough lightly with the butter-flavored spray. Place the walnuts, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a mini-food chopper and grind until all is finely chopped and blended. Sprinkle the top of the dough slices with the nut mixture, then top with the remaining dough slices. Spray the top lightly with butter-flavored spray. Bake for 30 minutes. When slightly cooled, turn the bread out onto platter. Pull the pieces apart for a tasty treat.