Dear Cinnamon and Sugar,
I would just like to write this letter to express my congratulations on your marriage. Never was a finer couple brought together, creating the most amazingly sweet taste combination ever invented. I appreciate your willingness to be duplicated in multiple forms - on top of buttery cookies, on fried churros and now, in the swirl of my braided loaf. You are too kind and generous to allow so many of us to take advantage of your unparalleled deliciousness. Blessings on your future.
It's true - never was there a better combination created than cinnamon and sugar (though peanut butter and chocolate is definitely in close competition for first place). And it's so versatile, too. The snickerdoodle has no monopoly on the cinnamon and sugar industry. The proof? Cinnamon Sugar Braided Loaf.
Braided loaves are always a mystery to me - they're difficult to manipulate into a braid, and the braid itself isn't really a braid, but rather two pieces of dough twirled around each other. You could call it a rope loaf, then, but "braid" sounds so much yummier. And it's a better word for representing the result of braiding a loaf -- a thin line of potent flavor embedded, or braided, in a cakey expanse of sugary white bread.
This loaf can be as strong or as mild in flavor as you prefer. A word of caution, though: Always use more sugar and cinnamon than you think you'll need. What might look like a heap of the ingredients on the dough slab will turn out to be only a sliver of a line throughout the loaf. Some may like it this way, but I'm partial towards a loaf packed with that sweet cinnamon flavor, so I probably use about a tablespoon of cinnamon and sugar each for the inside of the bread, and about half that on top.
Also, don't be shocked when you pour a goopy, liquid mass on your countertop while making the dough. It's the best way to slowly incorporate flour without using too much and thus toughening the dough. And don't be discouraged if you have trouble braiding together the pieces -- a little imperfection never takes away any of the taste.
Cut this loaf into thick slices and use it to make cinnamon French toast, or cut into cubes and use for your next bread pudding. Or, eat a piece as is. You too will be writing letters to Cinnamon and Sugar in due time.
Stephanie (aka Girl versus Dough) has joined Tablespoon to share her adventures in the kitchen. Check out Stephanie's Tablespoon member profile and keep checking back for her own personal recipes on Tablespoon!