Intro: Braided Cinnamon Pecan Bread
I have been baking bread for years. I taught all five of our children how to bake bread. It served them well with their friends and future mates. One of the breads I made was a braided sweet bread.Since the basic recipe is good I decided to make it into this cinnamon bread with nuts. It is always a success with family and friends, the first bread eaten. the basic bread is very easy, even though the directions may seem long.
Step 1: Braided Cinnamon Pecan Bread
Measuring cup for liquids
Measuring cup for dry ingredients
2 cookie sheets
Step 2: Braided Cinnamon Pecan Bread
!/2 cup of lukewarm water
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
2 packages of dry yeast
2 cups of all purpose flour, unsifted
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup dry skim milk with 1 cup of water or 1 cup of scalded milk
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup soft butter or margarine
2 eggs well beaten
3 cups of all purpose flour, unsifted
8 Tablespoons of butter or margarine melted
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon or to taste
1 egg yolk mixed with 1 teaspoon of water
Step 3: Braided Cinnamon Pecan Bread
Combine 1/2 cup of lukewarm water, 1 teaspoon sugar, 1/4 teaspoon of ginger and 2 packages of yeast in the 1 measure cup. The temperature of the water should be about 100 degrees F, it will feel slightly warm if you test it on your wrist. I have bulk yeast and 2 1/4 teaspoons of yeast equals 1 package of yeast Place it in a warm place and let it set until it is bubbly.
Step 4: Braided Cinnamon Pecan Bread
In a large bowl mix 2 cups of unsifted flour, 1/2 cup of granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 cup dry skimmed milk and 1 cup of water(or 1 cup of scalded milk). Add yeast mixture and beat well. Add soft butter and mix well. Add the 2 eggs and mix well. This batter will be a little moist.
Step 5: Braided Cinnamon Pecan Bread
Spread 2 cups of flour on the bread board. Pour the dough into the middle and knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Add additional flour if needed. To knead bread fold the dough over and push down, turn 1/4 turn and continue the process until the dough is elastic. Grease the bowl and place the dough in it and turn over. Cover with a towel and place in a warm place. Let raise until double in size, about 1 hour.
Step 6: Braided Cinnamon Pecan Bread
After the bread has doubled in size, put on floured board and punch down. Cover with the bowl and let rest for about 10 minutes.(I failed to take a picture of this.) While the bread is resting, melt 8 Tablespoons of butter in a small bowl. I do mine in the microwave. In a small bowl combine 1 1/2 cup of granulated sugar, 1/2 cup of brown sugar, and 2 Tablespoons of cinnamon.
Step 7: Braided Cinnamon Pecan Bread
Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces. Then each of these pieces will be divided into 6 piece. Since this makes 4 loaves that means we need 24 pieces. With the rolling pin roll them out into a round. I worked one loaf at a time. spread about a teaspoon of butter onto each piece of the dough. spread about 1 tablespoon of the sugar cinnamon mix over the butter. Sprinkle about 2 teaspoons of pecans over the sugar mix. Starting from the longest side of the round, roll the dough in a cigar shape. Pull gently as you are rolling to keep the roll tight. Repeat for the remaining 5 pieces. Take 3 of the rolls and cross them in the middle, braid them to each end. Place one roll on top of the other roll. repeat the steps for the remaining 3 loaves. When our kids were small, I would make 2 large loaves instead of 4.
Step 8: Braided Cinnamon Pecan Bread
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Firm the loaf before letting it raise. After the bread has raised, brush with egg yolk thinned with 1 teaspoon of water. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Some of the cinnamon may leak out, so let the bread set for a minute or two on the parchment paper and then remove to a plate or you might have paper with the bread.
Delicious when warm with butter, but also good cold.
This recipe can easily be doubled, which I did when there were 7 of us. If it is doubled you can use 3 packages of yeast instead of 4. If you place 1/2 of the dough in the refrigerator, it will retard the raising while you work with the first half of the dough. I would make the cinnamon bread first because it takes longer to raise. I would use the basic dough to make plain braided bread.
Step 9: Braided Cinnamon Pecan Bread
This recipe can easily doubled. Instead of using 4 packages of yeast, use 3 packages. After the dough raises the first time, place 1/2 of the dough in the refrigerator, which retards the rise. I usually would make the cinnamon bread first, since it takes longer to rise. Then make plain braided bread. These breads also freeze very well.