Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Cinnamon Swirl Cereal Bread

I've been on a search for breakfast cereals that I like, and it's been difficult. Most of them - even the ones labeled  "healthy" seem way too sweet for me. A little sweetness is fine, but I don't want candy for breakfast.

Truthfully, I never liked sweet cereals, even as a kid. Not even the ones with cute marshmallows.

Recently, I tried Erewhon, a puffed brown rice cereal. It passed the not-too-sweet test, bordering on the savory. It reminded me of Rice Krispies, except much less sweet and flatter. Like everything else edible in my kitchen, it got me thinking about what I could do with it that would be different.

Sure, most people eat their cereal with milk, but that doesn't mean that's all you can do with it. I had a couple ideas for baking with the cereal, then had the bread brainstorm.

The result was interesting. The cereal lost its crispness and became a little bit chewy - like soft nuts or maybe bits of dried fruit.It added an interesting texture to the bread, and it seemed to gather up cinnamon flavor around it as well.

This bread isn't heavy on the sugar or the cinnamon. You could easily double the amounts of both if you prefer a stronger-flavored or sweeter filling. You could also double up on the cereal, but I liked the idea of having it dotted in the swirl rather than being a filling.

Cinnamon Swirl Cereal Bread

For the dough:
2 1/4 teaspoons yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup lukewarm water
2 1/2 cups (11 1/4 ounces) bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 tablespoons butter, divided
For the filling:

1/2 cup Erewhon brown rice cereal
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons sugar

Combine the yeast, sugar, and water in the bowl of your stand mixer. Let it stand for a minute or two, then add the bread flour. Knead with the dough hook until the mixture is smooth and elastic.

Add the salt, vanilla, and 3 tablespoons of butter and knead until all are fully incorporated.

Cover the bowl and let the dough rest until doubled in size, about an hour.

Flour your work surface and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Turn out the dough and form in into a rough rectangle.

Close-up of the cereal. Just because I can.
Roll the dough to about 9 inches by 18 inches. Sprinkle the cereal, cinnamon, and sugar over the dough, leaving about an inch uncovered on one of the short ends.

Roll up the dough, jellyroll style, starting at the short end opposite the end you left uncovered. Don't roll it tightly. When you get to the end, seal the seam and the ends and put the dough into a 9x5 bread pan. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and set aside until doubled in size, about 40 minutes.

Remove the plastic wrap and bake at 350 degrees until the loaf is nicely browned, about 40 minutes. About 10 minutes before the bread is done baking, brush the top with the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter.

Let cool completely on a rack before cutting.

Disclaimer: I received some samples of this cereal from Attune Foods, but was not required to write about it, review it, or use in recipes. Just samples, folks.

This has been submitted to YeastSpotting.