There is a real art to making bread. I believe that you can follow a bread recipe to a T but if you don't know the way the dough is supposed to look and feel like it can turn out a total flop! Which is frustrating for someone that likes to follow recipes to a T... cough cough. :) My dad is a wonderful bread maker and I have learned a lot from him. I still will call him to ask him baking questions all the time. We share our love of baking and eating anything with a ton of carbs! ;) Shame on us!!
I'm starting to learn and get used to the dough in my hands and how it should feel. I love kneading dough and making something so glorious from scratch. It's very rewarding for me. Plus it's really good to eat!
This bread is great on it's own, warm, with a little bit of butter. Or it's even better drizzled with cream cheese icing. I went with the cream cheese icing if you can't tell.
4 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 package active dry yeast
1 1/3 cups milk
3 Tablespoons sugar
3 Tablespoons butter or margarine
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 3oz packages of cream cheese
1/2 cup butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar
Mix together 2 cups of flour and the yeast and set aside.
Heat the milk, sugar, butter, and salt until it is warm (120-130 degrees) and until the butter melts.
Add the heated milk mixture with the dry mixture along with the eggs.
Beat with an electric mixer on low to medium speed for 20 seconds.
Beat on high speed for 3 minutes.
Using a wooden spoon stir as much of the remaining flour in as you can.
Knead your dough on a flour surface adding as much of the flour as you can to make a moderately stiff dough that is smooth and elastic. (6-8 minutes total)
Shape the dough into a ball and place in a greased bowl.
Cover and let rise in a warm place till double in size, about an hour.
Punch dough down.
Divide the dough in half and cover and let rest for 10 minutes.
Grease two 8x4x2 inch loaf pans.
Roll each ball of dough into two 12x7 rectangles on a lightly floured surface.
Brush them lightly with water.
Combine 1/2 cup sugar and 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon.
Sprinkle half of the sugar mixture onto each rectangle.
Roll Up jelly roll style, starting with the short side.
Seal the the seam.
Place seal down in prepared loaf pans.
Cover and let rise in a warm place till nearly doubled in size.
Bake in a 375 oven for 25-30 minutes or till bread sounds hollow when you tap the top.
Beat together two 2 3ounce packages cream cheese, softened; 1/2 cup butter, softened; and 2 teaspoons vanilla till light and fluffy.
Gradually add 2 cups of powdered sugar, beating well.
Slowly add in more powdered sugar until you reach your desire of spreading consistency.
Recipe modifies and adapted from the Better Homes and Garden Cookbook