Cinnamon Triple Berry Bread


Sometimes, a good sweet bread hits the spot.  I've been away from the blog for a little bit, but it felt like forever.  Between working late and a recent family emergency, I've had no time to dedicate to posts.  It's nice to get back into the groove of things.  What better way to return than a decadent berry bread?

I decided to try this gorgeous looking Cinnamon Swirl bread out after seeing a ton of posts on Instagram about it.  There was a contest, which I didn't make it in time to enter, but that didn't curb my interest in making this lovely sweet bread.  I love a challenge!


The original recipe has a great walk through.  My post is a simpler version.  I changed the recipe slightly, using blackberries instead of blueberries.

First came the bread dough.  I heated up some milk and heavy cream to lukewarm, and melted the butter.  The original recipe called for whole milk, so since I had 1%, I thickened it up with the heavy cream.  I mixed the yeast with the sugar, then stirred in the milk, cream, egg yolk, and melted butter and combined well with fork.  I set it aside for 5 minutes, where it foamed up quite a bit.


Next, I whisked together the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl, then added the milk mixture and began kneading it.  I used my Kitchen aid mixer to knead the bread rather than doing so by hand.  I let it run for about 8 minutes, making sure the dough was pulling away from the sides of the bowl.  


Next, I coated the dough with  a light layer of olive oil, then set it in the bottom of the mixing bowl.


I covered it and left it to rise for an hour, until it had doubled in size.


Then, I sprinkled some flour on my pastry mat and began rolling out the dough.


I rolled the dough out to form a rectangle about 12 x 18" in size.


In a small bowl, I mixed some butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon together, then spread it over the bread.


For the berries, I went with strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries.  I cut them into chunks and sprinkled them over the sugar mixture.  The blackberries were a swap from blueberries, which happened purely by accident.  I went the market without my ingredient list, and once I had picked the blackberries I decided the swap was a great reason to try cooking with blackberries.


I spread the berries over all the dough.


Now to start the tricky part.  I rolled the dough up, rolling the berries inside.


Then, I sliced the roll lengthwise starting at the end and cutting until I had about 2 inches left at the other side.


Below is the sliced roll.


I then turned the 2 sides upward so that the exposed berries faced up.


The next part proved a bit challenging--an extra pair of hands is very helpful here!  I created a twist by braiding the bread, overlapping one slice over another until reaching the end.


I grabbed my cast iron skillet and coated it with some nonstick baking spray.  I repositioned the braided bread into a circle shape, then carefully placed it in the skillet.  Finally, I used a brush to add some beaten egg whites over the bread.


I baked the bread for 25 minutes, until the dough had browned a bit and the berries were bubbly.  I think using the egg white rather than a full egg caused it to brown less, but the bread was still fully cooked.


Finally, I sprinkled on some powdered sugar to finish it off.  Look at that beauty.


First sweet bread experience = great!  The berries were quite decadent, and the bread was great with it.  Th bread itself was not sweet; the berries and powdered sugar topping made up for the lack of sugar in the dough.  This bread is excellent for a dessert or for breakfast, and with all the fruit inside I felt great about it.  I saved some slices for a couple people and got great feedback all around.  This is a great way to use up some extra berries!  Next time I would chop the fruit a tiny bit smaller, but the hunks made for a nice burst of flavor.

Cinnamon Triple Berry Bread Recipe

Ingredients:

For the dough:
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/2 cup 1% milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons butter
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

For the filling:
1/4 cup butter
3 teaspoons cinnamon
1 cup sliced strawberries
1/2 cup blackberries
1/2 cup raspberries
1 egg white, beaten

Instructions:

Heat milk and heavy cream to lukewarm; melt 2 tablespoons of butter. In a small bowl, mix yeast with sugar, then stir in milk, cream, egg yolk, and melted butter. Whisk together or stir with a fork until well combined. Allow mixture to rest for 5 minutes; it will begin to foam and increase in volume. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Pour the milk mixture over the dry ingredients and begin kneading, by hand or with a mixer attachment, until it begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl. Place dough on a lightly floured counter and knead by hand for about 10 minutes more, or continue using knead attachment for 7-8 more minutes on low speed. Dough ball should be smooth and moist, without being too sticky. form dough into a ball, coat lightly with olive oil, and place in a large bowl. Cover and allow the dough to rest at warm room temperature for about 1 hour, until doubled in size. In a small bowl, stir together the butter with sugar and cinnamon for the filling. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 10-inch cast iron skillet or spray with nonstick baking spray. Set aside. After the dough has doubled in size, place it on a lightly floured counter and knead twice. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a rectangle shape about 18×12 inches in size. Spread the cinnamon filling over it, leaving about a 1 inch border around the edges. Sprinkle the fresh berries over the filling. Gently roll the dough lengthwise, folding up the berries as you go. Use a sharp knife to cut the log in half length-wise leaving about 1 inch of the edge uncut. Turn the two pieces so that the cut side is facing up. Braid the two pieces, folding the left strand over the right strand, until the entire length is complete. Join the two ends, creating a circle with the dough and press together. Using both hands, gently move the dough into the prepared cast iron skillet. Brush the wreath with the beaten egg white, then bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and bubbling. Allow to cool before slicing.

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