Cinnamon Bread Loaf

Warm cinnamon rolls are the best thing in the world to wake up to. Soft sweet spiced warm hug in the morning. But having traditional cinnamon rolls for breakfast everyday isn’t exactly feasible. At least for me it isn’t. As it is, I’m already having trouble with my weight management. Tempting as it is to bury myself in a pan of sweet cinnamon rolls, I just can’t bring myself to do it.

But I miss the flavours and want a healthier version of them with less sugar, less fat and more fiber. Seems like I’m asking for too much. Or am I?

Turns out, I can have my bread and eat it too. No, it’s not the same as cinnamon rolls (nothing can be the same as those glorious buns). It’s more breakfast friendly, without the guilt! You’ll see what I mean in a sec.

For the bread, it calls for Whole Wheat Flour, White Bread Flour, Yeast & Salt. This is the dry part.
Cinnamon Bread Loaf 1

To moisten the flours, we use slightly warmed up Milk, Water, Butter & Honey. This already sounds good!
Cinnamon Bread Loaf 2

The bread dough is enriched with an egg, giving it better flavour and a soft texture.
Cinnamon Bread Loaf 3-5

Here come the kneading part. Its feels pretty nice to push the soft dough around for a bit u til it becomes smooth and elastic. I still wish I owned a KitchenAid mixer though. If I had one, I’d be making bread every week! Until I own one, these bread-making escapades shall be reserved for times I need some alone quiet times. As Nigella always says, mindless repetitive activity is quite therapeutic.
Cinnamon Bread Loaf 6-8

Here lays my nicely risen poofy dough and the ingredients for filling.
Cinnamon Bread Loaf 9

A good dose of vanilla caviar… Irreplaceable.
Cinnamon Bread Loaf 10

I used Dark Brown Sugar with Cinnamon Powder, Vanilla Bean, Chopped Walnut & some Melted Butter.
Cinnamon Bread Loaf 11-13

This recipe makes 2 loaves which I bakes in an 8×8 square tins with success! Only thing that’snot successful is my portioning abilities. Wonky loaves emerged.
Cinnamon Bread Loaf 14

But still, look at them spirals!
Cinnamon Bread Loaf 15

Excellent breakfasty and healthy substitutes for cinnamon buns.
Cinnamon Bread Loaf 16

In fact, you can have 3 slices of this and still feel pretty good about yourself :-)
Cinnamon Bread Loaf 17

Love baked goods with hidden treasures within ♥

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“For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” {Mark 8:23}

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Cinnamon Bread Loaf
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 2 loaves
Ingredients
Bread Dough
  • 3½ – 4 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 2½ cups Whole Wheat Flour
  • 4½ tsp Active Dry Yeast
  • 1 tbsp Salt
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 1 cup Water
  • 3 tbsp Butter
  • 1 Egg
  • ¼ cup Runny Honey
Filling
  • 2 tbsp Butter, melted
  • ½ cup Brown Sugar (I used Dark)
  • seeds from 1 Vanilla Bean, scraped
  • 1 tbsp Ground Cinnamon
Steps
  1. In a large bowl whisk together 1 cup all-purpose flour, all 2½ cups of the wheat flour, yeast and salt. Mix well.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small sauce pan, heat the milk, water, honey and butter until warm, not hot. (about 130 degrees).
  3. Add to flour mixture. Add egg and stir until moist.
  4. Add the rest (or most) of the all purpose flour (2½ – 3 cups). When mostly mixed, pour contents onto a lightly floured surface and knead until the dough is compact and all bits are incorporated.
  5. Oil a large bowl and put the dough in, flipping it over so it’s greased on top. Cover with a light towel and allow to rise 1+ hours, or until double in size.
  6. Stir together brown sugar, vanilla bean, and cinnamon. Butter the bottoms and sides of two bread pans (9 x 5 inch) or one 8 x 8 pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper.
  7. Deflate dough and divide into two equal halves. On a floured surface, pat each half into a 9×15 inch rectangle. Brush each dough rectangle with melted butter and then divide the sugar-y filling between them, patting it into the surface.
  8. Roll up the short side and pinch the dough seam at the end. Place in prepared pans seam-side down.
  9. Allow dough to rise in bread pans in a warm place for an hour or until double in size/peaking over the top of the bread pans. About half way through pre-heat your oven to 375 F or 180 C.
  10. Bake for 35-45 minutes, until the top is nice and dark and sounds hollow when tapped. Remove from the oven and brush the top lightly with butter and allow to cool on a wire rack.
  11. Slice & serve!

 

Recipe adapted from: Take A Mega Bite

Meatballs Baked Pasta

Remember the meatballs from 2 days ago? They were great on their own. Toss them into a pasta dish, top with cheese and baked? A DREAM! Also, since this dish is kinda red, I’m gonna claim it as my Chinese New Year offering to you. No, there’s nothing remotely Chinese about this. But it’s all red and festive and lively.

No one complains about meatballs, pasta and cheese. So this will do for a Chinese New Year thingy. I’m sticking with this. :-P You know what? It doesn’t matter. This is a pretty delicious dish for every single day of the year.

The base for this dish is pasta of any kind, pasta sauce & whatever fillers you want to use. For me, I had some olives in the fridge and a can of button mushrooms in the pantry. You can toss in some chopped veggies if you’re so inclined.
Meatballs Baked Pasta 1

No cheese on this is good but a mix of Swiss Cheese & Parmesan is great. Swiss cheese gives a nice melty creaminess while Parmesan offers it’s nutty flavour.
Meatballs Baked Pasta 2

Once pasta is about 3/4 cooked, just drain and stir into the pasta sauce with a little pasta cooking water & a dash of milk. You can’t have the pasta all fully cooked if you are going to bake it. Otherwise, it’ll become overcooked and break apart. How to know that the pasta is 3/4 cooked? It’s pliable with a bit too much bite. Also, there should be quite a bit of sauce in the pan just so there’s enough liquids to finish cooking the pasta as well as prevent the dish from drying out.
Meatballs Baked Pasta 3

Umm… blur picture alert. Just keep your eyes on the cheese. Cheese makes everything better, including blurry pictures. Also, meatballs.
Meatballs Baked Pasta 4

Cheese snow, people!
Meatballs Baked Pasta 5

If I had more patience and weren’t so hungry, I’d let this go even browner. 
Meatballs Baked Pasta 6

Yes, dig in.
Meatballs Baked Pasta 7

Look at that… just look at that.
Meatballs Baked Pasta 8

One serving of this and you will win anyone over.
Meatballs Baked Pasta 9

There’s another portion for another meal. Meal that keeps on giving.
Meatballs Baked Pasta 10

Make this all your own. Replace anything with whatever. Just don’t skimp on the cheese and baking time. Brown bubbly cheese makes all things better. Just do it.

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“The Lord of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand.” {Isaiah 14:24}

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Meatballs Baked Pasta
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 250 gm (8 oz) Pasta of your choice
  • 1 can Pasta Sauce, homemade or store bought is fine
  • 8 Button Mushrooms, quartered
  • 8 pitted Black Olives, sliced
  • 12-13 Meatballs
  • ½ cup Milk
  • ½ cup grated Swiss Cheese
  • ½ cup Parmesan
Steps
  1. Preheat oven to 180 C or 375 F. If making this right after baking meatballs, just reduce temperature of the oven.
  2. Bring a pot of salted water to the boil & cook pasta until ¾ cooked. It should be pliable but still have a bit too much bite.
  3. Drain but retain about 1 cup cooking water.
  4. Return pasta into pot & pour in pasta sauce, mushrooms & olives.
  5. Pour in milk & enough water so that there's enough sauce to cover pasta about ⅔ way up the baking pan.
  6. Pour everything into an 8 x 8 baking pan. Top with meatballs. Push them halfway into the pasta & sauce.
  7. Sprinkle on shredded cheeses evenly over the top.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes or until desired doneness.
  9. Let it cool for 10 minutes & then serve.
Notes
You might feel obliged to make your own pasta sauce for this and that would be great. But on a week night, after making your own meatballs, it's perfectly fine to fall back on the store bought variety. Being able to make one element of the recipe yourself is already pretty great ;-)