cinnamon pecan swirl bread, revisited

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A few days ago, I went on a mission. My mission? Baking Cinnamon Pecan Swirl Bread, but adding my personal swirls. My first experience with the quick bread was so-so. While the sweet, cinnamon-y, pecan-studded bread was quite tasty, I was not satisfied with the overall outcome: I wanted a bread that was more wholesome, dense, and bready.

I was pleased with the outcome of my version of Cinnamon Pecan Swirl Bread, better named Cinnamon Swirl Bread with Cinnamon-Sugar Pecan Topping. I made the following modifications to the first recipe I used: 1) I reduced the total sugar by 1/3 cup, yielding a just right, subtle level of sweetness. 2) The addition of whole wheat flour (and a teaspoon of baking soda, I think) to the batter resulted in a less spongy, more dense and bread-like bread. However, because whole wheat flour is a bit heartier, it caused the bread to be a little drier than the previous batch. I will continue to experiment with the amount of flour and amount of milk in the recipe.  3) Swapping the oil with butter did not cause a significant flavor change; however, knowing I used butter made the bread feel more warm and cozy (which I loved). Still, I do believe that oil yields a moister bread, so I will continue to experiment with this modification. 4) I used roughly chopped pecans in the topping only; I did not use them in the swirl. I liked the bread more without the interruption of pesky little pecan pieces, but I still enjoyed their crunch on the top. 5) I combined the sugar with the wet ingredients instead of the dry ingredients; perhaps, like the addition of whole wheat flour (and baking soda), this caused the bread to be less spongy, more dense and bread-like. I would also like to try alternately adding the dry ingredients and milk to the wet ingredients to form the bread batter. I still have a lot to experiment with :)

Cinnamon Swirl Bread with Cinnamon-Sugar Topping recipe adapted from the blog Bake or Break

For the bread:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 5 Tablespoons butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk
For the cinnamon swirl and cinnamon-sugar pecan topping:
  • 1/2 cup toasted pecans, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease or spray loaf pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, sift or whisk together dry ingredients.
  3. In a larger bowl, blend butter and sugar until smooth. Add in egg and vanilla extract, stirring until well combined with the butter and sugar mixture. Gently stir in milk.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and stir until just combined.
  5. In a small bowl, stir together sugar and cinnamon for the cinnamon swirl.
  6. Pour half of the bread batter into prepared loaf pan. Sprinkle with half of the sugar and cinnamon mixture. Swirl bread with a knife or spatula.
  7. Add pecans to the remaining sugar and cinnamon mixture; toss pecans to coat in sugar and cinnamon.
  8. Pour remaining bread batter in loaf pan. Top with cinnamon-sugar pecan topping. Gently push down on topping to insure that the topping “sticks” to the bread.
  9. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  10. Allow bread to cool in loaf pan for 5-10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.
My plans for the rest of the day include working out at the gym (I have missed my gym workouts!), baking Double Chocolate Chip Muffins to send in a first-week-of-school care package to my brother, a make-up lesson at the Clinique counter (free eyeshadow), and hopefully, more blogging. Have a wonderful rest of the weekend!
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2 responses »

  1. This will be the first recipe I will try. Since go on a vacation for much baking in the summer time, I thought this sounded good to take to the country store for our church picnic in September. I we have a real cool spell I will bake it sooner.

  2. This will be the first recipe I will try. Since go on a vacation for much baking in the summer time, I thought this sounded good to take to the country store for our church picnic in September. If we have a real cool spell I will bake it sooner.

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