Breads & Muffins

There’s a Plan for This

Maple Cinnamon Wheat Bread-Duo Dishes
Round 1: Maple Cinnamon Wheat Bread that is neither mapley, nor cinnamony.

This bread actually came about because there were a couple of other recipes for which we had a hankering.  We thought to ourselves, “Selves, a sweet breakfast and a hearty sandwich would be perfect if we had a good X.”  So we had to deal with X, which was a soft loaf of wheat bread.  We’d only tackled one yeast-risen bread loaf so far to date, so it was surely time to give it another try.  After doing more research on bread baking techniques and tricks, we drafted a recipe that seemed like a good one.  We had everything on hand to make this, so writing the initial recipe came easily.  Unlike the first loaves of bread we made, this one involved tricep-trimming kneading action that we had previously been lucky enough to avoid.  After two rounds of rising, into the oven it went!   But what came out was not quite what we expected.

Our dear friends, looks can be deceiving.  What you see above–that maple cinnamon bread–is not as sweet as it would seem!  Unfortunately, it had no cinnamon nor maple flavor at all and tasted like plain old wheat bread.  That would’ve been fine and dandy if that was our original goal…but it was not.  So back to the drawing board.  For the next round at the rodeo, we doubled the cinnamon, sprinkled in a little ginger, added more maple syrup and glugged in a bit of honey.  Back into the oven it went.  This time, the end result was gorgeous on the outside with little patches of squishy, gummy insides.  Must’ve been too much maple syrup and honey.

Round #2: Frozen Honey Maple Wheat Bread
Round 2: Frozen Honey Maple Wheat Bread with gummy insides.

Again, we went back to the recipe to tweak it.  This time around we used much less maple syrup and honey and threw in cranberries to add in natural sweetness.  Nowhere near the original starting point, but the journey definitely brought us to a happy destination.  It only took three attempts, but finally success!  Soft, sweet, spiced and delicious.  This maple cinnamon turned honey maple turned cinnamon cranberry bread was truly a comedy of errors!  As we mentioned, there was a plan for this bread–reasons why it was made in the first place.  That being said, we could only savor a couple of ragged slices.  The remaining loaf was cooled, sliced, popped in a zip bag in the freezer.  It is probably the best way to store freshly baked bread, so you can have it anytime you want.  Here’s one for the BYOB Challenge hosted by Sandy, the force behind At the Baker’s Bench!

Round 3: Perfect Cinnamon Cranberry Wheat Bread
Round 3: Perfect Cinnamon Cranberry Wheat Bread

Cinnamon Cranberry Wheat Bread – 1 loaf (14-16 slices)

1 1/4 cups water, warm
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 cup honey
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/4 cup powdered milk
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 1/2  tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup bread flour
1/2 cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon honey
Wheat germ (optional)
Oats (optional)
Vegetable oil

1.  With a whisk, combine water, syrup, 1/4 cup honey, 3 tablespoons butter and yeast in a small bowl.  Let sit and dissolve for 3-5 minutes.

2.  In electric mixer, add flours, cinnamon, ginger, powdered milk, cranberries and salt.  Combine with dough hook on low speed.

3.  Slowly pour in yeast mixture and continue mixing, on medium-low speed, until dough begins to come together, completely pulling away from the sides of the bowl.

4.  Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead until dough into a ball, approximately 1-3 minutes.

5.  Douse all sides of a bowl with a little vegetable oil and place dough in bowl.  Roll around so all sides of the dough are greased.  Cover and let rise—double in size—in a warm place, approximately 40-50 minutes.

6.  Remove dough onto floured surface and knead again, approximately 1-2 minutes.

7.  Coat a 9x 5 loaf pan with baking spray.  Place dough in pan, cover and allow to rise again—double in size—for another 30 minutes.

8.  Mix melted butter with honey brush on top of loaf.  If desired, sprinkle the top with wheat germ and oats.

9.  Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until top has browned.  Let cool completely before cutting.

Click HERE for the printable recipe.


36 thoughts on “There’s a Plan for This

  1. Oh man, this looks so good. And thanks for doing the tweaking until it was perfect… I’m usually not patient enough to retry a dish if it’s not exactly right the first time. I’m the type who will just give up on it and move on. Your final product is totally worth the trial and errors, though!!

  2. Your first attempt on the bread reminded me of a similar experience I had lately. I had a hankering to make some lemon shortbread bars, which I finally got around to doing the other day and, you know what, despite the fact that they contained the juice of 3 lemons, the end product did not taste of lemon at all! So, like you, I will be going back to the drawing board to see if I can’t come up with something both tasty and lemony!

  3. I need to get in the kitchen and make some breads for my friends here in Texas. She longs to learn some tricks, and you have just inspired me…I can smell it from here!

  4. Well they do say 3 times lucky and it was so in your case. The last picture looks delicious especially with the addition of fruit.

  5. There is nothing better then hot out of the oven bread!! Great job not giving up and tackling this recipe!! Looks delicious!! mmmmmmmmmm

  6. That’s awesome how you guys tried to make it 3 times!!! Wow, and each time it looks delicious. Even though the first one didn’t taste cinnamony or maply, at least you could eat it as plain wheat bread and made a deli sandwich! I bet the entire house smelled like bread… that is the best!!!!

  7. So glad you spoke to your “selves” & baked this beautiful bread. There is a deli here which has bread which seems similar to this. I am so glad you posted this recipe. Nothing so homey or inviting as the smell of fresh baked bread. Great post!

  8. Brain + tenacity = good bread. 🙂 Have you tried baking with maple syrup granules? That might be something that makes bread mapley without turning too wet and gummy inside.

  9. Great bread recipe! Just looking at the loaves makes me hungry. But how about this — if you just leave the bread to rise for longer, with maybe a 1 minute knead or two at the beginning of rising (I mix ingredients, leave for 10 minutes, knead for a minute, leave for 10, knead for another minute) it comes out soft and delicate and no tricep burning involved. Unless a workout is part of the plan…

  10. the final edition looks like the fruit+nut breads my mom used to make. oh, and the first one looks like it would make some great french toast….please tell me you froze that loaf too!? 🙂

  11. Love the experimenting, try it again side of it. wonderfully written! Makes me feel like I’m in the kitchen cooking away with you lol

  12. cinnamon and cranberry… yum! man, I need a loaf pan. I’ve been talking and talking about wanting to make bread and this just looks so good!!! And your biscuits worked out well for me… this could be my duo dishes bread experiment 2.0!

  13. Good for you guys for giving it several attempts. The end result sounds fantastic. I tend to try making something once and not get back around to trying it again for a very long time if I didn’t like the first result. I should be better about that!

  14. You guys are real troopers for making all of those attempts. I know the first loaf wasn’t quite what you had hoped, but it certainly looked lovely. I’d eat it.

  15. Oh that second bread looks delicious with the cranberries! I’m glad you guys succeeded! I know it can be frustrating to put all the effort ans hope into a loaf and have it not fullfil your expectations!

  16. What a fine finished product! Well done: it is all about trying & adapting things in the kitchen,..

    The final bread looks so inviting! Yum Yum Yum!

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