Cinnamon is one of my favourite spices. Whenever I do an apple crumble or pie, I always use a liberal amount of cinnamon. I just think it adds a nice warmth and sweetness to the apple.
I think it was about four years ago when my mum bought home some cinnamon swirls, and they were just perfect. They quickly became one of my favourite pastries, just below almond croissants.
So for the past few years, during the exam period when I'm off the library early in the morning, I always make a quick trip to the shop to buy some pastries for my breakfast. I feel like it's a good start to the day during that horrible time of the year.
This Christmas morning just gone, I decided to make some cinnamon swirls. I saw on other blogs that it seemed like a Christmas tradition, so I thought it was worth a go. It's a good idea to make the dough on Christmas Eve, and leave it to proof overnight to put in the oven in the morning.
500g Strong White Flour
1x7g sachet Fast Acting Yeast
40g Unsalted Butter
For the Filling:
25g Unsalted Butter (melted)
75g Brown Sugar
2tbsp Ground Cinnamon
100g Icing Sugar
In a large mixing bowl, place the flour and salt, and stir. Make a well in the middle, and pour in the yeast.
Melt the butter in a saucepan, and then add the milk. Heat until the mixture is lukewarm, and then pour into the flour. Add the egg, and stir thoroughly, until a soft dough forms.
Knead the dough on a floured surface for 5 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic.
Put the dough in an oiled bowl, cover with cling film, and leave in a warm place for one hour. The dough should double in size.
Tip the dough back out onto a floured surface, and roll out the dough into a rectangle.
Brush the dough with the melted butter, and evenly sprinkle over the brown sugar and cinnamon.
Roll the opposite side of the rectangle towards you tightly, until you have a roll of dough.
Cut the roll into small pieces about 1-2 inches thick.
Grease either a roasting tin, or like I did, a deep cake tin.
Place the swirls cut side up in the tray/tin.
If you're preparing this for breakfast the next day, you can then put the tin in the fridge, and leave it to proof over night. If not, then just leave in a warm place and proof for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas Mark 5.
When the dough has proofen, put the tin in the oven, and bake for 20-25 minutes, until the swirls are golden brown.
Remove the swirls from the tin, and leave to cool on a cooling rack.
While cooling, prepare the glaze, by sieving the icing sugar into a bowl, adding the water, and mixing into a smooth paste.
Once the swirls have cooled, pour the glaze over the top, and leave to set.