Sometimes you just need a loaf of bread in a hurry. So, a recipe that uses double the normal amount of yeast and is only proofed once, for bread in an hour, can come in handy. Especially when you can make both a plain sandwich loaf, or a batch of decadent cinnamon rolls with a cream cheese frosting, with the same recipe. And the crumb of both is nice and fluffy.
Slice of Sandwich Bread
Inside a Cinnamon Roll
Fast and Easy White Bread – ~900 gm/2 lb, makes 1 loaf, baked in a loaf pan (8 x 4 or 9 x 5 or 13″ Pullman) or 2 free form loaves, or 15 buns in a 9×13 inch baking dish
5 tsp active dry yeast
3 tbsp/42 gm sugar
1 1/4 cup/296 gm warm water
1 – 1 1/2 tsp salt*
1/4 cup oil or cooled melted butter
3 – 3 1/2 cup (360 – 420 gm) all purpose unbleached flour
* Used 1 1/4 tsp
In a medium sized bowl, add the warm water and sugar. Stir to dissolve. Add the yeast, stir to moisten the yeast and let sit for about 3-5 min until foamy.
Add the oil (or melted butter), 1 cup of flour and the salt. Stir well until you have a smooth batter.
Add the rest of the flour, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring well. Continue adding the flour until you have a soft dough and you can’t stir in any more of the flour. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured working surface and knead, adding more flour as needed, for about 5 minutes until you have a smooth, supple (and NOT sticky) dough.
Form your dough into a ball, cover with the bowl that you stirred the dough in, and let rest for 5 minutes. This allows the gluten to relax so that you can stretch it out.
Preheat the oven to 375 deg F. Oil or grease your bread loaf pan.
Roll out your dough or gently pat it down with your hands until you’ve formed a rectangle about 10 inches x 14 inches. Roll up the dough, pinch the seam closed and place, seam down, into your prepared loaf pan. Cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place, for 20 minutes or until double in size.
Brush the top of the loaf with an egg glaze (1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp of water) or some milk or cream, cut a slit in the top of the bread.
The dough below was only proofed for 20 minutes before being baked
Bake for approximately 20 – 30 minutes until done. (If you have an instant read thermometer check for a reading of 195 degrees Fahrenheit.)
Cool before cutting.
Cinnamon Roll Adaptation
I decided to make a dozen cinnamon rolls so I used the dough above, patted/rolled it into a roughly 10 x 14 inch rectangle, spread it with the cinnamon roll filling below and then rolled it up with the seam pinched closed. Since I wanted big fat rolls, I cut the rolls one inch wide and crowded nine of the rolls into an 8×8 inch baking dish lined with parchment paper. The remaining three rolls were placed into a 6 muffin pan lined with large muffin papers. After proofing for 30 minutes, instead of 20, since I wasn’t in a hurry and wanted nice fluffy buns, I baked the risen rolls at 375 deg F in a preheated oven for 25 minutes until they were golden brown on top. When cooled the rolls were frosted with the cream cheese frosting below.
Cinnamon Roll Filling – enough filling for a 10×14 inch rectangle of dough
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup brown sugar, unpacked
Cream together the softened butter and cinnamon. Spread evenly over the dough for the cinnamon rolls. Leave a 1/2-1 inch uncovered at the long end. Sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over the cinnamon butter. Roll up the dough, starting at the long end. Pinch the seam closed and turn the roll, seam side down. Cut about an inch wide and place into a buttered baking dish, or a muffin pan that has been buttered or lined with large muffin cups, and allow to proof until doubled.
Thick Cream Cheese Frosting – enough to frost a 9×13 inch pan of 15 cinnamon rolls
4 oz/115 gm cream cheese, softened to room temperature
2 cups icing/confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1/2 tsp vanilla extract, optional
1/4 cup milk
In a medium sized bowl, beat the cream cheese with a hand mixer until smooth and softened. Beat in the icing sugar 1/4 or 1/3 of a cup at a time. Beat in the vanilla extract, if using and then the milk, a tablespoon at a time, until it’s of spreading consistency. Use to frost the cinnamon rolls.
NOTE: A half recipe will frost a dozen cinnamon rolls if you’re trying to cut back on the decadence.