Thursday, March 22, 2007

Thanks again, Mr. Pyrex Loaf Pan!!!

Yet another success using my new best baking friend, Mr. Pyrex Loaf Pan. You've been hidden away in my kitchen cabinet abyss for way too long.

I found this recipe for Cinnamon Swirl Bread on the Bake or Break blog a few weeks ago, and since I have a stockpile of cinnamon to use up before I head out west, I decided to make it. It is so moist and delicious. (I can't believe I'm saying this, but this recipe is even better than the Vanilla Coconut Quick Bread I made a few days ago. But really, who can go wrong with two great quick bread recipes?)

Use the strongest cinnamon in your kitchen pantry for best flavor. (Every pantry should have high-quality, flavorful cinnamon in it, or you can buy it here.) I used Extra Fancy Vietnamese Cassia Cinnamon from Penzey's and Nielsen-Massey Mexican pure vanilla extract to both maximize and enhance the cinnamon taste of this bread. This bread is so good I had two pieces (a BIG no-no) for breakfast this morning. I gave the rest to my friend Kurt so I wouldn't eat it all. As usual, he was a very gracious recipient.

Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Source: Adapted from Bake or Break blog/BH&G Christmas Baking

1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans, toasted
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 cup sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 cup milk
1/3 cup canola oil
1/2 teaspoon Mexican pure vanilla extract (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease/flour/spray the bottom and sides of a 9x5-inch loaf pan. Combine 1/3 cup of sugar, pecans, and cinnamon. Set aside.

Combine 1 cup of sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, beat egg. Then, stir in milk, oil and vanilla extract. Make a well in the flour mixture and add the egg mixture. Stir just until mixed. Do not overmix.

Pour half of the batter into prepared loaf pan. Sprinkle with half of the cinnamon mixture. Repeat. With a wide rubber scraper or spatula, swirl mixtures together with a down and up circular motion.

Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until done. Cool in pan for about 10 minutes. Then, cool completely on a wire rack.

My notes: It took my loaf 55 minutes to bake. I added Mexican vanilla extract to the recipe (the original recipe didn't have any vanilla extract in it). I baked this last night and let it sit overnight (wrapped in plastic wrap) before cutting into slices and eating it. All quick breads taste better if you bake them a day before and let the flavors come together overnight before serving.

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