Fall is inching toward winter. It now gets dark at 5 pm, if you are lucky. You want to feel warm and cozy inside and out. You are starting to think about the holidays. You want your house to be welcoming and festive. You want to eat a lot of bread.
You know it’s true.
I’m staying with a dear old friend here in LA. Well, he’s not old. Older than me though, by 363 days. We went to grade school together.
And today we made bread together. We were hungry.
Here’s what you need to make your house smell delicious. And fulfill your carbohydrate needs. It’ll help you get up in the morning. And go to sleep at 8:30, because why not? It’s been dark for 4 hours already!
- 4 C flour
- 2 tsp. baking soda
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 C shortening
- 2 C sugar
- 4 eggs
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- 2 C buttermilk
- extra cinnamon and sugar for the cinnamon swirl part of the show
Makes 2 loaves.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix dry ingredients, flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt, in a bowl.
Put shortening in the bowl of the stand mixer.
Turn on your friend’s ancient and fabulous KitchenAid mixer. His mixer is seriously amazing. Belonged to his great aunt. It deserves its own post and will get one soon.
Add sugar to mixer. Beat.
Add eggs one at a time, beating after each.
Add vanilla and mix together.
Now, slowly add the flour mixture, alternating with the buttermilk. As in, add about a third of the flour and pour in about a third of the buttermilk, mix together, repeat.
Don’t over mix. This is a quickbread and quickbreads don’t like to be beaten to a pulp. You want a nice goopy, combined batter.
Goop. Goop that will taste good.
Ok! Now, grease your loaf pans!
You can grease it with Pam if you’re not staying in a house that barely owns olive oil, let alone aerosol cooking spray. Me and my old lady hands used butter.
Now, I baked the two loaves at separate times, so only used half of the batter and then saved the rest in the fridge til the first loaf was eaten (3 days). If you want a lot of bread all at once, have at it.
But I’d still separate your batter into halves, as now you’re going to layer the batter in each loaf pan and you want things to be fairly even.
Or maybe you don’t. I don’t know you. Maybe you’re 100% reckless. I’m not. Keep things separated!
So, working with half the batter for one loaf pan, spread a third of the batter in the bottom of the pan.
In a cereal bowl (or whatever small bowl you have handy), mix together cinnamon and sugar. I used about 3 spoonfuls of sugar and 2 of cinnamon, but I had a little left over. Use your common sense. Mix it all together.
Look at this weirdo cinnamon:
Sprinkle a little of your cinnamon/sugar mix onto the batter in your loaf pan.
Then drag a knife through it, swirling the cinnamon into the batter.
Repeat, adding a layer of batter, covering it with cinnamon sugar, and then swirling it.
Finally, add a third layer of batter but don’t swirl this! Just sprinkle a small amount of the cinnamon sugar mixture on top to give it a little crunchy crust.
Repeat with your other loaf pan if you’re doing this all at once. Neighbors love this stuff. So do office mates.
Pop your loaves into your preheated 350 degree oven and set the timer for 55 minutes!
Then drink a cup of coffee.
Or a glass of wine, depending on the hour. A glass of water is also acceptable.
Revel in the homey smell coming from your oven.
Ding! Bread is done!
Looks good! Except for all the dripped batter mess on the sides, that is. It’ll look great once it’s cooled and removed from the pan!
The result is a dense, cinnamon-y, not-too-sweet-but-sweet-enough-just-like-me, coffee cake-ish bread. Delicious with butter, tasty with jam, great on its own. Perfect for breakfast.
Or as a just before bed snack. At 7:30 pm.