There's something that happens to me after the hustle and bustle of the holidays, something that has me feeling hungry for hearty, healthy things. There's also a part of me that is hungry for homemade breads. During these cold New England winter months, the smell of bread baking and the warmth that it brings to the home help me to cope much better with the chill in the air. I have a few old reliables, but I love to try new bread recipes. Sometimes things can get hairy, sometimes things turn out mind blowing. Fortunately, this was one of the latter experiences.
I recently picked up a few special issues of Cook's Illustrated, one of which is the Best Recipes and Reviews 2013. The recipe for Cinnamon Babka had my mouth watering and I've been itching to try it.
The recipe was fairly easy and straightforward, but I did have to add a significant amount of additional flour as the dough was far too wet and sticky. I would say somewhere between 1/3 to 1/2 cup of additional flour finally got the dough to come together. The final dough is like an ultra moist and truly delicious brioche. It's got the golden hue of brioche and that luxurious, almost cakey texture. There is a sweetness to this bread, perhaps a from the vanilla in the dough.
The finished bread is so amazing - it is a moist, slightly sweet brioche with an ooey, gooey cinnamon swirl. Totally worth the effort for an indulgent take on cinnamon swirl bread.