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Easy No-Knead Cinnamon Bun Bread

Easy No-Knead Cinnamon Bun Bread

Freshly baked cinnamon buns are one of the most indulgent baked goods that you can treat yourself to. But it takes time and effort to put together a batch of made-from-scratch cinnamon buns, and there are often times when you might want to treat yourself without waiting around. This Easy …

The post Easy No-Knead Cinnamon Bun Bread appeared first on Baking Bites.

Easy No-Knead Cinnamon Bun Bread

Freshly baked cinnamon buns are one of the most indulgent baked goods that you can treat yourself to. But it takes time and effort to put together a batch of made-from-scratch cinnamon buns, and there are often times when you might want to treat yourself without waiting around. This Easy No-Knead Cinnamon Bun Bread is a recipe for a yeast bread that tastes just like cinnamon buns – completely with sweet cinnamon swirls in the dough – but can be made in a matter of minutes with no rolling required.

This bread starts with a yeast dough that can be mixed up in one bowl. It can be made with active dry or rapid rise yeast. The dough is quite wet and doesn’t require any kneading to get it to come together – in fact, you can easily mix it up by hand using only a spatula. Once the dough is mixed up, transfer it to a baking dish and allow it to rest for a few minutes before adding the cinnamon bun topping.

The topping for this bread is basically the same mixture that you would use as a filling in a more traditional cinnamon bun. It is a mixture of butter, brown sugar and cinnamon that is stirred together until it is moist and uniform. The mixture is sprinkled evenly on top of the rested dough and pressed in with your fingertips. This method is the same one that I use to add “dimples” to focaccia bread: pushing your fingertips firmly down into the dough to make indentations. In this recipe, it pushes the filling into the dough, which creates pockets and swirls when the bread bakes.

While the bread is rested for a short time during the preparation process, it doesn’t need to rise until it is doubled in size. It will actually rise a bit more in the oven as it starts to bake! The bread will spring back when pressed at the end of the baking time and the cinnamon-sugar mixture will be bubbling deliciously around the edges of the pan. Allow the bread to cool for at least 30 minutes before adding a vanilla drizzle and cutting it up to serve. The bread is at its best the day it is baked, but leftovers can be reheated the next day, as well.

This simple recipe doesn’t require any previous baking experience, so don’t be afraid to get your hands in the dough – minimally, of course! – and give this delicious cinnamon bun bread a try!

Easy No-Knead Cinnamon Bun Bread
2 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
4 tsp active dry or rapid rise yeast
2/3 cup warm milk (100-110F; low fat is fine)
4 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg

Filling/Topping
4 tbsp butter, room temperature
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt

Icing
1 cup powdered sugar
1-2 tbsp milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Lightly grease an 8×8-inch square baking pan.
In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar and salt. Dissolve the yeast in a measuring cup filled with the warmed milk and allow it to sit for 5 minutes, until slightly foamy. Then stir milk mixture, vegetable oil, vanilla extract and egg into the flour mixture. Mix well, until very smooth. Transfer the dough (it will be a very soft dough) into prepared pan, cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 15 minutes.
While the dough rests, prepare the filling. Mix together butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in a small bowl using a fork or spatula until all the butter has been incorporated into the sugar and mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle evenly on top of rested dough and press the mixture down into the dough with your fingertips. You do not need to try to stir in the topping, but leave the dough with deep “dimples” all over the surface. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 15 more minutes
Preheat oven to 350F. Bake for about 30 minutes, until bread is lightly browned at the edges and the center of the bread springs back when lightly pressed. The sugar mixture on top may still be bubbling.
Cool for at least 30 minutes before whisking the powdered sugar, milk and vanilla together to form an icing and drizzling it onto the bread.
Serve warm or at room temperature.

Serves 9.

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English Muffin Batter Bread

English Muffin Batter Bread

English muffins are one of my favorite breads to toast. They not only have a great flavor, but they are full of nooks and crannies to fill with butter and jam. You can make them at home, but it’s much easier to make this English Muffin Batter Bread, instead! …

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English Muffin Batter Bread

English muffins are one of my favorite breads to toast. They not only have a great flavor, but they are full of nooks and crannies to fill with butter and jam. You can make them at home, but it’s much easier to make this English Muffin Batter Bread, instead! The yeast bread is called a batter bread because it is made from a batter and requires no kneading. The finished batter bread captures the flavor of an english muffin in a loaf form that anyone can bake.

When I say that this bread requires no kneading, I’m not kidding! It can be mixed up in one bowl and doesn’t require any special tools to make, although you will need active dry yeast for this recipe. Once the yeast has bloomed, all the ingredients are combined into a thick, smooth batter that is poured into a grease loaf pan to rise. After an hour or so, it goes directly into the oven to bake.

The finished bread has a fairly open texture that is similar to the holey-texture of an English muffin. The baking soda in the batter helps to create this texture. While it is added as leavening in many quick breads, baking soda is in this recipe to supplement the yeast. It begins to react as soon as it is stirred into the batter, creating all kinds of tiny air bubbles. As the bread rises and bakes, these bubbles expand even more and then set – leaving you with a bread that is a fantastic texture for toasting.

English Muffin Batter Bread

Don’t forget to lightly grease your loaf pan before pouring in the batter to ensure that your loaf comes out easily. Allow it to cool completely before slicing it into thick pieces with a serrated knife. The bread is good on its own, but it really shines after it has been toasted and that is my favorite way to serve it. The bread will keep for at least a day or two after baking, in the event that you can’t eat it all in one day.

(Note: This post originally appeared in September 2005. The post has been updated, but it’s amazing that this recipe is just as popular then as it is now!)

English Muffin Batter Bread
3/4 cup water, warm (approximately 100-110 F)
1/4 ounce active dry yeast (1 package/ 2 1/2 tsp)
2 tsp sugar
3 cups all purpose flour, divided
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup milk, warm (approximately 100-110 F)

Lightly grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan.
In a small bowl, 1/4 cup of water with active dry yeast and sugar. Stir, then allow mixture to sit for 5 minutes until yeast is foamy.
Transfer yeast mixture to a large bowl, along 2 cups of flour, salt, baking soda, milk and remaining water. Mix until a smooth batter forms. Gradually stir in remaining flour until batter is thick and uniform. This can also be done in the stand mixer using a dough hook.
Pour batter into prepared pan and cover with plastic wrap.
Allow dough to rise in a warm place for 1 hour, or until about doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 400 F. Bake the loaf for about 30 minutes, until the top of the loaf is golden and it sounds hollow when tapped. An instant read thermometer inserted into the center of the loaf should read 190-200F.
Turn bread out onto a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.

Makes 1 loaf.

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Easy Homemade Pretzel Bites

Easy Homemade Pretzel Bites

Pretzels are one of my favorite breads and they’re easier to make than you might think – especially if you opt to make Easy Homemade Pretzel Bites instead of full sized pretzels in the first plate. Pretzel bites are something that you’ll see on the menus of gastropubs: one or two bite …

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Easy Homemade Pretzel Bites

Pretzels are one of my favorite breads and they’re easier to make than you might think – especially if you opt to make Easy Homemade Pretzel Bites instead of full sized pretzels in the first plate. Pretzel bites are something that you’ll see on the menus of gastropubs: one or two bite pretzels served with a dipping sauce or three. They’re easy to make because they only require minimal dough handing. This means that even if you’re not an expert baker, you can easily whip up this salty snack at home!

The recipe starts with a fresh batch of homemade yeast dough. Pretzel dough is relatively plain and has only a few simple ingredients. This means that the dough is very straightforward and easy to make, even if you’re not that experienced with yeast bread. If you happen to have refrigerated pizza dough on hand, you can actually use that in this recipe, too. Once the dough has been mixed together, set it aside to rise for about an hour before shaping the dough.

When it comes to shaping this dough, it couldn’t get any simpler: cut the dough into equal pieces and roll the balls between the palms of your hands to smooth them out. The recipe makes pretzel bites that are about 2-3 bites (depending on how big your mouth is!) per piece, so the balls of dough are large enough to be easy to work with as you shape them. Once they’re rolled out, they only need a few more minutes to rest until you’re ready to cook them.

Cooking pretzels is a two step process. First, the balls of dough are dunked in hot water that has a generous amount of baking soda in it. This brief bath sets the outside of the pretzel balls, ensuring that they will have a thick and chewy crust after baking. They aren’t actually cooked in the hot water mixture, just left in there long enough to set that crust before they go into the oven. Sprinkle the balls generously with salt (if you, like me, enjoy salted pretzels) while they are still wet and before they go into the oven. Pretzel salt is a specialty salt used for pretzels that is particularly coarse and doesn’t melt away while the pretzels bake. Coarse or sea salt can be substituted if you don’t have traditional pretzel salt.

Bake the bites until they are golden, then serve them up while they are still warm. My favorite pretzel dip is whole grain mustard, but there are all kinds of spicy sauces and cheese dips that also make wonderful accompaniments. These are best on the day they are made, but leftovers can be stored until the next day. If you opt to make your bites smaller than mine, reduce the baking time by a couple of minutes.

Easy Homemade Pretzel Bites

Easy Homemade Pretzel Bites
3/4 cup water, warm (100-110F)
2 1/2 tsp (1 envelope) active dry yeast
1 tbsp sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tbsp vegetable oil
3/4 tsp salt

Topping
2 cups water
2 tablespoons baking soda
pretzel salt or coarse salt

In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup of the water with the yeast and sugar. Stir and allow to stand for 5 minutes, until mixture is foamy.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine yeast mixture with remaining water, flour, vegetable oil and salt. Mix with a paddle attachment until dough comes together and begins to pull away from the sides of the pan. If the dough seems very wet, add in an additional tablespoon of flour. Turn mixer up to medium and beat for 1-2 minutes. (This can be done by hand with a wooden spoon and a little bit of elbow grease). Dough should be elastic and spring back when touched.
Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise for 60 minutes, or until doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 375F.
Cut dough in half and shape each half into a rough log. Cut each log of dough into 10 equal pieces. Roll dough balls between your hands to give them a round shape. Set aside for 15 minutes, covered with a clean dish towel.
In a large skillet, combine 2 cups water with baking soda and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and place the dough balls
In a skillet or saucepan, combine 2 cups water with the baking soda and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and place the dough balls into the water in small batches (4-6 at a time).
Cook for about 30 seconds, turning once, then remove from the water with a slotted spoon and arrange balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with pretzel salt while still wet.
Bake pretzel bites for 16-19 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm.

Makes 20 pretzel bites.

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