Last week I posted a picture of this cinnamon braid (made with our no-knead brioche dough) on Instagram, and had several requests for a recipe. So here it is! It’s basically a cinnamon roll in a prettier package, but it’s fun to make, and would be perfect for a Mother’s Day brunch or just because.
And, as it is National Poetry Month, here is a lovely one involving a kitchen, a ritual, and eating together.
smoothing away time with the fluid line
of your memory
i am in place at your table
in the morning damp of your still dark kitchen
i wait for you to come
stepping through the curtained doorway
you enter intent on this day
restart the fire
fill place the kettle
pull open the kitchen door
inviting daylight to come
welcoming it into your house—
bringing it into mine.
-Kimberly Blaeser, Rituals, Your – and Mine (full poem here)
1 1/2 pounds Brioche dough (page 300 of The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, or the recipe here on the website)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for greasing the pan
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
2-4 tablespoons water
For the filling
Combine the sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a small bowl.
For the braid
Remove 1 1/2 pounds of dough from your dough bucket, and place it on a generously floured surface. Knead the dough a few times, and shape into a ball. Cover with a tea towel and let rest on the counter for 15-20 minutes.
Grease an 8-inch cake pan, or other 7-8 inch pan (I used this pan here).
Once the dough is ready, roll it to a 1/4-inch thick rectangle, using flour as needed to keep it from sticking to the counter. Brush the melted butter over the dough. Sprinkle the brown sugar mixture evenly over the dough. Starting with the long end of the dough, carefully roll the dough into a log. Gently transfer the log to the prepared sheet pan (you may need to use a bench scraper or spatula to help move it). Mine fit on the sheet pan diagonally. Chill the log in the refrigerator for 20 minutes, or until firm.
Using a Kitchen Scissors or sharp knife, gently cut the roll into half lengthwise so the layers of dough and filling are visible, but leave one end still attached by about 3/4-inch.
With the cut sides facing up, gently press together one end of each half, and then lift the right half over the left half, and continue until you have braided the entire roll. Press the ends together.
Starting at the cut end, gently spiral the braid into a circle.
Place the twist into the prepared pan. Cover with plastic wrap or a dishtowel and let the dough rise in a warm place for 1-1/2 hours, until almost doubled in size.
Adjust an oven rack to the middle position, and heat the oven to 350F.
Remove the plastic wrap. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until the bread is golden brown, and the center is completely baked. Remove from the oven and move to a wire rack. Let cool for 15 minutes, then drizzle with icing if desired.
For the icing
Put the powdered sugar into a medium bowl. Add 2 tablespoons water, and mix until combined. If the icing is too thick, add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the desired consistency is reached. Drizzle over warm the warm bread.