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Friday, April 10, 2015

Fun Friday ~ Russian Rose Bread / Cinnamon Sugar Braided Bread

I had planned early on to try a braided bread for this marathon and was looking for one which my kids would love to try. I came across a subtly sweet, cinnamon flavored one here which was part of a bread baking challenge. The several versions I checked ended up being part of the same challenge and so only the fillings changed according to one's preferences but the bread dough and the recipe remained the same. I wonder if this recipe has any Russian origins at all since I could not find anything online related to 'Russia' and 'Rose bread'. However it seems that another version of sweet cinnamon braided bread is equally popular in another East European nation, Estonia and it goes by the name 'Kringle'.

My kids love 'cinnamon'y bakes and so naturally they enjoyed it. They thought this rose bread was perfect though I felt it could have been a little more sweeter. I guess it is supposed to be that way since it is a bread and not a cake and is served along with coffee / tea. The original recipe had some sugar bits sprinkled on the top but I left them out. Sweetoholics probably may drizzle some chocolate / sugar icing on it if they prefer a sweeter bread. And people who are not sweetoholics may go with a savory filling.

I accidentally prepared a cup of sugar filling and by the time I noticed it, my daughter had sprinkled about 3/4th of it but I think even if I had used up that whole cup of sugar it would not have ruined the bread. And probably that's why my bread doesn't look dark as cinnamon-sugar ratio became different. I removed the bread from the oven as soon as it attained a golden hue and was done. 
My daughter was all along with me while shaping the bread and left at the last moment when I was coiling it and so she was surprised to see a wreath shaped bread coming out of the oven. Even my son was intrigued as how I arrived at that shape and I had to show him the pictures. When you cut a slice of the bread, all you see is layers attached to each other with cinnamon sugar filling between instead of a bread slice . 
Ingredients for the dough:
1 & 3/4 tsp. dry active yeast
1 & 1/4 cup warm water
1 tbsp. sugar
4 cups all purpose flour
2 tbsp flax meal (optional)
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup oil
1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar

Ingredients for the filling:
1/3 cup butter, softened at room temperature
1/2 to 3/4 cup granulated sugar (I used about 3/4 cup.)
2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Preparation of the dough:
* Add sugar and yeast to warm water and let it sit for few minutes, until it foams and rises.
* Combine flour, flax meal and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the yeast mixture, oil and vinegar to the bowl and knead the mixture until it results in a non sticky, elastic dough. Feel free to add small amounts of extra water / flour if needed, to achieve this consistency.
* Place the dough ball in a greased bowl and turn it to coat uniformly with oil. Cover and leave it to rise in a warm place until it almost doubles. This should take around 1 - 2 hours depending upon the weather.

Shaping the bread:
* Lightly flour the work surface and place the dough ball on it. Using your palms, gently flatten it into a rectangle. Using a rolling pin, roll it as thin as you can into a rectangle without making it translucent or without tearing it. I rolled mine into 12 by 24 inched one.
* Combine sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. 
* Brush the softened butter all over the surface of the rectangle, leaving about 1/4 inch space around the edges. Sprinkle the sugar-cinnamon mixture uniformly over the spread butter.
* Gently roll the dough rectangle into a tight log / roulade, starting from one of the longer edges.
* Cut (and not saw) the roll lengthwise into two equal parts using a sharp knife. (Make sure that your knife is in the middle so that you end up with two equal parts. If cut down along the seam, you will have a neater wreath. I put the log, seam side up and cut along the seam.)
* Slowly turn the two halves facing outwards, so that layers show up. (Basically the layers should be facing upwards towards you or in other words you should be able to see the layers. The layers should not face downwards.)
* Place them crossing each other to form a "X" shape, with the open layers facing up. Pinch the ends together at the upper side and continue to cross them to form a rope.
* This is your 2 strand rope shape. If for any reason, some of the open roulade layers are facing sideways or downwards, gently and carefully turn them to face upwards. Gently pinch the ends to seal.
* Grease a 10 inch spring form cake pan and remove the bottom. Gently slide the spring form pan bottom under about half of the dough rope. If you have a thinner end, start from that side of the rope. Keeping that point as the center of the wreath, slowly form a coil. The open layers of the roulade should be still facing up.
* Neatly tuck in the other end under the wreath.
*  Now attach the side frame of the spring form pan to the bottom side (with the bread wreath on it.)
(Use a 10 inch round cake pan if you don't own a spring from cake pan. Gently and very carefully lift the shaped bread so that it's shape is not affected and place it in the greased pan.)
* Cover and let it rise in a warm place until the braided wreath fills about 3/4th of the pan. (I lined the pan with parchment paper for easy cleanup. The second rise may take up around 30 minutes or so. )
* If using decorative sugar bits, sprinkle over the top of the wreath now.
* Place the wreath in a preheated oven at 200 deg C / 400 deg F and bake for 10 minutes. Then lower the temperature to 180 deg C / 350 deg F and bake for another 30 - 40 minutes or until brown and done.
* Cool the bread on a wire rack. Slice and serve along with tea / coffee.


Usha said...

Wow, that is a beautiful bread. You shaped it beautifully and cinnamon must have given it a nice flavor

The Pumpkin Farm said...

very elegantly shaped and done...nice color as well

Priya Suresh said...

They came out soo beautifully Suma, i tried them with pesto filling few months back and loved it to the core.

www.mahaslovelyhome.com said...

very well presented with neat pics n clear notes..perfect fr break fast..

Priya Srinivasan - I Camp in My Kitchen said...

Love that shape suma, we too love cinnamon bakes and i m definitely going to try this soon!!! :)

Varada's Kitchen said...

Looks beautiful and I am sure tasted great. Cinnamon sugar makes it all good.

Sneha's Recipe said...

Wow a beautifully braided bread.

Kalyani said...

Wow !! That's a brilliantly done bread, Suma !! So many variations to the basic cinnamon bun right ? I kinda got it till the braids were done but am lost after that step on how you arrived at the wreath.. Probably will check out some videos for more details ! Brilliant once again 👍👍

Pavani said...

What beautiful bread Suma. Looks crispy on the outside and soft inside -- sounds very flavorful too.

vaishali sabnani said...

Excellent..very well made bread, so well explained too. Loved the complete post Suma. Like the way it has been rolled up and all layers are so well defined.

Srividhya said...

Very nice. The layers are great and I can see the rose there.

Nalini's Kitchen said...

Beautiful looking,flavorful bread..It got a very nice color with perfect layers..

Harini R said...

Beautifully made. I am sure the kids will be interested in the beautifully shaped rose bread!

Srivalli said...

Suma, the rose looks stunning..and your pictures surely help for uninitiated!..

Unknown said...

beautifully made bread!!! looks stunning.. so perfectly shaped!!

Gayathri Kumar said...

That rose bread looks incredible!!!

Sandhya Ramakrishnan said...

Looks so good Suma! One more bread for me to try. love the spiral shape and thanks to your clear instructions!

veena said...

Beautifully braided bread and lovely photos.