A sweet slice of heaven that can be eaten on its own, toasted with some butter, or made into french toast. My no-refined sugar cinnamon swirl bread will be a hit in every house.
I used to be terrified at the thought of making homemade bread. I registered for a bread machine for our wedding and used it most of our first year of marriage because you just dump all the ingredients in and press a button – that’s something I can handle. But after running out of recipes to try and motivation to whip out that huge machine, I gave up completely on the idea of homemade bread.
There were two things that scared me the most about making bread; working with yeast and the whole process of kneading. Yeast was always a product that confused me. I mean, did you have to use sugar and did the liquid have to be warm? Also, yeast is living and for some reason that freaks me out. And let’s not talk about kneading – that requires a lot of strength and patience.
So after staying in the hotel for practically 2 months when we moved from Maryland to Missouri, we were fed breakfast every morning and I fell in love with a cinnamon swirl bread. There was nothing fancy about it – just white bread with a buttery cinnamon sugar swirl. What I loved most about it was that it reminded me of a childhood bread that my parents would buy from a bakery while we were camping each year. That was more of a pull-apart bread but this sliced bread tasted so similar.
Now that I am mostly settled into our home, I don’t have access to that delicious bread. Which is probably a good thing because a slice or two each morning was becoming a bad habit. That doesn’t mean the craving for said bread is gone so I decided to give bread making another try. But this time, I put my handy electric stand mixer to work for me!
There are several ways I changed up the original cinnamon swirl bread recipe so that myself and all of you can enjoy this mostly guilt-free. I swapped white flour for wheat and nixed all refined sugar. This cinnamon swirl bread can be enjoyed on its own while still slightly warm, toast it up and slather some butter on it, or whip up some french toast for a delicious breakfast treat. Let’s get to it!
Cinnamon Swirl Bread [no refined sugar]
Total time: 2.5-3 hours
Yield: 14 slices
Nutrition per serving: 261 calories | 51 g Carbs | 5 g Fat | 7 g Protein | 24 g Sugar
- 1 cup milk (or almond milk), plus extra for brushing loaf
- 4 tablespoons butter, unsalted
- 1 packet Active Dry Yeast
- 3 Eggs, whole (reserve one for brushing loaf)
- 1 medium Very Ripe Banana
3 3/4 cup Whole Wheat Flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup Medjool Dates
1/2 cup Hot Water
1 1/2 tablespoon Ground Cinnamon
- In a high-speed food processor, add dates and hot water. Allow sitting while proceeding on to make the dough.
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, warm almond milk and butter together (do not allow to boil). Once the butter has completely melted, remove the saucepan from heat. Allow the almond milk and butter mixture to cool until just warm to the touch then stir in the active dry yeast packet. Let sit for 10 minutes
- Using an electric stand mixer with a paddle attachment, combine two whole eggs and the very ripe banana until thoroughly combined. Pour in the almond milk, butter, and yeast mixture and stir until well combined.
- In a separate bowl, measure out the flour and salt. Add half the flour mixture to the stand mixer. Mix until thoroughly combined with eggs, banana, milk, butter, and yeast mixture. Add the remaining flour mixture, stir until fully combined. Remove the paddle attachment and add the dough hook. Knead dough on medium speed using the stand mixer for 10 minutes.
- Warm a glass bowl in the microwave or warm a metal bowl by setting the bottom in hot water. Spray the inside of the bowl with cooking spray. Remove the bread dough from the stand mixer and place it into a greased warm bowl. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap then cover with a towel. Set aside for 60 minutes.
- Meanwhile using the food processor, blend the dates and water together. Scraping the sides as necessary, blend date mixture until a paste forms. Add cinnamon to the date paste and blend together. Set aside the date paste.
- Turn dough out onto the working surface. Roll dough out into a rectangle no wider than your loaf pan and about 18 inches in length. Evenly spread date paste onto dough then roll the dough tightly towards yourself. Pinch seam and place seam side down.
- Store in a gallon-size storage bag on the counter for 3-5 days or in the refrigerator for 7-10 days.